11 April 2018

The Man From Ukraine

The New York Times broke the story on Monday (link here) that Special Counsel Robert Mueller, as part of his criminal investigation of Donald Trump and associates, is paying close attention to a 2015 deal where Trump's foundation was paid $150,000 by a wealthy Ukrainian steel magnate for a twenty-minute speech on a video feed that was delivered badly and scarcely received any attention at the time.

Photographs from the event show Trump speaking as if on television whilst diners largely ignore him and chat amongst themselves. The Times noted the "awkward nature of Trump’s delivery" and the fact that "he repeatedly stopped speaking, apparently believing he had to pause to give translators time to relay what he was saying."

A former senior Internal Revenue Service official is quoted in the article as noting the payment "is curious because it comes during a campaign and is from a foreigner and looks like an effort to buy influence."

In short, Mueller apparently is trying to determine if this was an illegal foreign campaign donation disguised as a speaking fee, given $150,000 for a clumsy twenty-minute speech is absurdly high. The fact that Trump's lawyer -- the one raided by the FBI -- first solicited the fee only after the speech was delivered.

If Trump was a seasoned candidate with half a brain, he would have turned the money down. Given he's so exceedingly greedy and doesn't think about the possible consequences of his actions, he obviously did not decline the payment.

It will certainly be interesting to see if this eventally leads to any charges. Stay tuned.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous04:32

    Esperemos a que conduce esto. Carambolas este hombre esta demasiado bueno,Anigo venezolano,Cucuta


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