Brazil Charges Coup-Plotter Bolsonaro for Saudi Gifts as Trump Org Unveils New Saudi High Rise

Brazilian authorities will charge Jair Bolsonaro with money laundering for keeping $3.2 million in diamonds given to him and his spouse by the Saudi government.

Brazilian federal police on Thursday formally accused former President Jair Bolsonaro of embezzlement for allegedly misappropriating jewelry he received while head of state, including luxury items given by the Saudi Arabian government, two police sources said.

This is the second time police have formally accused Bolsonaro of a crime. He was charged in March with forging his COVID-19 vaccine records.

The jewelry, some of it made by Chopard of Switzerland, was valued at $3.2 million and included a diamond necklace, ring, watch and earrings given to Bolsonaro and former first lady Michelle Bolsonaro by the Saudi government.

Some of the jewelry was seized by customs officials at Sao Paulo’s international airport in October 2021 when it was found in the backpack of a government aide returning from Riyadh.

The police accused Bolsonaro of money laundering, criminal association and embezzlement, according to one of the sources, who spoke to Reuters on the condition of anonymity.

Meanwhile, buried on page A7 of the NYT on Monday, behind mountains of stories about Old Man Joe Biden, NYT’s Eric Lipton reported that Trump Organization unveiled in new project in Saudi Arabia.

The Trump Organization has signed a new deal with a Saudi real estate company to build a residential high-rise tower in the city of Jeddah, extending the family’s close ties with the kingdom.

Saudi Arabia has become one of the few reliable sources of growth for the Trump family’s business operations, as new real estate deals in the United States have slowed or stopped since the Jan. 6, 2021, assault on the Capitol and since former President Donald J. Trump left the White House.

This new deal is like other international projects the Trump family has signed over the past decade. It offers the family’s name and brand to a well-financed developer that will build the project and sell luxury resident units, it hopes at a premium, based on the marketability of the former president’s perceived star power. Other projects include a resort complex in Oman and Saudi-backed golf tournaments at Trump courses in recent years.

This seems to be structured like the Moscow Trump Tower deal would have been: basically, free money to the Trump Organization for the use of a coup-plotter’s brand.

The Saudis allegedly supported one coup-plotter with piddling gifts of mere millions. Meanwhile, it has been funneling far more to the Trump family, all in plain sight (albeit buried beneath a bunch of breathless coverage of Joe Biden’s age).

Isn’t it time voters learned whether the Republican candidate for President is a mere house boy for the Saudi royal family?

42 replies
  1. Clare Kelly says:

    A piece on Monday from CNN:
    “The new project in Saudi Arabia comes just days after the Trump Organization and Dar Global unveiled a $500 million Trump International hotel complex in Oman.”

    Given that
    “Trump made at least $9.6 million from the Middle East while president”
    Rebecca Jacobs
    July 27, 2023

    …surely this was brought up by CNN moderators in the June 27th debate and I simply missed it, right?

  2. harpie says:

    Wendy Siegelman writes about that here:
    [I broke the link because I didn’t know if it would get through]:

    The $500 million Trump International Oman has launched with an expected opening in 2028 and the Trump Org probably just earned a large payment from a Saudi company as Trump runs for president

    https: [] //

    Wendy Siegelman Jul 1, 2024 at 1:20 PM

  3. Error Prone says:

    Arabs – Buying the brand, not extending credit. Stateside Trump could bundle a conditional Jan 6 pardon promise when you buy a new MAGA cap plus one of those leather bound Bibles, along with other swag to reach a price point well beyond the cap alone.

  4. rattlemullet says:

    They will love him for doing so “he a business man.” What’s that song lyric, “aliens came in business suits and said business is our business.”

    What other type of behavior do expect from the man who has most likely shared stolen classified documents and shared with the contract butcher. The failure of our constitutional system to be able to adjudicate the man who tried to over throw that constitutional order and stole the wealth of our most classified secrets speaks volumes of how badly the judicial branch interprets the “scared document”.

    The ballot box will be the only thing that can save America if it too has not been to far corrupted.

  5. Just Some Guy says:

    As I said a little over a year ago when Bolsonaro appeared at CPAC during his brief Floridian exile, guys like that don’t do anything for free. Not even just walking around a Publix.

  6. Spencer Dawkins says:

    I could easily be wrong about this, but NYT’s Eric Lipton’s words,

    Saudi Arabia has become one of the few reliable sources of growth for the Trump family’s business operations, as new real estate deals in the United States have slowed or stopped since the Jan. 6, 2021, assault on the Capitol and since former President Donald J. Trump left the White House.

    seems to say that rich people don’t want to do business with insurrectionists, and we know that can’t be true. /snark

    My understanding is that the Trump Organization monitor, Barbara Jones, reported in January 2024 that she hadn’t been asked to approve any new Trump Organization deals, because the Trump Organization wasn’t DOING any new deals.

    My inference, possibly incorrect, is that so many Trump Organization employees have seen so many other employees land in trouble (including “serving time in jail”) for sketchy business deals, that none of them want to take a chance on being the next person to get into trouble.

    I can’t imagine that January 6 would slow down anyone who wants to do business with Trump.

  7. Error Prone says:

    It appears both new Trump branded deals are with the same developer, “Dar Global.”

    NYTimes has put online the Jan. 2024 156p “White House For Sale” report issued before the switch in House majority took effect.

    USAToday, July 2, “Trump raked in big money from foreign nations. . . .” – not including these latest two brand sales:

  8. Error Prone says:

    The “mere house boy for the Saudi royal family” thought raises the question: purchase or rental? Who knows? Trump laid hands on that glowing orb, and sabre danced, so he’s like family? There to be a time-to-time semi-regular deal flow? That question fits Jarad. Is the giant seed to the Private Equity management effort revocable at will, via an anytime partial or full cash out, or is there a “for a fixed term” condition? Might more be invested? Jarad knows, but the contract is between private parties. That Bolsanaro thing, if they’d just casually worn the jewelry going back in country without looking apprehensive, it might have worked. In luggage, questions got flagged. Trump, during his term in office never went through customs. Deplane, everybody, from AirForceOne. Helicopter with the bags over to the White House.

  9. RealAlexi says:

    The issue is that nearly 1/2 of the American electorate doesn’t understand that if the Ayatollah offered up a Trump Tower Teheran deal that Trump would grab it with both hands and then claim it was good for diplomacy. It’s the same thing with Trump Tower Moscow and a Trump Tower Pyongyang.

    The Saudis? They’re just doing what they can for influence and leverage ( – Capt. Obvious).

    • gmokegmoke says:

      A similar proposition is to get a billionaire who is working on climate – Bloomberg, Bezos, Gates, Musk, Steyer… – to make a public offer to Trmp to counter the billion dollar bribe he asked for from the fossil fuels. They could start with a one billion plus one dollar offer to work on reducing climate chaos and go up from there if they need to.

      But then Trmp is known to have cashed a check for 7¢ so a one dollar rise might just do it for him.

      • Rayne says:

        I don’t think this would work — Trump is too transactional. He’d want a very narrow achievable at which he couldn’t fail if he was going to take a public offer.

        And Bezos is touchable. I don’t think he’d ever participate after he was hacked and spied on. He may have a lot of money but he doesn’t have enough to stop the kind of malign behavior which drove that hack.

        • RealAlexi says:

          You’re right. And that Bezos hack was a serious shot across the bow.

          The point remains that Trump has absolutely NO moral compass whatsoever. The needle only points to ME, MYSELF or I.

  10. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Lipton’s description of the Saudis being “well-financed” might be a tad understated. The quote didn’t mention how much Trump received for use of a brand dropping in value so fast it induces vertigo. Are real estate deals really drying up, or only Donny Trump’s real estate deals? Did Eric miss that all the deals he mentions wee backed by Saudis he doesn’t name?

    Did Eric Lipton or his editors bother to inquire about what it means for American politics and security, when the king-in-waiting of the Republican Party is heavily exposed financially to the Saudis or any foreign power? The least of it may be that it means Trump’s climate policies would be worse than we imagine.

    As for an American President being a “mere house boy” for the Saudi royal family, he wouldn’t be the first, but he seems destined to be the most well-paid. At that rate, Trump might be eligible to become a pool boy for an evangelical American preacher.

  11. BryanInWNC says:

    One wonders if the price of these deals was classified information.

    [Welcome back to emptywheel. SECOND REQUEST: Please use the SAME USERNAME and email address each time you comment so that community members get to know you. You attempted to publish this comment as “BryanInWesternNC” which is your third username here; you had changed your username to site standard compliant “BryanInWNC” in February. I have edited this comment this one time to match your established username; check your browser’s cache and autofill. Future username and email mismatches may result in comments not clearing moderation. /~Rayne]

  12. Challenger says:

    If Trump is elected every dictatorship will seek Trump Towers. He could offer them all, the US military top tier weapons and Top Secret information, he might even have US .military assisting Russian forces in Ukraine. Vote

  13. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Al Sharpton coined a new moniker for Donald Trump that I hope takes off: Dunkin’ Doughboy. Goes along with Joe Biden’s taunt that he would happily play Trump in a golf challenge match if they both walked the course and carried their clubs. I suspect Joe would have a hard time on a nine-hole course. Trump wouldn’t make it much beyond the first tee. The point is to mock Trump’s claims of being healthy and robust, which are as accurate as any other Trump claim.

  14. synergies says:

    What gets me is no one is doing the fight we need. A photo shopped photo of trumpster in a Middle East type of headgear, cloth with the ring around with the same calligraphy lettering as the maga hat “SAUDI ARABIA.” and under that lettering $$$/USA???

  15. flatulus says:

    Just think about the lives lost and treasure wasted in both the Middle East and Persia simply for not taking the fight to where it really belonged, Saudi Arabia. Instead of the trillions wasted in Iraq and Afghanistan, we could have taken over Saudi Arabia and owned their oil.

  16. jdmckay8 says:

    Another slice of Brazilian politics also relevant today in USA: Brazil’s shadowy oligarch right wingers packed their Supreme Court to corruptly enable Lula to be imprisoned on fake corruption charges. Circumstances a little different here, in that SCOTUS corruptly prevented our corrupt ex president from being prosecuted for various corruption activities.

    But its close enough. Not coincidental me-thinks, that Bolsonaro camped out at MAL for (from memory) at least 6 months after he was booted out of office. Wouldn’t be surprised to hear Trump at some point declaring corrupt Lula has to go, so Bolsonaro can rejoin this growing cabal of utterly corrupt, fascist leaders world wide that are right wingers are gravitating to.

    • Rayne says:

      Standard fascist playbook: make the courts fascist to support fascist leadership and policies.

      Turkey’s Erdogan has been doing this since the 2016 coup attempt.

      Netanyahu tried tinkering with Israel’s courts.

      Trump, of course, and Bolsanaro.

      What’s the next play in that book besides undermining legitimately elected leaders?

      • Error Prone says:

        Fascists aside, in our nation, others perhaps, federal jurist appointments are for life. That was a major point when Clyburn in 2020 endorsed Biden.

        Elective officials come and go. Federal jurists either croak or step down. Many states have judicial elections for a term. Federally, you pack a court, it stays packed. So, it was a Clyburn consideration, non-fascist. Any power bloc wants a judiciary on its side, anywhere, more or less.

      • jdmckay8 says:

        What’s the next play in that book (…)

        Open question.

        IMO, Mother Nature is going to be having a major impact on politics in the relatively near future, if not this election cycle maybe the next. We’re now only early in 3rd year of what the climate experts have described as broken climate equilibriums. The property loss just so far this year is staggering. And according to polls I’ve seen recently, climate has dropped out of top 10 priorities for voters. The in-your-face consequences for this destruction is becoming local for a lot more people. And bull shit greenwashing at some point is going to begin falling of deaf ears.

        That is a whole lot of reality to deal with, that makes HB and all the other juvenile pettiness eating up news cycles a lot less important.

        And Mother Nature is politically agnostic. If a hurricane comes along and sucks up the Supreme Court building I may change my mind, but for now she’s agnostic. :)

        • Matt___B says:

          Friend of mine was in Playa del Carmen this morning coincident with the hurricane, which made landfall as Cat 2. His hotel was 4 blocks from the beach, storm surge was 3 feet so water didn’t make it as far as his hotel. His report was “sounded like someone was slamming big doors everywhere on the roof above me…lots of plastic panels and aluminum sheeting on the streets”…

          Now if only with stroke of a sharpie the hurricane could be re-directed “elsewhere”…

        • jdmckay8 says:

          @ Matt___B

          Yes. But (at least IMO) relevant to this discussion: these events are become more frequent, of greater intensity, affecting more areas (just in US alone: China’s really getting walloped already this year) with increasingly greater destruction.

          Just like the models predicted, all be it about 15 years ahead of schedule.

          And just the 3rd year in… we’re just getting started!!! I’d like to see some of our more green politicians start going after all the talking heads that told us for decades a warming planet is a good thing.

        • Twaspawarednot says:

          As climate change fuels, more floods, massive fires, hurricanes, tornados, droughts, the news about it becomes more of the same and ceases to have the attention of the masses. At least until you are directly effected yourself it is easy to dismiss as abstract and normalized.

  17. Yohei1972 says:

    The timing of this is so perfect it’s hard not to indulge in a little unevidenced conspiracy speculation that it was scheduled for precisely this reason. Days after the SCOTUS majority tells the world a democracy can’t hold a former leader accountable under the law without courting disaster, Brazil stands up and says, “Yes, we can.” In fact, I vaguely recall there are numerous previous examples of democracies doing more or less the same thing, meaning the assertion that “we just can’t DO that” flies directly in the face of evidence. I’m blanking on specific examples beyond South Korea, so off to do a little research.

  18. Error Prone says:

    SCOTUS addressed official acts while in office. It will be interesting to see briefing docs or reporting, of how the recent decision affects the Hush money reimbursement structure question. No official nexus seems at play there. The Jan 6 morning Trump was still in office, when he incited movement toward the Capitol. And the contention would be a truly held belief he’d won began after election day, where Trump had a lame duck status while persons were communicating about Jan 6, prior to Jan 6.

    Did the SCOTUS opinion specifically address official act immunity in state actions, specifically Georgia? It seemed to have preemptively set a nationwide decree, whether actions are in federal courts, or state courts. Similar to the ballot exclusion opinion. An issue about which we cannot have inconsistencies and still function. The ballot case was expressly aimed at states acting, uniformity required. And if Trump had immunity, what of the other Georgia defendants? Executive immunity implied from Presidential immunity, or not? What state of mind is required per Georgia RICO law, does motive matter or is there strict liability?

  19. JanAnderson says:

    $2 billion to the failson in law for his new investment firm despite the fact that eejit son in law never managed money before.

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