Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) is asking the Department of the Treasury for documents relating to a questionable real estate sale between Donald Trump and Russian oligarch Dmitry Rybolovlev.
— Ron Wyden (@RonWyden) February 7, 2018
In 2004, Trump purchased a 6.3-acre property in Palm Beach County, Florida for $41.35 million. Less than four years later, in 2008, Trump sold the estate, called Maison de L’Amitie, to Rybolovlev for $95 million. The appraised value of the property in 2008 was roughly $65 million. Senator Wyden’s inquiry is seeking how, and why, a Russian billionaire would willingly overpay for the Florida estate.
Ron Wyden wants the Treasury Department to hand over records related to Russian oligarch Dmitry Rybolovlev’s $95 million purchase of Trump’s Palm Beach estate. pic.twitter.com/5XE9Wvl9ZK
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) February 10, 2018
“In the context of the President’s then-precarious financial position, I believe that the Palm Beach property sale warrants further scrutiny,” Wyden wrote. “It is imperative that Congress follow the money and conduct a thorough investigation into any potential money laundering or other illicit financial dealings between the President, his associates, and Russia.”
Q: What's it called when you sell a property to a Russian for 30 million over the appraisal?
A: Money Launderin'
— Tea Pain (@TeaPainUSA) February 11, 2018
Trump has acknowledged the sale but denies that there is anything special about it. He claims he originally purchased the property at a bankruptcy auction. Rubolovlev’s wealth is estimated at $6.8 billion.
“You know, the closest I came to Russia, I bought a house a number of years ago in Palm Beach, Florida,” Trump said in July 2016. “Palm Beach is a very expensive place. There was a man who went bankrupt, and I bought the house for $40 million, and I sold it to a Russian for $100 million, including brokerage commissions. So I sold it. So I bought it for 40 (million), I sold it for 100 (million) to a Russian.”
Trump bought a 6.3-acre property in Florida for $41.35 mil in 2004, then sold the property to a company owned by Rybolovlev a Russian oligarch more than doubled Trump's initial investment, to $95 million. The property's appraisal in 2008 fell short of that sale price by $30 mill pic.twitter.com/KLGCvngQRX
— SoniaAnti tRump 🤡 We got this #TheResistance #fbr (@lacasadesonia) February 12, 2018
Trump later added, “I never met him,” Trump said to Politico, referring to Rybolovlev. “He was represented by a broker. … I heard good things about him in many ways, and about his family. … He just happened to be from Russia. He’s a rich guy from Russia.”
Wyden is not the only one digging into Trump’s dealings with Russians. The sale of Maison de L’Amitie has been under scrutiny since July, 2017 as part of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into ties between Trump and Russia.