NEW YORK – The attack on me by Clinton campaign Chief John Podesta is an attempt to deflect attention from his criminal activities in the former Soviet Union.Podesta is at the heart of a Russian-government money laundering operation that financially benefits Podesta personally and the Clintons through the Clinton Foundation.
To be clear, although I have had some back-channel communications with Wikileaks I had no advance notice about the hacking of Mr. Podesta nor I have I ever received documents or data from Wikileaks.
The charge that I am working for Russian intelligence or any Russian interest is also false. Don’t confuse me with John Podesta’s brother, Tony Podesta, who runs the firm that got $180,000 from Uranium One, the Russian government’s uranium company to which Hillary Clinton transferred 20 percent of U.S. uranium.
Just how much money did Viktor Vekselberg, a controversial Russian billionaire investor with ties to the Vladimir Putin and the Russian government, launder through Metcombank, a Russian regional bank owned 99.978 percent by Vekselberg, with the money transferred via Deutsche Bank and Trust Company Americas in New York City, with the money ending up in a private bank account in the Bank of America that is operated by the Clinton Foundation?
Wikileaks emails tie John Podesta, chairman of Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign, into the money-laundering network with the confirmation Podesta had exercised 75,000 shares out of 100,000 previously undisclosed stock options he was secretly issued by Joule Unlimited, a U.S. corporation that ties back to Vekselberg connected Joule Global Stichting in the Netherlands – a shady entity identified in the Panama Papers as an offshore money-laundering client of the notorious Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca.
As a clear indication of guilty conscience, the Wikileaks Podesta file further documents that Podesta made a serious effort to keep the transaction from coming to light as evidenced by his decision to transfer 75,000 common shares of Joule Unlimited to Leonidio LLC, another shady shell corporation – this one listed in Salt Lake City at the home apartment of the gentlemen who registered the company.
Further research has documented that Viktor Vekselberg arranged for two transfers of unknown amounts to a private Clinton Foundation account in the Bank of America, with the funds passing though a pass-through account at Deutsche Bank and Trust Company Americas in New York City – with the first transfer made on Feb. 10, 2015, and the second on March 15, 2016.
Neither transaction shows up in any Clinton Foundation press releases or publicly disclosed financial statements.
Further research is that Viktor Vekselberg, in true Russian Mafia fashion, also owned Skolkovo, the Russian foundation set up to be a Silicon Valley counterpart Russia, designed to be Russia’s major player in the “reset” technology transfer scheme engineered by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in 2011.
Millions skimmed off Skolkovo in Russia
Russian news reports have documented that all Skolkovo Foundation money was deposited in Viktor Vekselberg’s Metcombank.
“Metcombank was the only commercial bank willing to accept the Foundation’s liquid assets in a bank account with the ability to immediately withdraw them without receiving a fine and with interest at a rate higher than the market average,” the Skolkovo Foundation said in a statement made public in 2013.
That same year, Russian investigators analyzing Federal Security Service, FSB, data in Russia determined the Skolkovo Fund misappropriated 3.5 billion rubles (approximately $55 million) allotted from the Russian government’s budget for the Skolkovo technology cluster’s development – a sum that was documented to have disappeared after it was deposited with Metcombank.
In reporting the disappearance of these funds, the Russian media reported Cyprus-based Winter luxe Ltd. holds nearly 100 percent in Metcombank registered in Kamensk-Uralsky, the Sverdlovsk region, and Winter luxe is controlled by Vekselberg through a chain of other companies including Mendo Portfolio, Renova Industries, and Renova Holding – confirming that Vekselberg is the primary beneficiary of a chain of offshore corporations involved in international money laundering that stretch from Cyprus to the Bahamas, ending up in the British Virgin Islands.
It turns out that of the 31.6 billion rubles (approximately $1 billion) the Skolkovo Foundation received from the state budget from 2010 through October 2012, just 18.9 billion, or less than 60 percent, was actually spent.
Predictably, the Skolkovo Foundation, in an official statement, denied any wrongdoing, arguing that once Russian government budget funds are transferred to the Foundation, they can no longer be considered as budget means, such that the funds can be used in any way the Foundation deems legitimate, according to Russia’s budget code.
“Among the offers made [to the Skolkovo Foundation] by several banks, Metcombank’s terms were just unprecedented,” Skolkov Foundation’s Vice President for External Communications Alexander Chernov elaborated in an exchange with Kommersant, a nationally distributed newspaper published in Russia, dealing mainly with business and politics.
Metcombank provided a 5.65 percent interest rate when the average market average was around 4 percent. This permitted Chernov to argue as follows: “The extra-high rate allowed the Skolkovo Foundation to earn around 80 million rubles ($2.6 million) in interest, so what violations are we talking about?”
In April 2013, Russian government authorities raided Skolkovo, arresting executive Aleksey Belyukov for graft, in a move that clearly looked like a scapegoat had been found, allowing the Skolkovo Foundation and Metcombank to continue their serendipitous relationship.
To date, the Russian government has not given an accounting what happened to the missing funds supposedly once deposited in the Skolkovo Foundation’s account at Metcombank
A Johnny Chung replay?
Between 1994 and 1996, Johnny Chung was a major player in Washington political finance and a star guest of the Bill Clinton White House, as a result of his donating some $366,000 to the Democratic National Committee until it became public knowledge Chung’s funds traced back to military intelligence sources in the Chinese government.
What is suspicious about the Vekselberg connections to the Clintons and Podesta is not only Vekselberg’s generous donations to the Clinton Foundation but also his close ties to Russian military intelligence.
“Skolkovo’s link to the Russian military-intelligence apparatus is not in dispute,” noted the Government Accountability Institute’s report entitled “From Russia With Money: Hillary Clinton, the Russian Reset, and Cronyism,” issued in August this year.
The Government Accountability Institute report continued:
The U.S. Army Foreign Military Studies Program at Fort Leavenworth issued a report in 2013 (written in 2012) about the security implications of Skolkovo. The report declared that the purpose of Skolkovo was to serve as a “vehicle for worldwide technology transfer to Russia in the areas of information technology, biomedicine, energy, satellite and space technology, and nuclear technology.” Of course, technology can have multiple uses—both civilian and military. And the report noted that “the Skolkovo Foundation has, in fact, been involved in defense-related activities since December 2011, when it approved the first weapons-related project—the development of a hypersonic cruise missile engine.
Security expert and former National Security Analyst Agency analyst John R. Schindler picked up the theme in an article published in the Observer on Aug. 25, 2016, entitled “Hillary’s Secret kremlin Connection is Quickly Unraveling.”
“Schweizer shows that John Podesta sat on the board of a Dutch-registered company that took $35 million from the Kremlin [Joule, the same company from which Podesta got the undisclosed stock options],” Schindler wrote. “The company was a transparent Russian front, and how much Podesta was compensated—and for what—is unclear. In addition, Podesta failed to disclose his position on that board to the Federal government, as required by law.”
Schindler next turned his attention to Secretary of State Clinton.
“Even worse is how Clinton, Inc. profited from the Russian ‘reset’ that was one of the big achievements of Hillary’s tenure at Foggy Bottom,” Schindler continued. “Never mind that the reset was a disaster, culminating in Kremlin aggression against Ukraine. Hillary’s signature program at the State Department ended in unambiguous failure. Yet Clinton, Inc. did very well out of the temporary warming of relations with Moscow.”
Peter Schweizer, in his bestselling book entitled “Clinton Cash,” noted that of the 28 U.S., European, and Russian companies that participated in Skolkovo, 17 of them were Clinton Foundation donors or had hired former President Clinton to give speeches, concluding that Skolkovo benefactors ended up giving Clinton, Inc. somewhere between $6.5 million and $23.5 million – a figure that is indeterminate, and could yet be higher, because the Clinton Foundation has yet to reveal all its donors.
Finally, Schindler agreed Skolkovo was merely an extension of Russia’s military intelligence network.
“Therefore, it’s no surprise that Western intelligence considers Skolkovo to be an extension of Russia’s military-industrial complex—and its intelligence services,” Schindler wrote.
“A July 2013 unclassified study by U.S. European Command that surveyed Skolkovo activities suggested, in delicate language, that Russia’s Silicon Valley is ‘an overt alternative to clandestine industrial espionage,’” Schindler noted. “Stealing the West’s hi-tech secrets has long been a Kremlin forte, and Skolkovo is merely the newest effort to purloin our advanced technology.”
Reprinted with permission from Roger Stone.