German public television’s Zoom just released the English-language version of their deep dive into Donald Trump’s multi-decade relationship with the New York mafia entitled “Dangerous Ties – Trump and his business partners, Film by Johannes Hano.” (embedded below)
The non-profit ZDF‘s Zoom tv documentary exposes Donald Trump’s lengthy history of living next door to the Russian mob inside Trump Tower, and the dirty deals he did with Bayrock Company, fronted by convicted financial felon Felix Sater. Zoom interviewed numerous American experts in money laundering, tax matters and familiar with the Trump Organization’s interactions with the Russian mob.
The film begins by asking if Trump owes his presidency to a Russian intelligence operation, to which David Frum, the Republican former-speechwriter for President George W. Bush, told Zoom’s producers:
“If the Russians – through espionage activities – selected the President of the United States, this is the most important espionage story in the history of the world. It’s the most successful intelligence operation in the history of the world.”
“And we need to know that. It goes to our question: Should this president continue in office?”
The film proceeds to document the numerous ties between Russian, Italian and Kazakstani mobsters and operations run out of Trump Tower.
They even interviewed Trump’s building engineer for the Tower who explained how he added 10 non-extant floors to the building. Trump Tower only has 58 actual stories, but Trump himself added 10 phantom stories to artificially pump up sales prices.
“The Dutch [Zembla television] and German television producers have done an outstanding job documenting the Trump/Sater story,” attorney Richard Lerner who was featured in Zoom’s film told Occupy Democrats. He has been suing Sater over his and Trump’s participation in bank fraud with the Bayrock Company, which operated multiple failed projects from Trump Tower.
“Outsiders came and looked at this with an unbiased perspective and put all of the pieces together in a concise, yet deep report,” says Lerner who is a registered Republican voter, “Their independent experts agreed with the basis of our civil racketeering and fraud action.”
An award-winning BBC journalist reported that Felix Sater is cooperating with authorities against Trump, over his participation in the Bayrock deal.
Zoom also spoke with Trump’s biographer Tim O’Brien who is now a Bloomberg columnist who said:
“Trump wasn’t the only builder who wound up intersecting with mafia-linked companies… but Trump never even attempted to get out of the way of these folks. In fact, he did everything he could to court them.”
Roy Cohn was Trump’s lawyer. He was other than his father he was the single biggest mentor in Trump’s life, and Roy Cohn represented the Genovese crime family in various capacities, including “Fat Tony” Salerno. It’s been suggested that Trump’s relationship with Roy Cohn facilitated Trump’s relationship with organized crime when he needed their help to get things done around building projects.”
In the 1980s, the New York mafia controlled most sources of concrete and exercised influence over many labor unions, and Trump rarely, if ever, had problems with labor or obtaining concrete.
Ultimately, the body of evidence led Zoom’s producers to conclude: “Over the years Trump Tower became a magnet for organized crime from all over the world.”
Here’s the video from ZDF’s Zoom TV:
Grant Stern is an Editor-At-Large for OccupyDemocrats and published author. His new Meet the Candidates 2020 book series is distributed by Simon and Schuster. He's also mortgage broker, community activist and radio personality in Miami, Florida., as well as the producer of the Dworkin Report podcast. Grant is also an occasional contributor to Raw Story, Alternet, and the DC Report. Find out more at grantstern.com.