The House Intelligence Committee on Thursday released the transcript of its seven-hour interview with Glenn Simpson, the co-founder of Fusion GPS, opposition research firm that helped assemble the controversial "Steele dossier."
MR. SCHIFF: And,in this case, what facts came to your attention that concerned you that the buying and selling of properties -the buying and selling of Trump properties might indicate money laundering?
MR. SIMPSON: There was --well, for one thing, there was various criminals were buying the properties. So there was a gangster--a Russian gangster living in Trump Tower.
MR. SCHIFF: Who was that?
MR. SIMPSON: His gangster name is Taiwanchik. I couldn't spell his actual name. But, you know, I mean, these are the kind of things that prompted us to hire Mr. Steele. We had a gangster named Taiwanchik living in Trump Tower who had been under I'm sorry, he was I think he was running a his associates were living in Trump Tower and he was running a high-stakes gambling ring out of Trump Tower while he himself was a fugitive for having rigged the skating competition at the Salt Lake Olympics and a bunch of other sporting events engaged in rigging. And when Mr. Trump went to the Miss Universe pageant in 2013 Taiwanchik was there in the VIP section with Mr. Trump and lots of other Kremlin biggies. So that kind of thing raised questions with us. Generally speaking the patterns of activity that we thought might be suggestive of money laundering were you know fast turnover deals and deals where there seemed to have been efforts to disguise the identity of the buyer.
Some more juicy NothingBurgers from the transcript:
MR. SCHIFF: Now, you mentioned that unlike the Italian organized crime, the Russian organized crime is more integrated into Russian Government, Russian corporate life.
MR. SIMPSON: American Government, American corporate life.
MR. SCHIFF: American Government, American corporate life. If the Russians were laundering money through Trump golf courses or Trump condos, would the Russian Government be aware of this? Would they be either knowing or active participants potentially in this?
MR. SIMPSON: Well, so what is well known and well established in criminology now is that the Russian mafia is essentially
under the dominion of the Russian Government and Russian Intelligence Services. And many of the oligarchs are also mafia figures.
And the oligarchs, during this period of consolidation of power by Vladimir Putin, when I was living in Brussels and doing all this work,
was about him essentially taking control over both the oligarchs and the mafia groups. And so basically everyone in Russia works for Putin now.
And that is true of the diaspora as well. So the Russian mafia in the United States is believed by law enforcement criminologists to have --to
be under the influence of the Russian security services. And this is convenient for the security services because it gives them a level of deniability.
So I'm sorry for the long answer, but essentially, if people who seem to be associated with the Russian mafia are buying Trump properties or arranging for other people to buy Trump properties, it does raise a question about whether they're doing it on behalf of the government.
MR. SCHIFF: Now, whether they re doing it on behalf of the government or they're doing it -whether they're doing it on behalf of
the government, it would be your expert opinion that it would be known to the government if it's on--
MR. SIMPSON: Certainly.
MR. SCHIFF: --any substantial scale?
MR. SIMPSON: Certainly, yes.
MR. SCHIFF: Might that provide the Russian Government leverage vis-a-vis now-President Trump?
MR. SIMPSON: Yes.
MR. SCHIFF: So if, as the President's son boasted some years ago, they were getting lots of financing from Russia and that financing were
illicit that would be known to the Kremlin.
MR. SIMPSON: I think I mean, yes, I think that's true. I think we had more specific reporting than that from Chris, and I think it's credible
You should have heard AM radio today hammering criminal prosecution against Fusion. Sounds like the Right is getting desperate and circling the wagons: "Reopen the emails investigation! Prosecute Fusion! Defund the FBI! Fire Mueller! Worse than Watergate! THEY ARE ACTIVELY UNDERMINING THE SITTING PRESIDENT!!!"
Oh man. Just deafening.
Oh, that was all on Hannity's radio show, BTW. Republican Congressman + a "researcher" + Sean Hannity = scary echo chamber.
Garry Kasparov @Kasparov63
Latest painful but true Russian joke, "Every country has its own mafia. Putin's Russia is the first where the mafia has its own country."
6:05 PM - 18 Jan 2018
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