Trump, Inc.

He’s the President, yet we’re still trying to answer basic questions about how his business works: What deals are happening, who they’re happening with, and if the President and his family are keeping their promise to separate the Trump Organization from the Trump White House. “Trump, Inc.” is a joint reporting project from WNYC Studios and ProPublica that digs deep into these questions. We’ll be laying out what we know, what we don’t and how you can help us fill in the gaps. WNYC Studios is a listener-supported producer of other leading podcasts, including On the Media, Radiolab, Death, Sex & Money, Here’s the Thing with Alec Baldwin, Nancy and many others. ProPublica is a non-profit investigative newsroom. © WNYC Studios


So What Trump Investigations Could Be Coming?

For two years, journalists have operated in an environment where Congress has declined to inquire into key issues surrounding President Trump’s family business: Is he profiting from his presidency? Are his friends, family, and appointees? Is Trump violating the Constitution when members of foreign governments make payments to his company by staying at his properties?  

Now, with Democrats taking control of the House of Representatives after this week’s midterm elections, that will change. Already, several high-ranking members are vowing to look into aspects of the relationship between Trump’s business and his administration..

Among them:

• Rep. Richard Neal (D-MA), currently the ranking member of Ways and Means Committee, says he’ll request Trump’s tax returns from the Treasury Department.

• Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) the ranking member of the House Oversight Committee,  says in a statement he’ll “shine a light on...President Trump’s decisions to act in his own financial self-interest rather than the best interests of the American people.”

• Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), current ranking member of the Judiciary Committee is vowing to investigate policies“that enable pervasive corruption to influence decision-making at the highest levels of government.”

• Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee says in a statement  the committee will look at “areas inquiry the majority ignored or prevented us from investigating.” Democratic committee staff issued a report last spring detailing some of those areas. Among them: the Trump Organization’s business practices.

What will this all mean? What do we hope to learn? And how might this change our understanding of the presidency and his business?  WNYC’sAndrea Bernstein convened an all-star panel to discuss it all:Adam Davidsonof the The New Yorker, McClatchy’s White House Correspondent Anita Kumar, The Washington Post’sDavid Fahrenthold, andEric Umansky of ProPublica.

They also helped us to create a must-read list of stories, articles, documents and court filings that take on new interest after the midterms for anyone following the administration.

From Adam: The House Intelligence Committee’s Minority Views report, which lays out how a Democrat-led committee might continue to investigate possible collusion with Russia during the 2016 presidential campaign, and the deposition of Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg in State of New York v. The Donald J. Trump Foundation.

From Andrea: U.S. District Judge’s Peter J. Messitte’s Nov. 2, 2018, Memorandum Opinion in The District of Columbia and the State of Maryland v. Donald J. Trump, otherwise known as the “emoluments lawsuit.”  

From Anita: Sarah Chayes’ amicus brief in CREW v. Donald J. Trump.

From David: Trump’s 2007 deposition in the case Donald J. Trump v. Timothy O’Brien.

From Eric: Axios’ story about a GOP spreadsheet of expected Democratic-led investigations. It’s a long list that spans everything from well-known issues like Trump’s tax returns to things many of us have long forgotten, such as whether classified information has been inappropriately shared at Mar-a-Lago.


 2018-11-08  37m