Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Why did the DOJ abruptly settle Russian money laundering case with attorney at center of collusion?
"In March, U.S. Attorney Preet Bhrara was abruptly fired by Donald Trump, even though Trump had previously called Bhrara to Trump Tower and assured him he could keep his job after Trump took office. At the time, Bhrara was overseeing a case against Russian mobsters accused of massive money laundering. That case was abruptly settled in May by Bhrara’s replacement and raised eyebrows at the time. From CNN in May: The case aimed to expose how Russian mobsters allegedly stole $230 million and hid some of the cash in New York City real estate. Also sure to come up was the suspicious death of the Russian lawyer who exposed the alleged fraud, though US prosecutors weren't alleging that the defendants were behind it. The trial was set to start on Monday, but late Friday night, federal prosecutors in New York announced they settled the case with Prevezon, the company accused of buying up "high-end commercial space and luxury apartments" with laundered money. The abrupt conclusion has some involved in the trial wondering why this Russian investigation had been cut short. "What most concerns me is: Has there been any political pressure applied in this?" asked Louise Shelley, an illicit finance expert who was set to testify in support of the US government on Tuesday. Wow, Denys Katsyv, the owner of Prevezon, must’ve had one fantastic lawyer to make this all go away. What was her name? Natalia Veselnitskaya. If that name sounds familiar, that’s because she is also the same attorney who flew from Moscow to meet with Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner and Paul Manafort at Trump Tower."