The Trumps have carried the weight of their corruption along with them for years, although even still, Donald still sits in the White House. They didn’t get to their present position alone, though. The FBI is now reported to be looking into Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance’s office over possible issues over his team’s handling of campaign donations. On a number of occasions, lawyers with cases before his office made large donations — and the cases were subsequently dropped.
One such instance involved the Trumps. Vance was considering going after Donald Jr. and Ivanka over lying about the status of their family business’s Trump SoHo property. In 2008 — fitting in with a pattern of false claims from the eventual presidential adviser — Ivanka claimed that a whopping 60 percent of the units in the building had been sold off. In reality, though, only about 15 percent of the property had been sold off.
Other instances of her lies include a claim from around the same time that a Trump-branded property in Panama had over 90 percent of its units under purchase contract at the time, which was before the building’s completion. In reality, only around 79 percent of the units were under contract, and a number of the buyers eventually backed out of their agreements. Many of them were connected to organized crime and money laundering operations and/or made their original payments via shell companies, which concealed much of what was really going on behind the scenes.
Both the Panama and SoHo buildings stand today, but the Trump name is on neither. The building forfeitures are part of a broad pattern of decline for the Trump Organization’s business, with one of the only outposts of financial success remaining the Trump hotel in D.C. Even that isn’t entirely thanks to good business, though, since the property has been utilized by an array of political interests from literally the world over easily perceived as seeking to earn favor with the current American president.
Indeed — although he no longer serves in an executive capacity, Trump does still maintain a financial stake in the business that almost earned two of his kids scrutiny from Vance. Trump even utilized the services of the same lawyer while in the White House — Marc Kasowitz — who dealt with Vance at the time.
Kasowitz, prior to a sit-down some years ago, donated $25,000 to Vance, although the district attorney returned it. Still, after the two met and Vance declined to pursue an investigation into Ivanka and Donald Jr. any further, $32,000 came in for Vance, and it took him until 2017 to “return” it.
In the time since the original interactions, Vance has changed his rules of operation, refusing to accept substantial donations from lawyers with cases pending before his office. The change may have come too late, however, considering the report of an FBI inquiry into the matter.
Vance spokesman Danny Frost, for his part, claimed to be unaware of any FBI scrutiny of the way his boss’s office operates.
Besides the Trump case, Vance has also attracted criticism for having accepted donations from lawyers associated with eventually revealed serial sexual predator Harvey Weinstein and concurrently declining to go after him, until now.
Featured Image via YouTube screenshot