U.S. intelligence committee has launched a probe into potential Russian mafia funding links
The probe revolves around whether the Russian mafia funded Trump’s Doonbeg golf resort
Democratic congressman Adam Schiff asked if Russian money was involved
CLARE, Ireland - A U.S. intelligence committee hearing has revealed that potential Russian mafia funding links with Donald Trump’s five-star Doonbeg golf resort in Co Clare have been discussed behind closed doors.
According to reports, transcripts released from the hearing of the committee held in November revealed that authorities are examining Russian funding received by the U.S. president for the Irish golf resort.
Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson’s recently released testimony, in which he answers queries on Russian interference in the U.S. presidential election, revealed that he raised concerns about financing for Doonbeg from “unknown sources.”
Simpson was reportedly asked about claims the Trump organization laundered money for organized crime figures from Russia
Fusion GPS was revealed to have been hired by Trump’s Presidential race rival, Hillary Clinton’s Democratic campaign in 2016 while it was seeking information on the businessman and Republican candidate.
Simpson was questioned about deals involving the current U.S. president and he is said to have spoken about concerns about Trump projects in Panama and Toronto.
Simpson reportedly said in the testimony, “Those both got a lot of fraud associated with them, a lot of fraud allegations, a lot of activity I would say smacks of fraud, and a lot of Russian mafia figures listed as buyers, who may or may not have actually put money into it. The other one that was concerning to us was the golf courses in Scotland and Ireland.”
Rep. Adam Schiff (Calif.), the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee is said to have questioned Simpson on whether Russian money was involved.
Simpson reportedly confirmed the same, after looking at records for the Co Clare resort, that there were strange patterns.
He said, “We saw what Eric Trump said about Russian money being available for the golf course projects, making remarks about having unlimited sums available. Because Mr Trump’s companies are generally not publicly traded and don’t do a lot of public disclosure, we can only have a limited look into the financing of those projects. But because the Irish courses and the Scottish courses are under UK, Anglo corporate law, they file financial statements. So we were able to get the financial statements.”
He added, “And they don’t, on their face, show Russian involvement, but what they do show is enormous amounts of capital flowing into these projects from unknown sources and, or at least on paper it says it’s from the Trump Organisation, but it’s hundreds of millions of dollars. And these golf courses are just, you know, they’re sinks. They don’t actually make any money.”
In 2014, Trump bought the Doonbeg resort for 8 million euros and vowed to invest 45 million euros.
In 2016, Doonbeg recorded pre-tax losses of 2.2 million euros.
According to reports, during the hearing, Congressman Tom Rooney was fascinated “about him financing Doonbeg in Ireland through money we can’t really trace but has sort of the fingerprints of Russian mobsters.”
Rooney, a Republican added that “if we knew that Donald Trump was working with the Russian mafia to fund Doonbeg in Ireland, then there’s no way he would be president.”
When the Fusion GPS dossier was released, it raked up a controversy that has spilt into 2018 as the testimony by the co-founder of the firm was released earlier this month.
Trump has however dismissed the controversial dossier as “phoney” and “disproven and paid for by Democrats.”
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