Back in May 2016, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) acquired a massive trove of leaked documents and published them as the Panama Papers. The cache of 11.5 million files covers 40 years of data and names more than 360,000 people linked to Mossack Fonseca, a law firm that provided offshore financial services for über-wealthy people like Donald Trump.
The papers show how the world’s richest people hide their money and their shady business dealings.
When the ICIJ published the papers, the director and co-founder of the UK-based Tax Justice Network, John Christensen, said:
It’s the biggest leak we’ve ever seen of this kind. While many people don’t know it, this affects the global economy, the way our governments work, all of us every single working day of our lives.
The Panama Papers' publication was a really big deal, and ICIJ won a Pulitzer Prize for their work.
Enter Jake Bernstein, an investigative journalist, author — and a senior reporter on the ICIJ team. Bernstein has been poring over the Panama Papers and has pinpointed Trump's first mention in the files.
On Friday, Bernstein wrote a blog post about Trump's involvement in a questionable sale of a condo:
In 1991, Process Consultans, Inc. bought a unit in the newly constructed Trump Palace on 200 East 69 Street in Manhattan. The 54-story skyscraper was the tallest building above 60thStreet.
The Trump Palace was open for business for foreign buyers and sellers, some of them hiding behind anonymous shell companies.
The person or persons behind Process Consultans decided to sell his condo in 1994. Trump Corporation was the exclusive broker.
Several media outlets, including Newsweek, picked up the story:
And people began to take note:
Trump’s name appears 3,450 times in these files. Many think that alone is damning:
Want to know more about the intricacies of the Panama Papers? Vox explains it all:
Bernstein authored the book Secrecy World: Inside the Panama Papers Investigation of Illicit Money Networks and the Global Elite. His findings could spell more trouble for Trump should Congress decide to investigate further.
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