Sunday, March 25, 2018

Goodfellas Part IV: Lavender Mafia Edition

Welcome to the fourth installment in a series that began as an examination of the ties between President Donald J. Trump and organized crime. This series grew out of a prior blog I had published in October of 2017 that considered his brief tenure as CEO of the infamous gaming interest known as Resorts International.

As was noted there, Resorts was a major powerhouse during its heyday of the early 1970s. Its famed casino on Paradise Island in the Bahamas frequently attracted such Overworld figures as President Richard M. Nixon and reclusive billionaire Howard Hughes during this era. But in addition to Hughes, guests also included rogue financier Robert Vesco and Vatican bank head Paul Marcinkus (noted before here), who would end up knee deep in his own financial scandals by the early 1980s.

But in addition to the rogue financiers, there was also shareholders such as William Mellon Hitchcock, who at one time was the banker for the Brotherhood of Eternal Love, the largest LSD smuggling network in the world. Hitchcock and other shareholders had their accounts managed by the Castle Bank & Trust, an infamous CIA-linked institution that has long been used to launder the proceeds from drug and arms sells. And the casino itself was heavily staffed by various Mafioso, many linked to Meyer Lansky.

Probably the most curious aspect of Resorts, however, was its ownership of a private intelligence agency known as Intertel. Staffed extensively by many "former" US intelligence assets, Intertel first gained notoriety in 1970 when it "rescued" Howard Hughes from his Las Vegas residence. Hughes was rarely seen in the flesh again after this event and there has been much speculation for years that Intertel had kidnapped Hughes with an eye towards taking over his vast business empire.

Howard Hughes
Intertel was still a part of Resorts when Trump became CEO in 1986. His control of Resorts was brief, with the Orange One selling his share to Merv Griffin in exchange for the Taj Mahal in 1988. Still, Trump would come into contact with some major figures in both the organized crime and intelligence communities during his tenure as CEO of the gaming interest.

But, as we saw in part one of this series, Trump was already well acquainted with the Syndicate by this time. When of his key early backers was a reputed member of the Genovese crime family known as Edward "Biff" Halloran. As was noted in the second installment of this series, Halloran was a former business partner of Bradley Bryant, who by the late 1970s was operating a vast drug and arms trafficking network known as "the Company." Halloran played a key role in getting the Company off the ground during the late 1970s when had also begun to work with Trump.

Both Bryant and his business partner, Andrew "Drew" Thornton, were both military veterans and the Company recruited heavily from such ranks to staff their operation. They leaned heavily on Soldier of Fortune magazine for personnel. The magazine's founder, Robert K. Brown, had very extensive ties to the CIA. In general, it was widely believed by law enforcement personnel that investigated the Company that it had some type of relationship with the CIA.

As was noted in part three, Halloran was not Trump's only tie to the Company. Beginning in the mid-1970s, Trump began making frequent pilgrimages to Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, which was being used extensively by the Company to launder drug money at the time. By the early 1980s he had become a regular on the Kentucky Derby set, which featured many Kentucky politicians and business people in league with the Company. One of them was Governor John Y. Brown, who would go on to move into Trump Tower in 1984 after he lost his reelection bid, thanks in no small part to allegations concerning his ties to the Company. Around this time Trump Tower become a mecca for laundering dirty money, as was noted in part one, not unlike how Caesars Palace had been used in the prior decade. As was noted in part three, John Y. was believed to be a hidden owner of Caesars during this era before moving on to Trump Tower in the 1980s.

As I wrapped up the installment, I began to consider the background of the man who likely initiated Trump into these circles, namely his longtime attorney and political mentor Roy Cohn. Cohn was a longtime darling of the far right --he had served as Joseph McCarthy's lead council during his communist witch hunts in the 1950s. During this time he also developed an intense hatred for the Kennedy family.

By the early 1960s Cohn was close to the mob and reportedly a member of Permindex, an organization long linked to the JFK assassination. Not long afterwards he would also become the New York City attorney for Greek shipping magnet Aristotle Onassis, who is alleged to have put up the money for RFK's assassination.

Big Ed and the Gray Ghost

While Cohn was first introduced the conspiratorial lexicon around 1970 thanks to the references to him in the controversial "Torbitt document," it wasn't until the early 1990s that rumors began to emerge concerning the incredible lengths to which his relationship with the US intelligence community went. Amusingly, these allegations were started by a former CIA officer who had participated in the highly controversial Phoenix Program.

I am of course referring to former Nebraska state senator John DeCamp, who claimed:
"... According to the former head of the vice squad for one of America's biggest cities, 'Cohn's job was to run the little boys. Say you had an admiral, a general, a congressman, who did not want to go along with the program. Cohn's job was to set them up, then they would go along. Cohn told me that himself.' "
(The Frankln Cover-Up, John DeCamp, pg. 179)
As I've noted over the years, I'm not a huge fan of DeCamp's and corroboration for his claims in this regard is mixed at best. DeCamp also alleges that one of Cohn's key collaborators in this work was infamous DC lobbyist and public relations guru Robert Keith Gray. To establish Gray's bonafides as a honey trap specialist for the CIA, DeCamp repeats claims initially made by the great Jim Hougan that disgraced CIA veteran Edwin Wilson (addressed before here) was running sexual blackmail operations out of a certain D.C.-based club Gray was an early president and frequent guest of beginning in the late 1960s. Here is the relevant passage from Hougan's classic Secret Agenda, which DeCamp also quotes at length:
"According to fugitive ex-CIA officer Frank Terpil, CIA-directed sexual blackmailing operations were intensive in Washington about the time of the Watergate scandal. One of those operations, Terpil claims, was run by his former partner, Ed Wilson. Wilson's base of operations for arranging trysts for the politically powerful was, Terpil says, Korean agent Tong Sun Park's George Town Club..."
(Secret Agenda, Jim Hougan, pg. 120)
"Big" Ed Wilson
The problem with these allegations is that Terpil is, as far as this researcher can determine, the only individual to have ever made these claims. Wilson himself denied them, as have various other former US intelligence officers who have addressed Wilson's misadventures. Wilson did however know Gray, and used the lobbyist as a director for the board of a front company Wilson had set up for the US intelligence community known as Consultants International. But while the two men eventually became partners of a sort, Wilson alleges that he originally approached Gray on behalf of the CIA to determine what exactly was going on at the George Town Club.
"Wilson's immediate motive for meeting Gray was to discover the relationship between Gray and a young Korean named Tongsun Park who first came to the United States in 1956 to attend Georgetown University. Park subsequently dropped out of college, but for a college drop-out he was rubbing elbows with some of the biggest names in Washington society, thanks largely to introductions from Gray. Park came from a family with long ties to Korean intelligence, and American oil companies that did business in Korea.
"By 1965 the CIA became interested in young Park because, with Gray's help, he had formed a new, exclusive social club named The George Town Club after its location. Park had been working on organizing the club for years. He was loading his new social club with founders, members, and management with ties to U.S. intelligence. Park put up the money and, with introductions from Gray and others, recruited founders for the club like the late Marine General Graves B. Erskine, who had an active intelligence career. Anna Chennault, the powerful advocate in America for Nationalist China, became a force in the club. Others followed, and most, like Gray, had the same conservative political outlook, connections to the intelligence world, or 'congressional overtones.' "
(The Power House, Susan B. Trento, pgs. 97-98)
Tongsun Park
Tongsun Park was later revealed to be an agent for the Korean Central Intelligence Agency (KCIA) while Anna Chennault was the longtime figure head of the powerful "China Lobby," the US front for the opium-sponsored regime of Chiang Kai-shek in Taiwan. The KCIA and the China Lobby were key players in establishing the Asian Peoples' Anti-Communist League (APACL), which eventually became a part of the broader World Anti-Communist League (WACL), which was addressed at length here. The WACL was more or less the visible face of the Fascist International for many decades. Compromised of various drug and arms traffickers, dictators and the inevitable "former" Nazi war criminals and US intelligence officers, the WACL became a powerful private intelligence network with an international reach by the 1970s.

It is interesting to note than many of the individuals and organizations linked to the Company in the second installment of this series such as Robert K. Brown, Mitchell WerBell III and the Medellin Cartel, had extensive ties to the WACL as well. The links between the Medellin Cartel and the WACL, noted before here, are especially interesting and relevant to the series, as shall be revealed in a future installment. But moving along.

The George Town Club appears then to have been a front for this network, especially the APACL associates and their American backers. This researcher tends to believe Wilson's claims that he was dispatched by the CIA to keep tabs on what was going on at the George Town Club as factions of the US intelligence community and Overworld were becoming quite disillusioned with the China Lobby at the time.

Let us now return to DeCamp's allegations, which essentially were that Robert Keith Gray was involved in sexual blackmail operations and that he was a protege of Roy Cohn's. As to the former, there are some indications that Gray may have had dealings in a certain honey trap operation by the 1980s (more on that in a moment), but evidence for such things happening at the George Town Club is quite scarce. While there can be little doubt that the club was used to influence American politicians, as far as this researcher can tell, this was accomplished through good old fashioned bribes, not trysts.

The George Town Club
The closet thing I could find to a honey trap involved another KCIA agent known as Suzi Thompson. Thompson and the activities of the George Town Club came to light in the late 1970s with the scandal often referred to as Koreagate in which several KCIA assets were investigated by Congress for their influence pedaling. Tongsun Park's activities at George Town were exposed during this process. It also came to light that fellow KCIA asset Suzi Thompson was sleeping with a Democratic member of the House of Representatives during this time, but it does not appear that Thompson was especially active in the George Town Club. She was a Congressional staffer and the affair appears to have developed out of this connection and not George Town.

Several years after the George Town/Koreagate scandal had subsided, Gray was implicated in a D.C.-based prostitution ring with deep implications.
"In June 1982, the FBI began investigating allegations made by a male congressional page (a high school student working for the Congress, usually as a messenger) that he had been solicited by a congressman, and that several of his fellow pages had told him about sexual activities with members of Congress. A couple weeks later, on July 1, Congressman Louis Stokes, the chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Standards of Official Conduct, known as the Ethics Committee, announced that the Committee was joining the FBI and local law enforcement in their investigations. Stokes said the Ethics Committee would widen the scope of the investigation to include a range of alleged irregularities on Capitol Hill including sexual relations between pages and congressmen and charges that a cocaine and marijuana ring operated in Congress and used pages and congressional employees as couriers... 
"Gray's name first surfaced as the result of an anonymous tip to the House Ethics Committee accusing Gray of using drugs and sexual activity to lobby Congressman..."
(The Power House, Susan Trento, pg. 176)
Gray was accused of being in league with a D.C.-based male prostitution ring being run by a former Justice Department official then working as a consultant to Congress and a photographer who ran a local photoshop. Nothing ultimately came of these allegations, though certainly the investigation was not helped by the fact that several of the private detectives being used by Congress were also working for Gray at the same time. But moving along.

Robert Keith Gray
As to Gray's relationship with Roy Cohn, this is also rather ambiguous. Extensive Google sleuthing turned up no ties between the two men except for DeCamp's claims. It was only after I picked up a copy of The Power House, Susan Trento's excellent biography of Gray, that I determined that the two men did know one another and had some type of relationship, though it is unknown as to how close they actually were.

Certainly it is tempting to speculate that their relationship was much closer than what is publicly known. Both men first rose to prominence in D.C. during the 1950s, though Cohn's time there was winding down by 1956 when Gray first made the scene. Both men traveled in the same circles and appear to have been especially close to a certain CIA director whom shall be addressed in a moment. And both men were gay Republicans in era when such things were kept deep in the closet. But when all is said and done, there does not appear to be any definitive evidence concerning the extent of their relationship, only that they traveled in the same social circles and knew one another. It is interesting to note, however, that Tom Fortuin, Gray's attorney during the prostitution ring allegations, hailed from New York City and was apparently a good friend of Cohn's.

Before leaving this topic there are two interesting points worth making. One was the suspected ties between the Company and the arms smuggling operation of Ed Wilson in Libya.
"Defense and Treasury Department investigators intensified their probe of the China Lake thefts, searching for links to ex-spies Wilson and Terpil. Like the Bryants, Wilson and Terpil had recruited China Lake employees to build bombs destined for Libya, and had sponsored repeated thefts from China Lake. Larry Barcella, assistant U.S. attorney in Washington, D.C., was on the brink of seeking a federal indictment for Wilson and Terpil for their role in supplying weapons and terrorist training to Qaddafi. Interviewed by ATF agents about the matter, Barcella said he had no evidence a connection existed between the Wilson/Terpil network and Bradley Bryant. Although there was a great deal of suspicion that some of the items Bradley Bryant had in his possession in Philadelphia were bound for Libya, coupled with the insistence by the Philadelphia police that Terpil had visited Bryant at the Sheraton prior to Bryant's arrest, Barcella was unable to prove that a relationship existed."
(The Bluegrass Conspiracy, Sally Denton, pg. 129)
Denton indicates, however, that many law enforcement personnel believed that a connection existed. Certainly there were more than a few similarities between the operations being overseen by Wilson, especially there emphasis on gunrunning and the use of "former" US military personnel to assist in these activities. For more information on the Company's use of mercenaries and their thefts from China Lake, check the second installment.

The other point worth mentioning is a certain woman who played a crucial role in Gray's rise to prominence in D.C. during the 1950s: socialite and heiress Marjorie Merriweather Post. Post inherited the General Foods corporation from her father at age 27 and by the early twentieth century was reportedly the richest woman in the United States. Gray was a regular attendee at her D.C.-based parties in the 1950s and she seems to have played a key role in introducing him to a clique of powerful, rightward leaning women such as Anna Chennault and Clare Booth Luce who would remain key backer of Gray's for decades.

the legendary Mrs. Post
By the late 1960s Post had reportedly become a regular at the George Town Club.
"... Wilson recalled that Gray and Park entertained most of Washington society at The George Town Club, including the late Marjorie Merriweather Post. Gray would arrange to invite senators and congressmen down to Mara Largo, her vast Palm Beach mansion. Ed Wilson said he sometimes went on these trips. 'Mrs. Post used to come in quite a bit because Gray was very close to Mrs. Post. When she went down to Florida to her big mansion down there, he [Gray] used to fly senators and stuff down there and they had contact. I don't think it was business, just social. I used to see her all the time down there.' "
(The Power House, Susan Trento, pg. 101)
Yes dear reader, the Mar-a-Lago mentioned above is the same Florida mansion that the Orange One is presently using as the White House South. By the time Trump purchased it in 1985, Post had been dead since 1973. At the time of Post's death, the mansion had been willed to the United States Department of the Interior as a national landmark and a possible presidential retreat.

But throughout the 1970s Congressman Paul G. Rogers urged that the estate should be returned to the Post Foundation, a trust Post had established to manage her estate. Curiously, Rogers was the brother of Doyle Rogers, Post's longtime attorney who was tasked with managing her estate via the Post Foundation. When Mar-a-Lago was returned to Post Foundation in 1980, Doyle became the one tasked with selling the mansion.

Doyle eventually agreed to sell Mar-a-Lago to Trump in 1985, after the Orange One had been making bids on it since 1983. Reportedly a more lucrative offer was on the table from an interest based out of Houston at the time, but Doyle Rogers opted to sell the propriety to Trump anyway. Shortly thereafter he became Trump's Palm Beach attorney and frequented represented the Orange against complaints emanating from his use of Mar-a-Lago.

Post appears to have been very active in the same ring wing circles as Gray and Roy Cohn, and as such, it is most interest that Trump was the one to end up with Mar-a-Lago and is now using it as a presidential retreat, as Mrs. Post had originally envisioned. Did some one in the same circles that Gray, Cohn and Post traveled in intercede on Trump's behalf to close the deal in his favor while a better offer was on the table? Gray would certainly be an obvious candidate, though I've been unable to turn up any relationship with the famed lobbyist and Trump nor can I determine if Cohn had some type of relationship with the Post family. But nonetheless, this whole circle is a little to incestuous to be mere chance. But moving along.

Bill and the Boys

Can we then dismiss DeCamp's claims that Cohn was some type of sexual blackmail specialist out of hand? It is tempting, considering how problematic some of his allegations are concerning Robert Keith Gray, but as I kept digging into Cohn's activities, I turned up far more compelling evidence of such things. One of the most curious omissions from DeCamp's work is the known relationship between Roy Cohn and another notorious D.C.-based lobbyist named Craig Spence.

Spence originally began his professional career as a journalist, serving as ABC's Vietnam correspondent during the war's height in the late 1970s. He then left ABC and Vietnam in 1970 and relocated to Japan. There he developed contacts with the aristocratic Shiina family, who were very prominent in the Japanese Liberal Democratic Party, which has almost exclusively ruled Japan since the end of World War II. As was noted before here, the Liberal Democratic Party was very close to both the Yakuza and the old Asian People's Anti-Communist League clique noted above.

Spence used his ties with the Shiina family to establish himself as a powerful Republican lobbyist in the D.C. area by the early 1980s. It was the Shiina family that provided Spence with the money he used to procure his home in D.C.'s Kalorama area, which reportedly was used to entrap various VIPs in the city. Spence ran up a nearly $20,000-a month tab with a local homosexual escort service to provide entertainment at his famed parties there in addition to providing ample amounts of cocaine. More than a few guests believed that the drug-fueled sexual escapades were being recorded by an elaborate surveillance system Spence had throughout the house.
"... the Washington Times expanded considerable amounts of ink fleshing out Spence's blackmail enterprise: A Washington Times article from June 1989, 'Power Broker Served Drugs, Sex at Parties Bugged for Blackmail,' revealed the strange goings-on at Spence's DC home: 'Several former associate said his house on Wyoming Avenue was bugged and had a secret two-way mirror, and that he attempted to ensnare visitors into compromising sexual encounters that he could then uses leverage.'
"According to interviews conducted by Washington Times reporters, Spence had an eight-foot-long, two-way mirror overlooking his library they gave him a prime vantage point for 'spying on guests.' Bugs were also scattered throughout various nooks and crannies within his house... 
"A former Reagan administration official who worked at the US Information Agency attended soirees at Spence's home, and he disclosed to Washington Times reporters that he personally observed a cornucopia of recording and taping equipment. 'It was my clear impression that the house was bugged,' he said. An Air Force sergeant whom Spence employed as a bodyguard corroborated accounts of blackmail: 'The house was definitely bugged. I can't say what he was doing with the information. I don't know that. But he was recording whatever occurred there.' "
(The Franklin Scandal, Nick Bryant, pgs. 301-302)
Craig J. Spence
Later, it was alleged that Spence had even provided midnight guided tours of the White House for several of the escorts in his employment. Unsurprisingly, Spence claimed ties to the CIA and darkly hinted at Agency approval for what appears to have been a major blackmail operation.

Spence has also been fingered as an associate of former Nebraska state representative Larry E. King by numerous eyewitnesses. King was the head of the now defunct Franklin Community Federal Credit Union in Omaha, Nebraska. Franklin collapsed in 1988 as part of the unfolding savings and loan crisis of the late 1980s. As investigators began to take a look at King and Franklin, allegations began to emerge that King was a leading figure in a nationwide pedophile ring that recruited children from the Omaha area. Several of these kids would go on to allege encounters with Spence via King.

Henry Vinson, the so-called "D.C. Madam" who provided many of the male escorts for Spence's parties, also alleged to have seen King and Spence together and to have overheard them speaking of a pedophile ring they were both involved in. He also alleged that Spence repeatedly pushed him to procure underage boys for his parties, which Vinson refused to do.

The allegations concerning King, often referred to as the "Franklin scandal," remain highly controversial. Charges against King involving pedophilia were thrown out years ago, but several of his reputed underage prostitutes managed to successfully sue King in the late 1990s and numerous witnesses have come forward over the years to corroborate the claims against him. As such, many astute researchers consider Franklin to be a cover-up of epic proportions. And at the heart of it was Spence, who appears to have been the key figure for this ring in Washington D.C.

Larry E. King
And it would seem that Spence was close to Roy Cohn as well.
"... Spence's soirees also attracted high-ranking military and intelligence officials. In fact, CIA Director William Casey seemed to be particularly fond of Spence and his high-flying get-togethers. Spence once threw a glitzy birthday bash for his friend and right-wing closet homosexual Roy Cohn, and his friend William Casey was one of the guests of honor. Larry King, as you will recall, discussed his friendship with William Casey in an article in Omaha's Metropolitan."
(The Franklin Scandal, Nick Bryant, pg. 296) 
Thus, Cohn was not only friendly with Spence, but the infamous Bill Casey would attend a birthday bash for Cohn as a guest of honor. As was noted in the prior installment, Cohn was instrumental in setting up media mogul Rupert Murdoch as a propagandist for the CIA during the Reagan years. Casey was the CIA director during this time and personally participated in the talks to sponsor Murdoch, along with US Information Agency director Charles Wick, a friend of Gray's. It is likely Cohn used his relationship with Casey to make these arrangements.

Casey is surely one of the most controversial CIA directors of all time, playing a key role in Iran-Contra. But beyond that, Casey appears to have been a leading figure in both the Fascist International and pedophile rings linked to it, as was noted before here.

William Casey
Casey was also very close to Gray and had been a member of the George Town Club since at least the early 1970s, when his relationship with Gray appears to have begun. According to DeCamp, Gray was also very close to Omaha World-Herald publisher Harold Andersen, reportedly a key figure in the Franklin pedophile ring, but I have been unable to confirm any of this. Still Gray, who hailed from Nebraska, took frequent trips back to the state throughout his adult life, nominally to keep in touch with his family. These trips continued throughout the Franklin era.

But let us return to Cohn. It would appear that the man potentially had ties to two individuals, fellow Republican homosexuals, who were engaged in honey trapping. In the case of Craig Spence, there can be little doubt that he was involved in some type of sexual blackmail. The evidence is far more circumstantial for Gray, but allegations have dogged him for years and he was apparently quite notorious among D.C. vice officers.

There are also indications that Spence and Gray were involved in the long alleged Franklin pedophile ring managed by Larry King. The evidence for Spence is far more compelling. In point of fact, there isn't especially credible evidence linking Gray to it other than his connections and his frequent trips to Nebraska. Still, both men were close to Bill Casey, who appears to be plugged into a broader international pedophile network. And Cohn had relationships with all three men, being especially close to Casey and Spence and potentially providing Gray with an attorney when he was implicated in a vice ring.

Roy Cohn
Before wrapping up, it is worth mentioning again Cohn's alleged membership in Permindex, the notorious trade organization originally headquartered in Basel, Switzerland that has long been linked to the Kennedy assassination. Its linkage to the Kennedy assassination in turn is largely based upon the membership of New Orleans businessman and alleged CIA asset Clay Shaw had in the organization. Shaw was famously indicted by New Orleans attorney Jim Garrison for his role in the Kennedy assassination during the late 1960s.

Shaw, like Cohn, Gray and Spence, was a Republican closet homosexual. Over the course of Garrison's investigation, Shaw was repeatedly linked to the curious figure of David Ferrie. Ferrie worked with Lee Harvey Oswald out of the office of New Orleans private detective Guy Banister during the summer of 1963. Both Banister and Ferrie were linked to a host of far right wing organizations (as was noted before here) many of them tied to the same anti-Castro network I linked the Company to in the second installment of this series.

But beyond that, Ferrie was also linked extensively to the Syndicate and, more ominously, an interstate prostitute ring that was essentially a gloried form of sexual slavery (noted before here). Most disturbing of all, however, is the fact that Ferrie was an arch pedophile who may have molested dozens of kids in the New Orleans area. As noted before here, there are some indications that Shaw and Ferrie were both involved in an especially sadistic pedophile ring in New Orleans. What's more, Shaw had ties to the same international network that Casey was a part of, as I noted before here.

Clay Shaw
Another alleged member of Permindex was Licio Gelli, the notorious Grand Master of Italy's Propaganda Due (P2) Masonic Lodge (noted before here). P2, which was linked to a host of outrageous in Italy, including various assassinations and terrorism, has been repeatedly described as a state within a state. Compromised largely of high ranking figures in the Vatican and the Italian political and business communities (to say nothing of the military and intelligence agencies), P2 served as something of a shadow government for Italy throughout the 1970s and early 1980s. This blog has considered the lodge in depth before here.

P2 and Gelli derived much of their power from a collection of files Gelli kept with comprising material on numerous figures that he used for blackmail purposes. Whether or not these files contained sexual material is unknown, but would hardly be surprising. The respective operations of Cohn, Shaw and Gelli all seem to follow a similar modus operandi.

And be assured, Spence and Gray were hardly the extent of Cohn's ties to sexual blackmail. In fact, one of his proteges appears to have spent decades springing various honey traps across the globe. He shall be considered in the next installment. Stay tuned dear reader.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Goodfellas Part III: Viva Las Vegas

Welcome to the third installment in what began as a series centered around the organized crime ties of President Donald J. Trump, aka the Orange One. This series in turn grew out of a prior blog I wrote several months ago that considered Trump's ties to a mysterious gaming company known as Resorts International.

Resorts grew out of a Florida-based company known as the Mary Carter Paint Company, which was established in the early 1960s. At the time Mary Carter was believed to be a CIA front used to assist anti-Castro Cubans bent on overthrowing Castro. Over the course of this present series we've encountered more than a few individuals who traveled in the same circles. But more on that in a moment.

By the late 1960s Mary Carter remade itself as Resorts International and established a famed casino on Paradise Island, the first such operation in the Bahamas. The Paradise Island casino soon became a popular destination for Overworld figures such as then-President Richard M. Nixon and reclusive billionaire Howard Hughes. It also became a hotspot for less reputable figures, such as fugitive financier Robert Vesco, Vatican deep state operator Cardinal Paul Marcinkus (noted before here), various Lansky associates and Richard Mellon Hitchcock, who at one point was the banker for the largest LSD smuggling operation in the world.

Around this time Resorts also established its own private intelligence company, which was known as Intertel. Staffed with numerous "former" US intelligence veterans, Intertel first gained notoriety in 1970 for the role it played in the mysterious rescue (or abduction, depending upon one's point of view) of Howard Hughes. Intertel would continue to function as Hughes own personal security detail for the rest of his life, a time period in which few would even see the reclusive billionaire in the flesh.

Howard Hughes
Resorts would also play a key role in opening up Atlantic City to legalized gambling and it was in this capacity that the Orange One began his relationship with the company. Prior to the death of Resorts founder and longtime CEO James Crosby Trump became friendly with much of the board and made a takeover effort upon Crosby's death in 1986. Trump eventually wound up as CEO, but then faced his own takeover bid, which was mounted by Merv Griffin. Griffin eventually ended up with Resorts, but Trump acquired the Company's crown jewel, the Taj Mahal.

Resorts was hardly Trump's first brush with organized crime or the deep state, however. As was noted in the first installment of this series, Trump had begun relations with the Syndicate via the Five Families and the Philadelphia crime family from the time of his earliest building projects in the late 1970s. He would also indirectly end up in a business relationship with infamous private detective Robert Maheu, a longtime CIA asset who had managed Hughes' business empire for well over a decade before he was "rescued" by Resorts' Intertel operators.

One of the most curious figures Trump wound up in bed with was Edward "Biff" Halloran, a reputed Genovese crime family member who owned a host of business operations in the NYC/New Jersey and Philadelphia areas. Halloran ran race tracks, hotels and had a virtual monopoly on concrete in the NYC area during the 1980s, which was the basis of his business relationship with Trump. Halloran disappeared mysteriously in 1996 and has not be heard from since.

During the 1970s one of Halloran's business partners was an ambitious young man from Kentucky named Bradley Bryant. As was noted in the second installment of this series, Bryant would go on to establish an elaborate drugs-and-arms trafficking operation that masqueraded as a private security operation known as Executive Protection, Ltd.

Bryant's partner in all of this was a fellow Kentuckian known as Andrew Carter "Drew" Thornton, a former US Army paratrooper and Lexington cop with far right leanings. Bryant was himself an ex-Marine and their operation drew extensively from the ranks of "former" police and military officers. Frequently they recruited through Soldier of Fortune, a mercenary magazine run by Robert K. Brown. Brown as a former Green Beret who had participated extensively in anti-Castro operations during the early 1960s in Florida and who laid supply "military advisers" for CIA efforts in Central America during the 1980s.

Robert K. Brown
"The Company," as Bryant and Thornton came to call their operation, was also widely believed by state and federal law enforcement to be a CIA front as well. And a key figure in setting up Bryant and Thornton with their initial crop of clients was none other than Trump's frequent business partner, Biff Halloran.

Beyond the Biff

But Halloran was hardly Trump's only link to Bryant and Thornton. Before getting to that, however, I must address how Bryant hooked up with Halloran in the first place. Bryant's relationship with Halloran derived from contacts amongst the local gentry centered around the famed Kentucky Derby
"... Bradley had obtained a high-paying corporate executive position, thanks to his friendship with John Young Brown, Jr. – the fast-food wizard who had made millions with his Kentucky Fried Chicken empire. Bradley had gotten to know Brown when his younger sister Lynne married one of Brown's best friends – Dan Chandler. Chandler, the wayward son of former Kentucky governor A.B. 'Happy' Chandler, worked for 'John Y.,' as everyone called the chicken magnet, in the franchise business. The marriage of Lynne Bryant to Dan Chandler signaled Bradley's inclusion into a slightly older, and more solidly entrenched, generation of bluebloods. Chandler and Brown were like big brothers to Bradley, and their fast crowd of jet setters and gamblers appealed to Bradley's adventurous streak. Through them, Bradley met his future partner – a Philadelphia multimillionaire named Edward 'Biff' Halloran, who was a regular at the Kentucky Derby. Chandler was more than happy to take credit for launching Bradley's career. When Chandler and Brown introduced Bradley to Halloran, Bradley was working as a flak in Frankfort for the state governments – a patronage position Chandler had helped Bradley land..."
(The Bluegrass Conspiracy, Sally Denton, pgs. 59-60)
Not only did John Y. Brown play a key role in launching KFC as a major international food chain, but he also held stakes in other chains such as Roadhouse Grill, Texas Roadhouse and Kenny Rogers Roasters at various times. During the 1970s, he also owned various professional sports franchises such as the Kentucky Colonels, the Buffalo Braves and the famed Boston Celtics. Then, in 1980, Brown was elected as governor of Kentucky just as the Company's operations were going into high gear.

John Y.
For our purposes here, the most compelling of Brown's business ventures was the purchase of the Lum's chain of restaurants from the founders, Stuart and Clifford Perlman, during the early 1970s. Prior to the transaction Lum's had also been the owners of Caesars Palace in Las Vegas which, as noted in part two, was later used a place of money laundering by the Company and other gangsters by the later 1970s. Officially the Perlmans retained control of Caesars after selling Lum's, but there have long been allegations that Brown had a stake in the casino.
"Less than a month later he paid $4 million for three-hundred Lum's restaurants and franchise rights. What began in 1956 as a Miami beach hot-dog stand had been parlayed by Clifford and Stuart Perlman into an international chain, enriching the brothers and enabling the weenie czars to purchase Caesars Palace in 1969 four $58 million.
"Through a complicated series of financial transactions, John Y. made Jimmy Lambert president of two companies that bought the Lums restaurants from Caesars World, Inc., then sold them to John Y. The machinations – which were further clouded by false press releases issued to newspapers – were scrutinized by Nevada gambling authorities, who wondered if John Y. was acquiring a 'hidden interest' in Caesars. Speculation increased when John Y. insisted that his lackey Dan Chandler be given an executive position in Caesars, ostensibly threatening to take his gambling business to another casino if Caesars refused to employ Chandler."
(The Bluegrass Conspiracy, Sally Denton, pgs. 164-165)
That would be the same Dan Chandler who introduced Bradley Bryant to Biff Halloran and who was still employed by Caesars when Bradley and Drew Thornton began using it launder drug money. The above-mentioned Jimmy Lambert was also well connected in organized crime circles as well, with contacts that included Thornton and even Meyer Lansky. Lambert made numerous trips to Florida to pow wow with Lansky and his associates, while frequently staying at properties owned by John Y.

Lambert and his organized crime connections eventually became a major issue of John Y. during his 1983 reelection bid. In June of that year The New York Times charged that "Lambert was a courier for Brown, carrying hundreds of thousands of dollars from Las Vegas back to Kentucky" (The Bluegrass Conspiracy, pg. 309-310), among other allegations. It also came to light that Brown was likely a silent partner in a crime-riddled nightclub Lambert owned in Cincinnati. Amusingly, it was named Trumps.

With all of these connections, there has been longstanding speculation that John Y. Brown was familiar with the Company's operations. Another Lexington high society figure, Anita Madden --a friend of John Y.'s whose raunchy Kentucky Derby balls have become legendary ---was also linked to the Company as well. Drew Thornton and many other Lexington police who fell in with the Company had provided Mrs. Madden security for her parties and there are indications that her ties had grown deeper to the operation --via Lambert --over the years. Mrs. Madden will be quite significant in a future installment, so do keep her in mind.

Anita Madden
But back to the matter at hand, namely Donald Trump. The thing is, Trump had become quite active in the same social circles as many of the elite backers of the Company by the mid-1970s. It likely began with the Orange One's obsession with casinos.
"There was always something about the prospect of owning a casino that intrigued Donald Trump. As far back as 1976, before he consummated a single real estate deal in New York, he was telling reporters he would build the world's largest casino in Las Vegas and name it Xanadu. By then Donald had already made the first of what would become repeated pilgrimages to Vegas, not to gamble, but to visit Caesars Palace and the other cash farms stretched out along the strip."
(Trump: The Greatest Show on Earth, Wayne Barrett, pg. 202)
Trump was reportedly a regular at Caesars throughout the late 1970s when, as was noted in the prior installment, it was a mecca for organized crime figures to launder drug money at. At the time Bradley Bryant was a regular there while Dan Chandler, his brother-in-law and a good friend of John Y. Brown, held an executive post at Caesars.

Caesars Palace
By at least the early 1980s Trump would become a regular at the Kentucky Derby --which also attracted many key figures linked to the Company, including John Y. Brown, Dan Chandler, Jimmy Lambert, Anita Madden and of course Biff Halloran. In 1983 Trump was a guest at the Derby Eve Gala, hosted by John Y. Brown and also attended by Bill and Hillary Clinton. Reportedly at this event Jimmy Lambert had arranged for a considerable donations to Brown's reelection campaign by the Clintons and a certain reputed organized crime figure.
"In 1996, a published biography of Bill and Hillary Clinton, Partners in Power, reveals that Lambert had also been the conduit for some $300,000 in cash given to then-Govornor John Y. Brown by Clinton and Brown intimate Dan Lasater, a fast-food and bond brokerage millionaire suspected of ties to organized crime and who would later be convicted himself on drug charges. According to FBI records, Brown through Lambert had asked for a million dollars at the time, but Lasater had decided to give 'only' $300,000, conveyed in a brown paper bag aboard Lasater's Lear Jet as he flew the Clintons to the 1983 Derby, where the two governors and their wives would socialize as usual..."
(The Bluegrass Conspiracy, Sally Denton, pgs. 369-370) 
Brown and his then-wife, Phyllis George, would maintain close ties with the Clintons for years to come. However, in the immediate future, they would move into one of Trump's properties. After losing his reelection bid Brown and George became some of the first tenets at Trump Tower --which, as noted in part one, was fast becoming a center of money laundering in its own right.

While comparisons have often been made between Brown and Bill Clinton --and not unjustly as both men have a similar personal style --Brown seems to have served as something of role model for Trump as well. Both men are tycoons that had no political experience before being elected. Both men also leaned heavily on the business community to staff their administration with. And both men seem to have risen through the ranks thanks to similar shadowy interests.

From the 1983 Derby Eve Gala, which appears to have been riddled with intrigue: John Y Brown, Phyllis George and Donald Trump are the three standing up; Hillary Clinton is seated at the far left
Of course, none of this represents a smoking gun tying Trump to the Company and its network. But it is all very suggestive, none the less. Trump starts making pilgrimages to Las Vegas in the mid-1970s and by the end of the decade his first major construction project is off the ground. He's greatly aided in this project by Biff Halloran --a former business partner of Bradley Bryant's who helped set Bryant up with clientele for the Company. Halloran is also a regular at the Kentucky Derby and friendly with John Y. Brown, who helped set Bryant up with Halloran in the first place. By the early 1980s Trump is making the Kentucky Derby scene and branching into the gaming industry in Atlantic City. By 1984 John Y moves into Trump's flagship property, which is also beginning to establish itself as a mecca for money laundering in much the same way Caesars Palace had been a few years ago.

John Y's close friend and Bradley Bryant's brother-in-law Dan Chandler was an executive at Caesars during this time and John Y was suspected of having a hidden interest in the casino. This claim is further bolstered by Jimmy Lambert's reported trips to Kentucky from Vegas with payments for Brown. And then Brown turns up living at another money laundering operation that was built with assistance of his friend, Biff Halloran.

Is this all a mere coincidence?

The Puppet Master

And if not, a compelling question becomes: who sent Trump on these initial pilgrimages to Las Vegas that seem to have resulted in him traveling the same circles was John Y. Brown?

While I've found no evidence of it, my suspicion is that the individual in question was Trump's longtime attorney and political mentor Roy Cohn. Cohn first gained notoriety in the 1950s when he served as Joseph McCarthy's lead attorney for his Communist witch hunts. While this ended in McCarthy's disgrace, Cohn returned to New York City where he established a highly lucrative legal practice and began known as the city's premier "fixer." Cohn's influence were legendary. So were his organized crime ties.
"With clients who ranged from John Gotti to the sons of Carlo Gambino, Cohn reportedly hosted gatherings of the commission itself – which included the heads of the five crime families – at his town house. His closest mob confidant and client, Tony Salerno, was so involved in Atlantic City that he was believed to have sanction the murders of the hit man who killed Scarfo's predecessor, boasting on federal tapes: 'I'm the fucking boss, that's who I am. Connecticut is mine; New Jersey is mine.' One Cohn aide specifically remembers a 1983 get-together at Cohn's town house living room that supposedly included the lawyer and his two clients – Trump and Salerno – right around the time that Salerno's S&A concrete was building Trump Plaza, the Third Avenue residential tower..."
(Trump: The Greatest Show on Earth, Wayne Barrett, pg. 244)
"Fat Tony" Salerno
The above-mentioned Commission was the ruling body of the Syndicate where the Five Families and other organizations made decisions concerning their activities. If Cohn was serving as host of such functions, he was very high in the Syndicate indeed. And --as was noted in part one --he was the man who had introduced Trump to Biff Halloran in the first place. Naturally, both men were clients of Cohn's. Cohn also had longstanding ties to Syndicate players in Vegas, as shall be noted in a moment.

Cohn was also the man who put Trump in contact with Overworld figures such as Roger Stone and Rupert Murdoch who would play key roles in his political rise. In point of fact, Cohn appears to have been one of the leading figures behind the rise of Murdoch's media empire in the States. Cohn not only got Murdoch access to the Oval Office, but also the CIA. Consortium News recently noted:
"Rupert Murdoch, the global media mogul who is now a kingmaker in American politics, was brought into those power circles by the infamous lawyer/activist Roy Cohn who arranged Murdoch’s first Oval Office meeting with President Ronald Reagan in 1983, according to documents released by Reagan’s presidential library.
"In a photograph of the Jan. 18, 1983 meeting, Cohn is shown standing and leaning toward Reagan who is seated next to Murdoch. Following that meeting, Murdoch became involved in a privately funded propaganda project to help sell Reagan’s hard-line Central American policies, according to other documents. That PR operation was overseen by senior CIA propaganda specialist Walter Raymond Jr. and CIA Director William Casey, but the details of Murdoch’s role remain sketchy partly because some of the records are still classified more than three decades later."
Cohn has long been reputed to have been involved in some of the darkest operations of the US intelligence community. These ties probably first came to light around 1970 with the publication of the highly controversial "Torbitt document." This document alleged that the JFK assassination had been carried out by a cabal of far right wing FBI men of Division 5, NASA, the Defense Industrial Security Command and the inevitable ex-Nazis and Syndicate figures. This cabal was organized around a Basil-based corporation known as Permindex, which later relocated to Italy with the name of Centro-Mondiale Commerciale. According to Torbitt, Permindex had four primary goals:
"1. To fund and direct assassinations of European, Mid-East and world leaders considered threats to the Western World and to petroleum interests of the backers.
"2. To furnish couriers, agents, and management in transporting, depositing and rechanneling funds through Swiss banks for Las Vegas, Miami, Havana and international gambling syndicate.
"3. To co-ordinate the espionage activities of the Solidarists and Division Five of the FBI with groups in sympathy with their objectives and to receive and channel funds and arms from the financiers to the action groups.
"4. To build, acquire and operate hotels and gambling casinos in the Caribbean, Italy and at other tourist areas..."
(NASA, Nazis & JFK, various, pgs. 48-49)
Of course, this sounds remarkably like the operations overseen by the Company (as outlined in part two of this series) and Resorts International (noted before here). Torbitt singled out Las Vegas in particular as a key cog in the international operations of Permindex and as we've seen thus far, Vegas did serve as a kind of base of operations for the Company. And Trump's business empire (which was built in part upon hotels and casinos) appears to have begun with his pilgrimages to Las Vegas. Do keep this in mind as Vegas shall crop up again and again through out this series.

While the claims made by Torbitt concerning Permindex remain highly, highly controversial, it seems all but certain the corporation was tied to both the US intelligence community and the Fascist International and that it has been linked to at least two very notable assassinations.
"...When the announcement for Permindex was first made in Switzerland in late 1956, its principal backing was to come from a local banker named Hans Seligman. But as more investigation by the local papers was done, it became clear that the real backer was J. Henry Schroder Banking Corporation. This information was quite revealing. Schroder's had been closely associated with Allen Dulles and the CIA for years. Allen Dulles's connection to the Schroder banking family went back to the thirties when his law firm, Sullivan and Cromwell, first began representing them through him. Later, Dulles was the bank's General Counsel. In fact, when Dulles became CIA Director, Schroder's was a repository for a fifty million dollar contingency fund the Dulles personally controlled. Schroder's was a welcome conduit because the bank benefited from previous CIA overthrows in Guatemala and Iran. Another reason that there began to be a furor over Permindex in Switzerland was the fact that the banks founder, Baron Kurt von Schroder, was associated with the Third Reich, specifically Heinrich Himmler. The project now became stalled in Switzerland. It now moved to Rome...
"...The Board of Directors was made up of bankers who had been tied up with fascist governments, people who worked the Jewish refugee racket during World War II, a former member of Mussolini's cabinet, and the son-in-law of Hjalmar Schact, the economic wizard behind the Third Reich... There were at least four international newspapers that exposed the bizarre activities of Permindex when it was in Rome. One problem was the mysterious source of funding: no one knew where it was coming from or going to. Another was that its activities reportedly included assassination attempts on French Premier Charles de Gaulle. Which would make sense since the founding member of Permindex, Ferenc Nagy, was a close friend of Jacques Soustelle. Soustelle was a leader of the OAS, a group of former French officers who broke with de Gaulle over his Algerian policy. They later made several attempts on the de Gaulle's life, which the CIA was privy to. Again, this mysterious source of funding, plus the rightwing, neo-Fascist directors created another wave of controversy. One newspaper wrote that the organization may have been 'a creature the CIA... set up as a cover for the transfer of CIA... funds in Italy for illegal political-espionage activities.' The Schroder connection would certainly suggest that."
(Destiny Betrayed, James DiEugenio, pgs. 385-386)

Permindex's link to the JFK assassination came via one of its most notorious members: international business man and reputed CIA asset Clay Shaw. Shaw was famously one of the individuals charged in attorney Jim Garrison's investigation in the Kennedy assassination in New Orleans. In the Oliver Stone film JFK Shaw was portrayed by Tommy Lee Jones.

The "Torbitt document" also alleges that Roy Cohn was a key member of Permindex, but I have been unable to confirm this. Among other things, the "Torbitt document" claims that Cohn was using the Lionel Corporation to funnel money to Syndicate interests in Vegas. I initially found this claim to be ridiculous as Lionel was chiefly known for making children's toys, most notably their legendary toy trains. And yet I later found that there was some merit to these claims:
"... Roy Cohn, former chief counsel to Senator Joe McCarthy – and a close friend of both Hoover and H. L. Hunt – was indicted by a federal grand jury in September 1963 on eight counts in a stock-fraud case... Cohn's Lionel Corporation was deeply enmeshed with Las Vegas gambling interests, which provided the basis for his indictment."
(The Man Who Knew Too Much, Dick Russell, pg. 523)
J. Edgar Hoover and oil baron H.L. Hunt were allegedly two of the key backers behind the Permindex network, according to Torbitt. Hunt, a former "professional gambler" who parlayed his winnings into ownership of half the oil fields in West Texas, had longstanding ties to organized crime. As I noted before here, he was surely a key figure in the Kennedy assassination.

H.L Hunt
For his part, Cohn's hatred of the Kennedys was well known.
"It was a smart move hiring Cohn, who not only had a reputation as 'the toughest, meanest, vilest, and one of the most brilliant lawyers in America,' but who also hated the Kennedys, particularly Bobby, who had never forgiven Cohn for beating him to the post of chief counsel on Joe McCarthy's Senate subcommittee back in 1953..."
(Nemesis, Peter Evans, pg. 235)
Cohn would go on to become the New York attorney for Aristotle Onassis, the billionaire Greek shipping magnet who married JFK's widow, Jackie Kennedy, in the late 1960s. This was reportedly done out of spite as Onassis deeply loathed the Kennedy brothers as well. In Nemesis, award winning journalist Peter Evans even alleged the Onassis had put up the money to have Robert Kennedy assassinated in 1968.

Cohn's ties to Onassis bring to mind another famed conspiracy document from the 1970s: the Gemstone File. Among other allegations, Gemstone fingers Onassis as the key figure behind the assassinations of both Kennedy brothers. It also sketches out a cabal similar to Torbitt's, in which the Syndicate is in alliance with various US intelligence assets and shadowy international businessmen. Curiously, Gemstone also alleges that Onassis effectively kidnapped his chief rival, Howard Hughes, and kept the reclusive billionaire a prisoner while stealthy managing his business empire.

Aristotle Onassis
This syncs with the allegations long surrounding Resorts International, noted before here, that the gambling interest had abducted Hughes via Intertel and was holding the reclusive billionaire prisoner while overseeing his business empire. It is interesting to note that Onassis has an indirect link to Resorts via Paul Helliwell, the former OSS China hand who would establish a vast overseas banking empire the CIA would use to covertly fund its black ops. Peter Evans alleges that Onassis had conspired at one point with Helliwell and our old friend Mitchell WerBell III (noted in the prior installment) to stage a coup in Haiti.

Around the same time Helliwell also had dealings with Resorts.
"The bank [Castle Bank and Trust --Recluse] was established by Paul Helliwell, a former OSS China hand with a background in drug-trade intelligence. After the war, Helliwell had run CIA front companies in Florida. Through his Bahamian bank, and a companion institution in Florida, millions of dollars were funneled for covert military operations staged off Andros Islands in the Bahamas. Castle also facilitated tax evasion, and, in its trust-company capacity, voted the shares of certain nonresident owners of Resorts International, the top Lansky-era casino operation on Nassau. When one of their shareholders so strongly objected to the way Castle was voting his shares that he sued the bank, the scheme began to unravel."
(Hot Money, R.T. Naylor, pg. 315)
And the shareholder who sued Helliwell's infamous Castle Bank & Trust? Why, none other William Mellon Hitchcock (who was addressed at length before here), one of Resorts most notorious shareholders.

While all of this may seem like a bit of a digression, Mr. Billy, as friends referred to Hitchcock, will pop up again in our saga in a most striking capacity.

Mr. Billy is to the right
But let us now return to Roy Cohn. While there is nothing definitive linking him to the assassinations of either Kennedy brother, his hatred of them was well known and he was already well connected in the same right wing circles long linked to both assassinations by the early 1960s. He was also well established with Vegas Syndicate hands by this time as well, as evidenced by the indictments he faced over his management of the Lionel Corporation.

Even without being a member of Permindex, it is clear Cohn was an extremely powerful and well-connected figure, one responsible for arguably the most powerful media baron of the twenty-first century and certainly the most controversial American president of this same century. Even over thirty years after his death Cohn's influence is still vast.

And yet nothing has thus far explained the basis of his power. Cohn rose to prominence during the McCarthy hearings, but while Tail Gunner Joe's career was thoroughly ruined over said hearings, Cohn emerged even more powerful than ever. What was Cohn tied up in that made him so coveted by high ranking mobsters and billionaires in equal measure? Were his legal skills simply that good, or was there something else.

This researcher opts for the later and will explore the likely source of Cohn's influence in the next installment. Stay tuned dear reader.