Trump lawyers say no Russian income -- except that big deal in Florida

Claudine Rigal
Mai 16, 2017

Donald Trump's attorney made a big mistake on Friday when he claimed that the President Of The United States has no income from Russian Federation, "with few exceptions".

"There are too many ways that it could be misleading and incomplete, Shaviro said".

It starts with Trump's luxury tower in the lower Manhattan neighborhood known as Soho, where his partner in building that highrise was Bayrock LLC, a corporation whose primary investor was a Russian mining oligarch and another major investor was a convicted Russian mobster Felix Sater. The attorneys did not, however, release copies of the documents.

When Mr Trump was pressed during a campaign conference last year about his ties to Russia, he said: "You know the closest I came to Russia, I bought a house a number of years ago in Palm Beach", adding that "I sold it to a Russian for 100 million dollars".

Graham on Tuesday said Congress should investigate Trump's businesses for potential Russian connections.

The "few exceptions" of income from Russian sources noted by the AP are over $95 million. "And while none of those charges have been proved, they relate to the Russian money which Trump keeps calling fake news". While Trump's lawyers acknowledge that such income from Russian sources is "likely", previous reporting has all-but confirmed it. "Morgan Lewis's Moscow office provides full-service business representation for clients, including advice on corporate and finance matters; mergers and acquisitions; transactional finance; litigation and worldwide arbitration; energy and natural resources projects; real estate property transactions; labor and employment issues; immigration; and a wide range of regulatory matters". Trump's most recent personal financial disclosure, which covers 2015 and part of 2016, lists at least $152 million in condo or land sales and income from rent on various properties.

Trump Jr. was quoted saying at the time, "Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross-section of a lot of our assets". "Because they're not going to. nobody cares about my tax return except for the reporters", he said.

Jack Blum, a Washington tax lawyer who is an expert on white-collar financial crime and global tax evasion, called the Dillon letter "meaningless".

He said he believed that would be "unfair" and "disrespectful of the importance of this deal". Those sorts of transactions are traditionally done through third parties in other countries, such as Cyprus or the Cayman Islands, Rosenthal said. Still, Trump told Russian journalists in 2008 (link in Russian) "I've always had very successful business relations with Russian", and went on to mention the 2008 property sale. He has no business in Russian Federation. Trump critics who put stock in allegations that members of Trump's presidential campaign had inappropriate contacts with Russian agents say that the president's resistance to releasing the returns suggests that they could contain information he would prefer to remain secret.

On its face, this certainly tends to put to rest some fears and concerns that have been raised about Trump's potential business ties to Russian Federation and especially it's heavily government-controlled banking sector.

Needless to say, the letter references tax returns that have not been released to the public.

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