The Trump-Azerbaijan Tower project is a notoriously shady deal and for some reason nobody seems to care.
I’m going to post these tweets by New Yorker writer Adam Davidson for posterity. The Trump-Azerbaijan Tower project is a notoriously shady deal and for some reason nobody seems to care. If only they had used a private email server…
For reporters needing to convince editors they can safely mention Trump’s prior financial ties to the IRGC, here are the receipts: The Trump Org proudly announced its Baku, Azerbaijan project in 2014 (the deal began in 2010, signed in 2011): prnewswire.com/news-releases/… 1/
Ivanka Trump led the effort: facebook.com/watch/?v=10152… Her official partner was Anar Mammadov, son of Ziya Mammadov, Azerbaijan’s transportation minister. US state dept officials referred to Mammadov as “is notoriously corrupt even for Azerbaijan” search.wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/0… 2/
That same cable explained that Kamal and Keyoumars Darvishi ran “an alleged Revolutionary Guard-controlled business in Iran” and “developed a close business relationship/friendship with Azerbaijan Minister of Transportation Ziya Mammedov” 3/
A Swedish prosecutor filed a case against Bombardier for a corrupt rail contract in Azerbaijan. The documents the prosecutor uncovered showed the corrupt case implicated the IRGC’s Darvishi brothers and Mammadov. occrp.org/en/agentsofinf… 4/
Swedish prosecutor Thomas Forsberg has a lot of documentation that shows a tie between Mammadov and the Darvishis in this scam. Taken together, this evidence shows the Mammadovs and Darvishis were almost certainly making 100s of millions of dollars … 5/
Through corrupt rail and road contracts precisely when the Trump Org was doing business with them. The Trumps say they didn’t know until 2015, though a simple google search would have revealed most of it. But they CONTINUED doing business after they learned all this. 6/
The next key bit is to show that the Darvishis were not independent Iranian businessmen but were a front for the IRGC, doing the bidding of Qasem Soleimani. That’s actually the easiest part. Start with a Farsi translation of their own web page: azarpassillo.com/?lang=en 7/
Note that most of their Iran projects were ones controlled by the IRGC’s Khatam Al-Anbia construction entity. Also note that during the same period Trump was working on the project, the Darvishi brothers both took leaves from their business to work for … 8/
Tehran’s mayor, Mohamed Bagher Ghalibaf, a lifelong senior IRGC official and close ally of Soleimani. Ghalibaf–with the Darvishis as his key deputies–previously ran the IRGC air force and its efforts to acquire WMD missile guidance systems. 9/
Look at the Tehran Metro construction project–it was under Ghalibaf’s control, he gave much of the work to the Darvishis, and — we can safely assume — they pocketed huge amounts of corrupt money. Again: at the same time they were partnering with Mammadov …
Who was using the Trump Tower to launder his money. While we can’t say for sure, it is certainly compelling that THE major IRGC money laundering operation had one major external partner (Mammadov) who had one major business partner… Trump. 11/
Once again: Alan Garten, chief legal officer of the Trump Org, says they learned all of this in Summer 2015. They had a contractual right to audit the financial books of the Mammadovs. They clearly could have alerted authorities. They did nothing until Dec. 2016. 12/
Here’s something crucial: Trump did not just profit from the IRGC, he was materially helpful in their efforts. The goal of $-laundering is to spread huge amounts of money around the world without detection. Without Trump, this project would have been stymied. 13/
Mammadov and the Darvishis are international pariahs. They would have been flagged by banks and SWIFT and other transfer services. But, by calling this a Trump project, it was far easier to send large amounts of money through the banking system around the world. 14/
We don’t know precisely how much money was involved or how it was used, but the evidence suggests it was a lot of money–possibly in the billions–and that these are very bad people who use their money for very bad things: WMD acquisition, terror financing, etc. 15/
In short: while running for President, Trump was knowingly providing material help to an enemy of the united states for about $5 million. At a minimum, we should report that Trump’s concern about Soleimani and the IRGC is a very recent development. 16/
There is a ton more investigative meat on this bone. Lots to uncover about Trump, Mammadov, Azarpassillo, etc. And this is just ONE of many shady projects the company was doing at the time. Consider his work with Hary Tanoesoedibjo–which is ongoing now–in Indonesia 17/
Hary Tanoe is tied to some ISIS linked groups: theintercept.com/2017/04/18/tru… Trump Org defense is: we were just licensing our name. But that IS the problem. They are selling a shiny American brand to evildoers so they can do their evil more easily. 18/
There is more to be done. But the core story is bulletproof, fully ready to pass a fact check and legal review. And it’s also very simple: When responding to Trump and Iran, include: “”Until recently, Trump knowingly participated in an IRGC front operation to launder money.” 19
Reporters: feel free to DM me or write me at [email protected] I don’t need any credit. I just think we’re doing a disservice to our audiences if we don’t report the Iran story with full context. Oh, and of course read my story on all this: newyorker.com/magazine/2017/… END
“Until recently, Trump knowingly participated in an IRGC front operation to launder money.” Think about that.
Then think about the fact that his daughter, who works in the White House, led the effort and Trump has gone to obscene lengths to taint Joe Biden with his son’s Ukraine sinecure. As Pelosi says, everything he accuses others of is projection.
If only the members of the media cared as much about all the various truly criminal Trump operations as they did about the ridiculous “emails” story in 2016, the public might know about this.