Kazakhstan, we’ve gotten to know ye a little better

Say, whose cover-up is this, anyway?

Technically, what we’ve gotten to know better is the interaction of outside players with systemic Kazakh corruption, especially as it relates to Spygate in the U.S.  But work with me, people.

Most recently, the January 2022 flare-up in Kazakhstan brought to the fore a piece of information reported by the Daily Mail and NY Post in October 2020:  that Hunter Biden had business dealings with Kazakh oligarchs while his father was vice president, and the Big Guy was photographed being in on it.

The Bidens with with Kenes Rakishev (left) and Karim Massimov (right). Via NY Post, KIAR

That reminded people of various aspects of Spygate, and how Kazakhstan had already figured into them.

For example, Stephan Roh, lawyer and friend of Maltese Professor Jospeh Mifsud, appears connected to a series of shell companies set up in the mid-2000s to, er, process funds from Kazakhstan’s central bank (BTA) which were allegedly embezzled by former Kazakh official Mukhtar Ablyazov.  Ablyazov is now embroiled in interminable court cases in Europe.

Kenes Rakishev, with whom the Bidens are in company in that notorious photo, succeeded Ablyazov for a time in his role with BTA, from which Ablyazov absconded incontinent in 2009 during a periodic Kazakh crackdown.

Mr. Roh was also (directly and indisputably) involved in creating a UK company for trading in uranium at the exact same time in 2005 when Frank Giustra was concluding his allegedly Clinton-facilitated deal for Kazakh uranium – and in shutting the Roh company down at exactly the same time Hillary Clinton left the State Department in 2013.

Oddly enough, pulling the thread on that enterprise revealed a connection to another Roh/Mifsud associate, Russian Alexei Klishin, whose business dealings included selling a Russian uranium centrifuge manufacturing company to oligarch-about-town Viktor Vekselberg, a Clinton donor and crony.  Klishin appears to have been the subject of one of Igor Danchenko’s first vetting assignments for Christopher Steele and Orbis Business Intelligence.

Alexey Klishin (standing) appears at a Link Campus U. even in December 2016 with LCU’s Vicenzo Scotti, Joseph Mifsud, and Stephan Roh (far R) (Social media)

Karim Massimov, the other Kazakh photographed with the Bidens (and the one arrested in January 2022 in the Russian-backed suppression of the unrest), has been a major – yuuge – proponent of Chinese energy interests in Kazakhstan.  That’s not surprising, given his professional background and status as one of the biggest proponents in the country of ties with China.

So it seems natural that he and the Bidens would have goals in common.  It’s equally natural that Putin would want him gone.

A number of other timely links have resurfaced, such as alleged Epstein-Maxwell client Prince Andrew’s connections in Kazakhstan, cultivated in his role as “Britain’s special representative for international trade and investment.”  Mention Kazakhstan, and British media promptly re-up stories on Andrew’s over-asking sale in 2007 of a home (bestowed on him by his mother, and shared with ex-wife Sarah) to Kazakh oligarch Timur Kulibayev, then said to be “the ultimate controller of 90% of the economy of Kazakhstan.”  (And, as recounted at the Jamestown link above, an opponent of Karim Massimov.  Kulibayev, also allegedly with numerous – suspicious – links to China, is the son-in-law of Nursultan Nazarbayev, president of Kazakhstan from 1990 to 2019.)

Some tabloids and researchers also remember that Jeffrey Epstein reportedly helped Sarah pay off debts after the royal couple’s divorce.  The Duchess of York later acknowledged the transaction, and admitted it was an unwise move on her part.

Prince Andrew in a 2019 interview. ITV News video, YouTube

And, of course, the granddaddy of them all is the saga of the Clintons, Frank Giustra, the Kazakhs, the Russians, and Uranium One ca. 2005-2010.

Recall, as we inspect the next sub-saga of Spygate, that it was in 2015 that Peter Schweizer was publishing and doing the talk circuit for his book Clinton Cash (which, contrary to partisan protestations at the time, relied not on the rantings of tinfoil-hatters but on reporting from the mainstream media).  In 2015 Hillary Clinton’s impending candidacy was hit with several whammies, including her subpar record of email management and the major stories from Clinton Cash; most prominently the Kazakhstan-Uranium One drama.

More known knowns with Felix Sater

That brings us to another Kazakhstan-involved story: that of Felix Sater, bar-brawling FBI informant and Trump associate, and the Kazakhs he represented, through a shell company, in their quest to recover funds allegedly embezzled by Mukhtar Ablyazov.  (Again, reportedly the beneficiary of shell companies set up by Stephan Roh during the alleged embezzlement years, specifically 2006-07, and thus with another connection to Spygate.)

Mr. Sater’s work for the city of Almaty and other entities in Kazakhstan began in 2015.  This was in fact after a period in which the state of New York has accused Sater and a partner of being involved in laundering Ablyazov’s ill-gotten gains through investments in the U.S.  (One of those accusations, about a mall complex in Ohio, curiously involving Neil Bush, was settled in 2013.)

Sater’s asset-recovery effort for the Kazakhs, undertaken behind the company name of Litco LLC, continued through 2018.  There are all kinds of ins and outs; look them up at your leisure.  The focus here is on a lawsuit brought against Sater by the Kazakh clients in 2019 (in fact, with downright fascinating timing, in late March of 2019, a freighted time for the lights-on exposure of Hunter Biden’s business history).

We’ve known about the lawsuit against Sater since it was lodged in March 2019.  But subsequent events, including the recent arrest of Karim Massimov, which jerked forward the 2020 story about the Bidens’ meeting with him, have sharpened and brightened the light on it.

I know it isn’t necessary to rebuild the case for looking at timelines in sequence and gaining thinking tools – even insights – from that.  So let us proceed to the timeline.

As we do, keep in mind that Felix Sater has been touted frequently as evidence of nefarious dealings on Donald Trump’s part.  No investigation ever seems to turn up anything indictable as regards Trump, and Sater, a long-time FBI informant (since the 1990s), is any case well known to the G-men.  We can assume nothing he does is a secret from them for long, even in the unlikely event it starts out that way.

Keep in mind also that Sater brokered the exploratory agreement between the Trump Organization and a little-known Moscow developer for a Trump Tower in Moscow – in 2015.

But the history just before that is what interests us.  As discussed above, by mid-2015, the Hillary Clinton campaign was surveying a couple of significant PR problems.  One was her email “matter,” which burst on the public consciousness in March 2015.

The other was the Uranium One saga from Clinton Cash (a vehicle for stories from the New York Times, Washington Post, etc.), in which Hillary and Bill’s dealings with Kazakhs and Russians came off as decidedly unsavory.

Mukhtar Ablyazov, currently living under asylum protection in France. AP video from 2016, YouTube

Add in a detail from that story that few have remembered.  Mukhtar Ablyazov, alleged embezzler, was actually quite prominent in it, negotiating two of the Kazakh uranium projects at issue in the 2005 deal with Frank Giustra.  At one point, Giustra is quoted by Forbes as saying, “Doing the deal with Ablyazov was the most stressful in my life … I had to bluff him that I would give the investors back their money. Then he caved.”

According to Forbes, this was after “Giustra’s major deal for 70% of the Akdala and South Inkai uranium projects was not completed until Nov. 7 … In fact, Ablyazov, the owner, demanded a $100 million additional payment to the $350 million Giustra was willing to pay and had raised for the venture.”

That was in 2005.  In 2015, Trump associate Felix Sater, through his anonymously held Litco LLC, signed on with a group of Kazakhs to recover monies allegedly absconded with by Ablyazov.

Here’s the timing.  Documents in the 2019 lawsuit against Sater date the formation of Litco LLC to the spring of 2015, and its agreement with the Kazakhs to 8 June 2015 (Background, para. 5).  Trump, of course, declared his candidacy on 16 June 2015, immediately raising the stakes on what his associates – and by implication Trump himself – might learn about Democrats’ corrupt dealings in Kazakhstan.

We have no way of knowing, at the moment, just why Sater chose that particular time to offer his services to Kazakhs for recovering the Ablyazov funds.  Perhaps John Durham has been figuring that out.

But we can suppose, with high confidence, that the FBI was well aware of what Sater was doing.

The lawsuit indicates that in July 2015 Sater had begun meeting with the clients’ attorneys at BakerHostetler to discuss asset recovery targets.

The effort targeting Ablyazov percolated on for several years.  But another major development, well known to Spygate watchers, occurred in September 2015, when Sater spearheaded the proposal to build a Trump Tower in Moscow.

Sater brought on Moscow developer Andrei Rozov, who had no history of such construction projects; indeed, his firm Expert Development was known for affordable apartments in the suburbs, not high-end luxury properties. 

But Sater and Rozov had a connection through another Moscow developer, Sergei Polonsky, for whom they had both done work.  Polonsky had been partners with Oleg Deripaska – client of Christopher Steele’s Orbis Business Intelligence and cooperator with the FBI in the effort to spring Robert Levinson from Iran – in the enterprise for which Rozov had worked.

(Here it’s worth pointing out that in 2015, Hunter Biden, Orbis, and the associates of Igor Danchenko at the Brookings Institution had as much reason to understand the lay of this land – construction and development in Moscow – as the Trump Organization.  That’s also ground we’ve covered before.)

Another remarkable Spygate month

We’ve been over a few curious developments in the same month (September 2015).  But one we haven’t visited for a while is the job change of Bill Priestap’s wife that month.  For most of the Spygate saga, up through Peter Strzok’s appointment to the Mueller team in June 2017, Priestap was Strzok’s boss in counterintelligence at the FBI.

In September 2015, Priestap’s wife Sabina Menschel moved from her then-employer, the consulting firm K2 (formed by the Kroll brothers, for whom she had worked when the company name was Kroll) to another consultancy, Nardello.

The distinction of Nardello is that in 2014, about a year and a half earlier, the company was hired by law firm Boies Schiller – for which Hunter Biden was counsel at the time – to investigate the Ukrainian energy company Burisma.

It’s quite fascinating that so many things relevant to Spygate happened in the same month.  Fusion GPS was hired to do opposition research on Republican candidates, reportedly with money from anti-Trump Republican donor Paul Singer, by the Washington Free Beacon.  Fusion GPS hired DOJ official Bruce Ohr’s wife Nellie Ohr, herself an alumna of the unique Open Source Works program at the CIA.  Felix Sater, FBI informant, ponied up an unlikely developer to partner with the Trump Organization on a tower in Moscow; a connection that cut a swath to Oleg Deripaska.  And the wife of the FBI’s chief of counterintelligence moved to a new, managerial job at the consultancy hired to vet Burisma, the Ukrainian gas company that was paying the vice president’s son millions to sit on its board.

But there’s more.  In 2019, when Felix Sater’s Kazakh clients brought their lawsuit, they were represented by Boies Schiller.  David Boies, of course, was a long-time associate of Bill Clinton.  He and Jonathan Schiller founded the firm in 1997; one of the most notable recent reports about its activities involves the family connection of Schiller’s son Josh and California Governor Gavin Newsom.  The two are married to, respectively, sisters Melissa and Jennifer Siebel.

During the 2021 recall election process in California, actress and activist Rose McGowan told YouTube host Dave Rubin about being contacted by Jennifer Siebel Newsom in 2017 – calling (said McGowan) on behalf of David Boies – and being asked what it would take to silence her allegations against Harvey Weinstein, in the months before his #MeToo scandals broke in the mainstream media.  The apparent interconnectedness of the firm with the elite level of Democratic politicians is thus, shall we say, arresting.

More timing: 2019

The timing of the 2019 lawsuit against Sater was so as well.  Readers may not remember dates and timeframes from the Ukraine/Impeachment-I saga as well as they do Spygate’s, but the suit against Sater was filed on 25 March 2019, five days before the first round of voting in the Ukrainian presidential election.  At that time, it was becoming evident that challenger Volodymyr Zelensky was generating considerable interest with the voting public.  He indeed emerged with the most votes from the first round, although without an outright majority.

A flurry of news articles attended the lawsuit filing, all reporting the angle that the suit alleged Sater had sought to launder Ablyazov money through Trump properties.

In late April 2019, a handful of days after Zelensky won the 21 April runoff with incumbent Petro Poroshenko, a video emerged of an official affirming that the Ukrainian investigation of Burisma and its Biden links had been shut down – against the prosecutor’s wishes but at the urging of the Obama administration.  This was described as occurring under the outgoing administration of Poroshenko.  (John Solomon’s report on the video was also published the day Joe Biden formally announced his candidacy for 2020; i.e., 25 April.)

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and President Trump, Sep 2019. PBS News video

On 20 May 2019, Zelensky took over as the new president of Ukraine.  He was understood, for good reason, to be unlikely to merely continue the shut-down-cover-up policy of his predecessor.  In July 2019, after the famous phone call in which Trump and Zelensky discussed the Ukrainian investigation – which involved matters from Spygate as well –  the House Democrats launched the Impeachment-I process.

It’s important not to limit your view of who’s running this show to “the Bidens” or “the Clintons” or “Obama.”  The singular interests of none of them can explain the apparently interlinked responses we keep seeing.  Felix Sater working for Kazakhs to probe the Ablyazov money was a point of potential vulnerability – exposure, just for starters – for both the Clintons and the Bidens.  And what Sater discovered on behalf of the Kazakhs could well involve Ukraine as well as Kazakhstan, China, and Russia.

Rather than a single actor being at work, the reaction we keep seeing from the spin industry surrounding top-level political officials looks more like the trademark responses of an operational planning team, on the model outlined by Molly Ball in what I think of as her “Cabal Biden” apologetic masterpiece for the rigging, er, fortifying, of the 2020 election.  (Cabal, rigging – both Time’s words, not mine.)

A separate glimpse of how the planning team operates was afforded by reporting on the wargame in 2020 to predict and form responses to a contested election.  (Also mentioned and linked at the link above.)

As to who these people are, we know some of the lieutenants and worker-bees come from political staffs, the revolving government-agency/think-tank/consulting-firm door, and the media.  This is no mere circumstantial case, and certainly not a fanciful “conspiracy theory”; a number of the players cop to what they’re doing.  These include Molly Ball’s sources, the 2020 “contested election” war-gamers, and such lead operatives as the Center for American Progress, David Brock with his Shareblue media team, and Ben Rhodes’s National Security Action, each with its “war room” dedicated during Trump’s term to sabotaging his policies, in the media and Trump’s own executive departments.  (A team of Never-Trumpers with erstwhile Republican membership operated under the banner of the very peculiar “Hamilton-68” project as well, assigning itself the niche task of detecting “Russian propaganda” as it related to communications from and about Trump.)

But my all-purpose answer on the “who” is that it’s the Democracy Alliance funding this operation.  The motives of its members are what those members expect to get their money’s worth for.

Once again, that remarkable meeting in the mountain air

It’s never a waste of time to highlight the three days we’ve looked at several times before between 1 and 3 August 2015.  Consider the fresh look above, at one thread of events in 2015 involving Felix Sater with his investigative work starting in June for Kazakhs seeking recoverable assets from the Ablyazov heist, and his Trump Tower push getting in gear in September 2015 (whoever he was actually working for in that endeavor).

In the interim, Trump announced his candidacy on 16 June, and by September had demonstrated staying power and crowd-drawing power of a kind no one in our lifetimes has seen before.

Bill Clinton with Dr. Soon Shiong at the Aug 2015 conference in Jackson Hole. This image, which was originally available in high-res at both the conference and Cancer Breakthroughs websites, was screen-capped in low-res from images presented in a search on the conference.
Brennan with Dr. Soon Shiong at the Aug 2015 conference in Jackson Hole. This image, which was originally available in high-res at both the conference and Cancer Breakthroughs websites, was screen-capped in low-res from images presented in a search on the conference.

The dates 1-3 August 2015 are when Bill Clinton and John Brennan both showed up in Jackson Hole, Wyoming for a medical industry conference that Brennan, in particular, had no real reason to attend.  Brennan came with a C-40B Air Force jet, a high-value asset that then sat mostly idle on a local runway for nearly three days.

Brennan, recall, had been Clinton’s PDB briefer in the late 1990s.  They knew each other.  It’s increasingly untenable to suppose that this event did not involve Clinton and Brennan meeting to discuss what would have been one of the highest-priority concerns for both of them: the potential unraveling of a shared past during the upcoming, heavily-freighted 2016 election.

Feature image:  Felix Sater. CNN video, YouTube

9 thoughts on “Kazakhstan, we’ve gotten to know ye a little better”

  1. Worth waiting for your Kazakh map. So many dots to connect.
    All I can think is Putin must have a much better map on a special thumb drive.

    1. Felix Sater thinks Putin does too. 🙂
      I assume you’ve seen Sater’s counterclaim filing against the Kazakh clients who sued him. It came out on 3 Feb. Seems to leave the analysis in this piece holding up pretty well.
      More to come on that.

  2. The Democrat Party is indistinguishable from an Organized Crime Syndicate. It might be advisable, before casting aspersions at the corrupt Ukrainian government, to remember the Clinton Crime Syndicate, the Biden Crime Family, and that Putin’s desire to keep his underbosses in power as he attempts to reassert control over the Russian Western Asian/Eastern European Mafia are pretty easy to understand.

    My Western Civ professor called government a ‘legalized form of highway robbery”. He was sort of right, but in the grander scheme of things, highway robbers are only a small part of this global criminal enterprise.

    The rest of us sit and cringe as the carnage builds and the Godfathers set their Capos and Consigliere against one another to vie for control.

    And here, I have to say the only Kazakh I ever really thought much about is that cute little girl who plays “Lilly” in the AT&T commercials.

    -OAB

  3. Tammany Hall may have been corrupt, but at least it was good old fashioned American corruption. The Bidens have sold their soul to our enemies.

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