Trump asked Varela for his “urgent influence”

Monday a company owned by the President of the United States put pressure on the Panamanian President, to intervene in the legal dispute over the management if the former Trump Towers in Panama City.

The letter written by the Trump Organization and delivered to the President was “urgently” seeking his “influence” in the dispute, reports the associated press.

The Star reported that the letter actually appeared to be somewhat of a threat implying harm to the Panamanian government if Varela did not help. Panamanian officials were astonished by the implications, and ethics experts revealed the obvious, that letter appeared to be using the power of the presidency for private profit-making purposes.

The letter read “the Panamanian court’s ruling violates a bilateral investment treaty between the US and Panama.” The Lawyers said “we appreciate your influence in order to avoid that these damages are attributed not to the other party, but to the Panamanian government.” 

The above statements, which suggests that Varela’s government would be at fault if the dispute was not resolved, pin Varela’s response, to the personal matter, as one that could affect US-Panamanian relations. 

In response to the letter the Associated Press reports that Panama’s foreign minister Isabel de Saint Malo said, “I don’t believe the executive branch has a position to take while the issue is in the judicial process.”

And while the Trump Organization’s pressure tactics will likely fail, there is a larger issue of potential corruption on the table. Vox reported that moving forward it could be difficult for the two governments to avoid accusations of private interest when making policies.