FBI Releases First Trove of Its Top Secret Ivana Trump Docs

·2 min read
Lee Celano/Reuters
Lee Celano/Reuters

Newly released top secret FBI files on Ivana Trump have revealed that the first wife of former President Donald Trump was under a counterintelligence inquiry surrounding her ties to Czechoslovakia, where the former model and ski instructor was born, and a number of other countries.

While the 190 pages of classified documents–obtained and first reported by Bloomberg– are heavily redacted, they reveal how the matriarch of the Trump family fell under investigation in the late 1980s due to her connection with the then-Communist country. The documents cite a number of “highly sensitive and reliable sources”, who “advise” the FBI.

A memo marked March 7, 1989, confirms the bureau’s New York office had opened a “preliminary inquiry.”

However, the specifics are redacted and even the FBI notes, “it is unknown if the allegations stem from jealousies of her wealth and fame. Investigation continuing.”

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Among the “leads,” the May 1989 document states, are the circumstances surrounding Trump’s emigration to Austria from Czechoslovakia, and her subsequent move from Austria to Canada. Any involvement or association with a person or organization are redacted.

The documents dig into her past before her marriage to Donald Trump, including her parents and college years, but they also follow her relationship with the real estate tycoon, including how they met, their 1977 marriage, and their subsequent divorce. Public records and “all background information” were obtained by FBI agents.

Another file, dated Sept. 12, 1990, reference a man known as a “leading member of the Czechoslovak artistic/intellectual community” who the FBI notes is a “sometime” arranger of fictitious marriages and “fortuitous relationships” who is believed to have some connection to Ivana. The man was interviewed—but the details are also redacted.

After her death last year, Bloomberg discovered the FBI had at least 900 records concerning Ivana after filing a Freedom of Information Act request. After a court battle to force the early release of the documents, the FBI released the first 190 pages and said it will release the rest next month.

Ivana Trump was not accused of any wrongdoing, and while the documents leave more questions than answers into the nature of the agency’s exact reasons for investigating, the probe lasted until 1991 and involved the bureau’s counterintelligence division.

It was ultimately closed after “no outstanding leads remain,” according to the docs. However, news clips citing Russian gangsters and the 1999 gangland-style murder of a broker, Alain Chalem, were noted elsewhere in Ivana’s file, including a section on her 1998 collaboration with a company called Tel-Com Wireless Cable TV.

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