A Trump Business Partner Threatens to Reveal a Vast Network of Murky Relationships
Threats by a longtime business partner and “senior adviser” to Donald Trump to spill the beans about the president’s connections to a Russian oligarch have opened the door into a vast network of murky relationships involving the president, our latest exclusive report shows.
Richard Behar, a veteran investigative reporter and now Forbes magazine’s contributing editor of investigations, pursued facts in a little-noticed report last month in The Wall Street Journal. The Journal told of a threat by longtime Trump associate Felix Sater, a twice-convicted felon, to expose negative information about Kazakhstan-born oligarch Tevfik Arif and his “past relationship with President Trump and the Republic of Kazakhstan.”
Arif and others have called the Journal report nothing to our exclusive report except “unsubstantiated falsehoods
President Trump claims reports of Russian connections are “fake news.” But his firing Tuesday of FBI Director James Comey shows otherwise.
Behar dug through court filings, internal emails, and other documents from Cincinnati to Almaty, the largest city in Kazakhstan, for our report.
Behar found a vast and murky network of Russian oligarchs, massive money laundering allegations, a dispute over the sale of an Ohio shopping center and more.
This is not a simple story. But Behar’s narrative allows you to peel back a few of the layers of documentation in the public record of the threats, the connections, the contracts and understand the questions that must be answered.
As with our earlier report by Jim Henry, our investigative economics editor, exposing the many deep ties between Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and Russian oligarchs, money laundering and corrupt banking, this is not a smoking gun.
However, Behar’s DCReport exclusive is a roadmap for Congressional and FBI investigators as well as other journalists. It advances what we expect time will show is the most important story in the history of the United States, the story of how Moscow and Russian money may have helped put Vladimir Putin’s favored candidate in the White House.