Those Trump Panama Hotel Documents? Might Include DOD Grift

Remember how I observed that the takeover of Trump Panama, even as Trump staffers madly shredded documents, by a guy who bought into the troubled hotel just as Trump became President, might have more to do with leverage over Trump than the mostly empty building?

These people are all douchebags and the brawling side show is fairly amusing. But it does seem that Fintiklis bought into something far more than a mostly empty hotel, and he’s now using it as leverage against the Trump family business.

The fight over the Trump Panama hotel seems to be as much about the fight over records that may show whether Ivanka knew she was involved in money laundering with Russian mobsters and Colombia narcotics traffickers as it is over who gets to run the mostly empty hotel.

The Daily Beast and Sparrow Media report that some of those papers the Trump folks may have been shredding might pertain to $17,000 spent by DOD after Trump became President.

Pentagon officials spent more than $17,000 at the Trump Ocean Club hotel in Panama in the first half of 2017, according to documents obtained by a government watchdog group.  The money was spent to cover general lodging expenses, according to the documents. It isn’t clear why.

The Panama Hotel expenditures make up 12% of the $138,093.23 DOD spent in total, and the rest of the expenditures are for more locations which we knew Trump was grifting us for: Mar-a-Lago, Bedminster, and Las Vegas. Maybe those other locations will reveal some DOD personnel were at meetings we didn’t otherwise know (though we’ve known Mar-a-Lago to host some key NatSec meetings).

But it’s unclear who got sent to stay at the Trump hotel in Panama.

Trump and his spawn will only make about $600 out of this — so it’s not like their grift is paying their bills. But it may provide clear evidence of grift.

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19 replies
  1. Trip says:

    Is there any discernible reason why the DOD was staying and paying Trump, at this locale?

    Something ain’t right. You don’t go into a shredding frenzy for nothing (or the tiny amount of $600), when Trump has gotten away with much more at the Tower.

    • Bob Conyers says:

      One thing I saw is that the $17K reported is just DoD for the first six months of 2017. You might get a much bigger number for total federal spending there. Also, this appears just to be what’s billed to credit cards, and it’s possible that more money was going there via other means.

      If you follow the link in the article to the full report, you get a bit more information:

      https://www.sparrowmedia.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/17-L-1102-Docs-01-58-RESP-REL-with-Bates-OCR-1.pdf

      Looking at the report, one thing that jumps out at me is that there are a lot of DoD stays there. Most of the billings are what about you might expect — high for a hotel that is reportedly at low capacity, but not in serious grift range. For instance, June 2 there were 7 hotel billings at about $300 each.

      However, in April there are some pretty high charges in the range of $1500-$1900 a night for multiple charges. It’s possible they were legit, for things like conference rooms or suites where a bunch of people were staying, but it’s also possible these were examples of something bad going on. DoD seems to have spent in the neighborhood of $10K there in April. There are supporting documents for some trips, such as cab receipts and trip descriptions, but nothing for any of the Panama trips.

      This article makes it pretty clear that the Panama hotel is a pretty weird, shady place with lots of gamblers and prostitutes, but it also sounds like that’s the case for a bunch of hotels there.

      http://wapo.st/trump-travel

      It’s possible there are legitimate reasons for staying there and spending a bunch of money, but this is obviously one of those many times when it would be great to have a functional congressional oversight system that would be willing to ask for documents and do a few interviews.

  2. Pete says:

    I realize this may be OT, but…

    If only there was motivation for a group of concerned to protest, march, whatever over the Trumpian criminality with the impact that the #neveragain youth movement has…

    I hope that the engagement of the youth who will one day inherit this mess does not morph into the dumbed down accepting behavior of many – or God forbid the fervor of Trumpian and like supporters.

  3. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Is the DoD is providing security at multiple Trump properties, even when he’s not there or scheduled to visit?  That’s the excuse for populating Trump and Trump-branded properties with USG personnel and helping to boost Trump’s financials?

    • SpaceLifeForm says:

      If Potus present, it would be Secret Service responsibilty, right?

      If not present, US government should not be responsible for security.

      Unless [Redacted].

      Oh boy. Oh boy. Oh boy.

  4. SpaceLifeForm says:

    Devils Advocate mode on.

    This DOD spending could be legit in terms of ops.  NSA is part of DOD, no?

    Correlating dates of expenses vs when Potus would not have been present may be telling.

    As in, when these expenses occurred, Potus was elsewhere.

    • Trip says:

      Nope. There are plenty of disappearing funds at the Pentagon which go toward paying off assets, misc. deals and the like. If they were there under ops, they wouldn’t be so obvious as to make plain the billing on the public dime.

    • Bob Conyers says:

      Wow, the tail end of that article is horrible in the section beginning “Mr. Mueller could run afoul of a line the president has warned him not to cross.”

      Any mention of Trump’s red line ought to discuss the fact what that means. It means that Trump is flat out threatening to obstruct justice if Mueller finds evidence of crimes he wants to pursue. There’s a reference to the original authorization Mueller was given, but not a word to explain that if Mueller finds evidence of a crime, he is going to bring the matter to Rosenstein and has every reason to expect Rosenstein to sign off on expanding the investigation.

      This kind of stenography of Trump camp talking points is dangerous, and considering how far along the investigation has come, it’s really inexcusable.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        Well, Trump’s line is personal.  It’s not binding on Mueller until the deputy AG refines Mueller’s remit.  Rosenstein’s latest comment was that he was happy with the course and conduct of Mueller’s investigation.

        It would be impossible for Mueller to complete his work if Trump’s personal and business dealings were off limits.  Those are the most likely routes Trump would have used to shield his campaign and to disguise illegal conduct.

        It’s hard to see how Trump’s red line, if he acts or even threatens action based on it, is not obstruction.

        • Bob Conyers says:

          My disgust with the NY Times reporting is that they devote multiple grafs to describing Trump’s “red line” without explicitly noting that it has no legal basis.

          This is the kind of reporting that turns a clearcut case of a legal, responsible investigation into a battle of personal preferences. There is no equivalence here, but the NY Times is presenting this like it’s a case of a sitcom director telling a star “don’t talk about my wife or I’ll fire you.”

          This is the kind of framing by a major news source that takes over debates. It’s grossly irresponsible.

          • earlofhuntingdon says:

            Exactly.  The NYT should be calling bullshit on this “red line” instead of treating it as a legitimate position.  But I forget, this is Maggie Haberman and company’s work.

  5. Rayne says:

    Still combing through CREW’s FOIAd travel docs for Mnuchin’s use of military aircraft last year. I started looking for references to Panama, thinking such a trip might explain mil $$ (though still not a good look). Not done digging yet.

    But — is it me, or did this fucking mooch Mnuchin take his equally moochish wife on a private weekend vacation to Edinburgh, Scotland? I can’t account for the stop yet.

    See about page 60 in this PDF. I’m so hot under the collar I have to take a break. I can see the reason guillotines were so popular during the French Revolution; let them eat some bloody cake on their own dime.

    P.S. ‘Boy Wonder’ Kushner didn’t travel by himself to Saudi Arabia in October. He was on the same military flight with Mnuchin. Goddamn it.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      The firm will close.  Follow the principals – and their clients – to their new location.  Prudent to see what new firms have been or will shortly be organized in Panama.  Theirs is not a business that goes out of business.

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