It appears that there was a Trump Tower wiretap by the Federal Bureau of Investigation during President Obama’s presidency. Yet, unlike President Trump’s recent claims that there was a wiretap listening in on him during the election, instead, the FBI wiretapped Trump Tower in order to capture a notorious Russian mob boss who remains a fugitive on the loose.
According to a report by Good Morning America, the FBI received court-approved permission to wiretap Trump Tower. The organization spent two years wiretapping a Russian organized crime, money-laundering, and gambling ring. According to the ABC show, this notorious crime ring operated out of 63A at Trump Tower, just three floors below the Trump penthouse, where Donald Trump and his family resided.
This operation took place for over a two-year period, resulting in over 30 major arrests. Yet, there remains a fugitive at large: Alimzhan Tokhtakhounov. According to a 3-year-old interview with ABC News, Mike Gaeta, the FBI agent who led the investigation, claims that Tokhtakhounov is a big deal.
“He is a major player.”
Known as the “Little Taiwanese,” Tokhtakhounov has been involved in a lot of illegal activities, including poker, Hollywood stars, and sports. He allegedly rigged a 2002 Olympic ice skating competition, which, according to Mother Jones, he was indicted of in the United States. Tokhtakhounov has been identified by U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, who indicted him, as a “vory v zakone or a vor,” the Russian term for the highest level of Russian crime bosses. He ran a “high-stakes illegal gambling ring” right out of the exclusive Trump Tower residence.
How did he make it happen? His “substantial influence in the criminal underworld” sustained this venture at the Trump Tower, and he was paid handsomely for it. According to the indictment, he really cashed in, earning $10 million in just a couple of months. In return, he kept things in order by occasionally making “explicit threats of violence and economic harm” if any “disputes” ever arose.
Plain-speaking FBI agent Gaeta is clear that Tokhtakhounov is well known in both the business and criminal worlds.
“He is prominent, he has extremely good connections in the business world as well as the criminal world, overseas, in Russia, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, other countries.”
One of those Russians arrested was Vadim Trincher. According to former FBI official Rich Frankel, who is now an ABC consultant, Trincher’s “base of operations was at the Trump Tower.” At Trump Tower, the FBI recorded him threatening a gambler who could not pay off his $50,000 gambling debt and told him that if he didn’t come up with the money, “he should be careful, lest he be tortured and lest he wind up underground.” It should be noted that Trincher has served his time and will soon be released from prison.
Many times over, President Trump has said that he has not met Putin, but he certainly tweeted that he wished for an introduction and expressed hopes that Vlad would become his new BFF, as he stated in a June 2013 tweet.
“Do you think Putin will be going to The Miss Universe Pageant in November in Moscow–if so, will he become my new best friend?”
Putin never attended the Moscow Miss Universe Pageant. Instead, the American fugitive Alimzhan Tokhtakhounov attended the event. While there is no indication whether Trump ever met Tokhtakhounov, the Russian crime boss did sit in the VIP section near Trump.
What are your thoughts about the Trump Tower being wiretapped by the FBI during the Obama era? What are your thoughts about Russian mob boss and fugitive Alimzhan Tokhtakhounov? Share your thoughts below.
[Featured Image by Drew Angerer/Getty Images]