Angst, fear and loathing are the overwhelming emotions six months into the disastrous Trump presidency. Just exactly who, or what, do we have at the helm of the United States Ship of State, and the little red button that could end life as we know it? This month’s Free Press cover depicts a Trump regime floundering in rough sea waters, with the Don confident, but clueless.
The planet and its leaders are watching in horror as the ship appears to be capsizing. Trump and his fools enrich themselves, all the while gleefully decimating domestic social programs, dooming the environment and destroying our nation’s relationships around the world.
Charles Wince, the artist, is asking: just who is steering this ship of fools?
A buffoon? A bully? An oft-bankrupt billionaire businessman? A Benito Mussolini in the making?
Simply put, what we have is an international criminal hell-bent on continuing his crime spree within and without his corrupt administration. Making the world safe for oligarchy.
Casinos, luxury hotels equals Money laundering
Let’s see, casinos, pricey real estate, the Russian mob, the U.S. mafia…hmmm. One plus one plus one equals money laundering.
The notorious meeting between Donald Trump, Jr., Jared Kushner, Paul Manafort and assorted Russian operatives spawned new allegations and suspicions that the Trump family colluded with Russian intelligence to try to gain electoral victory over Hillary Clinton. The details remain murky but the truth is likely more diabolical.
Not that Clinton wasn’t busy demonizing the Russians and using the Clinton Foundation for political pay-offs.
The meetings with Putin’s comrades and Trump’s entourage, may indicate the President may merely be a bagman and money washer for the Russian mafia.
This perception is magnified by Trump’s unprecedented refusal to release his tax forms, which may indicate his net worth to be largely in rubles.
Trump has a long history of involvement with the Russian government. Trump’s first visit Russia was in 1987 at Soviet Ambassador Yuri Dubin’s invitation.
Craig Unger’s New Republic article, Trump’s Russian Laundromat essentially argues that Trump’s money laundering for Russian mobsters is what propelled his worldwide real estate empire.
Trump’s closely-held private real estate holdings, according to Unger, provide the perfect resources for illegal money laundering. Unger cites “…a flow of highly suspicious money from Russia.” He points out that, “Over the past three decades at least 13 people with known or alleged links to Russian mobsters or oligarchs have owned, lived in, and even run criminal activities out of the Trump Tower and other Trump properties. Many used his apartments and casinos to launder untold millions in dirty money.”
Business Insider noted that U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions and the Department Of Justice (DOJ) recently settled a major money laundering case involving a real estate company owned by the son of powerful Russian government official Pyotr Katsyz, former Vice Governor of the Moscow region. Katsyz’s son Dennis owns the real estate company Prebezon, that was accused of laundering millions of dollars through New York City real estate when the case was “unexpectedly settled two days before going to trial in May,” according to Business Insider.
The attorney representing the Katsyz family was none other than Natalia Beselnitskaya, who met with Donald Trump, Jr. on June 9, 2016, to allegedly disclose damaging information concerning Hillary Clinton. She was described as a “Russian government attorney” in Trump Junior’s emails. Democratic House Judiciary Committee members sent a letter to Sessions inquiring about Beselnitskaya’s involvement in the settlement.
Also in attendance on June 9 was Renat Akhmetshin, described by CNN as “a U.S. citizen lobbyist promoting Russian interests and a former Soviet military officer” and Aras Agalarov, owner of the Crocus Group, a Moscow-based property company .
The mystery man, or 8th person who emerged at Donald Trump Jr.’s meeting with Russians, turned out to be Irakly “Ike” Kaveladze, a Crocus Group Vice President accused of laundering more than $1.4 billion into the U.S. from Eastern Europe. Kaveladze allegedly used 2,000 shell companies to launder money into the U.S..
Essentially, Trump, Jr.’s meeting was a perfect Russian triumvirate representing an alleged money launderer, the Russian military and and a pro-Putin oligarch.
If Trump is to be impeached and his clumsy cover-up of Russian ties revealed, it will be because the laundered money was easy to follow from the election tampering to Putin meddling.
Forget about the Russians, Trump supports American-made election riggers
While Trump’s apparent law-breaking focuses on the Russians, his primary anti-American assault is his bogus Election Integrity Commission led by Kris Kobach, whose Crosscheck program stripped countless non-millionaire citizens from the voter rolls in at least 30 states, critical to putting Trump in the White House. The man who rigged Ohio’s 2004 election, Ken Blackwell also serves on the Commission.
As Americans we cannot allow this high-tech Jim Crow destruction of the electoral process to lead to a permanent, one-party dictatorship.
This official lynch mob must be replaced by a national commission to promote universal hand-counted paper ballots and universal automatic voter registration, with legally protected, transparent voter rolls.
At least now the media and establishment have to admit U.S. election systems can be, and have been, hacked — a fact the Free Press has investigated and reported for over 15 years.
Resign or be convicted
All of this raises the blackmail issue. Which foreign entities, including crime syndicates, have information to compromise Trump and his close personal entourage?
It’s not just the Russian connections we should be investigating. As The New Yorker pointed out, “Throughout the Presidential campaign, Trump was in business with someone that his company knew was likely a partner with the Iranian Revolutionary Guard.”
Trump’s “Trump Tower Baku” was a failed luxury hotel project in Azerbaijan, considered one of the world’s most corrupt nations. His partner was Zaya Mammadov, a billionaire oligarch tied to Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, who worked as the Azerbaijan Transportation Minister for $12,000 a year.
The Guardian reported in mid-June that “Donald Trump — like Richard Nixon” is now “under investigation for obstruction of justice.” There is already speculation that Special Counsel Robert Mueller is also investigating Trump’s alleged money laundering.
Trump has questioned Mueller impartiality regarding the Russian investigation and has contemplated firing Mueller in perhaps his own version of Nixon’s infamous “Saturday Night Massacre” when he fired Watergate Special Prosecutor Archibald Cox.
Donald Trump must resign the presidency by August 9, the anniversary of the bombing of Nagasaki and the resignation of Richard Nixon.
In Trump’s brief tenure, he’s already fired James Comey, the FBI Director, for failing to pledge personal loyalty. Trump went on to try to intimidate Comey by suggesting he might have “tapes” of their conversations. The Washington Post reported that Trump then tried to get CIA director Mike Pompeo and Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coats to kill the FBI investigation into Trump’s Russian connections.
Trump’s coverups must stop. If, by the time this issue comes out, he hasn’t resigned, he needs to resign or be convicted.
Demand Trump Resign on National Nagasaki/Nixon Day
To prevent nuclear war, ecological collapse, economic ruin and the Jim Crow destruction of our democracy, August 9 has been designated for demonstrations to demand Trump’s resignation.
Rallies are already in the planning stages in California and Ohio. Demonstrators are encouraged to wear orange jump suits and t-shirts, and yellow wigs or hats, in solemn evocation of the likely upcoming indictments of Trump and his mafia family, Russian and otherwise.
A demonstration at the “mushroom cloud” peace statue in Santa Monica, California, to be broadcast and/or podcast on Pacifica/KPFK radio, will highlight a national call for Trump to step down in the face of his proven, highly destructive inability to lead the country, and amidst his alien, illegal assault on American democracy.
Group photos with a “RESIGN” signs are also encouraged.
https://fitrakis.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/The20Don21.jpg319240Fitrakishttps://fitrakis.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/fitrakisprocedit_340-3-300x78.pngFitrakis2017-07-31 12:20:402017-07-31 12:23:49ORANGE IS THE NEW ORANGE: The President should be behind bars
Bob Fitrakis and new co-host Dan Dougan talk about national and local news, the vote on the ACA, Trump’s money laundering, the sit-in at Portman’s office and how the police attacked the disabled protesters.
https://fitrakis.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/Portman20office1.jpg163620Fitrakishttps://fitrakis.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/fitrakisprocedit_340-3-300x78.pngFitrakis2017-07-27 22:03:172017-07-27 22:03:17The Other Side of the News July 28, 2017 - Trump and the ACA
(Photo: Rama)Donald Trump’s relentless insistence that three million “aliens” voted for Hillary Clinton and cost him a popular majority in November’s presidential election cuts far beyond what the corporate media is willing to report. When it comes to undermining democracy in the US, Trump is once again proving that the best defense is a total attack, even if it relies on “alternative facts.”
Trump’s Big Lie on voter fraud has been as widely scorned as his fantasies about the size of the turnout at his inauguration. Even the normally restrained New York Times has editorialized that “what once seemed like another harebrained claim by a president with little regard for the truth must now be recognized as a real threat to American democracy.”
It seems to be dawning on The Times and others that by claiming so many non-citizens voted more than once, Trump re-loads America’s Jim Crow lynch laws against Black people voting. Based on these assertions, we can expect more and more aggressive attacks by the administration against the rights of non-whites and non-millionaires to a fair and honest ballot.
Indeed, the corporate media has not yet faced the devastation of mass disenfranchisement in 2016. As reported by Greg Palast (www.gregpalast.com) and others, some thirty GOP Secretaries of State across the US used a computer program called Crosscheck to strip thousands of mostly black, Hispanic, Asian-American and Muslim voters from the registration rolls. These mass disenfranchisements could well have made the difference in key swing states like Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Florida that allowed Trump to win in the Electoral College while so thoroughly losing the popular vote.
Trump’s carping about voter fraud has first and foremost has helped divert the public’s attention from this defining reality.
But unfortunately, there is far more.
Let’s start with the Electoral College. For the sixth time in US history, the candidate who lost among eligible voters has entered the White House. Last was 2000, when Al Gore beat George W. Bush nationwide by more than a half-million votes. Neither Gore nor the Democratic Party followed this stunning election theft (which had such dire consequences) by launching any kind of movement to abolish the Electoral College. Instead, many Democrats have spent 16 years screaming at Ralph Nader for daring to run for president. Had they instead recruited him to help organize the abolition of the Electoral College, Trump might not now be in the White House.
In 2016, the attack on Nader has morphed into a fixation on Russian hacking and anger at the FBI. So barring a miracle (or a Constitutional Amendment) in 2020 and the foreseeable future beyond, the curse of the Electoral College will still be there to serve the popular minority.
Trump has also fought hard against any meaningful recounts, And for good reason. As many as 28 states this election showed statistically significant variations between exit polls and official vote counts. In 25 of those states, the “Red Shift” went in Trump’s direction. Among statisticians this is known as a “virtual statistical impossibility.”
In Michigan, which officially went to Trump by about 10,000 votes, some 75,000 ballots came in without a presidential preference, mostly in heavily Democratic urban areas. The idea that 75,000 citizens would take the trouble to vote but not to make a preference among at least four presidential candidates has yet to be explained by the media or the Democrats.
Major problems with electronic voting machines, precinct access, ballot chain of custody and vote count issues also surfaced throughout the swing states. But when the Green Party’s Jill Stein dared to attempt a recount, Trump launched an all-out attack. High-priced attorneys in Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania and elsewhere did all they could to prevent any realistic examination of what actually happened in the states that gave him the presidency.
Meanwhile, rather than doing the work themselves, the corporate media heaped scorn on Stein for daring to examine exactly how Trump became president. The Democrats and the Clinton campaign offered no help beyond sending a few attorneys to “observe” the assault on greens uppity enough to challenge the system that had flipped the presidency, the Congress, the Supreme Court and innumerable state and local governments.
The bottom line here is that our entire electoral process is broken. Donald Trump became president because massive disenfranchisements kept thousands of citizen from voting, because electronic “black box” voting machines cannot be monitored or accounted for by the general public, and because the Electoral College remains in place, ready to swing the next loser into the White House.
Trump’s screaming assertion of entirely the opposite is a brilliant strategy that can only work in a country where the media refuse to face the realities of a thoroughly broken system, and an “opposition” Democratic Party that won’t fight for elections it actually wins.
Our survival demands an actual democracy. That means universal automatic voter registration, with voter rolls transparent and readily accessible for verification. It means a four-day national holiday for voting, universal hand-counted paper ballots, and automatic recounts at no cost to the candidates. It also demands an end to gerrymandering, a ban on corporate money in our campaigns and, of course, the abolition of the Electoral College.
Trump’s rantings about voter fraud are a brilliant diversion away from all that. So is the media and Democrats’ obsession with the Russians.
Our stripped and flipped elections are home-grown poison. Donald Trump is the ultimate outcome. Until we reject the current electoral system, we will all be living in a world of hurt.
Bob Fitrakis and Harvey Wasserman have co-authored six books on election protection, including The Strip & Flip Selection of 2016, at www.freepress.org, where Bob’s Fitrakis Files also reside. Harvey’s Solartopia! Our Green-Powered Earth is at www.solartopia.org.
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Harvey Wasserman interviews investigative reporting partner Bob Fitrakis about the rigged 2016 selection and the inside story of the attempted recount for his weekly radio program, the Solartopia Green Power and Wellness Hour. EON photo
The Woodward and Bernstein of Election Integrity
Every presidential election since 2004, we have traveled to Columbus, in key swing state of Ohio, to video document election protection efforts by Harvey Wasserman, Bob Fitrakis and the Columbus Free Press team (FreePress.org). We made the trip again this year and have just returned from filming post-recount interviews with both of them in Columbus last week.
Harvey Wasserman – an author, historian, celebrated journalist and lifelong activist, and Bob Fitrakis – a practicing attorney who holds doctorates in both political science and law – are also both popular professors in Columbus colleges.
Dubbed by admirer Jesse Jackson as ‘the Woodward and Bernstein of election integrity’ – after the Washington Post reporters that famously broke the Watergate story in the Nixon era – Fitrakis and Wasserman’s research and reporting on election theft has twice won Project Censored awards.
The Free Press and its sponsoring organization the Columbus Institute of Contemporary Journalism (CICJ) has been in operation since 1970 and run since the ‘90s by life-partners Bob Fitrakis and Suzanne Patzer and their colleague Harvey Wasserman. Their work has been a vital epicenter not only of local community organizing and investigative reporting, but also of the national US Election Protection movement.
At the same time, they have either been consistently ignored or repeatedly denounced by mainstream media as “conspiracy theorists.”
For more than a decade, from their unique vantage point in one of the country’s main ground zero’s of vote rigging, they‘ve documented the multiple methods by which America’s elections have been stolen…and helped to galvanize grassroots awareness and resistance not only in Ohio, but across the country.
EON is proud to help give their important work wider exposure. Here are four recent video interviews done as the election saga unfolded, and links to recent articles.
[ In the works: A report from inside the recount saga and post-Electoral College analysis. ]
Losers Win, Winners Lose
Bob Fritakis and Harvey Wasserman on the seriously flawed US voting and electoral college system and the outcome of the 2016 election. The FreePress.org reporting team that Jesse Jackson dubbed the Woodward and Bernstein of Election Protection comment on the outcome of the 2016 presidential election and why the American election system needs a total overhaul from top to bottom.
The Illegitimate Election 2016
What are the legitimate grounds for calling the recent election awarding the Presidency to Donald Trump illegitimate? Political scientist and attorney Dr. Robert Fitrakis and investigative historian Harvey Wasserman – editors of FreePress.org – summarize the evidence in this exclusive EON interview.
They are the co-authors of the book STRIP & FLIP SELECTION OF 2016 – Five Jim Crows & Electronic Election Theft, available here – http://freepress.org/store.php
Greg Palast interviews Bob Fitrakis on Voter Purges
How did the Ohio Republican Sec. of State purge and disenfranchise so many voters from the voter rolls? A conversation between Bob Fitrakis and Greg Palast, two of the leading investigative reporters on the many vote rigging methods at work in US elections.
Palast Interviews Fitrakis on Election Theft
Why before the Nov. 8, 2016 election, did Republican authorities in key swing state Ohio turn off the safety features for ballot records even though this security measure is already programmed into their electronic voting machine software?
A conversation between Bob Fitrakis and Greg Palast, two of the leading investigative reporters on the many vote rigging methods at work in US elections.
https://fitrakis.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/strip-flip-cover-e1479184214607.png400264Fitrakishttps://fitrakis.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/fitrakisprocedit_340-3-300x78.pngFitrakis2016-11-14 23:11:422016-11-14 23:37:35The Other Side of the News November 14, 2016 - 2016 Election Roundup with Bob and Harvey