I blogged earlier about Adam Davidson’s revelations in The New Yorker concerning Trump’s partnering with the organized-crime Mammadov family in a Trump Hotel project in Azerba
ijan. See Evidence Trump Violated The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. As I’ve noted elsewhere (See Donald Trump and Organized Crime), Trump has made of business of working shoulder to shoulder with organized-crime . His mentor was the red-baiting lawyer for Joe McCarthy, Roy Cohn, who also represented New York crime families before being ultimately disbarred. There’s every reason to believe Trump has sought out the business opportunities in these seedy environments and highly unlikely that his involvement with the Mammadovs was undertaken naively. Even were that the case, however, federal law now requires that such partnerships only be entered into after “due diligence” to ensure the absence of criminal ties. It is thus puzzling that Davidson’s report has received so little mainstream attention. The heart of that matter is that Trump, violated federal law by partnering in a business in which he received money obtained by corrupt practices – a violation for which other businessmen are now in jail.
Now Davidson has followed up in The New Yorker on his initial report in SENATORS ASK FOR AN INVESTIGATION INTO TRUMP DEALINGS IN AZERBAIJAN. Here’s Davidson, “The ranking Democratic members of the Senate’s Foreign Relations, Banking, and Judiciary committees have written a joint letter to several Trump Administration officials asking them to address the possibility that the Trump Organization violated several laws in its dealings in Azerbaijan. ” He continues, “The letter, by Senators Sherrod Brown, of Ohio, Dianne Feinstein, of California, and Ben Cardin, of Maryland, was sent to the Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, the Treasury Secretary, Steven Mnuchin, and the F.B.I. director, James Comey. The senators wrote, ‘It appears that the lack of due diligence by the Trump Organization described in the article exposed President Trump and his organization to notoriously corrupt Azerbaijani oligarchs, and may also have exposed the Trump Organization to the IRGC’—the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps. ‘Even though the Trump Organization appears to have withdrawn from the Baku Tower deal, serious questions remain unanswered about the Trump Organization’s potential criminal liability.'”
Trump’s attorney denies that Trump faces any criminal exposure and the controlling Republicans have yet to respond. But here is what is interesting. If you read Davidson, the prima facie case of a violation of The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act looks strong and the details of the transactions would be available for investigation. Unlike the issues involving Russian collusion over the hacking and efforts to undermine the election, the Azerbaijan case has a paper trail to investigate. Trump can be asked to show that he undertook required due diligence. The money trails can be followed. The case for impeachment based on collusion is growing by the day and Trump is flagrantly violating conflict of interest rules and the Emoluments Clause in public view. And now, here is a case that shows verifiable entanglement with organized crime and which cannot be fogged away. Failure to follow up and investigate would be another crime.