-      I'm Right Again Dot Com          August 30, 2017


Russian Reprise—Chapter II: Beginning to Connect the Dots


    You may find some of this stuff intriguing or boring, according to how great an interest you have in geography, real estate development and willingness to spend long hours chasing down the backgrounds of people with names like Mikheil Saakashvili, recent President of Georgia—the state south of Russia, where incidentally, one Jozev Djugashvili, better known as "Stalin," was born, prior to Lenin's organization of the communist USSR.

    It may be helpful if you look at a map of the entire Russian Federation and surrounding countries, You never can tell when someone might ask if you know where Azerbaijan is and you can tell them it is on the Caspian sea, north of Iran. Okay?

    The principal city in Azerbaijan is Baku. In March of this year, I wrote that Radio Free Europe reported that Ivanka Trump, accomplished wife of real-estate developer Jared Kushner, was in charge of making vast changes to an almost new, thirty-three story luxury hotel called Trump Tower Baku that has been languishing in a low-rent neighborhood in that city. The story goes that Ivanka is ordering vast changes in the tower that will include luxury apartments.

    The listed owner of the building is a company called Baku XXI. The administrator of Baku XXI is Anar Mammadov, son of Ziya Mammadov, Minister of Transportation for Azerbaijan and reported-to-be billionaire, The story of his rise from rags to riches  is truly inspiring. True or not, the chances of anyone interviewing any of the Mammadoves is highly remote—especially if the interviewers are working under the auspices of Robert Mueller.

    Trump is also a close friend of Azerbaijani singer Amin Agalov, whose family owns the Crocus Group, Russia's largest developer, with over 4-mllion square feet of developed property.

    Here is what might become a speed bump in the special counsel's investigation. Jay Sukelow, Donald Trump's attorney, insists that Muller's mandate permits only an examination of things and people related specifically and narrowly to the 2016 election in the United States. It was recently learned that investigators were looking into a Trump deal with an oligarch from Kazakhstan, Timur Kalibayev, son-in-law of Nursultan Nazarbayev, ruler of that country, regarding a possible Trump Tower to be built on the beach front of the Black Sea town of Batumi, Georgia. This is one of several rundown resort locations for Russians.

False news or not, once this was bandied about, Trump's Attorney Sekulow threw a fit. charging that Muller is exceeding his mandate. We can foresee a protracted court battle intended to keep the special consul and his staff from scrutinizing many of real estate deals involving Trump and people close to Putin.

    Navigating through some of the above names led us to a remarkable financial situation. According to Adam Davidson, a reporter for The New Yorker magazine, Saakashvili (see above) and Narsultan Nazarbayev, the President of Kazakhstan, announced recently that B.T.A., the largest bank in Kazakhstan. is in process of loaning several hundred million dollars to a unique financial conglomeration and all of the funds are dedicated to building hotels and tourist attractions in Georgia. Time magazine printed the opinion that Kazhkstan is notorious for having more corruption than any other country in the region—much more than Afghanistan—which says a lot!

    Conclusion: President Trump and family do business with a lot of Putin's buddies.

We rush to say there is nothing illegal in that. But where I come from—southern Illinois—we hillbillies have an old saying: "If you lay (or lie) down with dogs, you'll get up with fleas.


    Phil Richardson, Observer of the human condition and storyteller. "He goes doddering on into his old age, making a public nuisance of himself."- Joseph L. Mencken


Our unending thanks to Jim Bromley, who programs our Archive of Prior Commentaries

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