New York Attorney General Letitia James issued subpoenas on Monday for banks involved in financing four Trump Organization projects. That includes Trump National Doral golf course, his hotel in Washington, D.C., and his effort to buy the Buffalo Bills. The subpoenas are the next step in promises to “shine a bright light” on Trump that James made in both her campaign and her victory speech following her election last fall.
As reported by the New York Times, subpoenas have gone out to Deutsche Bank—Trump’s frequent lender of last resort. At the Deutsche Bank, Trump worked with a small unit that “serves ultra-wealthy people.” On the basis of financial information reported as “bare bones,” that unit was happy to hand Trump $100 million for his golf club, and $170 million to renovate the Old Post Office Building. Even though Trump was turned down elsewhere.
A subpoena also went out to Investors Bank for information on a loan it provided for the Trump Park Avenue project. In that project, Trump put out $115 million in 2002 to transform a hotel into high-priced condos. The project was launched at a point when Trump was in the midst of multiple bankruptcies and had been turned down for financing by the banks who had backed him to that point.
Trump has already snapped back on Twitter, saying that he will “never be treated fairly by these people.” What “these people” apparently means . . . whatever Trump wants it to mean.
He’s right. Republicans are right. Wealthy right wingers like Donald Trump, Roger Stone, and Paul Manafort would never be getting investigated if it wasn’t for the current political climate, and that’s a real problem. But the problem isn’t the fact that these guys are getting investigated and charged now. It’s that they weren’t investigated sooner.
The biggest lesson of the last two years has been just how free wealthy insiders feel to ignore the law, and how rarely anything is done about it. What Donald Trump perceives as unfair attention is just … attention. The campaign may have allowed Trump to feel the warm glow of being able to shoot someone on Fifth Avenue without concern, but he’s long known that he could cheat someone on Fifth Avenue, or any other avenue, and never have to worry. Whether it was stiffing contractors for thousands, ripping off suckers at his “university,” putting one over on investors for millions, or lying to a bank for hundreds of millions, Donald Trump has never really had to pay up. And that’s the biggest crime of all.