On Friday, June 16, 2017, President Donald J. Trump’s financial disclosure report was released by the U.S. Office of Government Ethics.
President Trump listed numerous entities as part of the reporting of his employment assets and income for the period. The Office of Government Ethics defines employment related income as that which covers a filer’s “non-investment activities” and retirement accounts.
A filer must report assets related to employment if the value of the asset is greater than $1,000 at the end of the reporting period or if the asset produced income greater than $200 during the reporting period.
According to the President’s report, he earns between $100,001 – $1,000,000 in rent from Storage 106 LLC, an asset valued between $5,000,001 and $25,000,000.
The Donald J. Trump Revocable Trust maintains 100% ownership of Storage 106 LLC.
Storage 106 LLC was incorporated as a domestic limited liability entity in the State of Delaware (File No. 6272813) on January 5, 2017, fifteen days prior to the President’s inauguration.
While New York City’s Finance Department indicates Storage 106 LLC’s deed was filed on January 23, 2017, the documents suggest the deed was initiated a year prior on January 12, 2016.
The deed document records the transfer of a garage and multiple condominium units located at 106 Central Park South from the ownership of Trump Palace/Parc LLC to Storage 106 LLC.
On January 11, 2017, power of attorney for Storage 106 LLC was transferred to the Board of Managers of Trump Parc Condominium.
President Trump signed the deed as both the grantor (seller) and the grantee (buyer) of the units. As the grantor, his signature is recorded as the Vice President of Trump Palace/Parc LLC. (There is notation for a manager of First Member, Inc., an entity incorporated in the State of New York on September 26, 1996. First Member, Inc. issued 200 stocks when it incorporated and lists Eric Trump as the Chief Executive Officer.)
Of the 544 entities which the President lists under the section to report employment assets and income during the reporting period, 54 are owned in part or in full by The Donald J. Trump Revocable Trust.
A revocable trust is a tax instrument whereby the trust can be revoked or changed in part or in full during the grantor’s life.This particular type of trust instrument allows income from the trust to privately be transferred to the grantor of the trust during his or her lifetime. (The trust only becomes irrevocable upon the death of the creator. As the instrument is a private tax vehicle, it avoids probate.)
One gets the sense when reviewing the numerous business entities created by President Trump that he files corporation papers as easily as he seems to tweet his unbridled thoughts.
The President refers to the creation of The Donald J. Trump Revocable Trust as protecting citizen interests against undue influence of he or his administration. In reality, there are far too many Trump corporations – each tangled in web to other Trump business entities – for anyone to rest comfortably in his assurance.
In January 2017, Trump Lawyer Sheri Dillon was quoted by NPR as saying, “President Trump wants there to be no doubt in the minds of the American public that he is completely isolating himself from his business interests.”
As the Trust is managed by two individuals, Donald Trump Jr. and an executive of the Trump Organization, complete isolation seems a rather fantastical and lofty goal.