According to a new report from The New York Times, prior subpoena demands from the team of Special Counsel Jack Smith to the Trump Organization have in fact included a push for key records related to foreign business deals — many such arrangements, at least — struck since Donald took office in 2017.
It was already known that Smith’s team, which is at the federal Justice Department, had been examining the relationship between the Trump family business and LIV Golf, which is a new golf league that evidently gets most of its financial support from a fund in Saudi Arabia led by that country’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who was believed to be involved in the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Those circumstances mean that Trump, who is seeking to regain the presidency, has seemingly seen inflows of millions of dollars tracing to a despotic foreign leader.
The interest by federal prosecutors in the Trump Organization’s foreign business arrangements has been reported specifically in the context of Smith’s investigation into Donald harboring classified documents after he left office. In theory, somewhere in the records could be an indication of an explanation for the interest Trump was serving by taking the documents, though time — and possibly charges — will tell. Prosecutors evidently specified they wanted records of Trump’s business ties in over half a dozen countries, including China, France, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, and Oman. At least one such deal is already known that involved a licensing arrangement with a Saudi company for a development planned for an Oman location.
“The subpoena sought the records for deals reached since 2017, when Mr. Trump was sworn in as president,” the Times said. The publication didn’t have a lot of other specific details, unfortunately, including in regards to any level of compliance already undertaken by Trump and how precisely that prosecutors may be connecting this area of scrutiny to the rest of their probes. Notably, Trump specifically took credit for taking government records during a recent CNN town hall, probably giving his personal legal team a major headache.