Covering for Trump

Several books and articles have been written about President Donald Trump’s Russian money laundering. Why doesn’t the Justice Department do something?

The term “money laundering” describes the practice of taking dirty money that can’t be deposited in international banks and transforming it into clean money that can be deposited. Say you have $1 million in illegal crime money and want to clean it up. Using cash to buy small-ticket items is too slow and tedious, so you buy real estate.

A crook with dirty money goes to a crook with property and they agree to an overpriced cash sale. Shortly thereafter, the new owners resell the property on the open market to buyers with a bank mortgage. The resale is officially recorded and the proceeds from the sale are now clean legitimate money that can be deposited and used anywhere in the world. Money lost in the resale is the laundering expense.

The Russian mafia is awash in dirty money coming from drug and weapons sales, prostitution and blackmail operations. Russian mafioso oligarchs launder their illegal money by buying real estate outside of Russia.

Trump owns and sells property in New York, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Washington, D.C., California, Nevada and Georgia.

Trump has sold hundreds of properties to Russian oligarchs, totaling well more than $100 million dollars. At least 86 of those transactions were cash purchases.

Why doesn’t the Justice Department do something? They’re too busy obfuscating Trump’s Russian collusion.

Paul Oman

Clarkston

Is Trump stupid or worse?

Usually, I try to be unbiased, I really do. But I always see the flaws in President Donald Trump.

For example, the recent attacks in California, Texas, and Ohio are absolutely a nonpartisan issue. Our country has a serious social problem that needs to be resolved. People don’t need to avoid social gatherings (in church, shopping, visiting farmer’s markets, enjoying entertainment events) because they fear that some deranged person will open fire.

This is not a Republican or Democratic problem. It belongs to all of us to solve.

I hope I am not misinterpreted — I do not blame Trump for the acts of sick people. I hope that no one thinks I do.

But it sickens my heart when Trump implies that if Democrats are willing, he can work out a deal combining the issues of immigration and gun violence. Does he not realize that in saying something so insensitive, he has made the issue of saving lives a partisan, political issue?

Is he really that blind? That heartless? That uncaring about all those who have suffered — and others who will suffer until he or someone figures out that we need to unite, not divide, in order to solve this problem?

Does he not understand that he has just said, essentially: “Scratch my back, and I’ll scratch yours” over the issue of innocent people dying throughout America?

I hope — and pray fervently — that the man is simply stupid and not the uncaring, conniving beast he appears to be.

D’Wayne Hodgin

Moscow

Giving thanks

What I’m grateful for:

Family in the Lewiston area and out-of-state who are welcoming and supportive. Love you all.

Friends who give service to others in so many different meaningful ways.

My friendly neighbors all around.

The library — and for all those who bring the joy of reading and civil discourse to share.

My beloved book/discussion group.

Lewis-Clark State College Cynthia President Pemberton, professors and staff who say to all: “Yes, you can.”

City council and school board members who supported a new high school and the residents who shouted “yes” with their votes and again with their votes to expand Medicaid, and now shout “No, you don’t,” when our Legislature tries to take away citizen rights to pass initiatives.

For civic theater, community band, the Center for Arts and History, the Nez Perce National Historic Park, first responders, judges with a heart and the new roundabouts — they save lives.

For the many citizens in Idaho who expressed their outrage at the notorious 28 who want higher education only for privileged students.

For County Clerk Patty Weeks, the one chosen to represent all of Idaho in a national training on election security because of her expertise on keeping elections safe.

For the Lewiston Tribune, for its inclusion of various points of view and its concern for the communities it serves.

Being aware in this area that I live on Mother Earth, which was not so evident when I lived in a big city.

I’m grateful for those who smile.

Kathleen Gaines

Lewiston

Enact gun laws

The U.S. Supreme Court’s Heller decision clearly said there were legitimate statutory restrictions on the right to bear arms — just as we are not permitted to use our right of free speech to cry “fire” in a crowded theater.

What we need is legislators of moral courage. Let them cover their behinds with a unanimous pledge not to take any further campaign funding from the gun lobby.

We also need an outraged populace drowning every lawmaker’s in-ox with demands for common-sense gun possession laws.

You can find their contact info online by typing “my reps” in Google. That site will give you complete contact info for all our national, states and local representatives.

Just do it.

Ronald Hufham

Moscow

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