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Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

Reprinted with permission from Shareblue.


Trump has been demonizing Latin American immigrants and claiming they’re bad for the economy ever since he started running for president. But as it turns out, Trump has also spent years personally benefiting from the labor of undocumented Latin American immigrants at his golf clubs.

Now that his secret is out, the Washington Post reports at least one of Trump’s golf clubs is suddenly scrambling to fire undocumented workers who have been loyal employees in good standing for years — even though their undocumented status was hardly a secret.

Through interviews and documents, the Post learned that about a dozen undocumented workers from Latin America were fired on Jan. 18 from the Trump National Golf Club in Westchester County, New York.

Many had worked there for years, and said the firings felt like a shocking betrayal. One former maintenance worker from Mexico, Gabriel Sedano, told the Post that he started to cry after being fired from the job he’d held since 2005.

“I had worked almost 15 years for them in this club, and I’d given the best of myself to this job,” Sedano said. “I’d never done anything wrong, only work and work.”

Margarita Cruz, a housekeeping employee from Mexico who was fired after eight years, said her bosses had said “absolutely nothing” about her immigration status before suddenly firing her.

“They never said, ‘Your Social Security number is bad’ or ‘Something is wrong,’” Cruz said. “Nothing. Nothing. Until right now.”

And according to one former manager of the club, the Trump Organization took a “don’t ask, don’t tell” approach to hiring undocumented immigrants. They knew it was likely to happen, the former manager said, but they didn’t care — all they cared about was getting “the cheapest labor possible,” and they thought they could get away with it because immigration raids seemed unlikely to happen at posh golf clubs.

This is the second Trump golf club to make the news for using undocumented labor. In December, the New York Times published a report featuring interviews with two women who said they’d worked at a Trump golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey, for years despite their undocumented status, and that they had other coworkers in similar situations.

The two reports from the two clubs have a lot in common. They both feature workers who had been loyal employees for many years — some of whom even had fond personal memories of Trump — but who felt betrayed by their employers and by Trump’s vicious anti-immigration rhetoric.

And both include credible allegations that the Trump Organization either knew or should have known that it was likely employing undocumented workers. Multiple workers even claimed that their supervisors actively helped or encouraged them to get better illegal paperwork to avoid detection.

Anibal Romero, an attorney who organized the interviews between the Post and the fired New York golf club workers, told the Post that the Trump Organization has shown “a pattern and practice of hiring undocumented immigrants, not only in New Jersey, but also in New York.”

Trump still owns the two clubs, along with 14 others worldwide, and his sons Eric Trump and Donald Trump Jr. handle the day-to-day business concerns.

In a statement, Eric Trump tried to pretend that because the “system is broken,” the Trump Organization is now responsibly cracking down on something it had no reason to know about before. He also claimed that this debacle is one of the reasons “my father is fighting so hard for immigration reform.”

It’s pretty rich to claim that Trump’s insistence on causing the longest government shutdown in history over funding for an ineffective border wall counts as “fighting” for “immigration reform” — especially when Trump himself has made money off the same people he claims to want to keep out of the country.

If Trump really wanted to fight hard for immigration reform, he could easily have started in his own back yard. Instead, he chose to profit from the sweat of hard-working people when it suited him, and throw them under the bus when it didn’t.

Published with permission of The American Independent. 



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  • 1.Why did Trump choose to hide certain specific files and not others at Mar-a-Lago? What were the criteria that Trump used to keep some files concealed and not others? Who selected those files? Did Trump consult or direct anyone in his selection of secret files? Trump was notorious for being too impatient to read his briefing papers, even after they had been drastically shortened and simplified. Is there the slightest evidence that he spirited these papers away so that he could consult or study them? Who besides Trump knew of the presence of the files he had concealed at Mar-a-Lago?
  • 2. Mar-a-Lago has an infamous reputation for being open to penetration even by foreign spies. In 2019, the FBI arrested a Chinese woman who had entered the property with electronic devices. She was convicted of trespassing, lying to the Secret Service, and sentenced and served eight-months in a federal prison, before being deported to China. Have other individuals with possible links to foreign intelligence operations been present at Mar-a-Lago?
  • 3. Did members of Trump's Secret Service detail have knowledge of his secret storage of the files at Mar-a-Lago? What was the relationship of the Secret Service detail to the FBI? Did the Secret Service, or any agent, disclose information about the files to the FBI?
  • 4. Trump's designated representatives to the National Archives are Kash Patel and John Solomon, co-conspirators in the investigations into Russian interference in the presidential election of 2016, the Ukraine missiles-for-political dirt scandal that led to the first impeachment in 2019, and the coup of 2020. Neither has any professional background in handling archival materials. Patel, a die-hard Trump loyalist whose last job in the administration was as chief of staff to the Acting Secretary of Defense, was supposedly involved in Trump’s “declassification” of some files. Patel has stated, “Trump declassified whole sets of materials in anticipation of leaving government that he thought the American public should have the right to read themselves."
  • The White House counsel failed to generate the paperwork to change the classification markings, but that doesn’t mean the information wasn’t declassified.” If Pat Cipollone, the White House legal counsel, did not “generate the paperwork,” was he or anyone on his staff aware at all of the declassifications? The White House Staff Secretary Derek Lyons resigned his post in December 2020. Did his successor, who held the position for a month, while Trump was consumed with plotting his coup, ever review the material found in Trump’s concealed files for declassification? Or did Patel review the material? Can Patel name any individual who properly reviewed the supposed declassification?
  • 5. Why did Trump keep his pardon of Roger Stone among his secret files? Was it somehow to maintain leverage over Stone? What would that leverage be? Would it involve Stone's role as a conduit with the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers during the coup? Or is there another pardon in Trump’s files for Stone, a secret pardon for his activities in the January 6th insurrection? Because of the sweeping nature of the pardon clause, pardons can remain undisclosed (until needed). Pardons are self-executing, require no justification and are not subject to court review beyond the fact of their timely execution. In other words, a court may verify the pardon was valid in time but has no power to review appropriateness. A pardon could even be oral but would need to be verifiable by a witness. Do the files contain secret pardons for Trump himself, members of his family, members of the Congress, and other co-conspirators?
  • 6.Was the FBI warrant obtained to block the imminent circulation or sale of information in the files to foreign powers? Does the affidavit of the informant at Mar-a-Lago, which has not been released, provide information about Trump’s monetization that required urgency in executing the warrant? Did Trump monetize information in any of the files? How? With whom? Any foreign power or entity? Was the Saudi payment from its sovereign wealth fund for the LIV Golf Tournament at Trump’s Bedminster Golf Club for a service that Trump rendered, an exchange of anything of value or information that was in the files? If it involved information in the files was it about nuclear programs? Was it about the nuclear program of Israel? How much exactly was the Saudi payment for the golf tournament? The Saudi sovereign wealth fund gave Jared Kushner and former Trump Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin $2 billion for their startup hedge fund, Affinity Partners. Do the Saudis regard that investment as partial payment for Trump’s transfer of nuclear information? Were Kushner or Mnuchin aware of the secret files at Mar-a-Lago?
  • 7.Did Trump destroy any of the files? If so, when? Did those files contain incriminating information? Did he destroy any files after he received the June subpoena?
  • 8.Were any of the secrets of our allies compromised? Has the U.S. government provided an inventory of breaches or potential breaches to our allies?
  • 9.Does the resort maintain a copying machine near the classified documents that Trump hid? Were any of the documents copied or scanned? Are Trump’s documents at Mar-a-Lago originals or copies? Were any copies shown or given to anyone?
  • 10.Trump’s lawyer Christina Bobb has revealed that a video surveillance system covers the places where Trump hid the files at Mar-a-Lago, and that the system is connected to a system at his other residences at the Bedminster Golf Club in New Jersey and Trump Tower in New York City. According to Bobb, Trump and members of his family observed the FBI search and seizure of his files at Mar-a-Lago, “actually able to see the whole thing” through their surveillance system. Who has that surveillance system recorded entering the rooms where the files were kept?

Kevin Bacon, right, in "The Following"

The aftermath of the August 8, 2022 search of the Mar-a-Lago club, former President Donald Trump’s Florida home, isn’t the first showdown between the FBI and a cult leader.

The Following, a 2013 Fox Pictures series, played out in similar fashion. Three seasons was enough for the producers and it’s been nine years since our introduction to Joe Carroll, English professor-novelist-serial killer, so there’s a spoiler risk -- but not enough to prevent the comparison.

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