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Dmitry Rybolovlev is one of a very finite set of Russian or Ukranian oligarchs whose net worth is estimated to exceed 10 billion dollars. A cardiologist by training, Ryoblovev made his money through fertilizer and has been referred to in the Russian media as the “fertilizer king”. having formerly owned two large companies that produced potash, Uralkali and Silvinit,

He is of interest in relation to President Donald J. Trump primarily for a real estate deal in Palm Springs which occurred in 2008 when Rybolovlev purchased a property from Trump for an astounding 100 million dollars. The tale represents yet one more instance of questionable interactions with Russian officials and businessmen and has raised a series of questions that have gone unanswered.

Trump Purchased Maison de l’Amitie for 41 Million in 2005

Healthcare tycoon Abraham Gosman, the previous owner of the property, had become mired in financial difficulties which ultimately resulted in tax fraud convictions for both himself and his wife. The property went on the market and was purchased by Donald Trump in 2005 for 41.35 million dollars. The 62,000 square foot mansion boasted many amenities and luxuries, including a 100 foot swimming pool. According to multiple sources, Trump had never intended on living at the property but merely sought to flip the property at a profit.

In a story in the Miami Herald gossip columnist Jose Lambiet one of a very few reporters who had been invited by Trump to help drum up publicity when he put the property back on the market in 2006, remarked that, “it was just terriblelooking, really gaudy.” Lambiet, like many others familiar with properties of the wealthy in Palm Springs, balked at the purportedly renovated property, balked at the 125 million dollar asking price. According to Lambiet, the renovation was dubious, going on to note,

““I’d been in the house before, at one of Gosman’s charity parties, and Trump had hardly changed anything, just put on a couple of coats of paint,” Lambiet said. “Even that — well, he told us the fixtures in one of the bathrooms were gold, but as he walked away, I scratched a faucet with my fingernails and it was just gold-covered paint.”

Dmitry Rybolovlev

Dmitry Rybolovlev

On July 15, 2008 after a bit of back-and-forth, Rybolovlev purchased the property for the aforementioned price of 100 million. Rybolovlev never lived on the property and it was subsequently demolished and nothing whatsoever remains on the grounds of the compound.

So, What Actually Took Place with the Sale of the Palms Springs Property?

Trump’s financial travails have become legendary and they are, at the very least, a recurrent theme. In 2008 then real-estate mogul Trump filed a law-suit asserting that he should not be required to pay a payment of 40 million dollars to Deutsche Bank due at the time. Unable to obtain financing for his Trump International Hotel and Tower in Chicago from U.S. financial institutions, Trump had obtained 640 million in construction loans from a syndicate headed up by Deutsche Bank in 2005. The law-suit argued that he should not have to make his 40 million dollar payment and that in fact the syndicate should have to pay him 3 million. According to Trump pushing him to repay the installment due defamed his reputation and that the then economic downturn somehow absolved him of his financial responsibilities.

In 2011, ABC News reported that Trump and affiliates had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protections on four separate occasions; 1991, 1992, 2004 and 2009. With the time-frame at hand in mind, ABC went on to note,

“When the economy turned downward in 2008, so too did Trump’s real estate holdings. Trump Entertainment and his affiliated companies had $2.06 billion in assets and was $1.74 billion in debt. In December 2008 his company missed a $53.1 million bond interest payment, propelling Trump Entertainment Resorts into bankruptcy court and plunging its stock price from $4 per share to a mere 23 cents.”

At the time of the Palm Springs Real Estate deal Trump was, yet again, on the financial ropes  An extra 50 million from a dubious Palm Strings real estate deal with a Russian Oligarch was not an unwelcome cash infusion. What really happened?

Meeting with Rybolovlev in North Carolina in November, 2016

Just days before the election on November 9, 2016  On November 3, 2016 Rybolovlev’s jet landed in Concord, North Carolina and departed from Charlotte three hours later. At the same time, then GOP Presidential candidate Donald Trump was also in Concord. The Daily Kos was one of the few media outlets to report on this rather curious confluence of paths, particularly in light of subsequent events. Also present in Concord at the time were both Carter Page and Paul Manafort.

As you will recall, Paul Manafort had run Trump’s Presidential campaign for five months before being forced to step aside due to his undisclosed involvements with Russian and Ukranian agents. Carter Page, according to multiple sources, also served as a conduit between Russian business, intelligence and governmental assets and later lied about having met with any of them. Similarly, then Senator Jeff Sessions also met with the Russian Ambassador and other officials and then lied before a Senate Committee about said meetings.

Did Donald Trump, facing yet another slate of financial failures of epic scale during the period 2005-2008 become enmeshed in clandestine financial dealings with Russian agents? Was the real estate deal with Rybolovlev really a pay off by Russia made as part of our now President’s possible compromising by Putin and his minions? No one gives away 50 million for nothing.

This real estate deal is merely one of many in the dark dossier of our President. Of course he could allay fears by releasing his tax returns as he promised on the campaign trail, but that seems, at best, a chimerical hope at this stage. If there’s nothing to any of this “Russia stuff’ then why all the lying, obfuscation and refusal to be forthcoming? Many believe that this is exactly what it seems to be: Our President has been compromised along the way and we had better figure it out very quickly before he destroys what’s left of our Republic.