Spitfire List Web site and blog of anti-fascist researcher and radio personality Dave Emory.
The tag 'Organized Crime' is associated with 29 posts.

FTR #1038 Interview #8 with Jim DiEugenio About “Destiny Betrayed”

The eighth of a planned long series of interviews with Jim DiEugenio about his triumphal analysis of President Kennedy’s assassination and New Orleans Jim Garrison’s heroic investigation of the killing, this program continues analysis of the development of the legend (intelligence cover) of Lee Harvey Oswald.

(Listeners can order Destiny Betrayed and Jim’s other books, as well as supplementing those volumes with articles about this country’s political assassinations at his website Kennedys and King. Jim is also a regular guest and expert commentator on Black Op Radio.)

The discussion begins with review of the deep state intelligence connections of Ruth and Michael Paine, who took over the handling of the Oswalds from George De Mohrenschildt:

1. Michael Paine was a Cabot and drew from trust funds bequeathed by both the Cabot and Forbes families, both members of the “Boston Brahmins.” His mother was Ruth Forbes Young.
2. Michael’s cousin Thomas Cabot was a director United Fruit.
3. Thomas’s brother John was–like Thomas–a State Department veteran, who was exchanging information with Guy Banister employee Maurice Brooks Gatlin about the impending CIA overthrow of Guatemalan president Jacobo Arbenz, who was pursuing policies detrimental to United Fruit’s feudal monopoly in that unfortunate nation.
4. During the early sixties, Thomas was president of the Gibraltar Steamship Company, a Honduran-based front that owned no ships but operated Radio Swan, a CIA radio station used in the Bay of Pigs, among other operations.
5. Before relocating to the Dallas/Ft. Worth area, Michael Paine had worked for the Franklin Institute, a CIA conduit.
6. Michael Paine also was apparently posing as a leftist to infiltrate and catalog, Castro sympathizers, not unlike the work Guy Banister was doing in New Orleans in conjunction with, among others, Lee Harvey Oswald.
7. His step father was Arthur Young, married to Ruth Forbes Young. Arthur Young was a devotee of “The Nine” and became a major figure at Bell Helicopter. Arthur got Michael a job at Bell.
8. Ruth Forbes Young was best friend with Mary Bancroft, Allen Dulles’s subordinate and long-time mistress while he worked for OSS, America’s World War II intelligence service.
9. Ruth Paine’s father was William Avery Hyde, an insurance executive who had worked for the OSS in World War II and later went to work for the Agency for International Development, a frequent CIA cover.
10. Ruth’s father, like George De Mohrenschildt, worked for the International Cooperative Alliance.
11. In the summer of 1963, Ruth traveled cross-country and visited her sister Sylvia Hyde Hoke, who was a CIA psychologist.
12. Sylvia’s husband John Hoke also worked for the Agency for International Development.
13. In the 1980s, Ruth Paine was apparently infiltrating and cataloging anti-“Contra” activists with regard to the attempts at overthrowing the Sandinista forces in Nicaragua.
The Paines–Ruth in particular–played a decisive role in the shaping of the circumstances leading to Lee being framed for the JFK assassination.

Among the operations performed by the Paines:

1. Ruth separated Lee and Marina, bringing a pregnant Marina back to Dallas while Lee was in New Orleans and then facilitating Lee’s stay at a rooming house after he returned to Dallas.
2. Ruth got Lee his job at the Texas School Book Depository, despite the fact that Lee had actually received a better job offer. It was Lee’s employment at the TBSD that was the foundation for framing him for the assassination.
3. Ruth may well have been the person who got the phone call communicating the better-paying job offer to Lee. It does not appear that she told Lee about the offer.

The disinformation used to frame Oswald for the assassination stemmed in considerable measure from what we might call “Ruth Paine’s garage sale.”

Many of Oswald’s effects were stored in Ruth Paine’s garage after his return to Dallas from New Orleans. Ruth Paine’s garage eventually yielded:

1. The ludicrous picture of “Oswald” posing with two Communist magazines and the weapons he supposedly used to kill JFK and Dallas Police officer J.D. Tippitt. The shadows under “Oswald’s” chin and behind his body go in different directions, indicating that Oswald’s head had been superimposed on the body posed for the picture. In addition, “Oswald’s” body tilts in a ludicrous fashion. (See the photo at right.) This photo did much to convince a naive public that Oswald had been the assassin.
2. The cameras found in Ruth Paine’s garage were not consistent with the film used to take the “Leaning Tower of Oswald” photograph.
3. Ruth Paine’s garage sale yielded the “evidence” that Oswald–who supposedly killed a liberal President–had also tried to kill the right-wing General Walker. This included an apparently forged note incriminating Oswald, which had neither Lee’s nor Marina’s fingerprints on it.. This was spun in such a way as to neuter any notion that Oswald was a politically motivated killer. In this program, Jim recapitulates some of the facts that negate the hypothesis that Oswald fired at Walker, including eyewitness accounts of two men firing and driving away (Oswald didn’t drive), the fact that the marksmanship required to hit a seated Walker would have been far less difficult than the matchless firing skill required to have done what Oswald had allegedly done in Dallas and discrepancies in the ballistics and munition evidence in the Walker shooting.
4. A silver bracelet supposedly purchased by Oswald in Mexico City which provides supporting “physical evidence” of Oswald’s alleged presence in the important Mexico City visit.
5. There was a package found in Ruth Paine’s garage, addressed to Oswald and from George Bouhe, one of the White Russians involved with the handling of the Oswalds in the Dallas area. There was an address sticker pasted on the package, and yet the FBI made no effort to determine the address under the sticker. Why? Furthermore, the package contained wrapping paper consistent with the paper the Warren Commission said Oswald used to bring the Mannlicher/Carchano into the Texas School Book Depository. Had Oswald opened the picture and handled the paper, he would have left fingerprints which would have corroborated the official cover-up.
6. In the context of the previous item, it is noteworthy that George Bouhe lived next door to, and shared a swimming pool with, Jack Ruby!
Next, the program pivots to New Orleans DA Jim Garrison and his investigation of the JFK assassination.

One of the calumnies used to discredit Garrison is the allegation that he engaged in his investigation of David Ferrie, Clay Shaw et al in order to further his career–that he was ambitious. And yet, as Jim notes, Garrison TURNED DOWN opportunities to become Lieutenant Governor (of Louisiana), Attorney General, a Senator and also to acquire lucrative banking interests. All of those goals were forsaken so that Garrison could pursue his investigative career, including and especially the JFK assassination.

Another lie that has been used to discredit Garrison is the allegation that he highlighted the CIA’s role in the JFK assassination in order to eclipse the Mafia’s role in it and, in so doing, protect what are said to be his Mob associates.
Destiny Betrayed destroys that allegation as well, chronicling the fact that Garrison vigorously prosecuted organized crime figures in New Orleans and was known to have factored Mob participation in the JFK assassination in his investigation.
Mr. Emory read into the record a passage which not only refutes the Mafia smearing of Jim Garrison, but provides an interesting peek into the account of the trial to come. After noting racketeer influence on judges who had obstructed Jim Garrison’s activities, Jim writes:

Destiny Betrayed by Jim DiEugenio; Skyhorse publishing [SC]; Copyright 1992, 2012 by Jim DiEugenio; ISBN 978-1-62087-056-3; p. 171.

. . . . The insinuation about racketeer influences had some underpinning. Two of Garrison’s assistants had drinks with one of the judges, Judge Haggerty, who would preside over the Clay Shaw trial. Haggerty introduced them to Francis Giordano. Giordano was a Carlos Marcello associate. He complained to them that when Dowling took away their illegal gaming machines, he returned them. Garrison did not. “How Come,” Giordano asked? . . . .


FTR #1034 Interview #4 with Jim DiEugenio about “Destiny Betrayed”

The fourth of a planned long series of interviews with Jim DiEugenio about his triumphal analysis of President Kennedy’s assassination and New Orleans Jim Garrison’s heroic investigation of the killing, this program continues with discussion of the cast of characters that figure in Garrison’s investigation and their relationship to anti-Castro Cuban intrigue.

(Listeners can order Destiny Betrayed and Jim’s other books, as well as supplementing those volumes with articles about this country’s political assassinations at his website Kennedys and King. Jim is also a regular guest and expert commentator on Black Op Radio.)

Continuing discussion from FTR #1033, the program highlights activities of Bay of Pigs and Watergate participant E. Howard Hunt. One of the primary CIA officers in the abortive Bay of Pigs, Hunt loathed Kennedy, helped ghost-write the Charles Murphy apologia for Allen Dulles & Company in Fortune magazine (see FTR #1032), and may have been involved with the JFK assassination.

A subject that will be discussed at greater length in future conversations with Jim is the manifestations of Kerry Thornley:

1.–One of the Marine Corps buddies of Oswald the Marxist Marine.
2.–Reinforced the Oswald the Commie meme.
3.–Was involved with Oswald’s alleged pro-Castro leafleting originating from Guy Banister’s office.
4.–Was apparently involved with most of Oswald’s associates in the New Orleans area.
5.–Wrote two contradictory books about Oswald decades apart.
6.–Supplementing discussion of Gordon Novel from FTR #1033, the program foreshadows future discussion of infiltrators into Garrison’s investigation. An electronics expert involved with CIA and the Bay of Pigs operation, Novel was involved with infiltrating Garrison’s office and supplying information to Garrison’s enemies.

Also carrying over from FTR #1033, the program highlights Guy Banister’s so-called “detective agency,” from which Oswald operated his one-man New Orleans chapter of the Fair Play For Cuba Committee. Sam Newman–the owner of the Newman building which housed that operation, was evasive about Oswald operating from an office there. Newman’s statements in that regard are contradictory. Oswald’s presence there has been substantively confirmed.

Of significance is the fact that Corliss Lamont of the pro-Castro FPCC authored a pamphlet for the organization in 1961, while Oswald was in the Soviet Union. It was the 1961 edition of the pamphlet that Oswald was handing out when he had his altercation with Carlos Bringuier. This suggests that Oswald got his edition of the pamphlet from the CIA. (Recall that David Phillips and James McCord headed the CIA’s anti-FPCC effort.)

Program Highlights Include:

1.–Review of JFK’s stripping of Charles Murphy of his Air Force Reserve commission and Murphy’s statement that he didn’t mind because his real allegiance was to Dulles.
2.–Discussion of Guy Banister’s detective agency as a far right/fascist intelligence service, infiltrating liberal and leftist political milieux.
3.–Richard Nixon’s presence in Dallas on 11/22/1963 and the profound connections between Watergate and the JFK assassination.


FTR #1033 Interview #3 with Jim DiEugenio about “Destiny Betrayed”

The third of a planned long series of interviews with Jim DiEugenio about his triumphal analysis of President Kennedy’s assassination and New Orleans Jim Garrison’s heroic investigation of the killing, this program continues with discussion of Cuba and JFK’s policy with regard to Castro.

(Listeners can order Destiny Betrayed and Jim’s other books, as well as supplementing those volumes with articles about this country’s political assassinations at his website Kennedys and King. Jim is also a regular guest and expert commentator on Black Op Radio.)

After reviewing discussion from FTR #1032, the program highlights the Cuban Missile Crisis. The best known of JFK’s actions with regard to Cuba, the “Thirteen Days” exemplifies how Kennedy stood against the Cold War political establishment and what President Eisenhower called “The Military-Industrial Complex,” earning the hatred of key players on the U.S. political stage at the time.

Once it became clear that the Soviets had placed offensive intermediate range ballistic missiles in Cuba, plans were drawn up for both air strikes to take out the missiles and a military invasion of Cuba as a whole. Kennedy was excoriated for taking a more thoughtful tack.

Destiny Betrayed by Jim DiEugenio; Skyhorse publishing [SC]; Copyright 1992, 2012 by Jim DiEugenio; ISBN 978-1-62087-056-3; p. 63.

. . . . On October 9, Kennedy had a meeting with the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Kennedy got into a back and forth with the hawkish Air Force General Curtis LeMay. . . . LeMay frowned upon the blockade option. . . . “If we don’t do anything in Cuba, then they’re going to push on Berlin and push real hard because they’ve got us on the run.” LeMay, who was never one to mince words, then went even further. To  show his utter  disdain for the blockade concept, the World War II veteran actually brought up something rather bizarre. He said, “The blockade and political action, I see leading into war. . . . This is almost as bad as the appeasement at Munich.” LeMay was now comparing Kennedy’s preference for the blockade with Neville Chamberlain’s giving away the Sudetenland to the Nazis, which encouraged Hitler to invade Poland. Although not expressing themselves in such extreme figures of speech, the rest of the chiefs of staff agreed with LeMay. . . .  

Thinking that the Soviet buildup may have been a gambit to oblige the U.S. to forgo support for West Berlin in exchange for withdrawal of the nuclear forces in Cuba, Kennedy sought other alternatives. (Younger listeners should bear in mind that West Berlin was the Western-aligned half of Berlin, which was itself located deep in East Germany.)

Ultimately, Kennedy and Soviet premier Nikita Khruschev drew down hostilities, after Kennedy instituted a naval blockade of Soviet maritime shipments of military materiel to Cuba. Jim presents the altogether formidable order of battle in Cuba, indicating the strong possibility that, had the more aggressive U.S. contingency plans been implemented, it would have led to a Third World War and the end of our  civilization.

As the elder Von Moltke observed: “No battle plan survives contact with the enemy.” Something would not have gone according to plan in the proposed military adventures against the Soviet presence in Cuba. When that happened, there would have been World War III.

Destiny Betrayed by Jim DiEugenio; Skyhorse publishing [SC]; Copyright 1992, 2012 by Jim DiEugenio; ISBN 978-1-62087-056-3; p. 66.

. . . . The deployment included 40 land based ballistic launchers, including 60 missiles in five missile regiments. The medium range missiles had a range of 1,200 miles, the long-range ones, 2,400 miles. In addition, there were to be 140 air-defense missile launchers to protect the sites. Accompanying then would be a Russian army of 45,000 men with four motorized rifle regiments and over 250 units of armor. There would also be a wing of MIG-21 fighters, with 40 nuclear armed IL-28 bombers. Finally, there was to be a submarine missile base with an initial deployment of eleven submarines, seven of them capable of launching one megaton nuclear warheads. In addition, there were low-yield tactical nuclear weapons for coastal defense in case of an invasion. . . . 

Following the Cuban Missile Crisis, Kennedy sought to woo Castro away from the Soviet Union with a diplomatic rapprochement between Cuba and the U.S.

Using U.S. diplomat William Atwood, French journalist Jean Daniel and American journalist Lisa Howard as intermediaries, JFK was seeking to normalize U.S./Cuban relations.

The CIA and its anti-Castro Cuban contingent learned of the negotiations, and undertook a number of covert operations, such as the Pawley/Bayo/Martino raid to break up the negotiations.

Program Highlights Include:

The roles of many of the “Dramatis Personae” who figure in Jim Garrison’s investigation into the JFK assassination in anti-Castro Cuban intrigue, including:

1.–David Ferrie’s work as a paramilitary trainer at camps used to train anti-Castro guerrillas and as a pilot on various “ops” against Castro.
2.–Clay Shaw’s work organizing CIA anti-Castro Cuban activities, particularly in the New Orleans area.
3.–Guy Banister’s “detective agency,” which served as a front for paramilitary operations against Castro’s Cuba and also as a cover for Lee Harvey Oswald’s role as a faux Castro supporter and Fair Play For Cuba member.
4.–Bernardo de Torres’ participation in the Bay of Pigs and subsequent anti-Castro activities, as well as his work with silenced weapons developer Mitchell WerBell and as an infiltrator into Garrison’s office.
5.–Eladio Del Valle’s work with David Ferrie, among others, and his brutal murder.
6.-Sergio Arcacha Smith’s role as a key official of the CIA front organization CRC and his links to many other figures in Garrison’s investigation.
7.–CIA officer David Atlee Phillips and his work against Castro, as well as against the U.S. Castro support group Fair Play For Cuba. In a 1988 conversation with his estranged brother shortly before his death, Phillips admitted having been in Dallas when Kennedy was killed.
8.–Future Watergate burglar James McCord’s work with Phillips against the FPCC.
9.–Antonio Veciana’s work with Alpha 66, arguably the most militant of the anti-Castro exile groups and his mysterious control officer “Maurice Bishop,” who appears to have been David Atlee Phillips.
10.–Future Watergate Burglar E. Howard Hunt’s collaboration with Allen Dulles and Charles Murphy on the anti-Kennedy Fortune Magazine article, as well as his work on the Bay of Pigs operation.


FTR #1005 What the Hell Does Dave Emory Mean by “The So-Called Progressive Sector”?

“In the ’60’s, we had Martin Luther King with ‘I Have a Dream.’ Now, we have Jesse Jackson with ‘I Have a
Scheme.’ “–Mort Sahl

The third of his landmark books about the assassination of Martin Luther King, Dr. William Pepper’s “The Plot to Kill King” is a well-written, investigative tour de force. In this program, we read excerpts of his book highlighting the duplicity and, in some cases, very possibly lethal treachery of some iconic, so-called “progressive” political figures.

In his investigation of King’s murderers, he detailed the apparent role of the late Russell Lee Adkins, a member of the Dixie Mafia in Memphis, Tennessee. (The Dixie Mafia is distinct from the Mafia, per se, that operated in the South, although–as Pepper makes clear–they worked with Mafiosi like New Orleans capo Carlos Marcello and Marcello associate Frank Liberto, like Adkins, an operator in Memphis.)

In “The Plot to Kill King,” Pepper presents a deposition of Ronnie Lee Adkins, Russell’s son.  

In the deposition, Adkins alleged that the room switch to a room overlooking the swimming pool at the Lorraine Motel was effected by Jesse Jackson. In AFA #8, we highlighted how this switch placed King in a perfect position for the assassin to shoot him. This room switch was essential for the successful killing of Dr. King.

1.-” . . . . . . . . Clyde Tolson, Hoover’s Deputy (whom Ronnie was told to call ‘Uncle Clyde’ from the first time he came to visit them in the 1950s) flew into the old airport where the old National Guard planes were based. . . .”
2.-” . . . . Ron said that O.Z. dispensed money to, among others, Solomon Jones, Jesse Jackson and Billy Kyles. The money was paid for their obtaining and passing on information. Tolson told his father that Jones, Jackson, and Kyles were also paid informants of the F.B.I. paid out of the Memphis office, but the money that came from Tolson was separate from the money they received from [Memphis Police and Fire Department head and former FBI agent Frank] Holloman and the Memphis FBI Office. The Adkins money envelopes were wrapped up with rubber bands and paper with initials on it, ‘BK,’ ‘JJ,’ and so forth. . . .”
3.-” . . . . . . . . Ron stated (under oath) that when Dr. King returned to Memphis on April 3, Jesse Jackson was instructed to arrange for the room change from the lower protected room 202, to the balcony room 306. . . .”
4.-” . . . . . . . . Years later, when he asked his mother what the problem was with Jones, she said that Jackson (which was subsequently confirmed by Junior) was paying for everything. He was in charge of the money. . . .”

In FTR #46, we accessed William Pepper’s first book on the King assassination, Orders to Kill. In that volume, Pepper set forth a Special Forces “A” Team deployed to Memphis to kill Dr. King and his aide Andrew Young. Pepper reprises that information in this book, including information given to the Green Beret snipers by a Memphis Police operative that “Friendlies were not wearing ties.” In that context check out Jesse Jackson, photographed alongside Dr. King before the murder: ” . . . . . . . . Warren [one of the snipers] reported that he had spoken over the radio with an MPD officer whose first name he believed was Sam, who was the head of the “city TAC.” (This had to be Inspector Sam Evans, head of the MPD tactical units.) Warren said that Sam provided details about the physical structure and layout of the Lorraine. He also told Warren that “friendlies were not wearing ties.” Warren took this to mean there was an informant or informants inside the King group. . . .”

Pepper devotes much text to analysis of the active suppression of the truth by media outlets. A CNN  “documentary” about the King assassination hosted by Soledad O’Brien consisted largely of blatant disinformation.

After discussing the disheartening CNN documentary Pepper highlights media complicity in the cover-up of this country’s political assassinations, noting that many so-called progressive commentators and outlets adhere to this censorship. ” . . . . The remaining, missing point of this picture of disinformation and information control is the cooperative activity of a number of seemingly progressive, investigative journalists and researchers. These are a coterie of establishment liberal professionals who come on to assist the government’s position in cases and extremely sensitive issues like political assassination. These individuals have usually developed respect and credibility within the progressive community over a period of time as activist opponents of official government positions and actions. They have this developed credibility; thus, when they elect to support–or just ignore–the official government position on a particular issue or action, they have the ability to undercut dissent. . . .”

One of the individuals cited by Pepper is Daniel Ellsberg, although he does not mention him by name in the excerpt we read. Pepper refers to Ellsberg, specifically, in earlier discussion in his book.

Ellsberg leaked the Pentagon Papers, which were then publicized by “The New York Times,” as well as The “Washington  Post,” both very closely linked to the CIA.

As discussed in FTR #978, among other programs, we noted that the Pentagon Papers were themselves “second-level” cover-up, falsely maintaining that there was continuity from the Kennedy administration to the Johnson administration with regard to Vietnam war policy.

Douglas Valentine has written extensively about the U.S. national security establishment. Best known for his seminal work on the Phoenix program in Vietnam, he has recently published “The CIA as Organized Crime.”

In his recent volume, Valentine notes Daniel Ellsberg’s long-standing links to the CIA and the inability/unwillingness of what he calls “The Compatible Left” to talk about St. Ellsberg’s connections to Langley.

This underscores why Mr. Emory has, for so long, referred to the “so-called progressive sector.”

1.-” . . . .  Peter Dale Scott had also been marginalized as a result of his 1972 book, The War Conspiracy, and his 1993 book Deep Politics and the Death of JFK. Peter supported me, and a few years after the Phoenix book was published, I mentioned to him that I was writing an article, based on my interviews with Scotton and Conein, about Ellsberg’s deep political association with the CIA. . . .”
2.-” . . . . [Alfred] McCoy [author of The Politics of Heroin in Southeast Asia] accused CIA officers Ed Lansdale and Lou Conein of collaborating with Corsican drug smugglers in 1965, at the same time Ellsberg was working closely with them. But when I interviewed him, Ellsberg insisted that these CIA officers were not involved in the drug traffic, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary. . . .”
3.-” . . . . But more importantly, by  covering up his own CIA connections, he’s reassuring the bourgeoisie that subscribes to these media outlets that everything they assume about their leaders is right. And that’s how symbolic heroes mislead the way. . . .”
4.-” . . . . If Ellsberg were to reveal the CIA’s secrets, he would no longer have the same reassuring effect on the liberal bourgeoisie. So his sponsors never mention that he had an affair with the mistress of a Corsican drug smuggler in Saigon. That’s not in the book or the movie. He denies his CIA buddies were involved in the drug trade, even though they were. . . .”

Pepper concludes the main body of his text with observations about the role of the power elite and the news media in perpetuating the social and economic status quo: ” . . . . “Look” decided to publish my work, but in the interim, Bill met with New Orleans DA Jim Garrison, and was shaken by Garrison’s evidence of the involvement of the CIA in the assassination of John Kennedy. Right after the Garrison meeting, he called Bob Kennedy around 1:00 a.m., and Bob confirmed the conclusion, but said he would have to get to the White House in order to open the case. Bill Atwood had a heart attack about three hours later, around 4:00 a.m., and left “Look.” Needless to say, neither my piece nor Garrison’s were published, and the associate editor, Chandler Brossard, who brought us to Atwood, was let go. . . .”


Jack Ruby to FBI Informant: Watch “the Fireworks” in Dealey Plaza on 11/22/1963

An interesting document came to light in the recent release of files relating to the assassination of JFK. Jack Ruby told an FBI informant to “watch the fireworks” in Dealey Plaza that day. This might be evaluated against the background of FTR #963, relating–among other things–a reading of Jack Ruby’s Warren Commission testimony. All of the contents of this website as of 12/19/2014–Dave Emory’s 37+ years of research and broadcasting–as well as hours of videotaped lectures are available on a 32GB flash drive. Dave offers his programs and articles for free–your support is very much appreciated.


FTR #966 Dramatis Personae of the Russia-Gate Psy-Op

Developing information about the cast of characters in the “Russia-Gate” psy-op, we highlight the political allegiance of “Team Trump”–the operatives involved with Trump’s campaign and business dealings with Russia, as well as Robert Mueller, former FBI chief and a very special prosecutor indeed.

Although Trump certainly had links to Russian mob figures, they are by no means the prime movers in this drama.

Most importantly, we detail the political resumes and deep politics underlying the cast of characters in this drama, tracking the operational links back to Joe McCarthy and the red-baiting specialists from the first Cold War.

Joe McCarthy legal point man Roy Cohn is, to a considerable extent, the spider at the center of this web. Cohn:

1.-Was Trump’s attorney for much of “The Donald’s” professional life.
2.-Introduced Trump campaign manager and dirty tricks specialist Roger Stone to the seated President.
3.-Was instrumental in arranging for a bribe which made “independent” Republican John Anderson the Presidential candidate for the Liberal Party in New York. This gambit gave Reagan a key victory in New York. Cohn and Stone’s associate in this operation was Anthony “Fat Tony” Salerno–one of Cohn’s mob clients and among Donald Trump’s organized crime associates as well.
4.-Was the point man for introducing Rupert Murdoch to Ronald Reagan and forging the right-wing media attack machine that dominates today, the most prominent element of which is Fox News.

Roger Stone is another figure who weaves throughout this concatenation. Stone:

1.-Was Donald Trump’s campaign manager and later dirty tricks operative, who networked with WikiLeaks go-between for the Trump/Alt-right crew.
2.-Was touting Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson. Johnson and Jill Stein were advocated for by Stone as participants in the debates between Hillary Clinton and Trump. (Johnson and Stein’s combined vote total helped Trump win in several key states.)
3.-Worked with Roy Cohn to put “independent” Republican John Anderson the Presidential candidate for the Liberal Party in New York. This gambit gave Reagan a key victory in New York, as noted above.

The point man for the Trump business interests in their dealings with Russia is Felix Sater. A Russian-born immigrant, Sater is a professional criminal and a convicted felon with historical links to the Mafia. Beyond that, and more importantly, Sater is an FBI informant and a CIA contract agent. As the media firestorm around “Russia-gate” builds, it is important not to lose sight of Sater. ” . . . . He [Sater] also provided other purported national security services for a reported fee of $300,000. Stories abound as to what else Sater may or may not have done in the arena of national security. . . .” We wonder if helping the “Russia-Gate” op may have been one of those.

Beyond Sater, other key players in this concatenation do not track back to “Kremlin/Putin/FSB/KGB.” Rob Goldstone–the publicist whose overture to Donald Trump, Jr. initiated the latest “Russia-gate journalistic feeding frenzy in the media, began his career a journalistic foot soldier for Rupert Murdoch, the very same Rupert Murdoch whose christening as a GOP/right-wing propagandist was initiated by Roy Cohn.

Goldstone contacted Donald Trump Jr., dangling the bait that there might be dirt on Hillary available if he met with some associates. Foremost among those is a Russian attorney, Natalie Veselnitskaya. Her apparent purpose in this meeting was not to offer up dirt on Hillary Clinton but to work toward easing a media lockdown on a documentary about the Magnitsky affair.

Spun in the West, the U.S. in particular, as a classic example of ham-fisted Russian corruption and violence, the Magnitsky affair was revealed in the film documentary to be an example of U.S. corruption, not Russian.

Crafted by Putin political opponent Andrei Nekrasov, the film revealed an unexpected dynamic: ” . . . . Nekrasov discovered that a woman working in Browder’s company was the actual whistleblower and that Magnitsky – rather than a crusading lawyer – was an accountant who was implicated in the scheme. . . .”

Attempting to lift the media blackout on Nekrasov’s film was Veselnitskaya’s goal, not disseminating dirt on Hillary Clinton.

Program Highlights Include: the financing of Joe McCarthy’s career by Nazi sympathizer Walter Harnischfeger, part of the German-American Fifth Column in this country which was at the forefront of the discussion in FTR #’s 918, 919; McCarthy’s use of a postwar Nazi network headed by General Karl Wolff, SS chief Heinrich Himmler’s personal adjutant; Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller’s role in covering up the BCCI scandal and the overlapping Operation Green Quest investigation pursuant to 9/11.


FTR #936 The Making of Donald Trump (Top Banana Republic), Part 5

This fifth and final installment of the series references the substance of an article that embodies the enormous and fundamental flaw in our political and civic process: a poll shortly before the election found that most of the prospective voters polled felt that Trump was more honest and trustworthy than Hillary Clinton. As our reading of Johnston’s excellent book unfolds, the grotesque, spectacularly fallacious character of this perception will become uncomfortably clear. “Donald Trump is currently tracking as the more honest of the two presidential candidates in a poll, although fact-checking of his statements during the campaign have shown he’s lied several times. The latest ABC News/Washington Post tracking poll reports that 46 percent of likely voters believe he is the more honest and trustworthy candidate, while 38 percent believed it was Hillary Clinton. This marks the biggest gap between the two candidates in five ABC News/Washington Post polls that asked the question, beginning in May.”

In the previous program, we opined that we all, in a sense, are enrolled in Trump University. By the same token, we could all be said to be playing the board game Trump: The Game. ” . . . . Then there’s his Monopoly-like board game. When Trump and executives from Milton-Bradley introduced Trump: The Game in 1989, the developer surprised everyone by declaring those royalties would go to charity, too. Milton-Bradley took Trump at his word. It also figured it might improve sales, which were weak, if people realized their purchases would not enrich a presumed billionaire but go to charity. Its television ads told potential buyers: ‘Mr. Trump’s proceeds from Trump: The Game will be donated to charity.’ . . . Trump has said he made $808,000 and that the money was donated to his Donald J. Trump Foundation. . . . At the time, I spent a day calling New York and New Jersey charities trying to find any disclosures of gifts made by Trump. . . . But call after call produced nothing. . . .” (The Making of Donald Trump; p. 17.)

Trump appeared to have won over a majority of voting military veterans and a poll of active-duty service members indicated that most preferred Trump. Trump himself avoided military service during the Vietnam War. “. . . . Donald turned eighteen in 1964, when the death toll in Vietnam was rising fast. He got four student deferments and one medical deferment, after his doctor wrote that he had a bone spur in his foot. Which foot? a journalist asked years later. Trump said he could not recall. . . .” (The Making of Donald Trump; pp. 131-132.)

In the fall of 2015, Trump boycotted a GOP primary campaign debate because Megyn Kelly was to be the on-air host. Trump instead went to an event on the Battleship Iowa museum to what he misrepresented as a major veterans organization. ” . . . . Trump instead went to the Battleship Iowa, now a museum at anchor in Long Beach, California, to deliver what his campaign said would be a major address on national defense. Trump praised the sponsor of the event, Veterans for a Strong America, and told the audience that ‘hundreds of thousands’ of people belonged to the organization. There were evidently two related organizations, both nonprofits, though Trump and his host never made that clear to the audience on the ship or watching on television. One was a charity, the other one of those dark money political groups that have expanded since the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United decision, enabling money from undisclosed sources to influence elections. A quick internet check would revealed to the Trump campaign that the IRS had revoked the nonprofit status of Veterans for a Strong America due to their failure to file required disclosure reports. A charity disclosure organization, Guidestar, reported that it had no record of any board of directors, Every indication pointed to Veterans for a Strong America being a one-man enterprise run by a South Dakota lawyer named Joel Arends, whose operation was under investigation for suspected election improprieties in Arizona and Texas. Reporters later learned the organization had thirty dollars in the bank and debts ten times that size. None of this was in line with Trump’s promotion of the group’s immense size, influence, and good works. . . .” (The Making of Donald Trump; pp. 135-136.)

Next, the program highlights how Trump promotes himself and his projects using The American Academy of Hospitality Sciences. Trump, his daughter Ivanka, his son Donald, Jr., the chief operating officer of the Trump Organization (Donald Calamari) and Trump’s butler Anthony Senecal are major figures in this organization. The main figure in the organization is Joseph Cinque, aka “Joey No Socks” or “The Preppy Don.” ” . . . If those sound like names that might be associated with a figure involved in organized crime, it’s because they are. New York police with a search warrant knocked on the door of Cinque’s Park Avenue South apartment in 1989. Cinque declined to let them in. The police applied a battering ram. Inside the apartment they found a trove of stolen art, including two Marc Chagall prints valued at $40,000. they had been taken in an art gallery heist. Cinque made a deal to plead to a misdemeanor, but prosecutors scrapped the plea bargain after Cinque was seen talking to John Gotti, the ‘dapper don’ who became head of the Gambino crime family by arranging the murder of his predecessor Paul Castellano–one of the secret owners of the company that supplied concrete for many Trump buildings.

“Gotti told Cinque that he would ‘take care of the DA,’ an apparent reference to Anne Heyman, the prosecutor who had offered the plea bargain. . . . Heyman ordered a more thorough investigation of Cinque. She alleged that the investigation showed that Cinque ‘was dealing drugs out of his apartment and fencing stolen art-work.’ Heyman also said that Cinque’s apartment on Central Park South appeared to be a retail outlet for stolen clothing, including Armani suits and silk shirts. In 1990, Cinque pleaded guilty to a felony: receiving stolen property. . . .” (The Making of Donald Trump; p. 158.)

Another interesting, close associate of Donald Trump was Felix Satter, who changed the spelling of his name, adding an extra “T” to avoid being recognized on internet searches. ” . . . ‘Satter’s’ name appears with just one ‘T’ in a host of places. There’s the deed to his home for example. It is also spelled with only one ‘T’ on New York State court papers from his 1991 felony conviction for stabbing a man in the face with the stem of a margarita glass. The name Sater with one ‘T’ also appears on federal court papers in a $40 million organized crime stock swindle he confessed to in 1998, a scheme that benefited him as well as the Genovese and Gambino crime families. The stock swindle involved fake stock brokerage firms using high-pressure tactics to get naive people to buy worthless shares from Sater and his mob friends. . . .” (The Making of Donald Trump; p. 162.)

Trump’s close associate Felix was able to escape serious legal retribution by going to work for the CIA. ” . . . . There is every indication that the extraordinarily lenient treatment resulted from Sater playing a get-out-of-jail free card. Shortly before his secret guilty plea, Sater became a freelance operative of the Central Intelligence Agency. One of his fellow stock swindlers, Salvatore Lauria, wrote a book about it. The Scorpion and the Frog is described on its cover as ‘the true story of one man’s fraudulent rise and fall n the Wall Street of the nineties.’ According to Lauria–and the court files that have been unsealed–Sater helped the CIA buy small missiles before they got to terrorists. He also provided other purported national security services for a reported fee of $300,000. Stories abound as to what else Sater may or may not have done in the arena of national security. . . .” (The Making of Donald Trump; p. 165.)

The last text reading concludes with discussion of Trump’s unsavory real estate deals. Luring unwary buyers in with the prestigious Trump brand name, ‘The Donald” left a great many of them high and dry when the truth emerged about what was really going on. In this sense, too, we are ALL investors in the Trump brand name, and likely to receive the same treatment as his unwary real estate customers.

A Baja California (Mexico) project is typical of Trump’s methodology and operations in this regard. ” . . . . A June 2007 newsletter notified buyers that construction was underway. The next month, the Trump Baja News reported, ‘our new and excited homeowners now are part of an elite group of vacation homeowners who own property developed by one of the most respected names in real estate, Donald J. Trump.’ Three months later, in October, when Wall Street crashed under the weight of the toxic mortgages and other Baja real estate projects faltered, the same newsletter carried a message ‘From the desk of Ivanka Trump.’ Ivanka assured the buyers that their investment was sound. ‘Though it may be rue that some of Baja’s developments could slow down, these market conditions simply do not apply to Trump Ocean Resort–or any other Trump development,’ she wrote.

“Two months later, in December 2007, the newsletter advised buyers of newly discovered geological problems afflicting the building site. A few months later, in March 2008, anxious buyers received calls or letters. Construction loans had been approved, would be funded shortly, and work would be underway. This was nine months after buyers had been told in writing that construction had already begun. Still, construction did not proceed.

“All of these promotions, sales pitches, and newsletter updates created the impression that Trump was the builder and the developer, words he used. The buyers later said they bought in because Trump was the developer or builder. That understanding then changed abruptly.

“The worst news arrived two before Christmas 2008. What had been described as a partnership between ‘the Trump Organization, Donald J. Trump,’ and the other people and companies involved was described in a new way. Neither Trump nor the Trump Organization were investment partners in the Trump Ocean Resort. They were not the developers, either. They had merely licensed the use of the Trump name. . . .” (The Making of Donald Trump; pp. 169-170.)

It is gruesomely ironic that the bulk of Trump’s scamming revolves around his real estate empire. It was, of course, the collapse of the real estate market that led to the financial collapse of 2008.


FTR #935 The Making of Donald Trump (Top Banana Republic), Part 4

This fourth program in a series excerpting the book “The Making of Donald Trump” by David Cay Johnston begins by examining Trump University, the fraudulent educational institution that was the focal point of several lawsuits recently settled by Donald Trump. (The Making of Donald Trump,; pp. 117-128.)

Mr. Emory feels that, in a sense, the case of Trump University is a microcosm for what America will be under a Trump presidency. ” . . . . The testimony above all comes from a 2012 suit, but two other lawsuits claimed that the whole Trump University enterprise was a fraud–a scam in which the desperate and the gullible paid Trump about $40 million for what turned out to be high-pressure salesmanship. . . .” (The Making of Donald Trump,; pp. 120–121.)

In a very real sense, Trump’s pitch in a promotional video embodies Trump as a professional, a person and a politician: ” . . . ‘At Trump University, we teach success . . . . That’s what it’s all about–success. It’s going to happen to you. We’re going to have professors and adjunct professors that are absolutely terrific–terrific people, terrific brains, successful. We are going to have the best of the best. These are all people that are handpicked by me.’ . . . . None of those statements were true. . . .” (The Making of Donald Trump,; pp. 117—118.)

Representative of the operations of this “university” is Trump’s “faculty.” ” . . . . Trump did not even honor his commitment to handpick the faculty. In 2012, when Trump was sued for civil fraud in California, attorney Rachel Jensen read the names of one faculty member after another, displayed photographs of them, and offered video footage of faculty at Trump University ‘live events.’ Trump, who complained that this line of questioning was a waste of time, could not identify a single person. ‘Too many years ago . . . too many years ago . . . it’s ancient history,’ he said. Some of these events had taken place fewer than two years earlier. Again and again and again, Trump testified that he could not remember. . . .” (The Making of Donald Trump,; p. 119.)

An investigation of Trump University in Texas had a revealing political footnote: ” . . . . To the seasoned fraud investigators who compiled the report, the case against Trump seemed ironclad. The investigators concluded with the suggestion that Trump . . . . be named personally in a civil action suit alleging deceptive trade practices. We know all this because John Owens, who retired in 2011 as chief deputy in the Texas attorney general’s consumer protection unit made the internal report public in 2016. The Texas attorney general’s office, Owens’s former employer, responded with a letter citing six laws Owens may have broken in releasing the report and suggesting his law license might be revoked. . . . Greg Abbott, the Texas attorney general, took no public action. . . . Abbott has since been elected governor. He endorsed Trump in 2016. . . . In 2013, three years after [assistant Texas attorney general Rick] Berlin failed to persuade Abbott to adopt his recommendation to recover money for Texas consumers, Trump donated $35,000 to Abbott’s campaign for governor. . . .” (The Making of Donald Trump,; pp. 122-123.)

The Abbott-Trump relationship mirrors the highly suspicious contribution Trump made to the reelection campaign of Florida attorney general Pam Bondi, who dropped the investigation into Trump University in exchange for the “favor.”

As reported during the campaign, Trump’s contribution was made from one of Trump’s charities, which are the focal point of Chapter 16 of Johnston’s book. (The Making of Donald Trump,; pp. 129-134.)

Enjoying the support of many veterans, according to polls, and, also according to polls, active duty military personnel, Trump attempted to use veterans as campaign props by donating to them in violation of regulations governing charitable donations. (The Making of Donald Trump,; pp. 135-136.)


FTR #934 The Making of Donald Trump (Top Banana Republic), Part 3

For some weeks, we have been–and will be–reading most of the book into the record, to provide people with a measure against which to evaluate not just “The Donald,” as his first wife Ivana called him, but our society, its institutions and its citizens. We can’t recommend strongly enough that listeners buy this book, read it and use whatever means available to spread the word about it. (We note that neither Mr. Emory nor any of the stations that air this program get money from this book, its publisher or author.)

This third installment of the series commences with a review the substance of an article that embodies the enormous and fundamental flaw in our political and civic process: a poll shortly before the election found that most of the prospective voters polled felt that Trump was more honest and trustworthy than Hillary Clinton. As our reading of Johnston’s excellent book unfolds, the grotesque, spectacularly fallacious character of this perception will become uncomfortably clear. “Donald Trump is currently tracking as the more honest of the two presidential candidates in a poll, although fact-checking of his statements during the campaign have shown he’s lied several times. The latest ABC News/Washington Post tracking poll reports that 46 percent of likely voters believe he is the more honest and trustworthy candidate, while 38 percent believed it was Hillary Clinton. This marks the biggest gap between the two candidates in five ABC News/Washington Post polls that asked the question, beginning in May.”

The program features a continuation of Johnston’s account of Trump’s “curious” relationship with convicted felon and drug dealer Joey Weichselbaum. “Among the assorted criminals with whom Trump did business over more than three decades, his most mysterious dealings involved a drug trafficker named Joseph Weichselbaum. Trump did unusual favors for the three-time felon, repeatedly putting his lucrative casino license at risk to help a major cocaine and marijuana trafficker for reasons that remain unfathomable. . . .”

During the campaign, Trump targeted disaffected, alienated blue-collar workers, chafing under the effects of globalization and lingering damage from the financial collapse of 2008. “The Donald” also, of course, made expelling illegal immigrants a cornerstone of his campaign. There could be no better balance in which to hang the integrity of President-elect Donald Trump than to examine the chapter Johnson titled “The Polish Brigade.” (The Making of Donald Trump; pp. 69-76.)

When demolishing the old Bonwit Teller building in New York City to make way for one of his signature projects, Trump not only broke a promise to salvage the valuable art deco piece at the building’s entrance (providing disingenuous responses to criticism about this), but employed illegal Polish immigrants to dismantle the structure. The abuse to which Trump subjected those immigrants is striking and bodes poorly for those elements of “Middle America” who supported him during the election.

The “Polish Brigade” were not given even elementary working tools, nor basic safety equipment such as hard hats. They worked long hours at very low pay under horrible working conditions and were often not paid at all, until they threatened a top Trump assistant, Thomas Macari.

“Instead of hiring an experienced demolition contractor, Trump chose Kaszycki & Sons Contractors, a window washing business owned by a Polish emigre. Upward of two hundred men began demolishing the building in midwinter 1980. The men worked without hard hats. They lacked facemasks, even though asbestos–known to cause incurable cancers–swirled all around them. They didn’t have goggles to protect their eyes from the bits of concrete and steel that sometimes flew through the air like bullets. The men didn’t have power tools either; they brought down the twelve-story building with sledgehammers. . . .

. . . . The demolition workers were not American citizens, but ‘had recently arrived from Poland,’ a federal court later determined. The court also found that ‘they were undocumented and worked ‘off the books.’ No payroll records were kept, no Social Security or other taxes were withheld and they were not paid in accordance with wage laws. They were told they would be paid $4.00 or in some cases $5.00 an hour for working 12-hour shifts seven days a week. In fact, they were paid irregularly and incompletely.’ . . .

. . . . Fed up that their paychecks kept bouncing, some of the workers corralled Thomas Macari, Trump’s personal representative they showed him to the edge of one of the higher floors and asked if he would like them to hang him over the side. The workers, likely hungry, demanded their pay. Otherwise, no work.

When Macari told his boss what had happened, Trump placed a panicked telephone call to Daniel Sullivan–a labor fixer, FBI informant, suspect in the disappearance of Jimmy Hoffa, and Trump’s personal negotiator for the Grand Hyatt contract with the hotel workers’ union.

‘Donald told me he was having some difficulties,’ Sullivan later testified, ‘and he admitted to me that–seeking my advice–he had some illegal Polish employees on the job. . . .

. . . .There is no record of any federal, state, or city safety inspector filing a report during the demolition. In a 1990 Trenton restaurant interview. I asked Sullivan how a project of this size could have been erected in the heart of Manhattan without attracting government job safety inspectors. Sullivan just looked at me. When I widened my eyes to make clear that I wanted an explicitly answer, he said, ‘You know why.’ When I persisted, anticipating that Sullivan might specify bribes to inspectors, he said that unions and concrete suppliers were not the only areas where Trump’s lawyer, Roy Cohn, had influence. . . . ” (The Making of Donald Trump; pp. 70-72.)

The text excerpts conclude with a reading of most of chapter 10 of Johnston’s book, covering how Trump’s estimates of his own net worth varied according to his mood at the time of the inquiry. This did not stop him from suing journalist Tim O’Brien for allegedly mis-reporting Trump’s worth. (The Making of Donald Trump; pp. 77-83.)


FTR #933 The Making of Donald Trump (Top Banana Republic), Part 2

This second installment of a series commences with a review the substance of an article that embodies the enormous and fundamental flaw in our political and civic process: a poll shortly before the election found that most of the prospective voters polled felt that Trump was more honest and trustworthy than Hillary Clinton.

As our reading of David Cay Johnston’s excellent book unfolds, the grotesque, spectacularly fallacious character of this perception will become uncomfortably clear. “Donald Trump is currently tracking as the more honest of the two presidential candidates in a poll, although fact-checking of his statements during the campaign have shown he’s lied several times. The latest ABC News/Washington Post tracking poll reports that 46 percent of likely voters believe he is the more honest and trustworthy candidate, while 38 percent believed it was Hillary Clinton. This marks the biggest gap between the two candidates in five ABC News/Washington Post polls that asked the question, beginning in May.”

In the first excerpt read into the record in this broadcast, we finish a chapter in which David Cay Johnston relates the genesis of Trump’s relationship with Senator Joe McCarthy’s right-hand man Roy Cohn. Having been sued by the Justice Department because of his discrimination against people of color when renting apartments in his properties, Trump turned to Cohn. It was the beginning of a long relationship between the long-time red-baiter and organized crime apologist and “The Donald.” Trump and Cohn lost the case. Note Trump’s placing of loyalty above all else, a prioritization that Johnston correctly characterizes in the italicize excerpt that follows: ” . . . Elyse Goldweber, the novice Justice Department lawyer, told the court that one employee who spoke to investigators was not being named because ‘he was afraid that the Trumps would have him ‘knocked off,’ or words to that effect’ for revealing the techniques used to deny blacks and other minorities. . . . In “The Art of the Deal,” Trump said he told Cohn, ‘I’d rather fight than fold, because as soon as you fold once you get the reputation’ of someone who settles case. But faced with a case in which neither facts nor the law were on his side, Trump folded and settled. . . .Trump handled the adverse settlement the way he had learned from his father: by spinning the news and offering a simple and quotable narrative . . . Trump’s takeaway from this early loss was not that times had changed and civil rights laws would be enforced. . . . He also learned to place loyalty above all else. . . . That is, of course, the kind of perspective we expect from mobsters, dictators, and others whose primary regard is for unflinching support, not for allegiance to truth or facts. . . .”

As noted in the program, on the day this was recorded, Trump University settled in a massive lawsuit by students who had been defrauded by the “school.” Trump played it in the fashion he learned from his father and that he applied in the housing discrimination suit, highlighted above: “. . . In The Art of the Deal, Trump said he told Cohn, ‘I’d rather fight than fold, because a soon as you fold once you get the reputation’ of someone who settles case. But faced with a case in which neither facts nor the law were on his side, Trump folded and settled. . . .Trump handled the adverse settlement the way he had leaned from his father: by spinning the news and offering a simple and quotable narrative . . . .”

Johnston notes at the end of chapter 5 that Trump learned that having Cohn as his attorney also had other benefits: ” . . . . Hiring him [Cohn] could ensure that his Manhattan construction projects moved smoothly. Among Cohn’s other clients were two of America’s most powerful Mafia figures who controlled key unions attached to demolition and construction in New York City.. . . In “The Art of the Deal,” Trump boasts that when he applied for a casino owner’s license in 1981, he persuaded the New Jersey attorney general to limit the investigation of his background. It was perhaps the most lucrative negotiation of Trump’s life, one that would embarrass state officials a decade later when Trump’s involvement with mobsters, mob associates, and swindlers became clear. . . . ”

Against the background of Cohn’s mob connections, Johnston sets forth Trump’s utilization of those assets to realize his New York City real estate undertakings. Remarkably, such associations did not interdict Trump’s Atlantic City [New Jersey] gaming projects, which normally would have been precluded by such links.

Exemplifying Trump’s organized crime associates and the services they provided–courtesy of Roy Cohn–were Anthony “Fat Tony” Salerno and Paul Castellano. ” . . . Trump bought his Manhattan ready-mix [concrete] from a company called S & A Concrete. Mafia chieftains Anthony “Fat Tony” Salerno and Paul Castellano secretly owned the firm. S & A charged the inflated prices that the LeFrak and Resnik families complained about, LeFrak to both laws enforcement and “The New York Times.” As [reporter Wayne] Barrett noted, by choosing to build with ready-mix concrete rather than other materials, Trump put himself ‘at the mercy of a legion of concrete racketeers.’ But having an ally in Roy Cohn mitigated Trump’s concerns. With Cohn as his fixer, Trump had no worries that the Mafia bosses would have the unions stop work on Trump Tower; Salerno and Castellano were Cohn’s clients. Indeed, when the cement workers struck in summer 1982, the concrete continued to flow at Trump Tower. . . . Just as revealing was Trump’s association with John Cody, the corrupt head of Teamsters Local 282. Cody, under indictment when he ordered the citywide strike in 1982, directed that concrete deliveries continue to Trump Tower. Cody told Barrett, ‘Donald liked to deal with me through Roy Cohn. . . . ”

The excerpts read from Johnston’s remarkable tome conclude with examination of Trump’s relationship with Joey Weichselbaum, a convicted drug trafficker whose relationship with Trump is highly unusual and opaque, even by “The Donald’s” standards. “Among the assorted criminals with whom Trump did business over more than three decades, his most mysterious dealings involved a drug trafficker named Joseph Weichselbaum. Trump did unusual favors for the three-time felon, repeatedly putting his lucrative casino license at risk to help a major cocaine and marijuana trafficker for reasons that remain unfathomable. . . .”

Whereas Trump had many other places to turn to for the various aeronautical, automotive and supplemental services Weichelsbaum and his brother provided, Trump continued to use them and provided them and their associates with remarkable “perks.”

With Trump poised to name a number of Supreme Court justices, we note that the venue of one of Weichelsbaum’s cases was changed in a highly suspicious, revealing and inauspicious manner. ” . . . When Weichelsbaum made a deal with prosecutors to plead guilty to one of the eighteen counts in the Cincinnati case, something very suspicious happened. His case was transferred out of Ohio for the guilty plea and the sentencing. Logically, the case might have gone to South Florida, where Bradford Motors [one of the Weichselbaum drug-trafficking fronts] was located, or to New York, where Weichselbaum lived. Indeed, that is exactly what Weichselbaum’s Ohio lawyer, Arnold Morelli, sought in a January 30, 1986 motion requesting his case be transferred to either Manhattan or Miami for ‘the convenience of human beings such as the defendant and witnesses.’ Instead the Weichelsbaum case was moved to New Jersey. There it was assigned to Judge Maryanne Trump Barry–Donald Trump’s older sister.

Judge Barry recused herself three weeks later, as judicial ethics required, but the mere act of removing herself from the case came with a powerful message: a sitting federal judge, as well as her husband (lawyer John Barry) and family, repeatedly flew in helicopters connected to a major drug trafficker. . . .When Judge Harold A. Ackerman replaced Trump’s sister, Trump wrote him a letter seeking leniency for Weichselbaum on the drug trafficking charge. Trump characterize the defendant as ‘a credit to the community’ and described Weichselbaum as ‘conscientious, forthright and diligent’ in his dealings with the Trump Plaza and Trump’s Castle casinos. When asked about the letter under oath in a private 1990 meeting with New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement lawyers, Trump testified that he could not recall whether ‘he had written any letters of reference to the federal judge who sentenced Weichselbaum.’ Subsequently, the division obtained such a letter, and Trump acknowledged that it bore his signature. . . .”