Bombshell Report: Trump Has Business Entanglements With Iran Revolutionary Guard
On Monday, the Trump administration announced it is labeling Iran’s Revolutionary Guard a “foreign terrorist organization,” the first time the United States has applied the label to an entire government entity. But a new report from The New Yorker indicates that President Donald Trump has business entanglements with the foreign military group.
Trump and his eldest daughter developed a hotel in Azerbaijan that appears to be a corrupt operation run by a family known as “the Corleones of the Caspian” with links to Iran’s Revolutionary Guard.
The Trump International Hotel & Tower Baku — conceived in 2008 as a luxury apartment building but converted in 2014 into a hotel — has never opened, and both local observers and international experts are baffled by the building’s existence, reported The New Yorker in 2017.
The project was intended as an “ultra-luxury property” with both hotel and residential space, but both its location and timing are odd, according to the report.
Trump Tower Baku is located in an underdeveloped part of the city’s downtown, across the street from a discount shopping center and miles away from the main business district.
“Why would someone put a luxury hotel there?” said former top official in Azerbaijan’s Ministry of Tourism. “Nobody who can afford to stay there would want to be in that neighborhood.”
The Trump Organization announced the project would be converted into just a hotel in 2014, after a construction boom had ended in Baku and luxury hotel occupancy rate hovered around 35 percent, the magazine reported.
A Cornell University expert told The New Yorker that developers of five-star hotels typically must demonstrate an average occupancy rate of at least 60 percent over 10 years.
The Mammadov family, described by Foreign Policy magazine as “The Corleones of the Caspian,” has a reputation for using their government positions to enrich themselves and their partners — which includes construction firms tied to Iran’s Revolutionary Guard.
The Trump Organization’s chief legal officer, Alan Garten, all but admitted corruption was involved with the project — “I’m not going to sit here and defend the Mammadovs,” he said — but he insisted the Trump Organization should be exempt from prosecution because the company didn’t control the project.
However, a legal expert who specializes in the foreign corruption law dismissed those claims as nonsense.
“You can’t go into business deals in Azerbaijan assuming that you are immune from the FCPA, nor can you escape liability by looking the other way,” said Jessica Tillipman, an assistant dean at George Washington University Law School. “The entire Baku deal is a giant red flag — the direct involvement of foreign government officials and their relatives in Azerbaijan with ties to the Iranian Revolutionary Guard. Corruption warning signs are rarely more obvious.”
Trump complained about the law during a phone-in appearance on CNBC in May 2012, the month before the Baku deal was completed.