Remember a long-time member of Congress from Brooklyn named Emanuel Celler? He served in Congress for 50 years and ran the Appropriations Committee which basically wrote the federal budget every year.
He was challenged in the 1972 Democratic primary by an unknown young lady named Liz Holtzman, an election for which Celler didn’t even bother to come back to his home district in order to campaign. He lost the primary by a whole, big 635 votes.
Everyone who serves in Congress knows what happened to Manny Celler in 1972. Which is the reason politics is one of the two most risk-averse careers you can have. The other career which is just, if not even more risk-averse than politics, is real estate development.
The reason that real estate development is so risk-averse is that you never know when the market is going to change. You can start putting up a high-rise condo in the middle of the hottest real estate market of all time, and just as you put the last brick on the building, all of a sudden that long line of people wanting to buy one of your apartments disappears.
Which is the reason real estate developers always try to get some bank to put up the money for their project, because the last thing they want to do is risk their own dough on a deal that can go south in a heartbeat or even less time.
And this is where Trump was very different from other guys in real estate because he figured out a very unique way to fund his projects which not only gave him the money he needed for the mortar and the bricks, but also protected him if the project didn’t work out.
Trump started putting up fancy, expensive buildings around the same time that the Soviet Union collapsed and very quickly a whole, new class of Russian oligarchs emerged who had plenty of cash they wanted to invest. How did they get their hands on all that dough? Who knows and certainly Trump couldn’t care less. But what he did know was that these foreign investors would be interested in putting their money into projects that paid a high return and oh, by the way, nobody would really care why this money was available in the first place.
Michael Cohen tells a very interesting story which backs up what I have just said. At some point Cohen wanted to buy an apartment in Manhattan and became interested in a condo that was in a building put up by Trump at some swanky, Upper East Side address. Where was the sales office that Cohen visited to buy his pad?
It wasn’t located in the lobby of the building on Park Avenue. It was a shabby storefront on a commercial street in Queens. And it just so happened that this street was in the neighborhood where many new Russian immigrants happened to live.
Many of these Russian immigrants had active contacts back in the old country and they often returned home for a visit to see family and friends. Could some of them bring a stash of cash back with them that would then be invested in a project being put up by Trump? Is New York a city?
Don’t get me wrong – I’m a diehard Trump hater from way back. But if I had to make a bet on Trump versus a guy like Adam Schiff or another guy like Adam Raskin, I’ll put my money on Trump every time. We are less than four months away from the second anniversary of the January 6th so-called insurrection, and the best the Department of Justice can come up with is this moron from D.C. who claims he knew ‘for a fact’ that the 2020 election was stolen from Trump?
This idiot, named Mark Ponder, is certainly an expert when it comes to recognizing a theft. In 2007, he was convicted of stealing $2,500 from a branch of the PNC Bank.
If Trump runs again and wins in 2024, he can pardon this guy the first day he plops his fat rear end down behind the Resolute Desk.