The Jury Talks Back


Trump Organization Exec Emailed Putin’s Spokesman for Help on a Deal

Filed under: Uncategorized — Patterico @ 6:44 am

New reports raise further questions about Donald Trump’s businesses and Russia:

A top executive from Donald Trump’s real estate company emailed Russian President Vladi­mir Putin’s personal spokesman during the U.S. presidential campaign last year to ask for help advancing a stalled Trump Tower development project in Moscow, according to documents submitted to Congress on Monday.

The request came in a mid-January 2016 email from Michael Cohen, one of Trump’s closest business advisers, who asked longtime Putin lieutenant Dmitry Peskov for assistance in reviving a deal that Cohen suggested was languishing.

. . . .

Cohen’s email to Peskov provides an example of a Trump business official directly seeking Kremlin assistance in advancing Trump’s business interests.

The project appears to have gone nowhere. It does not look like evidence of “collusion” between Trump and Putin. It just causes any reasonable person to wonder whether the prospect of financial gain played or plays any part in Trump’s unrelenting praise for Vladimir Putin, a ruthless Soviet-style dictator who imprisons, tortures, and kills his political opponents.

I recently read Red Notice: A True Story of High Finance, Murder, and One Man’s Fight for Justice. It’s a compelling read about the imprisonment, torture, and murder of Sergei Magnitsky, whose death led to the U.S. passage of the Magnitsky Act to retaliate against those involved. (That’s the same law that a Kremlin-connected lawyer talked to Manafort and Jr. about getting repealed. Repeal of the Magnitsky Act is one of Putin’s top priorities.) I’ll have a review when I get a chance. In the meantime, watch the first 20 minutes of this. (Keep watching if you’re hooked.)

This is what we’re dealing with in Putin. It’s no joke. The fact that we have a President who praises this man is a continual source of astonishment to me.


  1. Trump is the poster boy for businessmen who put greed above everything. As such, he is a real-life example of what the left thinks all businessmen are, and an image that has tarred the GOP for decades. That doesn’t bode well for Republicans in the future.

    Comment by DRJ — 8/29/2017 @ 7:40 am

  2. The fact that so many Republicans are showing themselves to be devoted Trump supporters who love him and everything he stands for — this is reinforcing the sense, in the left, that we were right all along about Republicans in general — because if we *weren’t* right, surely Republicans would be standing up to the President on these things, or at the very least *not defending* him.

    Comment by aphrael — 8/29/2017 @ 11:45 am

  3. Was it Patterico who observed a while back that Trump is like a liberal’s caricature of what a Republican is? I can imagine how dispiriting it could be for conservatives to watch him not only live up to that caricature but capitalize on it again and again.

    And, it is true that he generates sizable support for being and doing exactly that. All of the rest of us, left or right, need to reckon with that reality.

    Comment by Tom Ryberg — 8/29/2017 @ 2:02 pm

  4. I understand your point, aphrael, but aren’t you expecting a lot? Which liberals stood up to Obama’s abuses? I don’t recall anyo Democratic leaders or commentators criticizing Obama for letting the IRS target conservatives. Frankly, I don’t even recall any who believed it happened.

    And there are many other examples. There was bound to be a backlash. Few people feel like taking the moral high ground in government accountability after so many years of moral failures.

    Comment by DRJ — 8/29/2017 @ 2:31 pm

  5. DRJ: and so they confirm our worst suspicions of them, and when the worm turns we’ll confirm their worst suspicions of us, and the end point is war.

    I expect us, *all of us*, to rise above our instincts and figure out how to live together. Right now there’s a real risk that won’t happen.

    Comment by aphrael — 8/29/2017 @ 2:45 pm

  6. Our instincts are to survive. There isn’t a “side” when it comes to survival instinct because it’s something we all have. We can’t rise above anything when we feel like our survival is at stake, and I think everyone feels their survival is at stake given the way politicians present the challenges we face. And I’m sure you will disagree but it was the Democrats who started that with Bork.

    Comment by DRJ — 8/29/2017 @ 3:12 pm

  7. Our instincts are turning us against one another and leading us down the path to civil war. That’s not *survival*; that’s catastrophe masquerading as survival.

    Comment by aphrael — 8/29/2017 @ 3:57 pm

  8. aphrael,

    On the plus side, some people come together when real survival is at stake.

    Comment by DRJ — 8/30/2017 @ 7:20 am

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