The Trump Organization has been in contact with several of its largest creditors to discuss whether the company can reduce or delay upcoming loan payments as it weathers the economic downturn caused by the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak, the New York Times reported Thursday.
According to the report, representatives from the president’s private business have recently spoken with officials from Deutsche Bank and Palm Beach County about the possibility of postponing or reducing upcoming payments on loans and leases.
Representatives of the president contacted the private-banking division of Deutsche Bank – by far Trump’s largest creditor – to try and negotiate a postponed timetable for repaying hundreds of millions of dollars in outstanding loans, a person briefed on the talks told the Times. At the same time, others in the Trump Organization had contacted Palm Beach County officials seeking to renegotiate monthly rent payments on land leased from the municipality.
With businesses across the country closing their doors to consumers and national unemployment forecasts predicting unprecedented levels of joblessness, it’s no surprise that that the president’s private businesses are among those suffering.
However, given that President Donald Trump merely turned over control to his adult sons and never financially divested from the business, the Trump Organization’s relief request mandates special consideration when compared to requests from other creditors – as failing to heed the request could make them the target of a president whose shown he’s not against using the powers of his office against his enemies. The Times reports:
Ever since Mr. Trump’s election, Deutsche Bank executives have been fretting about what would happen if he were to default, according to bank officials. Seizing the president’s personal assets would be an unattractive proposition.
But opting not to collect on the loans would be the equivalent of an enormous financial gift to Mr. Trump, whose administration wields enormous power over the bank. Deutsche Bank’s operations in the United States are supervised by federal regulators, and the Justice Department has been conducting a criminal investigation of the bank.
The report also noted that several executives at the bank have previously expressed concerns about “the possibility of retaliation by the Trump administration if they were ever to come into conflict with the president.”
Deutsche Bank and Trump already have a tumultuous past, with Trump suing the bank after the 2008 financial crisis, claiming it was an “act of God” that voided the contracts on hundreds of millions in loans. Deutsche Bank attorneys filed court documents showing that after the 2008 crash, Trump bragged to several media outlets that his company had tons of cash on hand but then claimed he couldn’t repay his loans.
As Law&Crime previously reported, further complicating the matter for the president is the prohibition in last month’s economic stimulus package which bars the president or his family from receiving stimulus loans.
Look no further than the Supreme Court docket for Deutsche Bank’s continuing relevance to the Trump presidency.
[image via Fox News screengrab]
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