Two major stories have broken just this week concerning Ivanka Trump and various male Trump spawn/spawn-in-law, both painting a sweet familial picture of extreme professional misconduct and flagrant duplicity.
On Monday, news broke of a third email account associated with Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner’s private email server, which was first reported by Politico in September. That server was set up in late 2016 before the couple’s move to Washington, and Kushner was found to have used a private email address to conduct White House business. Soon after, Ivanka Trump was reported to have done the same thing. Now, Politico reports of a third account shared by the couple under the same private server. This is all pretty sickeningly familiar, isn’t it? Lock them up, etc.!
The family has declined to say what privacy measures have been placed on the domain, but a person familiar with the setup said some security measures were taken when it was installed.
Many of the emails came from Ivanka Trump’s assistant and included work-related “data,” according to a person familiar with the exchanges. Such messages were sent “daily,” this person added.
“They’ve pretty much been using it since they got here,” this person said.
Jared and Ivanka, both senior advisors to their father-in-law and father, respectively, denied any inappropriate mixing between personal and government business. But in the days after news of the private server initially broke, USA Today reports, the couple’s personal email accounts were re-routed to a server run by the Trump Organization—a bafflingly stupid move that has only fanned suspicion, particularly since special prosecutor Robert Mueller recently requested records from the White House relating to his Russia investigation.
From USA Today:
Renato Mariotti, a former federal prosecutor, said that while the emails Kushner and Trump sent and received through their personal accounts could well have been innocuous – locating them on computers run by the Trump Organization “certainly creates the appearance of potential impropriety.”
Mariotti said the move raises questions about who at the Trump-owned company might have access to emails regarding White House business.
The Trump Organization did not respond to questions Tuesday about whether anyone at the company had access to the messages.
Cool. Are you ready for more? Because there is more. There is always, always more. On Wednesday, the New Yorker, in partnership with ProPublica and WNYC, reported that Ivanka and Donald Trump, Jr. were staring down potential fraud and larceny charges back in 2012 for allegedly misleading buyers about the value of units in the Trump SoHo, a miserable “condo-hotel” near the Holland tunnel that went into foreclosure in 2014. Several Russian-born figures were involved in financing the project, including Felix Sater, who in 2015 wrote to Trump’s lawyer, Michael Cohen, bragging about his ties to Putin and promising to “engineer” a real estate deal in Moscow that would get Trump elected. He also did time in the early ’90s for attacking a man with a broken margarita glass.
But a few months after Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, Jr., was paid a visit by Trump lawyer Marc Kasowitz, one of Vance’s largest political donors, Vance overruled his prosecutors and told them to drop the case. This story makes a bigger point about a system that allows people like the Trumps to wriggle above the law than it does about the Trumps themselves, who have long made their character known.
“I did not at the time believe beyond a reasonable doubt that a crime had been committed,” Vance told the New Yorker, by way of an explanation. “I had to make a call and I made the call, and I think I made the right call.” (Vance is running unopposed in next month’s election.) For context, here is what Trump’s children did, according to—yes—emails:
In one e-mail, according to four people who have seen it, the Trumps discussed how to coördinate false information they had given to prospective buyers. In another, according to a person who read the e-mails, they worried that a reporter might be on to them. In yet another, Donald, Jr., spoke reassuringly to a broker who was concerned about the false statements, saying that nobody would ever find out, because only people on the e-mail chain or in the Trump Organization knew about the deception, according to a person who saw the e-mail. There was “no doubt” that the Trump children “approved, knew of, agreed to, and intentionally inflated the numbers to make more sales,” one person who saw the e-mails told us. “They knew it was wrong.”
“I have never made a contribution to anyone’s campaign, including Cy Vance’s, as a ‘quid-pro-quo’ for anything,” Kasowitz told the New Yorker. A few months after the case was dropped, Kasowitz made a large donation to Vance’s campaign. Vance, after speaking with New Yorker reporters four years later, said there was nothing improper about this but also said that he would return it.
Special prosecutor Robert Mueller, meanwhile, has reportedly tasked his top legal counsel with investigating the limits of the presidential pardon.