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Tracie McElroy @traciemac_Bmore
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MAY 2016: “In all, I’ve covered Donald Trump off and on for 27 years, and in that time I’ve encountered multiple threads linking Trump to organized crime. “ 1)…
“In April call to respond to my questions for this story, Trump said he didn’t recall many of events recounted in this article, they “were a long time ago.”He said I had “sometimes been fair,sometimes not” in writing about him,”if I don’t like what you write, I’ll sue you.”2)
Sound familiar @MichaelCohen212 ? 👆🏻 3)
No other candidate for the White House this year has anything close to Trump’s record of repeated social and business dealings with mobsters, swindlers, and other crooks. 4)
This is part of the Donald Trump story that few know. As Barrett wrote in his book, Trump didn’t just do business with mobbed-up concrete companies: he also probably met personally with Salerno at the townhouse of notorious New York fixer Roy Cohn 5)
The picture shows that Trump’s career has benefited from a decades-long and largely successful effort to limit and deflect law enforcement investigations into his dealings with top mobsters, organized crime associates, labor fixers, corrupt union leaders, con artists 6)
and even a one-time drug trafficker whom Trump retained as the head of his personal helicopter service.7)
What emerges is a pattern of business dealings with mob figures—not only local figures, but even the son of a reputed Russian mob boss whom Trump had at his side at a gala Trump hotel opening, but has since claimed under oath he barely knows.
Neither Trump’s campaign spokesperson, Hope Hicks, nor Jason Greenblatt, the executive vice president and chief legal officer at the Trump Organization, responded to several emailed requests for comment on the issues raised in this article. 9)
1970 ish: Trump made friends with the city’s most notorious fixer, lawyer Roy Cohn. Among other things Cohn was now a mob consigliere, with clients including “Fat Tony” Salerno, boss of Genovese family, and Paul Castellano, head of the Gambinos. 10)
TRUMP TOWER: There was something a little peculiar about the construction of Trump Tower, and subsequent Trump projects in New York. Most skyscrapers are steel girder construction, and that was especially true in the 1980s 11)
Trump chose a costlier and in many ways riskier method: ready-mix concrete. Salerno, Castellano and other organized crime figures controlled the ready-mix business in New York, and everyone in construction at the time knew it.12)
Trump ended up not only using ready-mix concrete, but also paying what a federal indictment of Salerno later concluded were inflated prices for it – repeatedly – to S & A Concrete, a firm Salerno and Castellano owned through fronts, and possibly to other mob-controlled firms.13)
Salerno and Castellano and other mob families controlled both the concrete business and the unions involved in delivering and pouring it 14)
with Cohn as his lawyer, Trump had no reason to personally fear Salerno/Castellano at least, not once he agreed to pay inflated concrete prices. What Trump appeared to receive in return was union peace. That meant:project would never face costly construction or delivery delays15)
The indictment on which Salerno was convicted in1988 and sent to prison, where he died, listed the nearly $8 million contract for concrete at Trump Plaza, an East Side high-rise apartment building, as one of the acts establishing that S &A was part of a racketeering enterprise16)
1980: FBI agents subpoenaed Trump in 1980 to ask about his dealing with John Cody, a Teamsters official described by law enforcement as a very close associate of the Gambino crime family. The FBI believed that Cody previously had obtained free apartments from other developers 17)
TRUMP LIES: FBI agents suspected that Cody, who controlled the flow of concrete trucks, might get a free TT apartment. Trump denied it. But a female friend of Cody’s, a woman with no job who attributed her lavish lifestyle to the kindness of friends, bought 3 TT apartments 18)
FRAUD: Cody stayed there on occasion and invested $500,000 in the units. Trump, Barrett reported, helped the woman get a $3 million mortgage without filling out a loan application or showing financials. 19)
LAWSUITS: After Cody was convicted of racketeering, imprisoned and lost control of the union, Trump sued the woman for $250,000 for alteration work. She countersued for $20 million 20)
TRUMP SETTLES TO AVOID INVESTGATION: in court papers she accused Trump of taking kickbacks from contractors, asserting this could “be the basis of a criminal proceeding requiring an attorney general’s investigation” into Trump. He quickly settled, paying her a half-million $. 21)
1979: when Trump hired a demolition contractor to take down the Bonwit Teller department store to make way for Trump Tower, he hired as many as 200 non-union men to work alongside about 15 members of the House Wreckers Union Local 95. 22)
GENOVESE: The non-union workers were mostly illegal Polish immigrants paid $4-6/ hour w no benefits. Normally the use of nonunion workers at a union site would have guaranteed a picket line. Not at this site. Work proceeded because the Genovese family controlled the union 23)
MORE LIES: When the Polish workers and a union dissident sued for their pay and benefits, Trump denied any knowledge of illegal workers. BUT, Testimony showed that Trump panicked when the nonunion Polish men threatened a work stoppage because they had not been paid. 24)
1991: a federal judge, Charles E. Stewart Jr., ruled that Trump had engaged in a conspiracy to violate a fiduciary duty, or duty of loyalty, to the workers and their union and that the “breach involved fraud and the Trump defendants knowingly participated in his breach.” 25)
The judge did not find Trump’s testimony to be sufficiently credible and set damages at $325,000. The case was later settled by negotiation, and the agreement was sealed. 26)
BREAKING GROUND IN MOBBED UP ATLANTIC CITY: Part of the licensing process for his NJ casino was supposed to be a deep investigation into his background, taking more than a year for would-be casino owners, but Trump managed to cut that short 27)
EXTORTION? As he told the story in The Art of the Deal, in 1981 he threatened to not build in Atlantic City unless New Jersey’s attorney general, John Degnan limited the investigation to six months. 28)
Degnan was worried that Trump might someday get approval for a casino at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Manhattan, which could have crushed Atlantic City’s lucrative gaming industry, so Degnan agreed to Trump’s terms. 29)
Trump was required to disclose any investigations in which he might have been involved in the past, even if they never resulted in charges. Trump didn’t disclose a federal grand jury inquiry into how he obtained an option to buy the Penn Central railroad yards on the West Side30)
The failure to disclose either that inquiry or the Cody inquiry probably should have disqualified Trump from receiving a license under the standards set by the gaming authorities. 31)
TRUMP IS NOT VERY BRIGHT: Once Trump was licensed in 1982, critical facts that should have resulted in license denial began emerging in Trump’s own books 32)
Forced after the fact to look into Trump’s connections, the two federal investigations he failed to reveal and other matters, the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement investigators circled the wagons to defend their work. 33)
TRUMP LIES UNDER OATH: The investigators’ reports showed that they then put Trump under oath. Trump denied any misconduct or testified that he could not remember. They took him at his word. That meant his casino license was secure 34)
WEICHSELBAUM: And then there was the case of Joseph Weichselbaum, an embezzler who ran Trump’s personal helicopter service and ferried his most valued clientele. 35)
DRUG TRAFFICKING:Trump’s casinos retained Weichselbaum’s firm to fly high rollers to AC. Weichselbaum was indicted in Ohio on charges of trafficking in marijuana/cocaine. The head of 1 of Trump’s casinos was notified of indictment in Oct 1985, but Trump continued using him. 36)
Weichselbaum, who in 1979 had been caught embezzling and had to repay the stolen money, pleaded guilty to 2 felonies.
Trump vouched for him before his sentencing, writing that the drug trafficker is “a credit to the community” who was “conscientious, forthright, and diligent.”37)
while Weichselbaum’s confederates got as many as 20 years, Weichselbaum himself got only 3, serving 18 months before he was released from the urban prison. In seeking early release, Weichselbaum said Trump had a job waiting for him. 38)
Lol 🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣 “Trump, in his phone call to me, said he “hardly knew” Weichselbaum.” 39)
SATER: “Our files show Trump connected in various deals to many other mobsters and wise guys.
There was, for example, Felix Sater, a senior Trump advisor and son of a reputed Russian mobster, whom Trump kept on long after he was convicted in a mob-connected stock swindle” 40)
LIBUTTI: Bob Libutti, a racehorse swindler who was quite possibly Trump’s biggest customer at the casino tables at the time. Libutti told me and others about arrangements that went beyond the “comps”free hotel rooms and services, that casinos can legally give to high-rollers. 41)
I’ll come back to him and why he is important in this thread 42)
ATLANTIC CITY MOB: In Atlantic City, Trump built on property where mobsters controlled parts of the adjoining land needed for parking. He paid $1.1 million for about a 5,000-square-foot lot that had been bought five years earlier for just $195,000 43)
Thanks in part to the laxity of New Jersey gaming investigators, Trump has never had to address his dealings with mobsters and swindlers head-on. 44)
1998: He made a deal to have Cadillacs dolled up with fancy interiors and exteriors marketing them as Trump Golden Series and Trump Executive Series limousines. 45)
The modifications were made at the Dillinger Coach Works, which was owned by a pair of convicted felons, convicted extortionist Jack Schwartz and convicted thief John Staluppi, who was so close to mobsters that he was invited to the wedding of a mob capo’s daughter. 46)
So why did Trump repeatedly do business with mob owned businesses and mob-controlled unions? Why go down the aisle with an expensive mobbed-up concrete firm when other options were available? “Because he saw these mob guys as pathways to money, and Donald is all about money.” 47)
BUT HER EMAILS, MSM: What Trump has to say about the reasons for his long, close and wide-ranging dealings with organized crime figures, with the role of mobsters in cheating Trump Tower workers, his dealings with Felix Sater 48)
and Trump’s seeming leniency for Weichselbaum, are questions that voters deserve full answers about before casting their ballots. 49)
I will do another thread on the racehorse guy because that is a whole other can of worms @realDonaldTrump doesn’t want opened. (Special thanks to @LincolnsBible for helping me connect dots on TRUMP AND THE MOB end)
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