After President Trump made his first speech to Congress in February 2017, he was filmed exchanging pleasantries with U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy.
“Say hello to your boy — special guy,” Trump told Kennedy, alluding to Kennedy’s son, Justin.
“Your kids have been very nice to him,” Kennedy replied.
“They love him, and they love him in New York. He’s a great guy,” Trump said.
But the Trump family’s relationship with Justice Kennedy’s family goes beyond friendship. As The New York Times detailed in a recent article about “the White House’s quiet campaign to create a Supreme Court opening,” Justin Kennedy — who spent more than a decade working in a senior role at Deutsche Bank — may been more responsible than anyone else for saving the Trump family’s business during the darkest days of the Great Recession:
[Justin] worked closely with Mr. Trump when he was a real estate developer, according to two people with knowledge of his role.
During Mr. Kennedy’s tenure, Deutsche Bank became Mr. Trump’s most important lender, dispensing well over $1 billion in loans to him for the renovation and construction of skyscrapers in New York and Chicago at a time other mainstream banks were wary of doing business with him because of his troubled business history.
The business relationship between Justin Kennedy and Trump was previously noted by the Financial Times, which reported last year that “Justin Kennedy, a trader who arrived from Goldman to become one of Mr Trump’s most trusted associates over a 12-year spell at Deutsche, is the son of a Supreme Court justice.”
While there’s no evidence that Justin Kennedy’s business relationship with Trump played any role in his father’s decision to retire at a time when Trump is positioned to be able to select his successor — and following a term in which Kennedy regularly sided with the court’s four conservatives justices to cast deciding votes in cases dealing with issues like Trump’s travel ban and abortion — political observers have noted the connection.
Trump’s latest financial disclosure revealed he still owes up to $175 million to Deutsche Bank. The New York Times reported that special counsel Robert Mueller has subpoenaed information about the loans.