The nomination of Donald Trump for the Republican presidential candidate appears all but certain, unless something dramatic happens at the national convention in July. While establishment figures have ridiculed the openly pompous, bigoted reality TV figure, many of them are now supporting Trump in the interest of “unification.”
The business mogul has enjoyed being frank to the point of carelessness in expressing his views, which have included characterizing Mexican immigrants as criminals and rapists, saying that lethal injection is “too comfortable” of a death sentence, calling to close off parts of the internet, and suggesting that the U.S. should ban Muslim immigrants. Trump’s long-time butler, Anthony Senecal, also said Obama should be hung next to Hillary Clinton from the portico of the “White Mosque.”
Now that Trump has bested his Republican rivals, he will have to tone down the outrageous comments in the general election, and appears to be doing so already. His life will be further scrutinized, as well. And this scrutiny should—if the media have any genuine interest in providing the facts—include Trump’s long history with the Mafia.
Interestingly, the federal government appears to be the one trying to keep the mob out of the spotlight for Donald Trump.
“The Justice Department urged a federal judge to keep some records sealed in a criminal proceeding linked to a former business associate of Donald Trump. Among prosecutors’ reasons: To avoid media attention.
The case is related to Felix Sater, a former Mafia informant and one-time business associate of Trump. Earlier this week, U.S. District Judge Brian M. Cogan unsealed more than 200 documents related to Sater.”
U.S. attorney Stephen Green is on record within the past month saying that some records should be kept secret to prevent “additional media attention and publicity.” These include documents that would normally be public, including an already openly available legal brief. Defendants were warned last week not to speak about unsealed court documents, or they would face criminal charges.
Sater was convicted in 1998 for “participating in a $40 million stock fraud scheme tied to the Bonanno and Genovese crime families.” In exchange for becoming an informant for the FBI, Sater was allowed to continue his career as a luxury real estate investor under a different name.
Sater developed a partnership with Trump through the Bayrock Group LLC, where Sater was allowed to commit more misconduct while he was an informant. Defaulted loans, lawsuits and threats of physical violence characterized Sater’s dealings, but he was never required to compensate fraud victims.
While “there is no evidence Trump knew of Sater’s history,” the idea that nothing was known of these associations flies in the face of reason, considering Trump’s long history with the Mafia
Tom Robbins at The Marshall Project details how Trump’s forty years of business deals have included ventures with mob-run businesses, and more than one relationship with Mafia associates.
“For starters, at the time Trump’s mentor on issues of politics and business was Roy Cohn, a lawyer whose other clients included a passel of mobsters, among them the bosses of the Genovese and Gambino crime families. Cohn, who served as Senator Joseph McCarthy’s chief witch hunter before going into private practice, operated out of a townhouse on East 68th Street where clients Anthony “Fat Tony” Salerno and Paul “Big Paul” Castellano were regular visitors. Besides getting advice on their legal problems, as a former secretary later recalled to Wayne Barrett in his 1992 book, “Trump: The Deals and the Downfall,” the visits by the mob titans to their lawyer’s office allowed them to talk shop without having to worry about FBI bugs. Cohn told a reporter that Trump called him “fifteen to twenty times a day, asking what’s the status of this, what’s the status of that,” according to Barrett’s book.”
Several construction projects in New York and elsewhere were completed with companies owned by mob figures and cartels involved in price-fixing rackets. Trump used a contractor called Local 95—a subsidiary of the Genovese crime family—to demolish the building where Trump Tower would be constructed.
Trump’s “labor consultant” for a time was Daniel Sullivan, partner to Atlantic City mobster and close friend to Jimmy Hoffa. Sullivan was also an informant for the FBI and helped Trump develop plausible deniability in his mafia-tainted business history.
Trump partnered up with John Staluppi, a made member of the Colombo crime family, to launch a line of luxury stretch limousines. Staluppi was convicted of theft and was under steady investigation for over a decade, but Trump said he knew nothing about all of this.
Joseph Weichselbaum, a mob-tied businessman who had pleaded guilty to cocaine smuggling, maintained Trump’s private helicopter and ferried high-rollers to Trump’s casinos. When Weichselbaum faced sentencing, Trump wrote a letter to the court saying his associate was “conscientious, forthright and diligent” but later could not recall having written that letter.
Trump apparently garnered advice on running his casinos from Robert LiButti, a Gambino crime family associate who was a high-stakes gambler at Trump’s casino and insisted that no blacks or women serve as dealers when he played craps. Even though the casino gave LiButti luxury autos and trips to Europe, Trump said of the guy, “I wouldn’t know him if he was standing in front of me.”
Considering this history with an organization that prospered through extortion, fear and murder, it’s no wonder that Donald Trump is brimming with arrogance and bigotry when he takes the stage.
His aspiration to become president of the United States may actually be a natural transition, as government itself now resembles the Mafia. Price-fixing rackets such as patent monopolies granted to Big Pharma, threatening other countries if they challenge these rackets, extortion schemes through licensing and ever-increasing taxation, violence and murder wrought by a militarized police state—these are just some of the ways in which government employs Mafia tactics.
So Trump would feel quite at home running the government if he manages to beat Hillary Clinton, who is herself a master of promoting extortion through government and murder campaigns in countries subject to U.S. bombing. The feds may have neutered the Mafia of old, only to absorb its ways.
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