The news about China and the Lido City project in Indonesia is a good moment to discuss something I’ve been thinking about more and more as the Michael Cohen pay-offs story has unfolded. The Cohen story turns on hundreds of thousands of dollars payoffs and “retainers” at a time. His story is tangentially related to those loans from father-in-law Fima Schusterman to that other taxicab family, the Shtayners. That’s over $20 million. The truth, however, is that most of these are relatively small-scale transactions. The dealings of the Trump Organization, now under the notional management of Trump’s two adult sons, but still owned by the President, stretch into the hundreds of millions and even billions of dollars. But we know virtually nothing about what is happening in its financial transactions even as the opportunities for corruption and self-dealing enrichment exploded.
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