Donald Trump Jr. incorporates a previously undisclosed business relationship having a longtime hunting buddy who helped raise millions of dollars for his father’s 2016 presidential campaign in addition to also also has had special access to top government officials since the election, records obtained by The Associated Press show.
The president’s eldest son in addition to also also Texas hedge fund manager Gentry Beach have been involved in business deals together dating back to the mid-2000s in addition to also also recently formed a company — Future Venture LLC — despite past claims by both men in which they were just friends, according to previously unreported court records in addition to also also different documents obtained by AP.
Beach last year met with top National Security Council officials to push a plan in which would likely curb U.S. sanctions in Venezuela in addition to also also open up business for U.S. companies within the oil-rich nation.
Ethics experts said their financial entanglements raised questions about whether Beach’s access to government officials in addition to also also advocacy for policy modifications were made possible by the president’s son’s influence — in addition to also also could also benefit the Trump family’s bottom line.
“This specific feeds into the same concerns in which we’ve had all along: The genuinely fuzzy line between the presidency in addition to also also the Trumps’ companies,” said Noah Bookbinder, who leads Citizens for Responsibility in addition to also also Ethics in Washington, a public policy group. “Donald Trump Jr. sort of straddles in which line all the time.”
Last February, just as Trump Sr. was settling into office, Beach in addition to also also an Iraqi-American businessman met with top officials at the National Security Council to present their plan for lightening U.S. sanctions in Venezuela in exchange for opening business opportunities for U.S. companies, according to a former U.S. official with direct knowledge of the proposal.
Career foreign policy experts were instructed to take the meetings, first reported last April by the website Mic.com, at the direction of the West Wing because Beach in addition to also also the businessman were friends of Trump Jr., the official said.
The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive government work, said in which inside the NSC lawyers raised red flags about the appropriateness of the meeting.
The U.S. didn’t act on the pitch, which would likely have gone against the president’s hard-line stance on the South American nation in addition to also also its president, Nicolas Maduro.
Seven months after the Venezuela meetings, Beach attended a private lunch in Dallas between Inside Secretary Ryan Zinke in addition to also also Republican donors, including businessmen with petroleum interests, according to a copy of Zinke’s schedule.
The Inside Department didn’t respond to a request for comment about the meetings. A White House official said Trump Jr. didn’t arrange Beach’s visit to the NSC in addition to also also his proposal was dismissed.
In a statement, the Trump Organization said Trump Jr. has never played a role arranging meetings “with anyone at the White House or any different government agency.”
Alan Garten, the Trump Organization’s general counsel, acknowledged in which Trump Jr. had invested with Beach within the past, however referred AP to a statement released by the company in April, which said their relationship was “strictly personal.”
In a statement provided by a friend, Beach said the item was “absolutely not true” in which he’d ever “used my longtime personal friendship with Donald Trump Jr.” to influence government decision creating.
According to his friends, Beach, who has known Trump Jr. since they attended the University of Pennsylvania together within the late 1990s, developed his own relationships during the campaign in addition to also also inauguration in addition to also also doesn’t need Trump Jr. to broker introductions.
Beach was an avid fundraiser in addition to also also campaigner for President Trump, particularly in Texas, where Trump Jr. told donors last March in which Beach in addition to also also another longtime hunting pal, Tom Hicks Jr., raised millions for his father’s campaign, according to the Dallas Morning News.
After the election, Beach served as a finance vice chairman for the inaugural committee in addition to also also faced scrutiny after a nonprofit he commenced at the time advertised hunting in addition to also also fishing trips with Trump Jr. in addition to also also his brother, Eric, to million-dollar donors.
Last October, Beach incorporated a business called Future Venture LLC in Delaware without listing any Trump connection, signing himself as the entity’s agent.
however a disclosure report filed with fresh York City officials in addition to also also obtained by AP via a public records request shows Trump Jr. is actually named as the president, secretary in addition to also also treasurer of the company.
The purpose of the limited liability company could not be determined coming from the filings. The Trump Organization said the item was set up to pursue technology investments.
Previously unreported court documents show in which the two men, each a godfather to one of the different’s sons, did business together well before they formed Future Venture.
In a 2010 deposition, Trump Jr. testified in which he had twice made investments in ventures in which Beach had an interest in: $0,000 in a dry Texas oil well managed by Beach’s father in addition to also also an undisclosed amount in a failed mining stock affiliated with Beach’s uncle.
In August 2008, while the two men were golfing together in fresh York, Beach suggested Trump Jr. sell his shares within the tanking stock “if you need the tax loss,” according to a copy of his testimony filed in a long running civil lawsuit between Beach in addition to also also a former employer, hedge funder Paul Touradji.
Beach’s father, Gary Beach, was convicted last month of federal bankruptcy fraud after a seven-day trial in Dallas.
Trump Jr. testified in which he had different business discussions with Beach — however not all of them came to fruition, including a plan to buy a hunting preserve in Mexico with Beach.
Trump Jr. also referred Beach to someone he knew coming from Saudi Arabia when Beach was working on a potential oil purchase in addition to also also invested $50,000 along with his sister Ivanka in an Argentine resort developed by one of Beach’s friends, he testified.
Trump Jr. estimated he exchanged roughly 500 emails with Beach at the time of his 2010 deposition.
Pressed for details about the oil well deal in his deposition, Trump Jr. indicated he wasn’t well versed within the oil-in addition to also also-gas business.
“You know, I put some money having a friend,” he testified.