Saturday, July 22, 2017

Bloomberg -- Mueller Expands Probe to Trump Business Transactions

"Follow the money!"

It's the first thing you learn as a new police detective, a beginning prosecutor, or a cub reporter. And it's a lesson you dare not forget. Money is often the fuse that ties the smoke to the fire.

Stellar reporting from Bloomberg that the Special Counsel Robert Mueller is looking at a wide expanse of President Trump and his family's business dealings is a big development and one that has, and should have, Mr. Trump feeling the heat.

The more you dig into the digits, the more you are likely to find inconsistencies or much worse, especially in a freewheeling and never scrutinized family real estate empire like Mr. Trump's.

Remember how defiantly the President has refused to release his tax returns. Remember the "red line" on just this scope of inquiry that he laid out in his interview yesterday with the New York Times. Remember all the shady associations with Russian money and his descent into - and remarkable resurrection from - bankruptcy. Remember that it was just reported that former campaign manager Paul Manafort was in debt 17 million dollars to Russian interests before he took a job with the Trump campaign. (I gave you a few extra spaces after the period to let that fact sink in).

Trump has categorically denied any collusion with Russia, or even knowledge of any of the high level conversations between his family and staff and representatives of the nation that attacked our democracy. Mr. Trump's credibility right now is not exactly rock solid, but even granting this is the case, what happens when the spotlight turns to hard evidence in dollars and cents?

When you turn over a rock, you can't put back all the critters that start crawling out.

By Greg Farrell and Christian Berthelsen