Newly released documents reveal that the FBI investigated an extortion threat related to a menacing phone call made to bankruptcy attorney Kristopher Hansen on February 18, 2009, wherein a Trump associate using the name “Carmine” threatened Hansen’s wife and children. Redactions within FBI documents initially indicated that the bureau’s extortion investigation was ongoing as of March 9, 2017. However, in an unusual step the FBI backtracked and claimed that the redaction marking was inadvertent.
According to the Holmdel Township Police the threat specifically stated:
“My name is ‘Carmine’ I don’t know why you are fucking with Mr. Trump but if you keep fucking with Mr. Trump, we know where you live and we’re going to your house for your wife and kids.”
The threat came as Donald Trump’s casino business went into bankruptcy and Trump Entertainment Resorts had defaulted on payments owed to investors in excess of $1.25 billion. Kristopher Hansen, whose law firm Stroock & Stroock & Lavan represented the investors, received the threatening call on his blackberry from 212-399-5686, a number the FBI later identifies as a pay phone on 54th Street diagonally across from the Ed Sullivan Theater. Donald Trump and his entourage were at the Ed Sullivan Theater that day for a taping of the Tonight Show with David Letterman.
The first set of FBI documents (1 & 2) were produced in March as a result of a FOIA lawsuit filed by BuzzFeed News Senior Investigative journalist Jason Leopold, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology PhD candidate and Harvard Klein Center for Internet & Society research affiliate, Ryan Shapiro. Shapiro’s effort is part of #Operation45, a constellation of FOIA lawsuits demanding accountability and transparency from the Trump administration.
“Donald Trump has long been in bed with gangsters and thugs at home and abroad,” said Shapiro. “He has also long sought to intimidate and silence those who seek to hold him to his obligations and to account. As a private citizen, this contempt for basic decency is dangerous. As President of the United States, it could prove catastrophic.”