President Donald Trump and his business enterprises have been poorly vetted on a “nuts and bolts” level. Trump has successfully concealed significant amounts of information about his personal and professional dealings, including his tax returns. A dedicated investigation of public records will uncover information that can inform the general public about the conflicts of interest and the true motives of current public officials.
Since mid-November of 2016, we have been conducting strategic research about newly elected President Trump, his business enterprises, assets, and key associates (personal, professional or political). The purpose of this investigation has been to identify and expose critical information that was not uncovered by the press or Trump’s political opponents during the 2016 presidential campaign. Priorities of our investigation include undisclosed or sheltered personal assets and streams of income; previously unreported business associates with ties to criminal activity or foreign regimes; and unlawful business agreements or practices that have not previously come to light.
Achievements to Date
This project has been underway since mid-November of 2016. We have already uncovered several key findings, some of which have been shared with reporters at major national newspapers. We have uncovered and shared information about Trump’s taxes that had not previously been reported. We uncovered evidence of money laundering in many suspicious transactions related to Trump.
Our investigation has also produced a great deal of foundational information that would be useful to the general public. We are working with volunteers to present some of our findings in an accessible way.
Findings from this project will be released to the general public through three channels:
Strategic Research Product: We will prepare research reports that explain our most significant findings and document the public records which support those findings. Such reports may be held confidentially and released strategically to investigative reporters, law enforcement officials, political figures, or others. Strategic research will be released to the public in a manner calculated to maximize effectiveness and exposure.
Foundational Research: We will prepare research reports that help to explain and clarify the structure of Trump’s activities and business organizations within the context of past controversies. Such information may be extensively documented in the public record or inherently non-controversial, but still provide a deeper contextual understanding of current events. We will release such information to the public directly over the internet.
Primary Documents: Strategic research depends heavily on the gathering and analysis of primary documents. At every level of government, records are generated or maintained which must be provided upon request to the public but are not released in the ordinary course of affairs. Our project will identify and obtain significant public records via FOIA requests and other means. Access to primary source material should facilitate the effort of allies in litigation and other domains.
Strategic research typically relies on the following sources and methods:
Proprietary Archives: Our researchers subscribe to numerous proprietary press and public record databases not available freely online. We will search archives for significant news coverage, litigation, administrative violations and other noteworthy public records.
Public Record Requests: We will identify government agencies and archives that are likely to possess significant information pertaining to Trump and his business enterprises. We will submit requests under federal, state or local “freedom of information” laws for such records.
Local Government Archives: County courthouses, recorders of deeds and assessors often hold significant archives of public records that are made available to the public on site, but are not otherwise searchable online. We will visit government offices in local jurisdictions where significant assets, business activities or litigation are known to have occurred.