PRESIDENT BIDEN #46 Profile picture
Mar 6, 2018 37 tweets 13 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
A mysterious, Russian-linked shell company. An ex-Trump aide. A plot to stir up trouble in the Balkans? The plot thickens again. @DavidCornDC… via @MotherJones
1. ALBANIA- 2017: Parliamentary election is underway and incumbent Edi Rama (Socialist Party) is warning of RU influence in Balkans.

Former Trump aide, Nick Muzin goes to work for the opposition - Democratic Party of Albania (DPA) a right-wing faction favoring RU agendas.
2. Muzin employment history includes stints with Tim Scott (R-SC) and then Senator Ted Cruz’s Chief of Staff for his 2016 Pres campaign and on to the Trump transition team.

3.21.17 Muzin registers as FARA, DPA the client, and DPA Chairman and signatory, Lulzim Basha.
3. Muzin sets up meetings (3.17) for Basha w/Ed Royce - CA, Micheal McCaul and Pete Sessions (TX) and of course ...Dana Rohrabacher. Also on agenda- Bannon, Breitbart and Trump.

Make Albania Great Again, the slogan of Basha’s campaign complete w/street re-named after Trump.
4. The ‘Soros and Liberals- (Rama)’ villains are alive and well as reported by Breitbart, even in an Albanian Parlimentary election?
5. April 2017 - DPA hires lobbying firm Barnes Thornburg agreeing to pay 150K for work on the Albanian election in the US.

Incumbent, Rama hires Ballad Partners run by longtime Trump lobbyist (unnamed) along with Rep Robert Wesley(D-FL) for $20K per month.
6. A week before the June 25th election, Basha comes back to US for more help from GOP, attending campaign fundraiser for Gov Scott Walker (R-WI).

Basha has a picture taken with Trump and reports ‘extraordinary meeting’ to Albanian press, pushed by DPA. Was there a meeting?
7. Trump/Munson magic doesn’t work for DPA, and Rama’s Socialist party wins majority in Albanian Parliment. Fail. What does Muzin do next?
8. He begins work for the government of Qatar for $50K a month.

As Gates and Manafort get clipped by Mueller for their FARA registrations (or lack thereof), Trump Admin style -Munzin asks to amend his 8 months after he began work for Qatar.

But the Albania story isn’t over.
9. Turns out, in Munzin’s amended filing - he notes banking $675 from DPK (for 3 months) $500K of which was paid days before Basha rushes back to US for last minute press op w/Trump for Albanian press. (Abramoff Style)
10. There’s more. Another payment was made on March 24th, 2017 by Biniatta Trade for his work on behalf of the DPA for $150K.

Biniatta is *based in Edinburgh? That’s weird.
11. This late filing includes an unsigned agreement that states with specificity that the contract was ‘not on behalf of any political party or government’ (which means it was likely exactly that) But who?

Agmt was to pay Muzin $150K in 3 installments and a 1X payment of $500K.
12. Munzin makes a mistake on his original FARA filing (Kushner Style) but later concludes he should register FARA for Biniatta and does so on May 8th 2017 , so he could do ‘future work for Biniatta’. Who is Biniatta!
13. So wait.

The DPA says that they have no relationship with Biniatta, and only paid Munzin $25K. So the net amount of the original DPA agreement, $50K is so far unaccounted for and the $500K was paid to Munzin by the mysterious entity, Biniatta.
14. Little public info is available about Biniatta, but someone went to the trouble of creating crappy websites to appear as if it conducts a legitimate business.

At this point you’ve guessed the Scottish based shell company for whom Munzin is a foreign agent, has Russian ties.
15. Biniatta shares the address with 727 other companies. Tight. The phone number on Biniatta Trade site does not work, but is linked to other sites for Ukrainian brides for sale, and answered by a Russian individual.

Biniatta has no reply upon further inquiry.
16. WHOIS turns up the site registrant, a Ukrainian, Alexa Nikitin, whose email appears that of a Dubian(?) company with remarkably the same site as Biniatta.

All told:
Global Delta Trade
Blackshire United
Contoform LP
and West Breton Impex LP

All have similar sites.
17. While site developer cut some corners, Muzin still purports to believe that Biniatta was a private company of DPA supporters.

He declines to explain how he was first introduced to Biniatta though.
18. British filings of Biniatta, shows it is a partnership between Asverro Corp and Liminez Commerce, both formed in Belize and both Corporate Officers of British companies controlled by Russian nationals.
19. One of the Belizean companies that set up Biniatta Trade is KF Global Management, created in 2014 and reporting a Seychelles address.

In 2017 KFG filed documents w/British registry naming a RU national, Konstantinos Ferulev as having primary control over firm.
20. Another corporate UK filing showed the address for KFG as a Moscow address on the 7th floor, but upon investigation, the reported building only had 6 floors.
21. The 2nd entity w/Officers that set up Biniatta Trade is Babyonica. UK filings show, Evgeny Sheremetyev, a Russian w/Moscow address has 75% control.

When contacted a Russian decides mid-inquiry that he is not the Canada customer support line for Babyonica, but a wrong #.
21. Babyonica representative is cagey and asks reporter to forward their inquiry to an old email domain used by the Soviet Union, and known to be a haven for cyber-crime.
22. Shremetyev, Babyonica’s controlling shareholder posts his ability to make US business deals on Instagram. Shortly after reporters make additional inquiries, Babyonica files in UK to have the entity dissolved.
23. Recap (so far) of money laundering shell scheme entities of Russians to pay a top Republican operative to work on behalf of the Democratic Party of Albania.
24. Another partnership formed by Asverro and Liminez in 2016, Talanta Business LP, reports that as of mid-June 2017- 75% of its assets and voting rights were controlled by an American living in San Francisco, Leryam Dvorkin.
25. Although something is amiss, as Dvorkin does not seem the shell company type, even though social accounts link him to work on Gazprom, the large natural gas company, partly owned by the RU government. The contacts suggest identity theft as the reason their name is linked.
26. Asverro and Liminez also become a partner of Glasgow based, AFG International LP , w/voting rights held by RU national, Iurii Ivanov of St. Petersburg.

Info about these shell companies limited, but David Corn points out, they could be thread b/t RU, GOP operative, and DAP.
27. History on RU interests in Albania inclu, anti-EU, anti-NATO sentiments and claims by Moscow, weeks before Muzin was hired, that Rama was conspiring to install a pro-Albanian gov in Macedonia and expand influence in Reg.

Didn’t the #13Russians Indictment mention Macedonia?
28. Various persons with expertise report that effort by RU to pursue their Euro-Atlantic agenda are in line with potential interference in Albanian elections as they sought non-traditional allies to further their regional agenda.
29. It is possible that Russia used the US political system and Washington swamp to intervene in Albania, although Muzin spokesperson says no Russian connections ‘came up’ during his work for DPA. Not a particularly strong statement.
30. Another curiosity, on the amended FARA filings by Muzin, he had paid Joseph Allaham $52K the previous April. Allaham subsequently filed FARA.
31. Allaham who resides upper east side NYC, has no lobbying experience, had built an empire of high-end kosher restaurants that had collapsed in recent years amid legal disputes - started a Consultancy firm which he describes as...wait for it.....
32. ‘A diversified real estate consultancy firm’. Coincidence? Maybe.

He also boasts of brokering meetings with Assad, and Jewish organization Presidents.

No experience in the Balkans, yet $52K paid by Muzin for work on Albanian elections.
33. Allaham won’t say what he did for Muzin, what applicable experience he has, and has never been to Albania.

But the conversation ends when Biniatta is mentioned.
34. Two other firms/persons paid by Muzin for work on the Albanian elections were:

-Brandon Wheeler(son of Jack Wheeler) ED - Freedom Research Foundation $27.5K

-Baron Public Affairs $20K

Neither was forthcoming with work specifications for which they were paid by Muzin.
35/END a troubling pattern of Russian interference in foreign governments political landscapes and US persons/and politicians assisting them. This time, Albanian DA and a US Republican operative and former Trump aide, Muzin.

This story needs to get Maddow’d.

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