Menendez Demands Answers on Trump’s Business Dealings With Chinese

Following Bolton Bombshell, Menendez Demands Answers on Trump’s Business Dealings with Chinese Government

Menendez

Following Bolton Bombshell, Menendez Demands Answers on Trump’s Business Dealings with Chinese Government

 

“It is important that Congress and the American public know how much money China, and any other country for that matter, is paying President Trump through his company.”

 

WASHINGTON – Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committeeis calling for a full accounting of President Donald Trump’s ongoing business relationship with a Chinese state-controlled bank.  Following former National Security Adviser John Bolton’s revelation that President Trump asked Chinese President Xi Jinping to buy U.S. agricultural products to help him win the 2020 election, Senator Menendez raised new questions about how much the President may be profiting from his company’s relationship with the state-run Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC).

 

“This disturbing revelation raises new questions about other ways in which President Trump benefits personally, and financially, from the Chinese government, including through ongoing business relationships,” wrote Menendez in a letter to Trump Organization’s Executive Vice President and Chief Legal Officer, Alan Garten.

 

ICBC, China’s biggest bank, is reported to have paid up to $24 million to the Trump Organization over the course of a lease at Trump Tower in New York. The details of a new arrangement for ICBC to continue leasing one floor in Trump Tower have never been made public. That new leasing agreement surfaced shortly after President Trump publicly called on the Chinese government to investigate his domestic political rival. Similarly, the contract coincided with a Trump adviser claiming to have gathered relevant information from the Chinese government during a visit to Beijing.

 

“It is important that Congress and the American public know how much money China, and any other country for that matter, is paying President Trump through his company,” added Menendez.

 

The Senator concluded by requesting information to help the Senate Foreign Relations Committee review the President’s business deals with the Chinese state-controlled bank, as well as a list of all the foreign state-owned or controlled companies in business with the Trump Organization.

 

A copy of the Senator’s letter can be found HERE.

 

 

Mr. Garten,

 

Recent reporting states that President Trump asked the Chinese government to help him win the 2020 election by telling President Xi Jinping that “increased agricultural purchases by Beijing from American farmers would aid his electoral prospects.”[1] In other words, President Trump sought and accepted incentives from the Chinese government in order to boost his standing in the upcoming presidential election. This disturbing revelation raises new questions about other ways in which President Trump benefits personally, and financially, from the Chinese government, including through ongoing business relationships.

 

Specifically, the Trump Organization—which President Trump still profits from—maintains a business relationship with the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), which is controlled by the Chinese government. According publicly-reported figures, ICBC paid the Trump Organization up to $24 million over the course of its previous lease at Trump Tower in New York.[2] Coincidentally, the lease expired the same month that President Trump asked the Chinese government to investigate his domestic political rival, which coincided with a Trump adviser claiming to have gathered related information from the Chinese government during a visit to Beijing.[3]

 

Last year, ICBC reportedly decided to continue leasing one floor in Trump Tower.[4] The terms of that arrangement do not appear to have been publicly reported. However, they are of significant interest to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, which has jurisdiction over U.S. foreign relations. It is important that Congress and the American public know how much money China, and any other country for that matter, is paying President Trump through his company. To that end, I request that you provide the Committee with the following information by July 1, 2020:

 

1.       The value of ICBC’s past lease with the Trump Organization;

2.       The terms of ICBC’s new lease, including the length of the lease, the amount of ICBC’s annual payments to the Trump Organization, and any other relevant information; and

3.       A list of any other state-owned or controlled companies in China or any other foreign country that are current or prospective lessees of or lenders to any Trump Organization properties.

 

Thank you for your attention to this important matter, and I look forward to receiving your response.

 

Sincerely,

 

###

 

 



[1] Josh Dawsey, “Trump asked China’s Xi to help him win reelection, according to Bolton book,” The New York Times, Jun. 17, 2020.

[2] “China’s Biggest Bank Said to Cut Space at NYC’s Trump Tower,” Bloomberg, Jan. 9, 2019.

[3] Peter Baker & Eileen Sullivan, “Trump Publicly Urges China to Investigate the Bidens,” The New York Times, Oct. 3, 2019; Demetri Sevastopulo, “Trump adviser says China provided information about Hunter Biden,” Financial Times, Oct. 10, 2019.

[4] “China’s Biggest Bank Said to Cut Space at NYC’s Trump Tower,” Bloomberg, Jan. 9, 2019.

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