As time goes on we’re learning more about Donald Trump’s conflicts of interest with Russia. Now it looks like some of Trump’s own companies could be in bed with the Russian government.
The Huffington Post reports that a Democratic coalition has been investigating some of Trump’s companies. They found that two of his businesses are registered in Cyprus, which is also a tax haven for Russian oligarchs including Vladimir Putin.
One of the companies is Trump Construction Limited, which was opened in Cyprus in 2008 at the height of the great recession. The other shell company is listed as UA Trump International Investments.
This information was released by senior advisor Scott Dworkin, as part of the #TrumpLeaks investigation. #TrumpLeaks represents a series of investigations into Trump’s scandals by Americans using legally obtained documents.
As if this wasn’t bad enough, Trump’s own cabinet has ties to Cyprus as well. Cabinet nominee Wilbur Ross is the Vice Chairman of the Bank of Cyprus, and this large institution has strong connections to the Russian government.
Cyprus is well known as an off-shore banking center and tax haven. But it’s also a money laundering center for Russian interests.
Russian expatriates have been moving to Cyprus for years. Now Russian influence is strong on the island, and the New York Times reports that Russian state intelligence is even operating on the island.
Vladimir Putin even bailed out the country in 2010, ostensively to protect Russian investments in the island. The bailout was later restructured to write off 10% of the loan value, and in return Cyprus allowed Russians ships to use their ports.
It’s clear that Trump and Russia are wound together in the chaotic web of Cyprus’ financial markets. Without Trump’s tax returns through (which he refuses to release), it’s unclear how large that influence is.
It’s not illegal for Trump to have an offshore business. But at the very least this situation represents a large conflict of interest with foreign powers.
This could represent a huge constitutional violation. Trump needs to be impeached if he continues to stonewall investigations into his ties with Putin and Russia.
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