Trump’s Extortion Threats
Property of the People has exposed multiple violent extortion threats made on behalf of Donald Trump.
PoTP has exposed multiple violent extortion threats purportedly made on behalf of Donald Trump.
In one such case, PoTP obtained FBI documents via Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests and associated litigation filed by PoTP working in collaboration with Buzzfeed Senior Investigative Reporter, Jason Leopold.
The FBI documents we obtained revealed that on February 18, 2009, as Donald Trump’s casino business went into bankruptcy and defaulted on more than $1.25 billion of payments owed to investors, an individual implicitly claiming to represent Donald Trump threatened the wife and children of a New Jersey attorney representing Trump’s investors. The FBI opened an investigation, classifying it “Extortion; Overt”.
Documents obtained by PoTP and Leopold from the FBI reveal Kristopher Hansen, whose law firm Stroock & Stroock & Lavan represented Trump’s investors, received a threatening phone call on his blackberry from a pay phone on 54th Street across from the Ed Sullivan Theater in Manhattan. Donald Trump and his entourage were at the Ed Sullivan Theater that same day for a taping of the Tonight Show with David Letterman. Hansen informed the FBI that the caller was a “male and had a heavy New York accent.”
Additional documents from the Holmdel Township, New Jersey Police Department obtained by Leopold and shared with PoTP reveal the threatening caller explicitly told Hansen, “My name is Carmine I don’t know why you are fucking with Mr. Trump but if you keep fucking with Mr. Trump, we know where you live and we’re going to your house for your wife and kids.”
In a second case of a violent extortion threat made on behalf of Donald Trump exposed by PoTP, we again worked in collaboration with BuzzFeed’s Jason Leopold. FBI documents obtained by PoTP and Leopold through a FOIA request and lawsuit reveal that in 1982, New York City Housing Commissioner Anthony Gliedman also received a phone call and death threat related to Donald Trump. According to Gliedman, the threatening caller was irate about “a tax abatement issue concerning Donald Trump.” As the NYC Housing Commissioner, Gliedman was refusing Trump’s demand that Gliedman authorize a $20 million tax abatement on Trump Tower. Gliedman described the threatening caller to the FBI as “very abusive and profane regarding Gliedman’s inability to approve Mr. Trump’s request for a tax abatement.” The NYPD took this Trump-related death threat against Commissioner Gliedman seriously enough that it provided police protection to Gliedman and opened a full investigation, which included the personal involvement of the NYPD Commissioner and the chief of the NYPD Intelligence Unit.
As a private citizen, Trump’s penchant for using threats to deal with those who sought to hold him accountable was abhorrent. As President of the United States, it could prove catastrophic. PoTP continues our work exposing Trump’s ties to the underworld and his efforts to intimidate and silence those who get in his way.