Gentry Beach, a Texas-based hedge fund manager who is a longtime hunting buddy of Donald Trump Jr., has been given direct access to top government officials, where he has lobbied them on issues that would be beneficial to his businesses.
The Associated Press reports that Beach and Trump Jr. have done business deals together for years, and that the two men even recently formed a company together called Future Ventures LLC.
This is significant, writes that AP, because under the Trump administration, Beach has been granted access to top foreign policy officials to lobby for a plan to ease off sanctions leveled against Venezuela in exchange for opening the country up more to American businesses.
“Career foreign policy experts were instructed to take the meetings, first reported last April by the website Mic.com, at the direction of the West Wing because Beach and the businessman were friends of Trump Jr.,” the AP writes, citing an unnamed government official.
Even though the government didn’t act on Beach’s pitch, the AP writes that ethics experts have nonetheless raised red flags about access being given to Trump Jr.’s longtime friend and business partner.
“This feeds into the same concerns that we’ve had all along: The really fuzzy line between the presidency and the Trumps’ companies,” Noah Bookbinder, who leads Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, tells the AP. “Donald Trump Jr. sort of straddles that line all the time.”