A new BuzzFeed investigation alleges President Donald Trump may have been the one behind threatening phone calls to a lawyer representing casino investors.
The bankruptcy of a Trump casino in 2009 set investors up to lose more than a billion dollars. The attorney representing the investors got a strange and threatening phone call one evening.
“My name is Carmine,” the caller said. “I don’t know why you’re f*cking with Mr. Trump but if you keep f*cking with Mr. Trump, we know where you live and we’re going to your house for your wife and kids.” Attorney Kristopher Hansen called the police and an investigation revealed the call came from a payphone across the street from the Ed Sullivan Theater where Trump was appearing on an episode of “The Late Show with David Letterman” and around the time Trump was scheduled to arrive. Hansen assumed it was Trump’s bodyguard but his longtime bodyguard’s name was Keith Schiller. Hansen was so terrified his local police department sent cars by his home for three days following.
Hansen also called the state’s FBI offices showing them the transcript of the call that a colleague hastily wrote on a napkin and then emailed to Hansen moments after. The caller had a thick “New York accent.” The FBI called it “overt” extortion and told Hansen to use a “portable recording device” they provided him with “to record further threatening telephone calls he received.”
No one seemed to want to talk to BuzzFeed about the incident, even the attorney so fearful for the life of his family. However, Trump’s lawyer Michael Cohen had a response.
“I am not personally aware of any individual who provided security to Mr. Trump with that name,” Cohen said in a statement. “I am also not aware of any inquiry made by the FBI, or any agency, regarding this matter. Factually, this scenario makes no sense at all. I would describe this as complete and utter nonsense.”
Trump’s failed casinos left investors and contractors with nothing after defaulting on a $1.25 billion loan and Trump and his family resigned from the board of the casino a week prior to bankruptcy claiming they were unhappy with bondholders.
Former NYC detective Bo Dietl worked with Trump off and one for over 30 years and revealed Trump was known to threaten his adversaries. According to Dietl, Trump “hired me to get to the guy.”
“We kind of deterred that attorney because what we did was we investigated the fact that [the] attorney wasn’t exactly cleaner than the Board of Health, you know what I mean?” Dietl told BuzzFeed. “So I went to visit the guy who was trying to fuck Trump, and I says, you know, I think you better think about this. He’s got this, this and the other thing—it was enough to be very bad for that person.”
However, Dietl didn’t make the phone call that afternoon.
“Nah, wasn’t me,” Dietl said. “Back in ’09, I told Trump to go fuck himself,” He continued. “Honestly, I was not involved in anything with Donald in ’09.”
The FBI investigated a similar incident close to Trump in 1982 when Trump was involved in a legal battle for a $20 million tax abatement to build Trump Tower. In that case, the New York police commissioner received a call “threatening his life” over the case. The caller “became very abusive and profane regarding Gliedman’s inability to approve Mr. TRUMP’s request for a tax abatement.” He earned round-the-clock protection and police launched an investigation.
The following day, Trump called the FBI saying he received a call too from someone “who read about Trump’s tax abatement problem with Commissioner Gliedman.” The caller believed someone “had been ‘shafted’ by Gliedman and for that reason, was going to retaliate.” The name in the FBI files was blocked out. Trump claimed the caller called him again saying he would “kill” Trump “if Mr. Trump told the authorities anything concerning their prior conversation.”
Trump swore he “harbors no ill feelings towards Gliedman” and that his “dealings with the Commissioner are strictly business.”
Trump has been known to call reporters using a fake name pretending to be John Barron, a PR executive managing Trump’s affairs as well as other people that work for him.