Politics
Politics

Court Documents Alleging Trump Exploited Workers Found

| by Sheena Vasani

A lawyer says she has found missing court documents detailing Trump Tower's alleged exploitation of workers in the country illegally.

In 1983, a union worker alleged President Donald Trump took advantage of Polish workers, who were in the country illegally. The workers demolished a building to pave the way for Trump Tower in Manhattan, New York Daily News reports.

"Week after week, no check," said Kazimierz "Mike" Sosnowski, a supervisor on the job who was a civil engineer in Poland, NBC News reports. Despite working 10- to 12-hour workdays, he said his team could not afford to pay for rent or food.

A 1998 settlement resolved the case before it went to trial. It was believed all court papers about the dispute had since been lost until now.

Lewis Steel, who was a lawyer on the case, informed Manhattan Federal Judge Loretta Preska that co-worker Wendy Sloan had stumbled upon the documents.

"She has the missing transcript and brief," Steel told Preska of Sloan, who had also worked on the case but now is no longer practicing law. "Ms. Sloan informs me that at all times these documents have remained in her possession and that she kept them confidential."

Since learning of the case, press organizations have been keen that the documents be released.

"Even though this class action was settled in 1999, there is substantial current public interest in knowing how it was resolved," the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press said. "While we don't know at this point exactly what is in the sealed documents, they should give the public much better insight into how this litigation was resolved."

Now it appears their wishes may be granted if a lower court judge agrees to release them -- which some think is likely.

File:NYC Trump Building.jpg

"We know of no privacy reason why these documents should not be unsealed," said Steel.

Meanwhile, in June, the 2nd Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals overturned a previous order keeping the documents a secret.

"Certain types of documents should be publicly available," the panel wrote.

In the past, Trump has denied allegations he ever knowingly used workers who were in the country illegally.

A former Trump adviser testified otherwise during the case.

"Donald told me that he was having his difficulties and he admitted to me that -- seeking my advice -- that he had some illegal Polish employees on the job," Daniel Sullivan testified. "I reacted by saying to Donald that 'I think you are nuts.'"

Trump has remained adamant he did not intentionally hire the workers.

"I hire a contractor," he said during the 2016 presidential campaign. "The contractor then hires the subcontractor. They have people. I don’t know. I don't remember, that was so many years ago, 35 years ago."

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