New Jersey AG has obtained evidence of possible crimes at Trump's golf
club — and Mueller, FBI are involved in probe
New Jersey prosecutors have collected evidence that supervisors at
President Trump’s Garden State golf club may have committed federal
immigration crimes — and the FBI as well as special counsel Robert Mueller
have played part in the inquiry, the Daily News has learned.
Anibal Romero, a Newark attorney who represents several undocumented
immigrants who used to work at the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster,
said Friday he recently met with investigators from the state attorney
general’s office and handed over fraudulent green cards and Social
Security numbers that management at the club allegedly procured and gave
his clients, Victorina Morales and Sandra Diaz.
Before he met with the state prosecutors, Romero said he reached out to
Mueller’s office because, while he wanted to contact federal authorities,
he was concerned about looping in the Justice Department, which was headed
by Jeff Sessions at the time.
“I wasn’t sure, one, if they’d take me seriously and, two, if this could
backfire on my clients,” Romero told The News, referencing the Trump
administration’s aggressive immigration agenda.
Mueller’s office, which is separately investigating Trump’s campaign for
possible collusion with Russians during the 2016 election, made contact
and informed Romero the matter was not within their jurisdiction.
A few weeks later, an FBI agent in New Jersey called Romero.
“He said to me that he had received a referral from Robert Mueller’s
office and that he already knew the specifics and that he wanted to meet
with me in person,” Romero said.
Romero then met with two agents at a federal office in Branchburg, N.J.,
and outlined the same evidence he had already given the AG prosecutors.
The agents said they would “coordinate” with the AG’s office, according to
Romero said he’s stayed in touch with the FBI and the attorney general’s
office but declined to confirm whether either of the agencies have
formally opened investigations.
“I’m confident that federal and state authorities will conduct a complete
and thorough investigation,” Romero said.
An FBI spokesman declined to comment and so did Mueller’s office.
Sharon Lauchaire, a spokeswoman for New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir
Grewal, said her office has a policy “to neither confirm nor deny
A White House spokeswoman did not respond to emailed questions.
Anibal Romero joins his clients Victorina Morales (left) and Sandra Diaz
during a recent interview. (Bebeto Matthews / AP)
Morales, a Guatemalan national who is still employed at the club but has
stopped going to work, and Diaz, a Costa Rican national who used to work
there and has since obtained legal status, are among at least five
undocumented housekeepers at the club who allege they were set up with
fraudulent documents and subjected to abuse and racial harassment.
Morales and Diaz first came forward with their allegations in interviews
with The New York Times earlier this month.
Both women allege management at the Trump club knew they were undocumented
and set them up with fake work documents.
In Morales’ case, Romero said a supervisor compiled all of her information
and then took her photo in the laundry room of the club.
A few days later, the boss — who’s not being named by The News — told
Morales he had received her fake documents and said he would hold on to
“This was a practice and pattern,” Romero said. “My clients felt like they
were trapped and they felt like the fake documents could be used against
A spokeswoman for the Trump Organization did not return multiple requests
Romero said Morales understands her coming forward could result in legal
repercussions but says she is motivated to speak out because of the
blatant hypocrisy in Trump employing undocumented immigrants at his golf
club while at the same time demonizing them from his Oval Office pulpit.
Harry Sandick, a former assistant U.S. attorney for the Southern District
of New York, said the undocumented workers may have committed immigration
fraud by knowingly using fake documents — a federal offense that could
result in prison time, hefty fines and deportation.
Sandick also said the supervisor who allegedly procured the fake documents
— as well as anyone else involved in the process — could be charged with
the same crime. Considering the high-profile nature of the case, Sandick
said prosecutors may try to send a message by indicting the supervisor.
“Immigration crimes are hard to prosecute so the government may see
something like this as a possible deterrent case,” Sandick said. “To show
that even someone who works at the President’s golf club is under the
microscope is very impressive and tells you that anyone can be charged.”
Romero said his clients have not been given any assurances but said
charging them with any crimes would be missing the point.
“They are the victims here,” Romero said. “Any attempt at charging them
would ignore the real problem.”