The Trump-Russia Story
The 2017 Special Counsel investigation is an ongoing investigation in the United States led by former FBI Director Robert Mueller as special counsel under supervision of the United States Department of Justice.
Mueller is exploring any coordination or Criminal conspiracy between Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign and the Russian government as part of the election interference that Russia conducted against the U.S. in 2016.
The investigation has expanded to include several lobbying firms, including the Podesta Group and subsumed several existing FBI investigations including those involving former campaign chairman Paul Manafort and former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn.
On October 30, 2017, Manafort and his business partner Rick Gates surrendered to the FBI on charges brought by the special counsel unrelated to the Trump campaign.
On the same day, Mueller’s team revealed that former Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos had pleaded guilty on October 5 to making false statements to FBI agents about contacts he had with agents of the Russian government while working for the Trump campaign in 2016, and was cooperating with investigators.
What is unravelling is a series of events so huge it potentially involves international espionage, off-shore banks, dodgy real estate deals, mobsters, money laundering, poisoned dissidents, computer hacking, and the most shocking election in American history.
This and the three previous article provide detail supporting contact/ links between:
A member of Trump’s foreign policy advisory panel, George Papadopoulous, Professor Joseph Mifsud, Prasenjit Kumar Singh, Boris Johnson, Alok Sharma, Andrew Colin, Jeffrey T Leeds, Colin Powell, The Hon. Rupert Soames OBE
It also attempts to provide evidence of working relationships within/between the following organisations:
INTO university partnerships, Leeds Equity Partners, The London Academy of Diplomacy, Stirling University, The London School of Executive Training (LSET), The Vavaldi Club, The Brexit Campaign, The Tory Party, The Link Campus University in Italy, ‘Globalistics’ in Moscow
Multi-Millionaire – Jeffrey T Leeds
Leeds, a Marshall Scholar at the University of Oxford, graduated summa cum laude from Yale University with a B.A. degree in History and his J.D., magna cum laude, from Harvard Law school.
He founded Leeds Equity Partners a leading New York based Private Equity Firm focusing on the Education, Information Services, and Training Industries and is also a director of publicly trading companies:
INTO University Partnerships
and is a member of:
The Board of Directors of the Association of Private Sector Colleges and Universities.
The Council on Foreign Relations.
The Board of Visitors at The Colin L. Powell School for Civic and Global Leadership.
Leeds Equity Partners, LLC
Founded by Jeffrey T. Leeds and Robert A. Bernstein in 1993, Leeds Equity Partners, LLC, the New York-based private equity fund focused exclusively on investing in the Knowledge has raised and managed more than $1.1 billion of capital.
It announced recently that it has signed and closed a £66M investment in INTO University Partnerships Limited (“INTO”) in return for a 25% equity stake.
Founded in 2005 by Andrew Colin and based in Brighton, United Kingdom, INTO is a leader in partnering with premier universities around the world to increase student capacity, drive additional revenue and support greater international student mobility.
Since 2005, INTO has developed 16 university partnerships in the United Kingdom, United States and Asia.
All of INTO’s partnerships share the common theme of forming long-term relationships with high quality universities in order to attract talented students from international markets outside the universities’ traditional target geographic areas.
Current partners include the University of Exeter, Newcastle University, Oregon State University, Colorado State University, the University of South Florida and Nankai University.
“We are delighted to invest in INTO,” said Jeffrey T. Leeds, President and Co-Founder of Leeds Equity Partners.
INTO’s founder directors, have built a successful, impactful business because they understand the complexities of the higher education marketplace as well as the needs of students.
“We look forward to helping them to continue to build an industry-leading, relationship-driven model that helps universities meet their increasingly complex challenges.”
INTO’s founder and Chairman, Andrew Colin said, “We are thrilled to welcome Leeds Equity as our investor and partner and appreciate this strong vote of confidence in both our team and business model.
There is a powerful cultural fit between our two organizations. Throughout our discussions I was particularly impressed with their commitment to our vision.
We look forward to leveraging their expertise, strategic insight and resources as we continue to innovate and grow.”
“In an era of soaring demand and declining public funding, INTO, working with its global network of world-class universities, is a strategic enabler,” said Carter Harned, Managing Director at Leeds Equity Partners.
“INTO’s transformational model, supported by private sector investment, has already demonstrated its impact to major public universities on both sides of the Atlantic.
This investment will support those endeavours and, through this model, continue to deliver exceptional experiences and outcomes to students and innovative capacity building solutions to great universities around the world.”
The Board of Advisors of Leeds Equity Partners:
Chairman General Colin L. Powell, former Secretary of State, National Security Advisor, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Dr. Barry A. Munitz, former Chancellor of the California State University school system and CEO of the J. Paul Getty Trust.
Thomas F. (“Mack”) McLarty III, President of McLarty Associates and former White House Chief of Staff under President William J. Clinton.
Dr. Rod R. Paige, former Secretary of Education under President George W. Bush.
Richard W. Riley, former Secretary of Education under President William J. Clinton and two-term Governor of South Carolina.
Tim J. Fitzpatrick, the former CEO of Sallie Mae Corporation.
Timothy P. Shriver, Chairman of the Board of the Special Olympics.
13 Feb 2014: Colin Powell Chairs Business Accused of Systematically Defrauding Veterans
US veterans return home to earn a college degree, many say they have been defrauded out of their education benefits from a company chaired by none other than retired general and former Secretary of State Colin Powell.
Powell is the chairman of the advisory board to Leeds Equity Partners, an investment firm that co-owns for-profit college mega corporation EDMC, the parent company of the Art Institutes, Argosy University, Brown Mackie College and South University.
Leeds is part of a consortium of investors including Goldman Sachs and Providence Equity Partners that took control of EDMC in 2006.
Over the years, EDMC has developed a history of aggressively targeting returning veterans to use their GI benefits at EDMC-owned schools. Increasingly, many veterans complain about low quality programs.
They also claim they have been deceived by EDMC’s recruiting tactics, including false promises of high paying jobs after graduation and degrees that cost far more than what students say they were led to believe when enrolling.
About INTO University Partnerships – The Sales Pitch
INTO University Partnerships specializes in large-scale transformational partnerships that support and drive leading universities’ internationalization goals.
Within university led partnerships, INTO expands opportunities for students to pursue higher education by investing in the resources, systems and processes to deliver a first-class student experience.
The company has over 1,400 staff working on INTO projects and generates annual revenues of £160m.
The company estimates that more than 50,000 students will have enrolled at INTO centres by the end of the 2012-13 financial year.
The investment value of its infrastructure projects currently exceeds £200m. Projections see the company more than doubling in size over the next 5 years.
INTO’s partnership model provides investment and access to resources beyond the scope and capacity of individual universities.
Students benefit from university-designed and delivered programs, highly supportive learning environments and state-of-the-art learning and living spaces while enjoying full access to their host university’s campus facilities, resources and services.
The company currently operates a student recruitment network with 31 offices in 17 countries.
For investors, INTO provides access to the fast growing international higher education market, in a highly diversified portfolio of leading higher education brands.
21 Sep 2016: Stealing America’s Future: How For Profit Colleges Scam Taxpayers and Ruin Students’ Lives: Author: David Halpern
Seven of America’s ten biggest for profit colleges, which collectively received about £6billion in taxpayer money last year, have in recent months and years been under investigation or sued by law enforcement agencies for deceptive practices.
Yet these companies continue to market themselves as affordable places to build successful careers, and they continue to enrol new students and deposit their federal grants and loan checks.
But the public are become increasingly aware that many of the for profit colleges, the career training schools that bombard TV, websites, and city buses with slick ads promising high-paying careers are a bad deal for students, and that some are simply scams.
These schools have been caught luring students…. veterans, single mothers, and others struggling to get ahead with false claims about the cost of programs and the value of degrees, and then leaving them unemployed and buried in debt.
The for profit college industry has been taking more than £25 billion annually.
A key reason why such predatory for-profit colleges have been able to continue receiving billions annually in taxpayer dollars while ruining the financial futures of students across the country is that national power players…….. politicians, lawyers, academic leaders, celebrities……….. have been willing to vouch for these companies, serving as their paid lobbyists, board members, investors, and endorsers.
Yet again, Washington has created a monster, one so big that it can work its will on the political system even after the facts have heavily discredited it.
21 Sep 2016: Diploma Mills A Student Speaks Out
For anyone interested in the threat posed by for-profit colleges and universities, Diploma Mills will illuminate both the history, as well as the present state, of these parasitic marketing-based sales organizations.
A graduate of a public state University, I received a full scholarship to a well-known for-profit for “graduate studies” through a professional organization.
After four courses, I knew I had to quit. The quality of the education was so poor as to be non-existent.
Many of my classmates (matriculating from the for-profits’ undergrad programs) were woefully underprepared for the rigours of a “real school”, yet they found a watered-down curriculum based largely on “team projects” to mitigate their academic weaknesses.
I would go so far as to say that at least 5% were functionally illiterate.
No matter: no entrance exams or undergraduate requirements here. Even at no cost, the education wasn’t worth it:
I can only imagine the hundreds of thousands of students paying full price (around 2 to 3 times state university tuition) for a piece of paper that will yield little in the marketplace.
In light of this experience, I found Diploma Mills to be a clear and intellectually honest indictment of the entire bankrupt model of for-profit education.
12 Oct 2011: Obama Backs Off Following Lobbying Blitz – Rules Constraining For Profit Colleges Greatly Diluted
Last year, the Obama administration vowed to stop for-profit colleges from luring students with false promises. In an opening volley that shook the £25billion industry, officials proposed new restrictions to cut off the huge flow of federal aid to unfit programs.
But after a ferocious response that administration officials called one of the most intense they had seen, the Education Department produced a much-weakened final plan that almost certainly will have far less impact as it goes into effect next year.
The story of how the for-profit colleges survived the threat of a major federal crackdown offers a case study in Washington power brokering.
Rattled by the administration’s tough talk, the colleges spent more than £12million on an all-star list of prominent figures, particularly Democrats with close ties to the White House, to plot strategy, mend their battered image and plead their case. Full story here:
21 Sep 2016: Countering the Obama “war” on for profit schools and expanding the business
Emails reveal that Leeds sometimes asked Powell, beyond publicly lending his reputation to Leeds’ firm and investments, to help him make connections for his education properties.
In one exchange, Leeds asked Powell for help luring former Microsoft CEO Bill Gates into for-profit education ventures, writing in April 2015, “My guys met with some Gates people this week who are signalling strongly that they will be investing, for the first time, in private equity funds in the education space. Would you consider calling Bill and letting him know about us and your relationship to us?”
The previous year, Leeds sought a Powell connection in a Central Asian dictatorship: “Question for you: did you or do you know people in Kazakhstan? One of our companies (INTO) is working on a large contract with leading business people in that country to facilitate their sending students to the UK and US. Would you know senior political and business leaders? The daughter of the former head of security is involved.”
Leeds’ employment of Powell was not unusual. Many of the largest for profit colleges have retained well-connected lobbyists and esteemed former government officials — from Trent Lott to Dick Gephardt, Marc Morial to Bob Dole — as they sought to expand business, prevent accountability measures, and soften bad publicity.
These respected figures have seemed all too happy to oblige, in exchange for fees, notwithstanding the mounting accusations that the patron schools have engaged in widespread fraud.
As a private company, Leeds Equity Partners is not required to disclose how much it has paid Powell for his services. But the emails reveal multiple financial arrangements between Leeds and Powell.
In a message to his son, a former chairman of the FCC turned lobbyist for the cable industry, Powell noted that he was in negotiations to be paid an additional salary “in the ball park” of $100,000 by one of Leeds’ leadership training academies.
“Don’t know if I ever mentioned that I am on a nice monthly retainer with Leeds equity,” Powell added to the message. “I chair his advisory committee over all his holdings and have an equity position in one.”
14 Jun 2017: Trump Dismantling Rules Constraining Predatory For Profit Colleges Abusers
The U.S. Department of Education under Secretary Betsy DeVos this week began the process of dismantling the rules issued under President Obama to constrain the predatory abuses of for-profit colleges.
At the end of the troubling first day of what’s called negotiated rulemaking, members of the public were given an opportunity to speak. I was the only person to get up to speak. I said this:
“This proceeding is blocking a regulation that was carefully considered and carefully crafted to protect students and taxpayers from predatory college abuses.
What the Department now is doing is a bad idea, and I have submitted public comments explaining why I believe that.
But that’s the Washington DC perspective on what’s going on here — injury to a rule. From the perspective of those hard working Americans who have been defrauded and abused by for-profit colleges — veterans, single mothers, immigrants, the forgotten Americans whom President Trump promised to fight for — this proceeding, and this Department’s failure to act on 99,000 pending applications for relief, is about something much more urgent.
Almost all the students seeking relief attended for profit colleges. Many were left with useless credits and degrees from high-priced, low-quality programs.
They were deceived into enrolling and left without the careers or salaries they were promised.
Many nonetheless faithfully pay down their student loans every month, even if that leaves them with little money for rent, food, clothes for their children.
This proceeding, and the delay in acting on claims, is causing immense hardship and heartbreak for those Americans.
My colleagues and I know these men and women. They’re good people. All they wanted was a chance to pursue their dreams and make better lives for their families.
They’re not asking, as Secretary DeVos recently suggested, for “free money”; only to have some of their debts cancelled, so they have some chance for a future.
But instead of standing with them, Secretary DeVos and this Department are now standing with the people who have caused the harm, the people who have pocketed billions and required taxpayer bailout after taxpayer bailout.
There is no sound public policy rationale for delaying and rewriting the borrower defence rule.
The rule would quickly start saving money for taxpayers, by pushing the Department to remove from federal aid those predatory schools that produce widespread loan defaults.
But the issue papers prepared by the Department for this meeting reveal its determination to cancel legitimate protections for students and taxpayers.
I know and respect some owners and executives of for-profit schools. Some really do want the best for their students. The industry has many good teachers.
Some owners expressed legitimate concerns during past rule makings. But over eight years of the last administration, the Department took those concerns into consideration, and I believe we ended up with rules and policies that are more than fair to schools, rules that penalize bad actors while rewarding colleges that actually help students train for careers.
This process today is, instead, about the corruption of our system. It’s about the blatant desire of some for-profit colleges, which are associated with political appointees, donors, and friends of this administration, to go back to the recent bad old days, when they could act with impunity — deceiving and abusing students in order to maximize profits.
Their misconduct, which has led to scores of federal and state law enforcement actions, and is still very much ongoing, has been a national scandal. And this proceeding extends and embodies that scandal.
State attorneys general — Republicans and Democrats — will continue to fight against for-profit college fraud.
Responsible Members of Congress, media outlets, and advocates for students and veterans will continue to expose abuses, and more prospective students will get the truth about bad actors in this industry, even if your Department continues to weaken enforcement efforts, relax oversight of accreditors, approve sham conversions to non-profit status, and gut accountability rules.
The Department will be on the wrong side of history, the wrong side of justice, and the wrong side of our people. Keep the existing borrower rule. Help these students.”