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Mon Dec 10, 2018, 09:08 AM

Does attempted bribery of a Russian official, i.e., offering penthouse in Trump Tower to Putin

violate New York or other U.S. laws (or just Russian laws)?

Why did SDNY only focus on the settlements with Stormy Daniels and McDougal and not (1) bribery to Putin; and (2) doing business with convicted felon (Slater)?

Did not take time to research. Would like input from DU lawyers or corporate business people.


18 replies, 1509 views

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Reply Does attempted bribery of a Russian official, i.e., offering penthouse in Trump Tower to Putin (Original post)
MaryMagdaline Dec 2018 OP
unblock Dec 2018 #1
MaryMagdaline Dec 2018 #18
PJMcK Dec 2018 #2
unblock Dec 2018 #6
MaryMagdaline Dec 2018 #14
marylandblue Dec 2018 #3
docgee Dec 2018 #4
MaryMagdaline Dec 2018 #15
HumblePi Dec 2018 #5
unblock Dec 2018 #8
HumblePi Dec 2018 #11
unblock Dec 2018 #12
docgee Dec 2018 #17
MaryMagdaline Dec 2018 #16
brooklynite Dec 2018 #7
HumblePi Dec 2018 #9
unblock Dec 2018 #10
MaryMagdaline Dec 2018 #13

Response to MaryMagdaline (Original post)

Mon Dec 10, 2018, 09:10 AM

1. Foreign corrupt practices act

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Response to MaryMagdaline (Original post)

Mon Dec 10, 2018, 09:11 AM

2. Sanctions (n/t)

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Response to PJMcK (Reply #2)

Mon Dec 10, 2018, 09:52 AM

6. actually, i don't think so.

putin himself is not on the sanctions list. many of the oligarchs around him are, though.

i suspect that it was decided that adding putin himself to the list would be overly provocative.

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Response to PJMcK (Reply #2)

Mon Dec 10, 2018, 10:25 AM

14. Yes, i forgot about that.

Although the project was never approved, the trump people started working with one of the banks under sanctions.

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Response to MaryMagdaline (Original post)

Mon Dec 10, 2018, 09:16 AM

3. Putin bribery would fall under Mueller

It's not illegal to do business with a felon. Sater has been an FBI stool pigeon for years, so I suspect he is quietly cooperating.

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Response to marylandblue (Reply #3)

Mon Dec 10, 2018, 09:35 AM

4. Like the first commenter stated.

It is illegal to offer anything above a minimal amount (offering lunch during a meeting may be ok) in exchange for approvals, permits or any kind of consideration.

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Response to docgee (Reply #4)

Mon Dec 10, 2018, 12:02 PM

15. Thanks!

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Response to MaryMagdaline (Original post)

Mon Dec 10, 2018, 09:52 AM

5. Separating Investigations

Many people are getting the two investigations conflated but they are separate. The Southern District of New York is the team that wants the heaviest sentence for Michael Cohen. They are the entity that have investigated him for income tax fraud and campaign funds violations. The SDNY has indicted Cohen for NY Fed State crimes whereas Mueller is investigating violations of federal laws connected to Russia hacking and collusion of those connected to Trump's campaign.

The Mueller memo on Cohen was about his involvement with Russia which also links Trump, Trump's Foundation and Trump's company with Russia. There is also clear indications in the filing of the Mueller memo on Cohen that there has been obstruction of justice.

Mueller has yet to reveal his memo and recommendations on his investigation but the Southern District appears ready to move forward with the sentencing of Michael Cohen over violations of New York State federal laws.

As mentioned above, the Foreign Corrupt Practice Act is what Mueller is looking at if Cohen offered, (on Trump's behalf), a 50 mil penthouse in exchange for allowing Trump Moscow Hotel to be built. This was against the law because they were attempting to do this deal while Trump had already been chosen as the GOP presidential candidate not merely one of the many hopefuls running prior to being nominated in GOP convention candidate.

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Response to HumblePi (Reply #5)

Mon Dec 10, 2018, 09:56 AM

8. all americans and american companies are subject to the fcpa

even if donnie wasn't a presidential candidate, even if he wasn't into politics at all, attempted bribery of a foreign official is still illegal.

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Response to unblock (Reply #8)

Mon Dec 10, 2018, 10:16 AM

11. Bribery and U.S. law

There is no U.S. law that expressly prohibits commercial bribery. For example if a businessman pays the business manager of a company money in order to secure a contract from the company that man represents, it's a kickback. Federal law is clear that a United States presidential candidate who attempts to bribe a foreign entity for personal gain, it is against the law. The objective of bribing a foreign adversary, not simply any other foreign official, but an adversary of the U.S. and one that has committed illegal actions such as annexing part of another country and poisoning two ex-pats in London, is a serious federal crime.

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Response to HumblePi (Reply #11)

Mon Dec 10, 2018, 10:21 AM

12. yes, bribery of a private executive is not illegal

but putin is a government official, and that is covered by the fcpa even for non-political candidates.

there may be additional laws that cover presidential candidates, i don't know.

but the fcpa prevents people like donnie from even giving a coffee mug to a moscow zoning official if it was done in an attempt to gain approvals or permits for their building.

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Response to HumblePi (Reply #11)

Mon Dec 10, 2018, 02:56 PM

17. Yes there is. Kickbacks fall under FCPA. Fines and jail.

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Response to HumblePi (Reply #5)

Mon Dec 10, 2018, 12:03 PM

16. Thank you for this analysis

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Response to MaryMagdaline (Original post)

Mon Dec 10, 2018, 09:53 AM

7. In what way is is bribery?

I’m not being flippant; you’d need to prove a criminal intent to claim “bribery”.

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Response to brooklynite (Reply #7)

Mon Dec 10, 2018, 10:02 AM

9. The Candidate

It would be a crime if the pay-for-play bribe was made by a U.S. presidential candidate. Since evidence suggest he was already the GOP candidate in June, 2016, this would indeed make it illegal for a U.S. presidential candidate to offer a 50 million penthouse to Putin in exchange for the rights to build a skyscraper, Trump Tower Moscow, which would be a money-making enterprise for his company and his own personal gain. Remember, this wouldn't merely be a Trump hotel, it would be a skyscraper housing some of the most expensive condo-apartments and offices in the world. Trump would profit literally hundreds of millions of dollars. The 50 million offer to Putin would be to lure other mega-wealthy Russian oligarchs into buying properties within the skyscraper.

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Response to brooklynite (Reply #7)

Mon Dec 10, 2018, 10:05 AM

10. yes, you'd need to prove that the gift was intended to gain russian regulatory approval

or some other type of benefit from the russian government.

prudent businesses don't do such things because they don't want the appearance of impropriety and they don't want to invite scrutiny and an investigations, but it's not illegal if the gift was not given in an attempt to gain anything from the foreign government.


if donnie were a competent criminal, it would be very difficult to prove a violation of the fcpa in this regard.

donnie being donnie, and surrounding himself with incompetents, there's probably an email that says, "if all it costs to get all the permits we need is one stupid penthouse for putin, then sign me up and close the deal!"

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Response to brooklynite (Reply #7)

Mon Dec 10, 2018, 10:23 AM

13. Understood

I am seeing offer of free penthouse to Putin as a bribe to get his approval for Trump Tower Moscow. Might be a laughable bribe since Putin would not live in a TT dump, but the intent appeared to be a bribe to persuade him to say yes.

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