International Consortium of Investigative Journalists Alleges “Paradise Papers” Reveal Ties between Trump Administration and Russia
On Sunday one of the biggest offshore law firms, Appleby, disclosed documents known as the “Paradise Papers” revealing close relations with the Trump Administration and Russia. And it isn’t just a clever name. The papers claim that two members of Trump’s cabinet received discrete funding from Russian sources and were granted foreign “tax havens” to hide the capital. In addition, the papers showed close partnerships were formed and heavy investments were funneled into Twitter and Facebook during the 2016 election. This is the last thing these social platforms need after being scrutinized and virtually ripped at a 2-day congressional hearing last week. In total, the documents mentioned more than a dozen of Trump’s cabinet members, advisers, and donors in its contents. This assortment of information contained more than 13 million documents from 1950-2016 and was organized primarily by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, a global network of investigative journalists who collaborate who collaborate on in-depth investigative stories.
The Kushner Connection
The first revelation came with Trump’s son-in-law and top adviser, Jared Kushner, and his bond with Russian Silicon Valley tech mogul, Yuri Milner. A Kremlin-operated financial firm, VTB Bank, granted Milner $191 million to invest in Twitter. Another Kremlin-based entity funded Milner’s affiliate company that held approximately $1 billion in Facebook shares. He also invested nearly $1 million in Kushner’s real-estate company Cadre. Milner allegedly vibed well with Facebook Founder, Mark Zuckerberg, and developed a strong friendship with the seasoned tech titan. This relationship alone would raise suspicion but a handful of transactions already taken place clearly shows a malevolent agenda from some members of the Trump Administration.
Furthermore, the United States Secretary of Commerce, Wilbur J. Ross Jr., held a large stake in Russian-owned Navigator Holdings. This company transports gas for Sibur, A Russian-based Natural Gas Firm owned by American sanctioned Gennady Timchenko. Forbes wrote on this dangerous relationship saying, “It is an extraordinary conflict of interest for Ross to have financial connections of this kind, at a time when the Trump administration has vigorously fought against the obviously necessary sanctions on Russia for invading Ukraine.” Ross was also accused of stashing the majority of his wealth into offshore accounts.
Secretary of State, Rex W. Tillerson
Although Kushner and Ross are the two individuals currently on blast, a number of key Trump players such as Secretary of State, Rex W. Tillerson, allegedly hid their capital at these offshore tax havens. Additionally, this leak has a similar feel to that of the Panama Papers which exposed dozens of key figures cutting corners on taxes.
Nike, Apple, and Uber
This expansive report not only called out Trump and close associates of him but corporate leaders such as Nike, Apple, and Uber for their “increasingly imaginative bookkeeping maneuvers.” It also showed the gross negligence of even the most prestigious families such as Canada’s Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau and Queen Elizabeth II. They, along with a number of global entities allegedly invested in low-pro offshore accounts and established tax-avoidance systems while receiving billions from national treasuries.
Presently no charges or indictments have been issued but presumably, its contents will shed light on the ethical integrity of the world’s wealthiest corporations and political figures.
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