MIAMI (AP) — Investigators say they have found evidence that a former Trump official who heads Latin America’s largest development bank was romantically involved with his chief of staff. ta – a bond they allegedly forged in a pact scrawled on the back of a restaurant rug: “We deserve absolute happiness.”
The Associated Press obtained a copy of a confidential report from a law firm hired by the board of directors of the Inter-American Development Bank to investigate an anonymous complaint of misconduct against the president. its, Mauricio Claver-Carone.
In it, investigators said it was reasonable to conclude that the relationship between the two had existed since at least 2019, when both held senior positions on the National Security Council. They said the purported relationship prompted a US official at the time to warn that it posed a counterintelligence risk.
Chart A in the 21-page report is a “contract” that the two intentionally drew on the back of a venue rug in the summer of 2019 when they dined at a steakhouse in Medellin. , Colombia. Both were there to attend the annual meeting of the Organization of American States.
In it, they are said to have outlined a timeline for divorcing a spouse and getting married. There is also a “breach clause” stating that any failure to fulfill the terms will bring “sadness and heartache” which can only be mitigated by “candle wax and a box of fidget spinners”. naughty” from a beachfront hotel in Miami, Claver-Carone’s hometown.
“We deserve absolute happiness. Under the contract, a photograph was provided to investigators by the woman’s ex-husband, who told investigators he found the mat in her purse when she returned from her trip.
The purported contract was among the details in the report that Claver-Carone fought to save his job. These include allegations that he made an appointment in his hotel room at 1 a.m. with his chief of staff, sending her a poem Sunday morning titled “My Soul is in a Hurry.” and – perhaps most troublingly – awarded her 40% of her salary for violating the bank’s conflict of interest policy.
Claver-Carone strongly objected to the accuracy of the report denounce the way the assessment is conducted and made no suggestion that he was considering resigning.
According to investigators, he has denied ever – now or before – having a romantic relationship with his longtime right-hand man.
His chief of staff denied the allegations in the anonymous complaint and told investigators she never violated the IDB’s code of ethics, the report said. In a statement to investigators, she also complained that she had been denied due process.
The AP did not name Claver-Carone’s assistant because the report was labeled “confidential” and was not made public.
“Neither I nor any other IDB staff had the opportunity to review the final investigative report, respond to its conclusions, or correct inaccuracies,” Claver-Carone said in a statement. statement Tuesday.
The findings echo accusations of ethical lapses against another Republican at the head of a multilateral institution, former Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, who stepped down as head of the World Bank in 2007 for making a settlement a generous raise for his girlfriend.
The Inter-American Development Bank is the largest multilateral lender to Latin America, disbursing $23 billion annually in efforts to alleviate poverty in the region.
Representatives of the bank’s 48 members met Wednesday to discuss the report but it was not clear what action they might take, if any.
The US is the Washington-based bank’s largest shareholder, and some inside the White House have made no secret of their dislike of Claver-Carone, whose election as IDB director in the final months of his term President Trump has broken with tradition that a Latin American heads the bank.
Some of the more absurd claims mentioned in the report could not be substantiated by Davis Polk of New York. The law firm also found no evidence that Claver-Carone intentionally circumvented the bank’s travel policies to cover up a romantic relationship or retaliate against any bank employee, as alleged in An anonymous complaint was filed with the bank’s board in March.
However, Davis Polk harshly criticized Claver-Carone and his chief of staff for not cooperating fully with their investigation – considering it a violation of the bank’s policies and guidelines.
For example, the report said Claver-Carone did not hand over a bank-issued cell phone for analysis even though he did provide a forensic report conducted by a consultant. Claver-Carone also did not share messages from her personal phone or Gmail account with her human resources director, the report said.
“Particularly in the event that they do not cooperate, it would be reasonable to conclude that evidence of a prior relationship and additional circumstantial evidence of a current relationship when both are at the Bank, are violate applicable Bank policies,” the report said.
The Davis Polk report says Claver-Carone increased her assistant’s pay by 40% within a year. It says one of the pay raises and title changes was requested by Claver-Carone a day after an email exchange in which she complained of not receiving adequate respect from her co-workers. .
“You find it. It’s your bank,” she wrote, according to the report.
Davis Polk, who also conducted the investigation that led to Andrew Cuomo’s resignation as governor of New York, blamed Claver-Carone for making a hiring decision against someone they believed he had an affair with. cold. However, they say other executives have received similar increases, and that the human resources director’s current salary of $420,000 is in line with her predecessor’s compensation.
Claver-Carone when confronted with photos of the purported venue “contract” in an interview this month told investigators he had never seen the document and denied it was. his handwriting or signature. He claimed that the document was fraudulent and was part of a plot by his aide’s ex-husband to harm her.
In a letter to the bank’s general counsel, seen by the AP, divorce attorneys for the human resources director said her ex-husband has a history of cruelty and retaliation that was raised in the divorce proceedings. kiss. They said that any evidence he provided to investigators was not considered reliable.
However, two independent handwriting experts, one of whom previously worked for the FBI, concluded that it was more likely that the handwriting on the slide – the excerpts shown in the report – matched the style of the author. Claver-Carone in banking documents. The report said Claver-Carone declined to submit handwriting samples as part of the poll.
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