Thursday, April 19, 2018

Connecting the dots - Trump, Cohen, and the Russian Mafia

Explosive: The Russian mafia ran U.S. operations out of a club partially owned by Trump’s ‘lawyer’ reports Jen Hayden at the Daily Kos.

The Donald Trump-Russia connections just keep cropping up. Now there are explosive new details about his so-called attorney, Michael Cohen, who just so happened to grow up in a rather exclusive NYC club that was known as the preferred meeting spot of the Russian mob in the U.S. You cannot make this stuff up. From Talking Points Memo:

According to published reports, in the 70s and early 80s, the boss of the Russian mob in New York (and for practical purposes the whole U.S) was a man named Evsei Agron. Things ended badly for Agron when was gunned down in a mob hit in 1985. After Agron was assassinated, his organization was taken over by under-boss Marat Balagula. Authorities believed Balagula was behind Agron’s killing. But he was never charged with the crime. Balagula ran things until 1991 when he was convicted of gasoline bootlegging. Nayfeld had been the bodyguard and enforcer for both Agron and Balagula, one would say more successfully in the latter case than the former. He took over the organization when Balagula went to prison.

What I didn’t realize until now is that both Agron and his successor Balagula ran their operations out of an office in the El Caribe social club. So the El Caribe wasn’t just a mob hangout. From the 70s through the 90s at least, the bosses of the Russian mafia in the U.S. literally ran their crime organization out of the El Caribe.

So Michael Cohen’s uncle Morton Levine’s social club was the headquarters of Russian organized crime in the U.S.

Is your jaw on the ground? Mine definitely is. That is some coincidental connection, no? As TPM noted, the Associated Press article from January 2017 about Boris Nayfield, who they describe as “New York’s most notorious living Russian mobster,” had this glaring detail:

After the infamous mob boss Agron was killed, Nayfeld served as a bodyguard and chauffer for the next don of the Russian mob, Marat Balagula.

Balagula maintained an office at the El Caribe Country Club, a Brooklyn catering hall and event space owned by the uncle of President Donald Trump’s longtime personal lawyer, Michael Cohen.

The uncle, Dr. Morton Levine, said that all his nieces and nephews have an ownership in the company, but that Cohen “gave up his stake,” after Trump was elected.

No wonder everyone in Trump-land is freaking out about Michael Cohen and the mountain of evidence the FBI seized in their raid on his home, office, safety deposit box and hotel room. Loyalty won’t protect Trump or anyone else Cohen is associated with (Hannity!) if the FBI has all the evidence they need to make a case. That’s the price to pay though, right? If you lie down with dogs, you get up with fleas.

Good luck, fellas.

Rolling Stone has more in A Brief History of Michael Cohen’s Criminal Ties. From the Russian mob to money launderers, Trump’s personal attorney has long been a subject of interest to federal investigators.

AZ Blue Meanie at Blog for Arizona adds even more detail in Michael Cohen’s deep ties to the Russian mafia and concludes:

Why is Trump freaking out about the documents and recordings the FBI seized from Michael Cohen? Those documents recordings may contain evidence of Russian influence over Trump with which he has been or can be compromised. Cohen is a key to the “collusion” investigation. Stormy Daniels is the sideshow and a distraction.

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