I’ll see you in court – Part 1

Trump never seems satisfied with replying to critics.   He denigrates  his critics, usually in pretty vicious terms. There’s none of the civility, diplomacy or basic politeness that we became accustomed to with Obama and other presidents.    And there’s always a threat of lawsuits.  And he loses sometimes. You can’t get the courts or intimidation to silence your critics.

My lawyers will be in contact with you- means you’ve pissed off  Trump.

Case in point- in 1990, Trump was promoting his latest casino, the Taj Mahal,  which he financed by selling bonds to investors.  “It’s truly going to be an incredible place,” he [Trump] told reporters. “We’re calling it the eighth wonder of the world. ”

Marvin Roffman at the time was a casino investment analyst, with Janney, Montgomery Scott, a small investment company in Philadelphia.  Roffman knew Trump was very overextended in the financing of the Taj.  Roffman had the audacity to write  that Atlantic City was an ugly and dreary place on March 20, 1990.  He certainly did not say anything disparaging about the Taj itself, but felt Trump couldn’t finance its debt during the winter months.     Obviously, for King Trump this was blasphemy of the highest order.  Roffman wrote in his WSJ piece:

When this property opens….he [Trump] will break every record in the book in April, June and July. But once the cold winds blow from October to February, it [the Taj] won’t make it…the market just isn’t there.

Trump was infuriated and demanded that Roffman apologize for the story or the investment firm should fire him.  The firm prepared a letter trying to make peace with Trump.  The apology letter wasn’t strong enough and Trump insisted Roffman revise it.  The original apology stated that Roffman had every  hope the Taj would be very successful, and the revision demanded by Trump was  he  had every  expectation  the Taj would be very successful.  This would have been seen to a positive recommendation and  encouraged people to buy bonds in the casino, contrary to what Roffman believed.

Instead of revising the letter, Roffman sent a personal letter to Trump retracting the previous apology.  To Trump,  the retraction was a declaration of war.  Trump responded to Roffman:

Only a fool, a highly unstable one at that, would send a letter such as your second one negating your original letter. You have proved by these strange and irrational actions to be a great liability to your firm,” he wrote to Roffman. “I look forward to seeing you and your firm in court.”

On March 23, 1990, Janney Montgomery Scott fired Roffman.   Roffman has done quite well since then.  In 1991, he sued his former employer and received a $750,000 judgment.  Roffman filed a defamation suit against Trump, and the suit was settled for 2 million dollars. He is a very wealthy investment adviser, who now can say he beat Trump.

Stay tuned,

Dave

Links:

New York Times:

Politico:

http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2016/04/donald-trump-marvin-roffman-casino-lawsuit-213855

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