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Illicit Activities

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The Teapot Dome Gas Station National Historic Site, Zillah, WA

Cover-ups — not just for Republican politicians anymore:

Anti-money laundering specialists at Deutsche Bank recommended in 2016 and 2017 that multiple transactions involving legal entities controlled by Donald J. Trump and his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, be reported to a federal financial-crimes watchdog.

The transactions, some of which involved Mr. Trump’s now-defunct foundation, set off alerts in a computer system designed to detect illicit activity, according to five current and former bank employees. Compliance staff members who then reviewed the transactions prepared so-called suspicious activity reports that they believed should be sent to a unit of the Treasury Department that polices financial crimes.

But executives at Deutsche Bank, which has lent billions of dollars to the Trump and Kushner companies, rejected their employees’ advice. The reports were never filed with the government.

Remember 2015 and 2016, when Hillary Clinton’s foundation — a genuine life-saving institution that turned out to be remarkably non-corrupt for an organization run by 21st century American plutocrats — was cited again and again as specious evidence of corruption? While Trump’s foundation, which was a pure, flat-out grift with no redeeming features, got a fraction of the attention? I wouldn’t say that decision looks better with retrospect.

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