Today, Free Speech For People called on the Attorney General of New York and the Acting U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York (the top federal prosecutor in Manhattan) to investigate serious allegations of potential corruption involving President Trump and the Trump Organization. These alleged activities potentially violate federal laws against bribery, use of official office for extortion, bribing foreign government officials, and doing business with the government of Iran.
While the publicly available information at this point does not conclusively establish that violations have occurred, recent reports raise serious questions justifying these investigations. Now that President Trump has fired the former U.S. Attorney in Manhattan, it’s more important than ever that tough-minded prosecutors take a hard look at these new revelations about potential corruption reaching from Trump Tower and the Oval Office to China, Azerbaijan, and Iran.
Our letter to Eric Schneiderman, Attorney General of New York, sets forth serious allegations regarding the failed Trump Tower Baku project in Baku, Azerbaijan. As reported recently, the Trump Organization’s activities in this project may have included participating in bribery of Azerbaijani officials, and dealing with a construction company that is described as a front organization for Iran’s Revolutionary Guard.
This letter follows up on a letter that we sent in February, in which we set forth the long history of alleged illegal conduct by the Trump Organization, both before and after President Trump’s inauguration. We asked the attorney general to open an investigation into whether to revoke the corporate charter of the Trump Organization under a New York law that authorizes him to dissolve a corporation for persistently illegal conduct or abuse of its powers contrary to the public policy of the state. This new letter provides yet more fuel for that investigation. (As a New York state court held in a previous case, violations of federal law can be grounds for corporate charter revocation because “[f]ederal law is as much a law of [New York] State as any specific law enacted by the State Legislature.”).
Our letter to Joon Kim, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, sets forth the Baku allegations, and also outlines potential bribery and extortion violations arising from the suspicious timing of the Chinese government granting the Trump Organization certain trademarks. After many years of refusing to grant these trademarks, the Chinese Trademark Office was suddenly roused to grant them just as President Trump tested abandoning the United States’ “One China” policy. Our letter outlines specific questions that the federal investigation should aim to answer.
We have offered to meet with both Attorney General Schneiderman and Acting U.S. Attorney Kim to discuss these allegations and their investigations.