The Trump Organization sought the Panamanian president's help in a legal case and the whole thing is fishy

Worker removing Trump letters from hotel in Panama City.
(Image credit: STR/AFP/Getty Images)

The Trump Organization apparently appealed directly to the Panamanian president during a recent dispute over control of its 70-story property in Panama City, The Associated Press reports, an event that further blurs the line between Donald Trump's role as president of the United States and his status as owner of his eponymous company. The request from the Trump Organization specifically asked Panama's president to "ignore that country's separation of powers and intervene in its judicial process," AP writes.

The request stems from a dispute over control of Panama City's Trump International Hotel, which is owned by Miami-based Cypriot businessman Orestes Fintiklis. Fintiklis argued that the Trump Organization had poorly managed the hotel and that the undesirability of the brand had hurt revenue, while the Trump Organization maintained that its contract was still valid. Judicial officials in Panama sided with Fintiklis and later an arbitrator in the U.S. ruled that while the Trump Organization should not have been evicted during arbitration, the company would not have its management reinstated. The hotel has since been renamed, and the "TRUMP" name pried off with a crowbar.

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Jeva Lange

Jeva Lange was the executive editor at She formerly served as The Week's deputy editor and culture critic. She is also a contributor to Screen Slate, and her writing has appeared in The New York Daily News, The Awl, Vice, and Gothamist, among other publications. Jeva lives in New York City. Follow her on Twitter.