Firm founded by Trump inaugural chair sought to use admin, foreign connections for profit: memo

The investment firm founded by Tom Barrack, the chairman of President TrumpDonald John TrumpFed saw risks to US economy fading before coronavirus spread quickened Pro-Trump super PAC hits Biden with new Spanish-language ad in Nevada Britain announces immigration policy barring unskilled migrants MORE's inaugural committee, sought to use its connections to the Trump administration and foreign powers to profit, a confidential memo reveals. 

The memo, obtained by ProPublica and WNYC, shows that the company — then called Colony NorthStar — planned to use its connections to capitalize off of Trump's proposed investments in infrastructure.


The revelation comes after Trump's inaugural committee on Monday was reportedly subpoenaed and ordered to turn over documents about its finances.

The memo, which details a "strategic plan" to benefit from the infrastructural proposal, states that Colony could "spearhead an operation" to fulfill Trump's infrastructure plans. 

“During the campaign the President promised he would ‘rebuild’ America bridge-by-bridge, and road-by-road. While the plan is encouraging and highly needed, the US Government does not have the necessary resources to mount such a campaign on its own," the memo reads.

“Colony NorthStar can spearhead an operation that contains the external resources required to fulfill the ambitious infrastructure plan being supported by the Trump Administration and leaders in the US Congress," the memo continues.

Barrack, who chaired the committee overseeing Trump's inauguration, is the chairman and CEO of Colony.

A source familiar with the Colony memo told ProPublica that it was written by Richard Gates, a former Trump campaign adviser who pleaded guilty to charges brought by special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerCNN's Toobin warns McCabe is in 'perilous condition' with emboldened Trump CNN anchor rips Trump over Stone while evoking Clinton-Lynch tarmac meeting The Hill's 12:30 Report: New Hampshire fallout MORE.

The memo states that “the path to a successful operation” would include “setting up roundtables between Ambassadors and members of the Administration to cultivate relationships with a targeted focus such as on infrastructure.”

The memo outlines plans to open an office in Washington, D.C. It says that the "key is to strategically cultivate domestic and international relations while avoiding any appearance of lobbying."

The memo later states that Colony had spoken with several "key agencies" about potential projects and that other companies couldn't match Colony's "relationships or resources."

“The immediate goal is to deliberately and quickly build a presence in Washington, DC and in the infrastructure space. We have a pipeline of potential projects and have spoken with several of the key agencies that will direct these efforts. There are other groups forming but none that can currently match the relationships or resources that we possess," the memo reads.

A Colony spokesman told ProPublica in a statement that the memo "was simply an outline of a proposed potential business plan which was never acted upon or implemented."

"Colony at no time has maintained a DC office," the spokesman added.