Secret Tape of Trump’s Negotiation to Secure a Nearly $500 Million Appeal Bond to Cover Court Imposed Penalties for Fraud

After Richard Westall, “I’ll have my bond, speake not against my bond” Merchant of Venice, Boydell Shakespeare Gallery, 1795 (Collection: British Museum).

The following is a partial transcript of the bond negotiating session held in the penthouse of Trump Tower between former President Donald Trump and four others: the current head of the Trump organization, Eric Trump; New York State Attorney General Letitia James; court appointed monitor, Judge Barbara Jones; and Joey Profaci Jr. of Bada-Bing Bonds of Elizabeth, New Jersey. The text was obtained by Counterpunch columnist Stephen F. Eisenman from an anonymous source; he has chosen to publish it without commentary.

Donald Trump: “Eric, so where do we stand?”

Eric Trump: “We’re getting close. I count $401,037,241.29. We still need about $74 mil…”

Donald: “Did you look where I told you?”

Eric: “Yeah dad, but I only found $3.26 cents beneath the sofa cushions.

Donald: “And Baron?

Eric: “He refuses to smash his piggy bank…”

Donald: “Melania?”

Eric: “She says she’s too old for that kind of work, and it would muss her hair.”

Donald: “And Don Jr?”

Eric: “Kimberly won’t let him do the porno; she says he, um, takes after his dad. Nobody would want to distribute it.”

Donald: “Stormy could help with that — and maybe Marla Maples, or do I mean E. Jean Carroll?

Letitia James: “Mr. Trump, enough delay. The people of New York will not be swindled again. You must sell some properties. I’ll have my bond.”

Donald: “What about this penthouse? It’s 30,000 sf, the biggest in Manhattan and easily worth $300 million…”

Judge Jones (banging her gavel): “It’s just 10,000 sf and worth a fraction of that.”

Donald: “I could sell Mar-a-Lago for $200 million to my killer friend Vlad…

Jones (banging her gavel again): There’s a rider on your purchase agreement saying it can only be used as a club, not a full-time residence. As such, its value is less than a tenth of what you suggest.”

Donald (mumbling under his breath): “You’re probably working for that loser from South Carolina, Nancy Pelosi…”

Jones: “Based on you record of prevarications, I don’t believe the proposed surety protects the integrity of the court’s judgement or the financial security of the bondholder.”

Joey Profaci Jr. (patting the inside pocket of his jacket): “Did you say you’re worried about my security? Fuggedaboutit, I got that covered.”

Jones: “I said your financial safety.”

Profaci: “I ain’t worried about that neither. When it comes to getting paid, I can be very…persuasive. I’m lookin’ at you, Eric.”

Eric: “Dad!!!”

James: “I’ll have my bond.”

Profaci: “You in the Shylock business too?”

Donald: “Is Roy Cohn here yet?”

Stephen F. Eisenman is Professor Emeritus of Art History at Northwestern University and the author of Gauguin’s Skirt (Thames and Hudson, 1997), The Abu Ghraib Effect (Reaktion, 2007), The Cry of Nature: Art and the Making of Animal Rights (Reaktion, 2015) and other books. He is also co-founder of the environmental justice non-profit,  Anthropocene Alliance. He and the artist Sue Coe have just published American Fascism, Still for Rotland Press. His next book with the artist Sue Coe The Young Person’s Illustrated Guide to American Fascism‘will be published late this summer by OR Books. He can be reached at: s-eisenman@northwestern.edu