The news, reported in the Washington Post, that Donald Trump used cash for many of his real estate transactions in the decade before he became president, has raised eyebrows.

With people speculating (without evidence) about possible money laundering, SLATE interviewed Peter Hardy, a partner in the firm's White Collar Criminal Defense Group and writer of Ballard Spahr’s Money Laundering Watch blog, about several topics, including what money laundering is and how it is detected.

"Money laundering involves a financial transaction—which can be very, very broad—coupled with the source of the underlying funds being from what's called a 'specified unlawful activity,'" said Hardy. "That's a term of art from the statute, but to put it more colloquially, it has to be money from a crime. Basically, it is almost any crime that generates proceeds."

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