Politics Makes for Strange Bedfellows – and Glencore – Throwback Thursday to February 2017

Rudy Giuliani’s Clients Are All In The Trump Russia Dossier’s Massive Oil Deal

Did Rudy Giuliani mastermind the massive oil privatization deal in the Trump Russia Dossier?

This factual report reveals the full extent of his Russian connections, and proves that his Kremlin relationships have reached directly to Vladimir Putin for a long time.

That’s probably why he’s gone nearly silent since Buzzfeed released Chrisopher Steele’s dossier.

Time Magazine once called Rudy Giuliani an “honorary Texas oil lawyer” but his drive, his New York political image and connections, and his reach inside both the Kremlin and the Persian Gulf is what elevated Bracewell & Giuliani to be considered the leading energy law firm of the last decade, and why continues to rack up awards from its peers.

……..

In late November 2014, Rudy Giuliani’s former law firm told Bloomberg News (archive.org link) that Russian state-run oil company Rosneft is one of its clients.

That was just a year after Rosneft had signed a massive deal with Exxon-Mobil — led by now-Secretary of State Rex Tillerson — estimated to be worth half a trillion dollars, and after sanctions landed. Bloomberg noted:

The firm’s work for Russia’s state oil company didn’t stop the former Republican presidential candidate talking tough on sanctions against Russia.

Last year, Rosneft hired international law firm White & Case, LLP to represent them in their massive privatization transaction.

Coincidentally, Rudy Giuliani was a loss leader partner at White & Case for a brief time between his tenure in the US Attorney’s office prosecuting the Mafia, and during his first, failed campaign for Mayor of New York City in 1989.

…….

Rudy Giuliani went from being a vocal fan of Vladimir Putin since 2014, and the Donald Trump’s top surrogate — under formal consideration for the high office Secretary of State in November — to hiding under a rock ever since the Trump Russia dossier was published in January, making just a single appearance on Fox News to crow about influencing the Muslim Ban, which subsequently failed because of his racist comments.

Ironically, it was Rudy Giuliani who indicted the founder of Rosneft’s other new shareholder Glencore in 1983, because Marc Rich’s business evaded US sanctions.

But the former New York Mayor hasn’t retired, and he’s still taking more on more infamous foreign business arrangements — including his most recent job with Greenberg Traurig.

That job required Giuliani to fly for a meeting with Turkish autocrat Reçep Erdogan — to represent a Turkish gold trader accused of violating US sanctions.

To read the entire article, click here.

2017

What Else Does the Donald Trump–Russia Dossier Tell Us?

Connecting some of the dots between the Steele Dossier and what’s been reported.

……..

In late November 2014, Rudy Giuliani’s former law firm told Bloomberg News (archive.org link) that Russian state-run oil company Rosneft is one of its clients.

That was just a year after Rosneft had signed a massive deal with Exxon-Mobil — led by now-Secretary of State Rex Tillerson — estimated to be worth half a trillion dollars, and after sanctions landed. Bloomberg noted:

The firm’s work for Russia’s state oil company didn’t stop the former Republican presidential candidate talking tough on sanctions against Russia.

Last year, Rosneft hired international law firm White & Case, LLP to represent them in their massive privatization transaction.

Coincidentally, Rudy Giuliani was a loss leader partner at White & Case for a brief time between his tenure in the US Attorney’s office prosecuting the Mafia, and during his first, failed campaign for Mayor of New York City in 1989.

When BuzzFeed News published the Steele dossier in January, the media was naturally drawn to the salacious details (hotels! hookers! golden showers!), but beyond the juicy bits there were also stories of backroom meetings between powerful figures in Russian politics and business. In the immediate aftermath, Trump dismissed the dossier as “crap” and outright refused to answer questions from outlets that published and retransmitted the dossier’s contents. Perhaps most telling, though, was Trump’s decision to repeatedly ignore and deflect questions about whether members of his campaign had made contact with Russian officials during the election—contact that has since been confirmed by intelligence officials and reported by The New York Times. U.S. investigators have since corroborated certain details, namely that, as CNN reports, “some of the conversations described in the dossier took place between the same individuals on the same days and from the same locations as detailed in the dossier.”

…….

But who ended up negotiating and buying a stake in Rosneft, which even the company described as a deal of “unprecedented complexity”?

…….

Russian businessmen also use the term matryoshka to describe the complex shell companies used by oligarchs in order to pull off convoluted deals. For example, on paper, the Rosneft deal was brokered by a conglomerate of shell companies and financial institutions. This reportedly included several banks, namely Italy’s Intesa; the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA); and Glencore, a U.K.-Swiss trading house. But Glencore’s 300-million euro contribution accounts for a relatively measly 3 percent of the total sale price, which earned the traders a .54 percent stake in Rosneft—think of that as a brokerage fee. That leaves a roughly 19 percent stake in the company—the same figure reportedly thrown around by Sechin in the Steele dossier and the same figure touted by Putin in his post-privatization public statements, which others have argued could be a coincidence.

Furthermore, a quarter of the funds (roughly 2.2 billion euros) is still left unaccounted for. The series of matryoshkas used to complete this deal is dizzying and includes a company based in the Cayman Islands, where local laws effectively prevent reporters from tracking down and revealing the identity of the owners. A company called QHG Cayman Ltd. was declared as a partner just nine days after the privatization deal was announced and just eleven days after QHG Holding, another nesting doll, was formed.

Other participants in the deal are also curious:

  • Trump supporters might recognize Glencore, the commodities company founded by the late Marc Rich. Rich was famously indicted for massive amounts of tax fraud, only to be pardoned by Bill Clinton in the waning hours of his presidency. Clinton’s controversial decision drew ire from both sides of the aisle, with many attributing the pardon to Rich’s wife’s generous donations to the Democratic Party and to Clinton’s library foundation, and a $100,000 donation to the Senate campaign of then–First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton. In addition to its canonical role in the Crooked Hillary narrative, Glencore also has an extensive track record of profiting off of geopolitical crises: Rich made away like a bandit during the Arab oil embargo, utilizing his extensive contacts in the Middle East to buy massive amounts of oil from Iran in the early 1970s.
  • On January 23, Silovik Sechin called for the Russian president to meet with representatives from Glencore, Intesa, and the QIA. Representatives from QHG Cayman Ltd. were curiously absent from the proceedings. On February 2, the Treasury Department modified Obama’s final sanctions on Russia to ease transactions between U.S. tech companies and the FSB, Russia’s security service and former employer of one Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin.

Meanwhile, Trump’s political career has quickly devolved into a secondhand approximation of a presidency: His tweets are but increasingly desperate attempts at destabilization (“Was Obama too soft on Russia?!”), his transcripts rife with non sequiturs and non-answers. He has become a dangerous Technicolor parody of an American politician, a highly veneered, sloppily painted hollow shell.

If some of the dossier’s contents have been corroborated, then it’s worth looking into the specific claims made therein and expanding the investigation to include the Rosneft dealings. Could President Trump’s refusal to release his tax returns contain the final matryoshka? It stands to reason that the contents could either prove or effectively disprove 45’s possible involvement and collusion with the Russian state. After all, if Trump’s tax returns list any of the banks in the consortium amongst his lenders, it might be a sign that he effectively traded American foreign policy for cold, hard cash. That’s grounds for treason. That’s an impeachable offense.

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