Poke The Bear


Something was wrong.

At first, it was just instinct. During the Republican primaries, things weren’t adding up for us with Donald Trump.

It wasn’t Donald’s “-isms.” It wasn’t his nature, or his voters, or our own politics. It was what we knew about him from journalists like Wayne Barrett. It was what we knew about Donald’s history, that NO ONE in the current media was properly covering. Why?

Something was wrong. WHAT was it?

And then came Paul Manafort. He entered the scene as a campaign manager. We knew what that meant. We knew who Manafort was, and where he came from. That was the moment we began to dig.

What we found is a simple truth. And now, we’re bringing that truth to you.
We’re bringing it in such a way that you can scrutinize it. Bang on it all you want. Bring us your refutations to the evidence that we’re presenting herein. We’ve been doing that to ourselves over all these months.

DIG ALL YOU WANT. If you are intellectually honest, we are confident that you will come to the same conclusion. Because, no matter what rabbit hole we ventured down (and there are endless rabbit holes), this singular truth always surfaced. Glaringly. 

It is there for all to see. Here it is…

There is a man who controls our President.

And his name is not Vladimir Putin.




Before we reveal the name, we need to tell you of the hunters who came before.

This story – the big truth behind #TrumpRussia - is one that goes back decades. While everyone in the media chased the “scoop of the moment,” we dug into the past. There, we found two men, who gave their lives to hunt the criminal force behind our President.

These hunters were patriots. They were professional law enforcement and intelligence officers at the top of their game. They committed themselves to revealing the name that we’re about to disclose, and they gave their lives as a result.

The American
We begin with the American: former DEA and FBI agent, Bob Levinson. While at the FBI, Levinson pursued the world’s most wanted criminals to keep America safe. He hunted the mob.

It is the most dangerous work in all of law enforcement.

The people Levinson chased are murderers, sex traffickers, drug lords and arms dealers - including those who trade in nuclear material. At their most tepid, these criminals lure the vulnerable into their scams to rob them blind. At their most craven, they flood our communities with drugs and ravage families for profit. At their most evil, they fund the networks that inspire terrorist attacks on innocent civilians. If you hunt them, they will kill you. They will kill your family.

Bob Levinson knew the stakes, and yet he went after the most dangerous criminal of them all. Because Levinson is a patriot. He is the definition of that word. He is a hero.

He is also a master hunter.

In 1999, Tom Mangold interviewed Bob Levinson for the BBC. They discussed Levinson’s biggest target: a man leading a conglomerate of international criminals who were coming to America’s shores.

From his home in Broward County, Florida, Levinson gave this warning, “Criminals are coming in who are wealthier and more vicious than any of the criminals that you, or anybody on the continent, have ever seen. As far as I’m concerned, they’re the most dangerous people on earth.”

STOP. Read his quote again. Take it in. This is a career FBI agent who was at the top of his field in hunting the world’s most dangerous men. TAKE IN HIS WORDS.

The Mangold interview happened after Levinson had left the FBI’s organized crime unit to work in the private sector. But, as Levinson told Mangold, there was a case he could not quit. He had a job that was unfinished. The master hunter had a target.

The Russian
On November 17, 1998, something extraordinary happened in Moscow. A high-ranking member of the organized crime unit at the FSB (Russia’s FBI) held a press conference. His name was Alexander Litvinenko, and he told the world that Russia’s intelligence and law enforcement agencies had been taken over by organized crime. He called Russia, “A Mafia State.”

One year later, Vladimir Putin became President of Russia. But during Litvinenko’s final months at the FSB organized crime unit, Putin was his boss.

On July 5, 1998, Putin was appointed by President Yeltsin as Director of the FSB. He had found his way to the position of top law enforcement officer in all of Russia on weak qualifications – and after serving a stint as Deputy Mayor of St. Petersburg. We detail this history and its importance later in this document, but state here for you to know now: 1) St. Petersburg’s Mayor was a politician owned and controlled by the Russian mob; 2) Putin was hand-picked by this same mob to ascend to power, because he is their puppet.

Or, at least, that is how he began.

The FSB is the very agency that Litvinenko warned the world about at that press conference four months after Putin’s appointment as its director. This is the agency that Litvinenko said was being run by the mob. Watch:

Our research indicates that this is the very same mob that Bob Levinson warned us was sending criminals to our shores. And like all mobs, there is always a Don. A boss. A head of "The Family.”

On December 31, 1999, when Vladimir Putin was first elected, this Don controlled the President of Russia. Litvinenko committed his life thereafter to bringing him down.

Both Bob Levinson and Alexander Litvinenko hunted the most brilliant, dangerous, powerful, criminal mastermind the world has ever seen.

This is not hyperbole.




The 1999 Mangold interview with Bob Levinson is a remarkable thing. Not only because it captured Levinson’s life pursuit, in his own words. But because Mangold somehow got an interview with the devil himself.

The Man and His Brand
Semion Mogilevich goes by many names, and we will use some of them interchangeably throughout our reporting. Mogilevich, the "Boss of Bosses," is also known in Russia and to international intelligence agencies as Don Semyon, “The Brainy Don.”

To introduce Mogilevich, Tom Mangold gave this summary. Pay attention to the date. Pay attention to the underlined phrase.

“In May 1995, the FBI together with Russian, German, and Italian offices, produced [a] devastating report on organized crime, naming Mogilevich as leader of an organization with some 250 members. Mogilevich’s main activities are listed as arms dealing, trading nuclear material, prostitution, drug dealing, oil deals, and money laundering.”


1995. That’s the date.

In 1995, Bob Levinson was still with the FBI. Alexander Litvinenko was at the FSB in Moscow. Both men hunted one organized crime syndicate above all others. We believe that this report must have passed through both of their hands. We know, through many reports on their individual histories, that both of our hunters were on Mogilevich’s trail. They were the experts on Don Semyon.

But what was happening in Russia in 1995? How could this one criminal have risen in such stature, as to have control over substances such as oil and nuclear material?

There are countless resources on the subject. Mountains of books, articles, and documentary reporting. But we’ll give you the short answer.

The Soviet Union collapsed. In the vacuum of leadership – of policy – of governmental order, a few hungry souls made a mad grab for state resources. They were the original seven oligarchs, called “The Magnificient Seven.” And they were all bankers.

One of these first seven bankers, Mikhail Fridman – the founder of ALFABANK, is Semion Mogilevich’s partner. With the “Brainy Don” inside an economic engine, the operational infrastructure for a global crime syndicate had its funding. “Alfa” (sometimes spelled “Alpha”) became the brand under which an empire was born.

With a bank behind him, all that was left to do for Semion was take out the “hunters.” He began locally – in Russia. Semion launched his attack on Russian intelligence and law enforcement, using his leverage over politicians to compromise any and all checks and balances against his own mob.

Here is a link to a supporting article, which provides an analysis on how Putin was used to help execute Semion’s strategy for turning Russia into a Mafiya State. It provides a brief historical narrative on the early moves of Semion’s mob after the fall of the Soviet Empire, and provides further resource links for you to read and explore: CLICK HERE

So that you understand, here, what we are revealing to you about Putin and Semion, we have obtained video of Semion Mogilevich at Vladmir Putin’s campaign headquarters in 2000 – watching his man ascend to the Presidency. This is five years after a global intelligence report on Semion’s mafia empire.

You will see Don Semyon looking back to the camera at 1:15.

The Empire

Once the Russian intelligence community had been taken over – once the Russian hunters were jailed, exiled, or assassinated - the guardrails were gone for Don Semyon.

Mogilevich already had a criminal enterprise – an infrastructure that reached beyond borders - with ports, ships, goods... All “The Brainy Don” needed to do was GROW.

The Intelligence Report on Semion’s operations that Tom Mangold references in his interview was from 1995. 22 years ago.

“The report says your organization operates in central Europe - including Prague, Vienna, Russia, the United States, Ukraine, Israel, and the United Kingdom.”

That quote tells us just how established, globally, Don Semyon was in 1995. How many men – how big of a global enterprise – has Mogilevich been able to build in the 22 years since?

Let’s begin with the core organization. Semion has two main brands. The first is “Alfa” (sometimes “Alpha”). You will find that name in the Steele Dossier. Under Semion’s umbrella, are a plethora of businesses. In addition to the criminal industry sectors listed by the 1999 intelligence report, subsequent reporting has attributed more profit centers to Semion, including human trafficking.

Here is a chart that gives the basics on Semion’s Alfa business sectors, his partners, and his “employees.” He owns it all.


[You can find our research on Semion for this chart by clicking here, or go to both the bibliography sections on our site]

Let us state, again, that Semion is the brain inside what became an EXTRA-NATIONAL CRIME SYNDICATE. He connected resources, goods, and people of the former Soviet Empire to service a criminal underworld and produce billions in profits. This global mob has evolved since the fall of the Soviet Union. Semion’s lieutenants have risen in power and stature within his mob – as have the Heads of State of former Soviet block nations. We cannot assert for certain that Semion’s power is as absolute as it once was. But make no mistake, this MOB is his creation. He connected all the dots. He is the founder, and he is still the man to hunt.

We’ve put the key individuals to Semion’s organization on the chart. These are the names that will be exploding in the press, as Mueller’s investigation continues to unfold. In addition, we’d like to draw your attention to some names that will be explored in depth by us in the future. HERE is a summary document, with source links. 

For the purpose of this story – the story of the hunters who came before, we’d like to highlight one detail of Semion’s decades-long empire: SEMION TRADES IN NUCLEAR MATERIAL AND ARMS WITH IRAN (you can easily research this yourself, or find it in several sources of our bibliography under Semion himself).

Semion has long known the Iranians. He knew past regimes and present. He’s dealt with them all. He’s a key individual in the black-market trade of nuclear material. This aspect of Semion’s criminal enterprise is one thing (of many) the Iran Deal sought to eliminate. Keep that in mind.

If you’re mind reeling from the scope of this – questioning how one boss could build something so grand, ask yourself: How is this different from any organized crime “family?”

The business is the same. The model is the same. It’s just a bigger territory. Mogilevich got it, because he is the right kind of gangster – who was at the right place, in the right time in history. He is the same, old mob boss we’ve always known.

And Bob Levinson had his number.



“Follow the trail of dead Russians.” 
Clint Watts, Senate Intelligence Committee Hearing testimony, March 30, 2017

Levinson knew exactly how the devil grew his empire, because he knows how mob empires work. Mogilevich needed others – men who were already in place in new territories – men who could work for him. Levinson knew Mogilevich needed professionals – businessmen – fronts to help him grow.

Levinson knew that those men would be the trail.

It’s important to note that Bob Levinson was hunting Mogilevich from the very beginning of the Russian Mafiya’s infiltration of America. He witnessed the Russian take-over of America’s mafia crime families, the “Five Families,” (La Cosa Nostra) by members of Semion’s mob.

Bob had come to know the operations, individuals, and bosses of the Five Families during his time working for the FBI’s organized crime unit in New York City. He knew the businessmen and politicians the mob worked with and compromised. And he knew, as we do now, that the Russians were not only the most dangerous criminals he had ever encountered, they were also the smartest.

How do you take over a new territory in a new land? You infiltrate an existing mob. You take over their operations with your brutality and your wealth. Why re-invent the wheel, or build one from scratch, when you can steal what’s already there? That’s how smart criminals work. This is Russian Mafia 101.

For Bob, the hunt for Semion began in the early ‘90s, when the mobster Vyacheslov Ivankov set him off on Semion’s trail. Ivankov was Semion’s lieutenant, sent to America to set up operations. If you recognize his name, it’s because Ivankov is the mobster who landed in a condo in Trump Tower, hid out regularly at Trump Taj Mahal, and was eventually caught by the FBI’s organized crime unit.

You can see where this is going, can’t you?

Rather than give you the details in writing, we’ll let you read all about it in Bob Levinson’s own words. Bob was the key law enforcement witness at Ivankov’s trial. Here is his testimony

By the time he testified, Bob had moved from the NYC field office to Florida. It’s an interesting move, considering it follows the Diaspora of Semion’s mob on our shores.

Bob eventually left the FBI and set up a private consulting firm. We are uncertain whether or not this departure was a law enforcement tactic to take the heat off Bob personally, while he maintained his work with the FBI – and later with the CIA. But, we do know for certain that he never stopped hunting Mogilevich. It was the case Bob Levinson could not quit: “I’d like to finish the job.”

Hunting Mogilevich’s crime syndicate is also THE case that puts the history of Donald Trump’s business “partnerships” into context. It explains why the #TrumpRussia investigation – from the FBI to the congressional committees - has shifted from counter-intelligence to CRIMINAL. It is the “WHAT” and the “WHY” that set us off on this journey.

It also answers what lurks beneath Trump’s flailing tweets, firing of Comey, and strategic undermining of the integrity of our independent press. It is the answer that sits at the core of the Special Prosecutor’s evidence, especially if Mueller indeed has his hands on Trump’s bank records and tax returns.

While with the FBI in New York, Bob Levinson knew all about the Five Family’s and Trump Enterprises lawyer and fixer, Roy Cohn. Bob knew all about Donald Trump. He knew all about Fred Trump.

Pictured: Fred Trump with Consigliere and associate of Semion Mogilevich, Brad Zackson - pictured left of Fred.  (Credit: Dynamic Worldwide Group)

Pictured: Fred Trump with Consigliere and associate of Semion Mogilevich, Brad Zackson - pictured left of Fred. (Credit: Dynamic Worldwide Group)

That was Bob’s job. To know the businessmen and lawyers who profited, represented, and sheltered the American mobsters that he hunted.

[You can find our research on Trump Enterprises American mafia connections for this chart by clicking here, or going to both the bibliography sections on our site]


From Russia… With Love
Levinson also knew every link between the American mob and the Russians who rolled over them and took their empire. Because, you see, Levinson knew this…

If you want to catch the devil, uncover the men who help him grow his criminal enterprise.

For Levinson - as an FBI agent, this set him after not only the former Soviets that Semion brought to our shores, but after the Americans whom Semion entangled and controlled as well. Because, Levinson knew Semion’s TACTICS:

As a kingpin, you can hire thugs – the muscle who manage your operation at the street level. But thugs can’t wash your money. They can’t get you into new territories. They don’t have access to the pillars of industry and government that keep your money flowing. For this, you need professionals. You need people in power. You need people with resources. They are both your conduits and your fronts. They let you reap the rewards of your criminal network, while you stay safely hidden in the shadows.

Some of these professionals – businessmen and politicians - can be bought. But that’s not good enough for a boss like Mogilevich. Because these people are already successful, and he’s going to put them in harm’s way. He’s going to turn each of them into a serious criminal, who will, in turn, be hunted by men like Bob Levinson. Thugs can be bought. But professionals must be leveraged.

Remember what Bob Levinson said on Mogilevich tactics: “He’s a sophisticated racketeer, who uses a cover of ‘international businessman’ to basically convince people, ‘You’ve got nothing to hide by dealing with me…Just take a look at my bank account…’ ”

Bob was VERY AWARE of who Mogilevich was in business with – inside and out, because that is how you hunt a mob boss. He knew Mogilevich’s tactics. He knew how “The Brainy Don” identified his marks. Bob told us exactly how Mogilevich does it all.

The equation for finding the perfect mark is simple: 1) identify a businessman who has what you need – like a vehicle to wash your blood money, + 2) find their weak spot, and + 3) squeeze.

Don Semyon looked for those who can be easily leveraged. Looked for the vulnerable. Looked for the businessman in a desperate situation. And even if Don Semyon inherits a mark as an asset from an old boss he rolled over, he will still evaluate that mark thoroughly. He'll leverage the mark further to make him his own. Because, he’s the “Brainy Don.”

Perhaps, the mark is not quite desperate enough for the blood money that Semyon needs him to wash. This is money that funds terrorists - profits from the proliferation of nuclear material - the global rape trade. Don Semyon’s businesses are as dark as it gets.

For that reason, Mogilevich requires a lifetime of servitude and loyalty. For the unthinkable acts he requires of his marks – his “fronts” to undertake, Don Semyon needs real leverage. He must OWN you.

Therefore, if the mark is not desperate enough when Mogilevich has him in his sights, then he lures that mark into a bad deal– and makes it worse. Arranges for some Kompromat to seal the leverage forever. SQUEEZE.

To find that perfect mark in his new U.S. territory, all Semion Mogilevich had to do was follow the debt.

In the United States, there was one businessman at the top of Don Semyon’s list. One who was the easiest mark and could reap the greatest return. One who was sheltering Mogilevich's Men. One who was already in business with the American mafia, when "the" RUSSIAN MOB rolled over them all. 

Mob tactics are mob tactics. It doesn’t matter if you’re the Italians, the Irish, or the Russians. You need businessmen because they are your “fronts.”

And thanks to Fred Trump, Roy Cohn, and the “Five Families” of American mafia, the United States already had a perfect front for Mogilevich to take. A man – a brand, that could wash the devil’s blood money clean.


Donald Trump and Roy Cohn (Credit: Bettmann/Getty)

Donald Trump and Roy Cohn (Credit: Bettmann/Getty)

Donald J. Trump.

Our President’s mafia ties have been long documented. His Russian ties have been long documented. What we are saying to you is that they are one and the same. When Semion Mogilevich took over American mafia’s territory, he took Donald Trump with it.

With Donald Trump, our President, whether you are looking at the shady and corrupt business deals of his past, or the Russians all around his present, what you are really looking at is THE MOB.

Here is the chart that shows how Semion Mogilevich took over his second brand: TRUMP ENTERPRISES.

[You can find our research on this chart by clicking here, or going to both the bibliography sections on our site]

The below video is a timeline representation of our research into Donald Trump’s life as a money-laundering front for organized crime: from American mafia to Russian. Every item – every Donald Trump project or event that we’re presenting here as mob-connected is SOURCED.

You can pause it to read more closely. You can also go to the bibliography section on this site to see an interactive version of the timeline and explore our sources. They include legal documents, law enforcement reports, intelligence reports, financial statements, and great investigative journalism.

We've included some key trips to Russia (both Donald and his family), with the inference that these were not un-productive jaunts. Donald's ties to Semion are old and long-held.

Take it all in. This is our President. Watch...


 From FSB to MI6


After his 1998 press conference – telling the world that Russia’s FSB had been taken over by the Mob, Alexander Litvinenko was jailed. His story from there is remarkable. 

Litvinenko turned to the man whom he was once ordered to assassinate. Prior to his press conference, Litvinenko was ordered by his mobbed-up superiors to murder one of the original seven oligarchs – a banker named Boris Berezovsky, who was a competitor to Alfa Bank. Instead, Litvinenko warned Berezovsky to run. That assassination order was what prompted the press conference. 

In between Litvinenko’s trials and prison movement, Berezovsky managed to get Litvinenko and his family (wife and son) out of Russia and into the United Kingdom. 

Finding safe exile in London, Alexander Litvinenko continued working to hunt Mogilevich’s mob. In our opinion, the very best journalism on Litvinenko’s journey from the FSB to MI6 is done by Luke Harding. We highly recommend his book, “A Very Expensive Poison.”

In Harding’s book, we learn of Litvinenko’s work with MI6. He was instrumental in the arrests of key members of the Tambov Gang (SEMION'S PARTNERS), who were hiding out in Spain. 

In late 2006, at the peak of his hunting, and perhaps due to a dossier he co-wrote that landed in the wrong hands, Litvinenko was assassinated. It was a gruesome murder that was meant to send a signal: he was poisoned with radioactive material, that was under the control of Vladimir Putin’s regime. Polonium.