This Week in Conflicts: Undocumented Workers at Trump Golf Club, More Trademarks for Ivanka and the Latest on Roger Stone


President Donald J. Trump arrives on Air Force One to Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va., March 2, 2017. (Image Credit: U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Daylena S. Ricks)

This week, more undocumented workers were reportedly working at one of President Donald Trump’s properties, Ivanka Trump received more trademarks from China and a new report found more than a thousand conflicts of interest involving the Trump Organization.

Entrance to Trump National Golf Club, Bedminster, New Jersey, August 9, 2017. (Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons user Ekem)

Undocumented Workers at Trump Golf Club

About a dozen undocumented workers at Trump National Golf Club Westchester were fired after a company audit determined their immigration documents were fake, according to The Washington Post.

The firing occurred on January 18, according to the Post, and some of the former employees had worked there for more than 10 years before being terminated.

The Westchester golf club is located in Briarcliff Manor, New York, an hour north of New York City. Last year, The New York Times published a story with similar allegations of undocumented workers being employed at another Trump property, Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey. In that story, the Times reported managers knew the individuals were in the country illegally.

In a statement to the Washington Post, Eric Trump, one of President Trump’s son and executive vice president of the Trump Organization, said, “we are making a broad effort to identify any employee who has given false and fraudulent documents to unlawfully gain employment. Where identified, any individual will be terminated immediately.”

This week, several of the former employees met with lawmakers in Washington, D.C. asking for an investigation into Trump Organization hiring practices and protection from Immigration and Customs Enforcement, according to CNN.

One of the lawmakers they met with, New Jersey Senator Robert Menendez, said, the former employees “really speak volumes about the hypocrisy of the president who rails against immigrants but uses their labor and does so in a way, and an in an environment, as I understand it, that was hostile to them and threatening to them.”

President Donald Trump, joined by First Daughter Ivanka Trump talks with NASA astronauts Peggy Whitson and Jack Fischer onboard the International Space Station Monday, April 24, 2017 from the Oval Office of the White House in Washington. (Image Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls)

More Trademarks for Ivanka

Ivanka Trump received preliminary approval from China for five more trademarks, CBS News is reporting.

The latest trademarks are for sunglasses, wedding dresses, child care centers and brokerage, charitable fundraising and art valuation services. In the last year, according to CBS News, China has approved 34 trademarks to companies linked to President Trump and Ivanka. The latest trademarks will be finalized as long as no one objects after 90 days.

According to CBS News, “critics argue that by asking a foreign government for valuable intellectual property rights, White House officials could open themselves to pressure in government negotiations.”

A spokesperson for Ivanka has said trademarks are necessary to protect her name and are a normal business practice. Ivanka’s fashion brand officially shut down last year.

Donald Trump stands in Trump Tower after signing the loyalty pledge to the Republican Party. (Image Credit: Michael Vadon)

Report: Trump’s Conflicts Got Worse in Year Two

In a new report, a government watchdog organization estimates there were more than 900 interactions between the government, those trying to influence it and the Trump Organization during President Trump’s second year in office.

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) said that brings the total number of known conflicts of interest involving the Trump Organization to more than 1,400.

According to their new report, “President Trump has tried to use the presidency to enrich himself by promoting his businesses as extensions of his administration. That includes conducting government business at them, praising them in his official capacity, and even going so far as to offer exclusive perks to members of his clubs including access to government leaders, influence on government business, and in some cases, appointments to government positions.”

Some of the examples of conflicts of interest provided by CREW include:

  • Twelve foreign governments who have made payments to Trump properties
  • A breakdown of visits by lawmakers, special interest groups and President Trump, himself, to Trump-owned properties
  • President Trump and White House staff have promoted Trump businesses at least 87 times

Roger Stone, May 2014. (Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons user Lizzie Ochoa)

Roger Stone Indicted

The evidence against Roger Stone includes information stored on hard drives, bank and financial records and emails, CNN is reporting.

Prosecutors said, “the FBI seized electronic devices from Stone’s home, apartment and office.”

Stone was indicted by a federal grand jury on seven counts, including obstruction of an official proceeding, witness tampering and providing false statements. The long-time associate of President Trump is being accused of seeking stolen emails from WikiLeaks in coordination with Trump campaign officials. He’s pleaded not guilty.

According to prosecutors, “after the July 22, 2016, release of stolen (Democratic National Committee) emails by Organization 1, a senior Trump Campaign official was directed to contact STONE about any additional releases and what other damaging information Organization 1 had regarding the Clinton Campaign. STONE thereafter told the Trump Campaign about potential future releases of damaging material by Organization 1.”

More conflicts of interest in the news

About this Project

Sunlight’s “Tracking Trump’s Conflicts of Interest” project provides a free, searchable database detailing President Donald J. Trump’s known business dealings and personal interests that may conflict with his public duties as President of the United States. The project also documents news coverage of these potential conflicts. Read our reporting to stay current on related news, explore our database, and learn more about the project. As we continue to learn about the First Family’s business holdings, the database will be updated. To help with those updates, get involved by contacting us here. You can also contact us if you’re familiar with any of the conflicts we’re tracking.

Lynn Walsh is an Emmy award-winning freelance journalist who has worked in investigative, data and TV journalism at the national level as well as locally in California, Ohio, Texas and Florida. She produces content focused on government accountability, public access to information and freedom of expression issues. She’s also helping to rebuild trust between newsrooms and the public through the Trusting News project.