Trump Tower developer responds to CNN report of FBI investigation related to Vancouver building

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      The developer of Trump International Hotel and Tower Vancouver has issued a statement in response to a CNN report that members of the Trump family are under investigation by the FBI for actions related to the building in downtown Vancouver.

      “Holborn Group and [its leader] Joo Kim Tiah have not been contacted by FBI or any authorities with regards to matters raised in the CNN media report,” it begins.

      “Neither Holborn Group nor Joo Kim Tiah have any interactions or business dealings with Jared Kushner whatsoever.”

      Kushner is married to U.S. President Donald Trump’s daughter, Ivanka Trump. Both Kushner and Ivanka hold senior positions in the White House as advisors to the president.

      On March 1, CNN reported that the FBI was “scrutinizing” Ivanka’s role in negotiations related to the Trump Tower in Vancouver.

      “The FBI has been looking closely at the international business entanglements of both Ivanka Trump and her husband, Jared Kushner, to determine whether any of those deals could leave them vulnerable to pressure from foreign agents, including China, according to a US official,” the CNN report reads.

      “In the case of Vancouver, it's not clear why investigators are examining this particular deal,” it continues. “The timing of the deal -- as one of the few Trump-branded properties to open since Trump took office -- could be of interest. The flow of foreign money, either from the developer or international condo buyers, could also be sparking scrutiny.”

      The statement released by the Holborn Group today (March 5) does acknowledge that Ivanka was involved in negotiations related to the Vancouver building.

      “Donald Trump Jr. and Ivanka Trump represented the Trump Organization in the business dealings with Joo Kim Tiah and other representatives of Holborn Group and TA Global Berhad pursuant to the Trump Agreement,” it reads.

      “Ivanka Trump’s involvement was specifically on interior design and Ivanka Trump’s interior design was utilised towards the development of the Trump International Hotel and Tower Vancouver,” the statement continues.

      “The entire development of the Trump International Hotel and Tower Vancouver was funded by Holborn Group and TA Global Berhad.”

      The Holborn Group entered into a licensing agreement with the Trump Organization to see the Trump family name prominently displayed above the main entrance to a Georgia Street property.
      Holborn Group

      The statement, like just about every statement that the Holborn Group issues in relation to Trump Tower Vancouver, also emphasizes that the Holborn Group’s financial arrangement with the Trump Organization is only a licensing agreement. Beyond the “Trump” name that is prominently displayed above the tower’s Georgia Street entrance, the Trump Organization is not involved in the tower’s operations. The statement emphasizes that the licensing agreement was made in March 2013, before Trump declared his candidacy for the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

      The Trump Tower in Vancouver stands 63 storeys tall, making it one of the tallest buildings in the city. It’s located at 1161 West Georgia Street and opened in the fall of 2016.

      Many prominent Vancouver residents, including Mayor Gregor Robertson, have called for the "Trump" name to be removed from the tower.