Rising 'National Security' Concerns Over Shadowy Entity Behind Trump Bond

@crgibs
Rising 'National Security' Concerns Over Shadowy Entity Behind Trump Bond

Evan Greenberg

Former President Donald Trump

After US District Judge Lewis F. Kaplan denied his petition for a stay, former President Donald Trump finally posted a $91.6 million bond for his appeal of writer E. Jean Carroll's judgment on Friday.

That $91.63 million includes the full $83.3 million judgment, along with a nine percent statutory interest the State of New York tacks onto surety bonds. That money has been set aside in a court-managed account to be paid to Carroll in the event Trump loses his appeal. The ex-president's bond was guaranteed by the Federal Insurance Company — a New York-based subsidiary of the company Chubb Group LLC, which is headquartered in Switzerland. In 2018, Chubb CEO Evan Greenberg served on a trade advisory committee in the Trump White House. The Washington Post reported that "it was not clear from court records what collateral Trump presented to obtain the bond from Chubb."

The environmental nonprofit group Rainforest Action Network (RAN) noted on its website that Chubb does business around the world, including with several major American adversaries. The group pointed out that Chubb is "insuring oil and gas extraction and transport in Russia, fueling Russia’s war on Ukraine."

"In fact, Chubb called Russian oil and gas 'one of the most promising activities' of its Russian operations,'" RAN wrote. "The insurer was recently backing Nord Stream 2, a massive, controversial natural gas pipeline built by Gazprom, the world’s largest producer of gas and a majority Russian state-owned fossil fuel company (which also happens to be funded by JPMorgan Chase)."

Former federal prosecutor Andrew Weissmann tweeted Friday that while Trump is "$90M down, $400M to go," the details of the bond agreement are murky and that "the public has no idea who may have actually put up the money or provided a guaranty to support the bond."

"But one thing’s sure: Trump is beholden to someone for a lot of money," Weissmann wrote.

In response to Weissmann's tweet, attorney and journalist Daniel Miller expressed concern, opining that the bond guarantee was a "matter of national security," adding "the public has to know this information before voting in November."

Notably, the Post reported Chubb's CEO was vocal in his disdain for the January 6, 2021 insurrection at the US Capitol, condemning "the violence and display of demagoguery we witnessed in our nation’s capital."

"We should all hope for a new era of respect and decency as we meet the many common challenges facing our nation," Greenberg said the day after the capitol riot.

Trump has yet to post his bond for appealing the $454 million civil judgment that he's been ordered to pay to the State of New York after losing his civil fraud case. Earlier this week, CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin said Trump may seek out foreign help to pay that judgment, particularly since American financial institutions may hesitate to give a loan to an adjudicated fraudster. In February, a judge denied Trump's request to pay a $100 million bond, suggesting Trump may not have the cash to cover the judgment on his own despite his multibillion-dollar net worth.

"What does that mean if a candidate for president is is on the hook for multiple, multiple millions of dollars to a foreign source? Because that, it seems to me, is the most likely source," Toobin said.

Reprinted with permission from Alternet.

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