July 5, 2022

With Trump Still in the News, Essex Resident Recalls When ‘The Donald’ Was His Legal Client

Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump on the 2016 campaign trail.

Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump on the 2016 campaign trail.

Editor’s Note: Donald Trump is front and center in the news today so we’re pleased to run this timely story from our regular contributor, Jerome Wilson, of Jerry’s personal memories of a man with whom he disagreed passionately on the political front, but whom he found to be both friendly and gracious in their business dealings.

ESSEX — A couple of decades ago, the present leading Republican candidate for President, Donald Trump, was a legal client of mine when I was a lawyer at the law firm of Rogers & Well in New York City.

I shall never forget my first personal meeting with Trump. It took place in Trump’s office on the top floor of the Trump Towner on Fifth Avenue in New York City. After gesturing that I take a seat opposite him at his huge desk, Trump started the conversation by asking, “You’re Jewish, aren’t you, Jerry?” I replied that “No,” I was not Jewish.

After this personal exchange, Trump and I turned to discussing legal matters  pertaining to the new apartment complex that he was then building on New York City’s west side.

"The Trump Bouquet"

“The Trump Bouquet”

Following this first meeting, subsequently, on a number of occasions, Trump invited me to join him when he was addressing civic groups in New York City. When I went along, Trump would always very graciously introduce me to the audience. This meant, invariably, that after Trump had finished speaking, a crowd of people would come over to meet me, wanting to speak with someone who was with the famed Donald Trump.

Then, during that period, when I married my wife, Ulla, Trump sent over to us a huge bouquet of flowers, which Ulla immediately referred to as, “The Trump bouquet.”

Looking back as a life-time Democrat, who served as a Democratic state senator in New York at one time, it is exceeding doubtful that I would ever vote for Trump for President, especially since he has now become a Republican.

However, I do recall from those days of long ago that Trump was always a pleasure to work with, and, in fact, if he were now running as a Democrat for President, I could well see why people would support him.