Impeachment of President Trump Now Much More Likely

The Trump-Qatar Scandal that Could End His Presidency

Eric Zuesse

On the morning of Monday July 10th, broke online from three reporters at The Intercept — Ryan Grim, Ben Walsh, and Clayton Swisher — the headline, “Jared Kushner Tried and Failed to Get a Half-Billion Dollar Bailout from Qatar”, recounting events which could also have been titled (perhaps more interestingly) “Evidence Trump Sparked Saud Boycott of Qatar to Salvage His Fortune and that of Daughter Ivanka”. Here are key portions of that narrative, which will be introduced and accompanied by other details of this case, which add even more to the picture of the U.S. President’s using his political position so as to protect, and add to, the wealth of Donald Trump and, even more, of Ivanka Trump.

Ivanka’s husband, Jared Kushner, had used his ex-convict father Charles Kushner’s fortune to buy, in 2007, at the highest price ever paid for any building in NYC, 666 5th Avenue at 53rd Street; and, now, this investment could turn out to have been so bad as to bankrupt his father’s, and his and his wife’s company, Kushner Properties:

On 13 March 2017, Bloomberg News reporters David Kocieniewski and Caleb Melby had bannered “Kushners May Get $400 Million From Chinese on Tower” and reported that a “planned $4-billion transaction includes terms that some real estate experts consider unusually favorable for the Kushners. It would provide them with both a sizable cash payout from [China’s] Anbang Insurance Group for a property that has struggled financially and an equity stake in a new partnership” that “would make business partners of Kushner Cos. and Anbang, whose murky links to the Chinese power structure have raised national security concerns over its U.S. investments. In the process, an existing mortgage owed by the Kushners will be slashed to about a fifth of its current amount,” thus enabling Kushner Properties to avoid being bankrupted by Jared’s 2007 purchase-decision. (Two days later, on March 15th, news became public that Anbang declined the deal.)

Just weeks prior to that news-report, Dow Jones had headlined on 16 February 2017, “One of Government’s Largest Landlords Pays Millions Each Year to Trump Company” and Alexandra Berzon and Peter Grant reported that:

President Donald Trump’s company receives tens of millions of dollars a year from Vornado Realty Trust, which relies on the federal government for a significant portion of its revenue and is vying for new work from Mr. Trump’s administration. … Two of the most valuable real-estate assets in Mr. Trump’s company, the Trump Organization, are 30% stakes in a pair of office buildings controlled by Vornado. … Vornado decides how much Mr. Trump’s company — the properties’ only other owner — receives from the partnership each year. … It is up to Vornado to decide how much of their incomes are held for capital upgrades and other long-term expenses and how much of the income is profit. Of that bottom-line figure, Vornado has to distribute 30% annually to Mr. Trump’s company. …

Vornado bought a 49.5% stake in the mixed-use tower at 666 Fifth Avenue in Manhattan from Kushner Cos., where Mr. Kushner at the time was chief executive. The next year, Vornado purchased retail space in the building for $710 million. … The company [Vornado], a major owner of buildings in Washington and other U.S. cities, counts the U.S. government as its largest tenant. … Government vacancies, he [the head of Vornado] said on an investor conference call that year, are “the eye of the storm for our company.”

So, 666 5th Avenue is no longer owned fully by Kushner Properties, but also by Donald Trump’s major business partner, Vornado (which is heavily dependent upon decisions by U.S. President Trump), and both could be bankrupted if some other investors cannot be quickly found to take on the burden of Jared’s 2007 decision to purchase that building. (After Anbang said no, the Kushners were really desperate.)

This brings us to The Intercept’s July 10th report, that U.S. President Trump might have requested the Sauds to blockade Qatar so as to punish the family who own and control Qatar, the Thanis. It says:

Throughout 2015 and 2016, Jared Kushner and his father, Charles, negotiated directly with a major investor in Qatar, Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim al-Thani, known as HBJ for short, in an effort to refinance the property on Fifth Avenue, the sources said.

Trump himself has unsuccessfully sought financing in recent years from the Qataris, but it is difficult to overstate just how important to Kushner the investment at 666 Fifth Avenue is for him, his company, and his family’s legacy in real estate. Without some outside intervention or unforeseen turnaround in the market, the investment could become an embarrassing half-billion dollar loss. It’s unclear precisely how much peril such a loss would put Jared, or his family’s, finances in, given the opacity of their private holdings.

HBJ, a former prime minister of Qatar who ran the country’s $250 billion sovereign wealth fund, is a billionaire and one of the world’s richest men. He owns a yacht worth $300 million called Al Mirqab, the same name he gave to the private investment firm that Kushner pitched. The former emir of Qatar summed up HBJ’s power with a quip: “I may run this country, but he owns it.” …

Meanwhile, the water is rising on the Fifth Avenue investment. And the blockade continues.

Had the Qataris known where things were heading diplomatically, said the source in the region, they’d have happily ponied up the money, even knowing that it was a losing investment. “It would have been much cheaper,” he said.

The Intercept’s reporting-team present strong circumstantial evidence that, as they put it, “THE CRISIS DATES TO MAY, when President Trump visited Saudi Arabia and met with regional leaders there, laying his hands on the now-famous orb.” That “orb” is pictured here, atop my earlier article documenting that the Sauds’ power-competition against the Thanis to lead the global fundamentalist-Sunni movement, had long preceded the Sauds’ boycott of Qatar, and that the Sauds quite likely requested from Trump during his visit there on May 20th, whether he would back them on a boycott of the Thanis’ Qatar, and that Trump (whether for personal business reasons or otherwise) was eager to say yes to that proposal from them. But, in either case (as I document there with links), Trump’s pro-Saud position is supporting what the U.S. federal government has long been stating, in confidential communications, is, in fact, the world’s biggest financial backer of Al Qaeda and other fundamentalist Sunni jihadist organizations. The royal Sauds are even bigger in that than the royal Thanis are. If Trump does this (supports jihadism) out of incompetency, or if he does it out of greed, makes no difference to his being able to be impeached and removed from office and replaced by Mike Pence.

Also, it should here be pointed out — which neither The Intercept’s report, nor the Huffington Post’s report that it linked to (including in the excerpt that’s quoted here from the TI article) as backup for it, noted, but should have noted — that Clayton Swisher, who wrote all of the HuffPo’s article and co-authored TI’s article, is an employee of the Thanis: as TI puts it, “Clayton Swisher is the Doha-based director of investigative journalism with Al Jazeera Media Network.” HuffPo failed to publish that essential information, but said only the far less relevant: “Clayton Swisher is an investigative journalist and author of two books on the Arab-Israeli conflict.” What readers need to know, is that to be an employee of Al Jazeera is to be an employee of the Thani family. Swisher writes as one of their agents. He also is the only one of the three co-authors of the TI article who lives and works in Qatar (Doha); so, he was probably the lead investigator among the three. The other two (Grim and Walsh) are U.S.-based and had previously worked for the Huffington Post, which has always been a Democratic Party organ (and the Democratic Party want President Trump to be impeached and Mike Pence to become President).

Whereas the ‘Russiagate’ argument against Trump is built upon so much misrepresentation as to be basically the Democratic Party’s turning of the Republican Joseph R. McCarthy now 60 years later, into a ghost against his own Republican Party and turning today’s Democrats into McCarthy’s mere imitators long after communism has gone, there is real and solid substance to the argument against Trump regarding his backing of the royal Sauds. The evidence against Trump on Saudi-Qatar-gate is clearly damning against Trump in either case, and the only real questions are the initiating motive behind, and the precise sequence of events immediately preceding, the 5-6 June 2017 boycott-blockade of Qatar. Trump is now clearly impeachable if the Republican Party decides that Pence would serve their purposes more effectively than Trump does. At this stage, it’s only a political judgment-call by Republicans. They won the 2016 elections, and they will decide what to do with their prize — whether, going forward into the 2018 mid-term elections, theirs will be the Trump brand, or become switched to the Pence brand. Corruption isn’t, by any means, the only issue; there also are real policy-differences at stake, even within just the Republican Party. Pence built his base amongst fundamentalist Christians. And the judgment-call here will be made by Republicans, not by Democrats.

—————

Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of  They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of  CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.

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  • awb22

    I very seriously doubt whether the Quatari blockade can be so sanguinely explained. The most recent explanation I read was Quatar was being punished for aligning with Iran.

    It doesn’t sound like Trump/Kushner are getting anything out of the deal. The Bush/Saud alliance is much more interesting.

    • Macon Richardson

      With all respect, this issue isn’t whether Trump/Kushner are getting anything out of the deal. The issue is the appearance of impropriety.

      As Eric Zuesse notes, it is a political matter. With this issue, the Republican party has a reason to choose to remain with Trump or to replace him with Pence. This may be a choice the party relishes, back to business as usual but with out Hilary involved.

      Hallelujah!

      • awb22

        With all respect, what rubbish! Do you not value freedom?

        While Zeusse may agree back to business as usual is to be desired, what has Trump done, or not done, that you would like to see him removed? This is, of course, Zuesse’s goal as well, as a Zionist Liberal.

        What has Trump done that’s impeachable, that hasn’t been done at some point by some POTUS without even a whiff of impeachment in the air?

        When Trump abandons his platform, I’ll be the first to call for his removal, but then the Liberals will be cheering. As long as his approval ratings don’t dip below 40%, he still has the support of his base, but then, popularity, or lack thereof, is not grounds for impeachment. You seem to think it’s a paltry matter, but has he lied under oath. That’s the last time a POTUS was impeached, and even then, not removed from office.

        Yours, and Zuesses’s, fanciful wishing aside, the left will likely lose more seats in the mid-terms, and pro-Trump supporters will put the establishment on notice. The direction we’re headed on jobs and the economy can’t be any more dire.

        Which brings me to me last point, you’re probably pretty settled in retirement, or will be, and thusly, you support business as usual. Zuesse is a wanna be communist. Be careful with whom you agree so readily, comrade.

        • Macon Richardson

          I am and have been a Trump supporter. Perhaps you misunderstood my “Hallelujah” part. That was hallelujah that Hillary was not elected. She surely would have been if someone other than Trump had been the Republican nominee.

          I agree with your comments on Zuesse. But as a member of the bar and aware of the appearance of impropriety issue, I agree with his assessment that as a political issue the Republicans in Congress can use this issue as an excuse to impeach Trump and to put the far more compliant vice-president into Trump’s chair.

          Or in a more abbreviated form–I’m wid you!

          • animalogic

            “Republicans in Congress can use this issue as an excuse to impeach Trump and to put the far more compliant vice-president into Trump’s chair.”
            Wow.
            Imagine a political party, publicly DESTROYING their OWN elected president. The consequences for the R’s & US democracy in general are so off the Richter scale…. So, sure, the R’s “can” or could impeach, but make sure you have your abyss climbing stuff ready…..

          • awb22

            The confusion was all me! I was a Ron Paul supporter, never affiliated with any party, a fact in which I’m proud, and supported Trump in the primaries. Sanders got the same treatment from the DNC which Paul got from the RNC in 2012.

            Impeach Trump and there will be civil war. It would be suicide for the Repubs, and only as a desperation move, because Trump supporters will be gaining seats in 2018, while the establishment Dems and Repubs, two sides of the same coin, lose. I don’t care which loses less.

            Thanks for the clarification. I still disagree with Zuesse’s fanciful thinking, but as regards Hillary losing, hallelujah and amen! Although Zuesse may disagree, what else can one expect from a Zionist shill. He should be posting on Jerusalem Today, not Washington’s Blog, even if they do need to fill the gaps. He’s adequate fodder.

            Cheers!

    • K-K-K-ARL ROVE STARTED FAKE NEWS: SEE W.H.I.G. AND NEVER FORGET REPUBLICANS DID 911 ROVE SAID WE ARE AN EMPIRE NOW AND WE CREATE OUR OWN REALITY FOX NEWS IS FIRST FAKE NEWS

    • Twinkletoes

      ” The most recent explanation I read was Quatar was being punished for aligning with Iran.”

      Not just aligning with Iran apparently, but joining in a scheme to cooperate with Iran in developing a major gas field which is shared between Iran and Quatar and building a new pipeline with Iran to get the gas to Western customers. See the article “Has Washington Lost the Middle East After Qatar?” by F William Engdahl: https://journal-neo.org/2017/06/24/has-washington-lost-the-middle-east-after-qatar/

      Excerpt:
      “It all fits together when we realize that the current Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, son of Sheikh Hamad, being a more pragmatic sort and realizing that Qatari dreams of a pipeline through Aleppo into Turkey on to the EU had gone up in flames once Russia stepped into the Syrian war, quietly began talks with…Teheran.

      This past spring, Qatar began talks with Teheran about finding a compromise on exploitation of the shared South Pars-North Dome gas field. Qatar lifted its moratorium on exploiting the field and carried out discussions with Iran over its joint development. Reportedly Qatar and Iran had come to an agreement on joint construction of a Qatar-Iranian gas pipeline from Iran to the Mediterranean or Turkey that will also carry Qatari gas to Europe. In exchange, Doha agreed to end its support for terrorism in Syria, a huge blow to the Trump-Saudi plans to balkanize a destroyed Syria and control the gas flows of the region.

      https://journal-neo.org/2017/06/24/has-washington-lost-the-middle-east-after-qatar/

      • awb22

        Correct, and we’re supporting a regime, the Sauds, which perpetuate a humanitarian crisis in Yemen on political grounds. This sort of political persecution lead to two of the worst genocidal atrocities known to man, by the bolsheviks and chicoms. The FUSA is just as guilty in overthrowing legitimately elected governments to further multinational business interests.

        • joeymac

          … two of the worst genocidal atrocities known to man, by the bolsheviks and chicoms.

          To bad that the near eradication of the indigenous peoples of the Americas seems to have evaded your radar. Not to mention the horrendous destruction of African societies through the slave trade and ensuing colonialism.

          I think that the ¨benevolent¨ neglect that devastated Ireland during the potato famine was serious too.

          Your apparent obsessive hostility of socialist movements does serious impede you cognitive abilities.

          • awb22

            Worst in terms of numbers of people murdered. Socialist movements have nothing to do with my hostility toward governments committing democide. It just so happens that the two with the highest numbers of murders committed were so-called socialist states. It also just so happens that Zionist Jews are behind both, and behind them is Satan. My cognitive ability is just fine, how about yours?

  • Zartan

    I could never understand why Russia did not buy Greece when they had the Chance! HUGE MISTAKE! They easily could have underwritten Greece`s Debt and thereby check-mated NATO, Entirely. Imagine Russian Missile bases in Greece? This would have stopped all Border Hostility and Could have saved Russia. USA could never invade RUSSIA without hitting Greece first. So, Russia would be Insulated from Invasion almost completely by purchasing Greece! US would have to pursue peace with Russia. Imagine, the money it would have saved Russia? Putin is no Chess Player!

    And, more so, why has Putin not Partnered with Venezuela, thereby, the latter have a Huge Oil Reserve coupled with Russia`s Drilling Expertise would have made Russia, Iran, CUBA and Venezuela the OIL POWERHOUSE of the World.

    Seems, that Vlad is not all He claims; perhaps, the CIA gave him his billions? Judging by his lack of regard for Russian and Syrian ( allied) lives, well, if I were a Russian General, I would be considering a plutonium tea party for Mr Putin.

    • Jed Grover

      Great questions?

      • Zartan

        Thanks … Yes, I cannot understand why Putin is so Great. He cannot make business deals as an OIL PACT with Iran, Cuba, Venezuela and Russia would make Russia the Most powerful Oil Broker on the Planet. Cuba and Venezuela have HUGE Reserves, untapped!

        Greece was pure Treason. Putin should face consequences for his Treason as a Russian. No Russian Leader would have passed on the BLESSING to buy Greece! Greece was offered up on a Golden Platter and that Idiot Refused it!

        Putin is no Chess Player.

  • cityspeak

    So are you implying that Trump is backing SA because of this failed real estate deal?
    Really?
    Would you please be so kind as to explain why every American President since Nixon has crawled into bed with the house of Saud? I think everything we want to know about the relationship between “the greatest democracy the world has ever known” and “the most brutal monarchy in the modern world” can be explained by tricky Dick’s move away from the gold standard and onto the petrodollar.
    Whatever happens in that part of the world is planned ahead of time in the Pentagon. We don’t get to elect those “master’s of the Universe” now do we?
    See Wesley Clark’s accidental glimpse into the hellish future that has come to past, from Bush to Obama’s reign.

    At this point I think the country is scandal fatigued and no longer wants to play the outrage game.
    The Blue/Red game nonsense has played itself out.

    Trump’s family’s business dealings are the same as the Clinton foundation’s.
    Bush and Cheney’s war crimes mirror Obama’s.
    Trump is unfit for the Presidency?
    The Presidency, like the Houses and much of the Supreme Court are unfit for 99.9% of us.

    We can only hope that the biosphere doesn’t crumble around us or WWIII isn’t ignited.

  • Steven

    The purchase of US politicians by foreign powers has a long history that probably goes back much further even than the $1 million in a brief case a visiting Saudi ‘accidentally’ left at the San Clemente Nixon ‘white house’ in the early 70’s, according to Greg Palast. But to bring things up to date a bit, how much have the Saudis ‘donated’ to the Clinton Foundation?

    To be fair, AFAIK the Saudis are still prohibited from purchasing outright key elements of the US military industrial complex even if they are allowed to buy a good chunk of its yearly output. So what else are they supposed to do with all those US banker and politician-created petrodollars?

    BTW – Take a look at John MacCain: The Patriotic Fighter for Sale

    https://journal-neo.org/ Twinkletoes’ Near East Outlook link has gone into my bookmarks

    • Steven

      That’s “New East Outlook”

    • Jed Grover

      All of these pricks have sold their souls and country out! Those diabolical banking Anglo “R”s should wiped from the planet.

  • How come no addition of the Clinton crime family?

    April 7, 2015 Top Donor to Clinton Foundation Oligarch in Ukraine

    Between 2009 and 2013, including when Mrs. Clinton was secretary of state, the Clinton Foundation received at least $8.6 million from the Victor Pinchuk Foundation, based in Kiev, Ukraine.

    http://www.veteransnewsnow.com/2015/04/07/516954top-donor-to-clinton-foundation-jewish-oligarch-in-ukraine/

    Apr 17, 2016 Empire Files: Abby Martin Exposes What Hillary Clinton Really Represents

    Digging deep into Hillary’s connections to Wall Street, Abby Martin reveals how the Clinton’s multi-million-dollar political machine operates.

    https://youtu.be/PV_PLCC6jeI

  • Taras77

    Rather remarkable headline to this article, almost breathless and giddy, in its rush to judgement.

    Maybe zuesse is getting editorial assistance from the DNC or Chuckie Schumer.

  • Zartan

    Americans … WAKE UP AND SMELL THE COFFEE!

    Hope and Change was a JOKE played on the American people by Barrack Obama. This Joke Continues with Trump!