Another Trump lawyer faces a headache

While Trump is in the news for his bloody tweets, another headache is brewing. One of Trump’s lawyers is already getting bad news coverage for pilfering donations. Now another one is involved in deals between Kushner and Leviev.

Jay Sekulow, attorney to Mr. Trump, has been found out sluicing millions from charities to fund his and his family’s lifestyles. He is facing an investigation. The Guardian reported on this for two consecutive days.

Now Trump’s Russia lawyer, Marc Kasowitz, is in trouble too. In a previous post, Marc Kasowitz’ many involvements with Russia were mentioned. Media raised questions because of Kasowitz’s potential conflict of interest. The conflict of interest involves his work for various Russian clients including Russia’s largest bank. This Russian bank is involved in a dispute lodged with an US court.

Kasowitz reportedly also bragged, he was involved in firing Mr. Bharara. The Guardian cites ProPublia: “One of the major investigations conducted by the southern district of New York under Bharara was allegedly to look into Deutsche Bank’s involvement in alleged Russian money-laundering.

Kasowitz’ s firm, Kasowitz Benson Torres, now turns out to have been involved in real-estate deals with Jared Kushner.

The Guardian and Washington Post reported:

An investigation by the Guardian has found that Kasowitz’s law firm, Kasowitz Benson Torres, legally represented the owners of the former New York Times building in Times Square, Manhattan, in a 2015 deal in which part of the property was sold to Kushner for $296m.

The Washington Post has reported that a subsequent loan of $285m from Deutsche Bank to Kushner Companies, relating to the purchase of the building, could fall under the remit of the Mueller investigation given Deutsche Bank’s scandal-riven reputation. The involvement of Kasowitz’s firm as a key legal player in the initial sale adds a further possible twist as the special counsel’s inquiry gathers momentum.

The Guardian states “At the time of the sale to Kushner, the building was owned by Lev Leviev, an Israeli citizen born in the former Soviet Union in what is now Uzbekistan. His company, Africa Israel Investments, bought the Times Square property in 2007 for $525m.”

Dutch NOVA journalists investigated ties between the Kushners and Leviev families. Their findings were aired as part of a two-part documentary. Leviev is not just a friend of Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, but also a personal and close friend of Vladimir Putin. Though the close friendship between Putin and Leviev is now being denied by the latter’s spokespersons.

The Guardian contacted the Leviev Group of Companies and it told its journalists: “The Kushner Companies’ offer for the retail space was the most attractive offer ever submitted, and was higher than the building’s appraisal.”

Kushner sealed the refinancing deal with Deutsche Bank and SL Green over his half of the former New York Times building last October, in the dying days of the presidential campaign. The package, reported by Kushner’s own news magazine, Commercial Observer, amounted to $370m – $74m more than Kushner had paid for it.

As various media pointed out during the past months, Deutsche Bank was the only bank willing to lend Trump money. When Trump should have repaid one of his loans to Deutsche Bank, he took this bank to court. Deutsche Bank nevertheless continued to do business with Trump. It seems that Deutsche Bank loaned Trump over $360 million.

For the complete Guardian article: Trump’s Russia lawyer faces

 

 

 

 

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About Kate

Multilingual blogger, columnist, writer, translator. 2014 winning columnist Gentse Schrijversdagen, Gand, Belgium.
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