Justice Dept Expands Trump Investigations To Millions Made From Saudis

0
945

According to a new report from The New York Times, federal investigators evidently associated with probes led by Special Counsel Jack Smith at the Justice Department have been examining the relationship between Trump’s business and LIV Golf. That golf league has received most of its financial support from a Saudi fund generally helmed by that country’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who is also believed to be involved in the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Trump has raked in millions through his company’s association with LIV Golf. Trump’s properties have hosted multiple events as part of the controversial league’s operations, and even the Trump Organization itself acknowledged millions in payouts associated with just one of those league gatherings. (As recapped in past reporting, a summer 2022 event at Trump’s golf resort in Bedminster, New Jersey, meant $2.8 million for the Trump operation, according to the company itself.)

There are obvious possibilities for conflicts of interest connected to these financial arrangements if Trump ever regains the presidency, because he would end up tasked with making foreign policy decisions affecting a country whose leadership is tied to millions in income for his own family business. The precise connection between these matters and what’s already been under investigation is unclear, however.

“One of the previously unreported subpoenas to the Trump Organization sought records pertaining to Mr. Trump’s dealings with a Saudi-backed professional golf venture known as LIV Golf, which is holding tournaments at some of Mr. Trump’s golf resorts,” the Times said. Personally, Trump has also been very supportive in public of LIV Golf’s efforts. Smith does have relatively broad investigative powers. In the investigation of the attempted subversion of the 2020 presidential election and the probe into Trump’s handling of classified documents, Smith was given some version of the power to examine “any matters that arose or may arise directly from this investigation,” according to the original order from Attorney General Merrick Garland establishing Smith’s authority.

As could be expected, Smith’s work remains conducted almost entirely in secret, although news reports based on leaks, observations, rare public statements, and court disputes have revealed a lot. In the probe around efforts to undercut Biden’s 2020 election win, federal authorities recently heard for some seven hours from Mike Pence. The ex-vice president gave grand jury testimony, some of which Smith reportedly personally witnessed.

Notably, it’s not even Trump alone in his circles financially benefiting from Saudi support. An investment organization founded by Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner after exiting government service received billions of dollars in backing from the same source inside Saudi Arabia. This time, Kushner is not participating so closely in Trump’s political operation, although as the likely next GOP nominee’s son-in-law, it’s still difficult to imagine the billions of dollars wouldn’t have any impact on decisions!