The Trump company behind the ex-president’s knock-off social media site Truth Social was put under federal investigation for possible involvement in money laundering, according to a new report from The Guardian.
That Trump company, the Trump Media & Technology Group, benefited from two loans facilitated in part by a bank co-owned by who available details indicate is a family member of a close ally to Putin, and money from these loans helped keep the company operational amid other federal investigations into the circumstances of a planned merger. That prospective business combination would involve Trump’s company joining with Digital World Acquisition Corp., or DWAC, in a long delayed arrangement that has faced scrutiny for possibly improper discussions about the deal before DWAC, a so-called blank check company, went public. If that deal is ever completed, the Trump firm would be able to benefit from the financing the other company has amassed — and would go public, creating the opportunity for additional investor support, although DWAC stock has struggled.
According to The Guardian, the interest in the $8 million worth of loans to the Trump company was from federal prosecutors. (The Securities and Exchange Commission, another federal agency, has also looked at the respective businesses.) The publication also notes that the investigation is in earlier stages rather than having conclusively shown any criminal or even civil liability on the part of any Trump entity or associate in connection with the money. But the possibilities are serious.
The money itself came in two tranches. An earlier loan of $2 million was identified with Paxum Bank, which is registered in Dominica, as the so-called beneficial owner, “although the promissory note identified an entity called ES Family Trust as the lender,” The Guardian said. The rest later came directly from the trust. Anton Postolnikov, identified by The Guardian as a part-owner of the bank, is the tie, through his evident family member, to the current Russian leader. It’s obviously notable for yet another Russian connection to emerge in a scandal even tangentially involving Trump himself. Donald Trump Jr. may have been more knowledgeable about what was happening than the ex-president, since he was evidently informed of the sought loan of $2 million by a lawyer.
This, of course, isn’t the only money with potentially dubious origins connected to the Trumps. Jared Kushner founded an investment operation after he left government service alongside his father-in-law, ex-President Trump, and that endeavor has received billions from a public investment fund led by infamous Saudi leader Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who was involved in the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, per observers’ conclusions.