July 5, 2024 / by emptywheel


Brazil Charges Coup-Plotter Bolsonaro for Saudi Gifts as Trump Org Unveils New Saudi High Rise

Brazilian authorities will charge Jair Bolsonaro with money laundering for keeping $3.2 million in diamonds given to him and his spouse by the Saudi government.

Brazilian federal police on Thursday formally accused former President Jair Bolsonaro of embezzlement for allegedly misappropriating jewelry he received while head of state, including luxury items given by the Saudi Arabian government, two police sources said.

This is the second time police have formally accused Bolsonaro of a crime. He was charged in March with forging his COVID-19 vaccine records.

The jewelry, some of it made by Chopard of Switzerland, was valued at $3.2 million and included a diamond necklace, ring, watch and earrings given to Bolsonaro and former first lady Michelle Bolsonaro by the Saudi government.

Some of the jewelry was seized by customs officials at Sao Paulo’s international airport in October 2021 when it was found in the backpack of a government aide returning from Riyadh.

The police accused Bolsonaro of money laundering, criminal association and embezzlement, according to one of the sources, who spoke to Reuters on the condition of anonymity.

Meanwhile, buried on page A7 of the NYT on Monday, behind mountains of stories about Old Man Joe Biden, NYT’s Eric Lipton reported that Trump Organization unveiled in new project in Saudi Arabia.

The Trump Organization has signed a new deal with a Saudi real estate company to build a residential high-rise tower in the city of Jeddah, extending the family’s close ties with the kingdom.

Saudi Arabia has become one of the few reliable sources of growth for the Trump family’s business operations, as new real estate deals in the United States have slowed or stopped since the Jan. 6, 2021, assault on the Capitol and since former President Donald J. Trump left the White House.

This new deal is like other international projects the Trump family has signed over the past decade. It offers the family’s name and brand to a well-financed developer that will build the project and sell luxury resident units, it hopes at a premium, based on the marketability of the former president’s perceived star power. Other projects include a resort complex in Oman and Saudi-backed golf tournaments at Trump courses in recent years.

This seems to be structured like the Moscow Trump Tower deal would have been: basically, free money to the Trump Organization for the use of a coup-plotter’s brand.

The Saudis allegedly supported one coup-plotter with piddling gifts of mere millions. Meanwhile, it has been funneling far more to the Trump family, all in plain sight (albeit buried beneath a bunch of breathless coverage of Joe Biden’s age).

Isn’t it time voters learned whether the Republican candidate for President is a mere house boy for the Saudi royal family?

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Originally Posted @ https://www.emptywheel.net/2024/07/05/brazil-charges-coup-plotter-bolsonaro-for-saudi-gifts-as-trump-org-unveils-new-saudi-high-rise/