Attorney General has uncovered that former president Donald Trump had approximately $19.8 million in undisclosed debt owed to a foreign creditor.
The debt was uncovered after New York attorney Letitia James obtained documents from The Trump Organization earlier this year. The records showed a previously unreported liability of $19.8 million listed as “L/P Daewoo.”
The debt was reportedly owed to South Korean company, Daewoo – a company with links to North Korea. The documents reveal that the debt has stayed relatively the same at $19.8 million between 2011 and 2016.
However, five months into Trump’s presidency, the balance of the debt owed dropped to $4.3 million and was then paid off shortly after that. The documents do not specify precisely who paid off the loan, but state, “Daewoo was bought out of its position on July 5, 2017”.
This debt did appear on The Trump Organization’s internal; paperwork but was not disclosed in Trump’s public disclosure of finances.
These documents must be submitted to federal authorities by any presidential candidate before and after entering the oval office.
Although the law does require personal loans to be disclosed, it does not require that business loans are disclosed – unless the individual is personally liable for the loan.
Based on this, it is not clear whether the former president acted illegally or not. Although Trump owns 100% of the entities responsible for the debt, it is unknown whether he personally guaranteed the liability.
Dan Alexander from Forbes explained this further, “although officials have to list personal loans on their financial disclosures, the law does not require them to include loans to their companies unless they are personally liable for the loans.”
This leaves an open question over whether he personally guaranteed these loans, and therefore broke the law.”
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