'Trump Organisation may have engaged in money laundering with Russia'

21 January, 2018, 00:32 | Author: Brenda Erickson
  • Simpson told South Carolina Republican Rep. Trey Gowdy during his November grilling that his firm paid $160,000 to former British spy Christopher Steele for work on the dossier

Simpson told the House committee about research the firm did into Trump's alleged shady business dealings.

Mr Simpson was asked by Congressman Adam Schiff, a Democrat from California, whether he saw Russian money involved in Mr Trump's Irish and British golf courses.

At one point during the committee interview, Simpson was asked the central question at the heart of the congressional investigations and that of special counsel Robert Mueller — whether the Trump campaign had coordinated with Russian Federation to influence the outcome of the 2016 presidential election.

Mr Simpson, who works for consulting firm Fusion GPS, was asked to research then presidential candidate Donald Trump in 2015/16.

The Trump golf resorts in Scotland are at Turnberry in Ayrshire and the Menie Estate in Aberdeenshire, while in Ireland there is Trump Doonbeg.

"I think that the evidence that has developed over the last year, since President Trump took office, is that there is a well-established pattern of surreptitious contacts that occurred last year that supports the broad allegation of some sort of an undisclosed political or financial relationship between the Trump Organization and people in Russia", Simpson said.

"They don't, on their face, show Russian involvement", he replied, "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".

"And sometimes properties would be bought and sold, and they would be bought for one price and sold for a loss shortly thereafter, and it really didn't make sense to us". "Because of what I do, it's sort of in this middle area where we mostly are working off public records".

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In relation to Irish and Scottish golf course funding, Simpson said: "That didn't make sense to me, doesn't make sense to me to this day".

His firm examined financial statements filed for Doonbeg in the Companies Registration Office in Dublin and the NY property developer's golf courses in Scotland, he said.

Recently released testimony shows Fusion GPS founder was trying to steer the FBI away from further investigation of the Clintons while he was encouraging investigators to look into Trump.

Ever since Feinstein released the testimony on January 9, House Intelligence Committee Democrats have been asking that Simpson's testimony to their committee be made public.

Steele made global headlines after it was revealed that he compiled the "Trump-Russia dossier" - an infamous cache of documents that claims the Russian government has blackmailed Trump to do its bidding after obtaining damaging information about him, including a video tape allegedly showing him engaging in "perverted sexual acts".

The transcript was released following a unanimous vote held by the Intelligence Committee, spurred on by an Op-Ed penned for The New York Times earlier this month calling for their release.

A spokesman for Trump International Golf Links and Hotel Ireland told the Irish Sun: "No comment".

"So, I mean, that's why it's so fascinating".

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