I was watching the MSNBC TV Rachel Maddow show, where she pontificated on another theory as to why the US attorney Preet Bharara was fired on 3/11/17 by our republican President Donald Trump after he refused to resign as per the president’s earlier order. Mr. Bharara has an exceptionally competent reputation to where he had been specifically asked to stay in his position by President Trump, in November 2016.
It turns out that the attorney who would have been federally pursuing Deutsche Bank for laundering Russian dirty monies via several financial institutions including the Bank of Cypress, is none other than this same attorney, Preet Bharara. And Deutsche Bank just happens to be President Trump’s largest creditor.
As per a 3/13/17 Newsweek article by Matthew Cooper, “Bharara (has) used his powers to prosecute top Wall Street figures. His pursuit of Steven Cohen, the SAC Capital Advisors founder, was one of the inspirations for the Showtime original series Billions. He also prosecuted famed pyramid schemer Bernard Madoff. On the political front, Bharara had ongoing investigations into the Cuomo administration and the campaign of New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, and he convicted Sheldon Silver, the 11-term speaker of the New York Assembly. ”
With all of this drama, the acclaimed attorney Preet Bharara did manage to finagle 24 more hours in his office as a US federal prosecutor while he waited to be fired, because he refused to voluntarily resign as requested by the president. The question is what did he do during this time frame”
This is what the attorney Laurence Tribe has tweeted:
@PreetBharara used the 24 hrs he got by forcing Trump to fire him to protect the evidence he’d gathered!
Again the Deutsche Bank is the President Trump’s largest creditor. It has been charged with laundering Russian monies via multiple entities including the Bank of Cypress. And for added intrigue, the current Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross, a billionaire investor was the vice-chairman of the Bank of Cyprus since 2014. He did inform US senators during his confirmation hearing that he would be stepping down from his association with the Bank of Cypress.
The following notes are from the 2/27/17 Guardian report by Stephanie Kirchgaessner:
“The White House has been accused of withholding information from Congress about whether Donald Trump or any of his campaign affiliates have ever received loans from a bank in Cyprus that is partly owned by a close ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin.”
“A group of Democratic senators have been waiting for two weeks for Wilbur Ross, a billionaire investor who has served as vice-chairman of the Bank of Cyprus since 2014, to answer a series of questions about possible links between the bank, Russian officials, and current and former Trump administration and campaign officials. Ross also received a second letter on Friday from Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey with more detailed questions about possible Russia links.”
“But in a speech on Monday night, just before the Senate voted to approve Ross’s nomination as secretary of the commerce department, Senator Bill Nelson of Florida said the White House “has chosen to sit on” a written response by Ross to some of those questions even though Ross told the senator he was eager to release his response.”
“Nelson, the top Democrat on the Senate commerce committee, said in a speech on the Senate floor that other senators were “troubled and frustrated” by the White House move. Nelson said it had been “verbally reiterated” to him by Ross that the commerce department nominee was not aware of any “loans or interactions” between the Bank of Cyprus and the Trump campaign or Trump Organization.”
But as per a 3/6/17 NY Times report by Andrew Higgins, it was Wilbur Ross pushed out the Russian officials who were board members from having anything to do with the Bank of Cypress.
“But while several of Mr. Trump’s closest allies have come under scrutiny for Kremlin ties, Mr. Ross, who was confirmed by the Senate on Monday, was no friend to the Russians in Cyprus — and in fact, he forced them out of the bank.”
“According to bankers, lawyers and others who have worked closely with the Bank of Cyprus, within months of Mr. Ross’s becoming a shareholder in the summer of 2014, all six Russians who were on the board when he arrived, including Mr. Putin’s former K.G.B. colleague, Vladimir Strzhalkovsky, were gone, ousted in a rolling purge of Kremlin influence.”
“The only Russian with a prominent role in the bank today is Viktor Vekselberg, a billionaire businessman who bought shares in 2014, around the same time as Mr. Ross. Like all wealthy business people still working in Russia, Mr. Vekselberg has maintained good relations with the Kremlin but, unlike Mr. Strzhalkovsky and the Russians ousted from the bank, he has a long record of actually doing real business.”
“A company Mr. Vekselberg controls is now the biggest single Bank of Cyprus shareholder and has a representative on the board, Maksim Goldman, an American-educated Russian lawyer.”
Background on Deutsche Bank
On 1/31/17, Jethro Mullen of CNN Money wrote the following summary of Deutsche Bank’s potential bill / consequences for its shady dealings, “The big fines keep coming for Deutsche Bank:
“The giant German lender was hit with about $630 million in penalties on Tuesday over a $10 billion Russian money-laundering scheme that involved its Moscow, New York and London branches.”
“The latest fines penalize Deutsche Bank (DB)’s failure to deal with a stock-trading scheme that enabled some of its clients in Russia to improperly move huge sums of money out of the country and into offshore accounts, according to regulators.”
“The bank missed numerous opportunities to detect, investigate and stop the scheme due to extensive compliance failures, allowing the scheme to continue for years,” the New York State Department of Financial Services said in a statement.”
“Deutsche Bank was fined $425 million by the New York agency and £163 million ($204 million) by the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority.”
“The failings of Deutsche Bank are simply unacceptable,” said Mark Steward, the U.K. authority’s director of enforcement. It said the way billions of dollars were transferred into overseas bank accounts in places like Cyprus, Estonia and Latvia was “highly suggestive of financial crime.”
“Under the U.S. settlement, the German lender will have to bring in an independent monitor to review how it handles banking secrecy and anti-money laundering rules.”
“Deutsche Bank said in a statement that it already has the latest U.S. and U.K. penalties covered in reserves it has set aside for legal bills.”
“Fears over whether the bank had enough money to pay its mounting fines from regulators escalated dramatically in September.”
“The original U.S. Justice Department demand for a $14 billion settlement over the toxic mortgage assets prompted Deutsche Bank shares to plunge to their lowest level in over 20 years. The stock has rebounded since then as those worries eased, but it’s still down 15% since the start of last year.”
“Deutsche Bank said that it’s still cooperating with other investigations by regulators and law enforcement agencies into Russian trades.”
“The German lender said in September 2015 that it was closing its investment banking business in Russia and would in future work with Russian corporate clients from abroad.”