Letter: President involvement in unethical practices troubling

From: Carole Hyneman


Some of us know that President Trump has ties to more than 24 real estate companies, golf courses, hotels, etc. Just from licensing the Trump name, he has made $59 million. One example of this is the deal made with Anar Mammadov, son of the billionaire head of the Department of Transportation in Baku, capital of Azerbaijan. A luxury apartment house (which later became the Trump Hotel and Trump Tower Baku) was built but has never been opened. (Google it because it is a famous building.) Trump disassociated himself from this deal after the election. The Mammadov family has been nicknamed “the Corleones of the Caspian” because it is so corrupt.

Trump said that he hopes to protect Saudi Arabia while he is president. Could this be because he has deals to develop luxurious real estate there? Note that Saudi Arabia is not on the travel ban list, even though most of the 9/11 terrorists were from there.

Trump was paid to build two golf courses and Trump-branded villas starting at $1.5 million in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, by Hussain Sajwani. These are in a 42-million-square-foot-community called Damac Hills, described as “the Beverly Hills of the Middle East.” Sajwani had formerly been sentenced to five years in jail and fined $15 million on corrupt charges, yet Trump describes him as a “very, very amazing man.”

The president partnered with the Lodha Group in Mumbai, India, to build a gold facade tower that will have 400 luxurious apartments to be completed in 2018. Mangal Lodha touts the phrase, “Making Mumbai great again.” The Lodha Group had been involved in a $30 million tax evasion case.

The 1977 Foreign Corrupt Practices Act requires companies to do risk assessments and extensive due diligence before making deals in foreign countries. Some of the deals Trump has made make me question his ethics and honesty. When the Trump Organization’s chief legal counsel was asked to show documentation of due diligence concerning one of the projects, he said that he couldn’t share it because “it’s confidential and privileged.” It’s hard for me to believe that the president doesn’t know the background of the unsavory people he makes deals with.

Michael D’Antonio says in his biography of Trump, “Never Enough,” “if there’s advantage in it for him to partner with unsavory characters, he’ll do it.”

Another concern I have involved the renovated post office a few blocks from the White House. The president turned it into a luxurious hotel (some suites are $20,000 a night). Is it possible that foreign agents may stay there in order to curry favors from our government? If so, does this constitute an emolument given to directly benefit the president?

I don’t know if anyone else is bothered by this or not, but it troubles me greatly that the president of the U.S. is involved in such unethical practices and, no doubt, will continue to be, either directly or indirectly through his family.