BipHoo Company / Flickr Ivanka Trump sees in dad a...
BipHoo Company / Flickr

The whole Trump family is crooked. all of them. The only way any of these carnival barkers have been able to stay afloat the last few decades is by cheating everyone around them. Donald, Uday, Qusay, and The Good One are all quite certain that neither laws nor ethics could possibly apply to them.

In interviews and press conferences, Ivanka Trump gave false sales figures for projects in Mexico’s Baja California; Panama City, Panama; Toronto and New York’s SoHo neighborhood. These statements weren’t just the legendary Trump hype; they misled potential buyers about the viability of the developments.

That’s from a new ProPublica investigation of the Trump clan’s business practices. Much of it is of the pattern we already know: Trump and/or his rotten kids lure real estate buyers to new projects with blatantly false claims; by the time buyers find out they were duped, the Trumps have already pocketed the money and oozed off to the next “deal.” If it sounds familiar it’s because it’s the precise operational model of “Trump University,” the scam real-estate college—and God help anyone who ever bought mail-order meat from this man.

If there’s any particular message to be had in this new piece, it’s the extent to which the much-heralded Ivanka has been in on the con. White House watchers forever waiting for “the good Trump” to pipe up against her father’s latest monstrous plans for child prisons or deporting same-sex partners of diplomats might want to instead consider the possibility that “the good Trump” has been a willing partner in her father’s worst impulses all along.

Her apparent role has been to go out and lie through her teeth after her papa has already worn out his welcome. She’s very good at it. Or very bad at it:

His daughter Ivanka briefly boasted that she had personally sold 40 units. (A broker on the project said he couldn’t remember her selling even one.) Meanwhile, Ivanka told a journalist at the time that “over 90 percent” of the Panama units had sold — and at prices five times as high as comparable buildings. Both statements were untrue.

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Well, you may say, perhaps she is just an idiot! And perhaps her brothers are idiots, and her father is an idiot, and there’s not a person in the company who has the slightest grasp of what the hell they are talking about in any and all settings! Perhaps they are all so incompetent that there are three individual butlers assigned to getting each of their shoes on in the morning, and so it is completely unreasonable to presume they can remember the most crucial financial details of the projects they are trying to sell to the latest sucker.

A compelling argument, perhaps. But all of this coincided with Donald Trump taking on ever-shadier partners, snuggling up to the money-laundering side of real estate, spending difficult-to-explain piles of cash to finance projects he wouldn’t in past decades have touched, and so forth; the family certainly seems to have a handle on how to get shady things done in order to keep the cash flow going.

And it worked for them. The same scams peddled the same way worked for years and years. That the whole family remains out of prison is an indictment of our national inability to prosecute crimes by rich people; you’ll go to jail for stealing a loaf of bread, but if you steal the whole factory there’s not a damn thing anyone can do about it.

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This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.



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