Donald Trump Eminent Domain

We’ve documented how Donald Trump’s affinity for the tragedy of 9/11 and the victims of that terrorist attack is closely linked to whatever political benefit he can gain from that association. He didn’t attend memorial services for police or fire fighters or for any of the “hundreds of friends” that died that day. He gave a pittance to 9/11 charities, 100% of that donation went to the Church of Scientology. He lied relentlessly about watching “thousands” celebrated in Jersey City or watching people jump to their death from the windows of his residence. Not only has he traded on their deaths, he has had a personal financial benefit from 9/11.

Here’s the story. Not long after 9/11, the World Trade Center Business Recovery Grant program was established to help small businesses recover and rebuild. The program disbursed hundreds of millions of dollars through a New York state development corporation in the years following the attacks. But there were problems early on. In 2003, the New York Times reported the development corporation admitted to overpaying some firms and took back $1.2 million. A federal audit, the Times added, suggested at least $5 million had been overpaid by the end of 2003.

The story goes on to quote a New York Daily News investigative piece finding that among the small businesses was Donald Trump.

One couldn’t tell from ESDC records, for example, that “40 Wall Street LLC” is owned by Trump. The Donald bills himself as the “largest real estate developer in New York,” Last week, Trump sued a New York Times reporter for concluding in a book that the host of “The Apprentice” isn’t a billionaire. But the ESDC’s rules transformed Trump into a small-business man. His company collected a $150,000 grant for losses at 40 Wall St. The grant application describes the corporation through which Trump owns that building as having 28 employees and $26.8 million in annual revenues. That passed the ESDC’s small business test of less than 500 employees. But the revenue amount would put the single Trump property over the federal definition of a small business – which is $6 million annually for lessors of nonresidential buildings. A Trump spokeswoman did not respond to a call and e-mail message seeking comment.

The 40 Wall Street building, was not just any building:

In 2005, Trump valued 40 Wall Street at $400 million, and the Trump Organization describes the building as an “impressive, landmark property.” And as Trump said immediately following 9/11, none of his properties were directly damaged by the attack on the World Trade Center.

This simply goes to Trump’s sense of entitlement. If he wants your house for a limousine parking lot, well, he’s entitled. If he wants to hump someone else’s wife? Entitled. Support abortion and then expect to be believed when he changes his tune? Entitled. Money for small businesses affected by 9/11? Entitled. He took this grant money, and I’m sure he’d tell you that $150K is chump change, because he could. His business wasn’t harmed. He didn’t need it. But he wanted it.