Archive for the ‘Crime’ Category

Trump Fraud Lawsuit: Red Meat?

September 23, 2022

Trump Fraud Lawsuit: Red Meat?

After a three-year civil investigation into the Trump Organization’s business practices, New York State Attorney General Letitia James has sued Donald Trump, his adult children Donald Jr., Eric, and Ivanka, and Trump Organization employees for falsely inflating the value of assets for many years to receive tax breaks and favorable loan and insurance rates. The suit aims to recover $250 million. Said AG James: “Claiming you have money that you do not have does not amount to the art of the deal. It’s the art of the steal.”

Attorney General James seeks to bar Trump and his organization from buying commercial real estate or receiving bank loans for five years, and to permanently bar Trump, Donald Jr., Ivanka, and Eric Trump from serving as executives in any New York companies. Naturally, Trump’s attorney called the filing politically motivated.

This is a civil suit, but the charges, if true, would point to federal and local criminal charges, and AG James has referred these matters to the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York and the Manhattan District Attorney.

More:

“Donald Trump, 3 of his children accused of business fraud by New York AG,” Shayna Jacobs and Jonathan O’Connell, Washington Post

“New York attorney general lawsuit accuses Trump of ‘staggering’ fraud,” Hugo Lowell, Maya Yang and Martin Pengelly The Guardian

“‘Art of the steal’: Trump accused of vast fraud in NY suit
By Michael R. Sisak and Larry Neumeister, Associated Press

“New York attorney general sues Trump, accuses him of “astounding” fraud and deception,” Andrew Prokop, Vox

Updates:

“It’s Just Fraud All the Way Down,” David A. Graham. The Atlantic

“As Trump’s Legal Woes Mount, So Do Financial Pressures on Him,” Maggie Haberman, Ben Protess, Matthew Goldstein and Eric Lipton, New York Times

“Are Mar-a-Lago and other Trump-owned properties over-valued?” Sam Cabral, BBC News

“How Screwed Are Donald Trump and His Adult Children, and Other Questions You Might Have About the ‘Staggering’ Fraud Lawsuit Against Them,” Bess Levin, Vanity Fair

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Right-Wing Apparel Maker’s Fake ‘Made In USA’ Claims

August 15, 2022

Right Wing Apparel Maker's Fake 'Made In USA' Claims

The Utah-based Lions Not Sheep clothing company sells T-shirts and baseball caps with provocative slogans printed on them, sure to appeal to the gun-toting, camo-wearing, flag-waving, Trump-loving, by-God self-proclaimed MAGA patriots on your gift list. The Federal Trade Commission just fined the firm for ripping the “Made In China” labels from their imported duds and putting “Made In USA” tags on them. The fraudsters came to FTC attention after bragging about the label-switch on social media.

The Made in USA Labeling Rule, effective as of August 2021, prohibits claims that a product was made in the United States unless final assembly or processing of the product occurs in the U.S., all significant processing that goes into the product occurs domestically, and all or virtually all ingredients or components of the product are made and sourced in the U.S.

More:

“Pro-Trump brand is fined by FTC for incorrect ‘Made in the USA’ labels,” María Luisa Paúl, Washington Post

Pro-Trump apparel company fined for falsely labeling products “Made in USA,” Julia Shapero, Axios

“Utah-based Lions Not Sheep apparel company fined for swapping ‘Made in China’ tags for ‘Made in USA.’” Kyle Dunphey, Deseret News

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FBI Seeks Trump’s Stolen Documents at Mar-a-Lago

August 10, 2022

FBI Seeks Trump's Stolen Documents at Mar-a-Lago

Early this past Monday, FBI agents toured Donald Trump’s beautiful Mar-a-Lago residence in Palm Beach, executing a search warrant for classified documents he stole while vacating the White House after his failed 2021 coup attempt. At the time of the FBI raid, Mr. Trump was in New Jersey, recuperating after playing golf on his ex-wife’s grave with Saudi officials. FBI Director Christopher A. Wray is a Trump appointee, and the judge who approved the search warrant, Bruce Reinhart, was appointed in 2018, during the Trump administration. Before that, the judge was an attorney, and represented several employees of Donald Trump’s friend Jeffrey Epstein.

The former president fled Washington with 15 cartons of purloined pages, and some are still missing. Withholding or destroying the documents is a violation of the Presidential Records Act and provisions of the Federal Records Act, felonies punishable by up to three years in prison. Conviction might make him ineligible to hold public office in the future.

The FBI agents brought a safecracker to Mar-a-Lago to help search for the remaining stolen documents, which reportedly include a “love letter” from Kim Jong Un. Maybe the feds brought a forensic plumber, given Donald Trump’s habit of flushing documents down the toilet.

More:

“Trump says FBI searched estate in major escalation of probe,” Eric Tucker and Michael Balsamo, Associated Press

“FBI searches Trump’s Florida home as part of presidential records probe,” Brian Ellsworth and Sarah N. Lynch, Reuters

“Here’s what we know about the FBI search of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago,” Brett Samuels, Rebecca Beitsch, and Emily Brooks, The Hill

“The consequences Trump could face for mishandling White House records,” Melissa Quinn, CBS News

Presidential Records (44 U.S.C. Chapter 22)

“Lara Trump incorrectly claims that Donald Trump had ‘every authority’ to take documents from White House,”
Stephen Proctor, Yahoo Entertainment

“Fox News Is Having a Nuclear Meltdown Over the Feds Raiding Mar-a-Lago,” Ryan Bort, Rolling Stone

“Republicans dust off familiar playbook to weaponise Mar-a-Lago FBI search,” David Smith, The Guardian

“Pelosi responds to GOP criticism of search at Trump’s estate: ‘No person is above the law,’” Anna Kaplan, NBC Today

“Feds Seizing Documents at Mar-a-Lago Unable to Find Trump’s Health-Care Plan,” Andy Borowitz, The New Yorker

Updates:

“Mar-a-Lago search appears focused on whether Trump, aides withheld items,” Devlin Barrett, Josh Dawsey, Rosalind S. Helderman, Jacqueline Alemany and Spencer S. Hsu, Washington Post

“‘Defund the FBI!’ Trump allies are not happy with Mar-a-Lago raid.” Peter Weber, The Week

“The FBI’s Search of Mar-a-Lago Is a Reminder That Trump Has Always Been a National Security Threat,” David Rothkopf, Daily Beast

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Texas Cops Deny Fetus ‘Personhood’

July 19, 2022

Texas Cops Deny Fetus 'Personhood'

Brandy Bottone, 34 weeks pregnant, was driving down Central Expressway in Dallas when she was stopped by a sheriff’s deputy at an HOV checkpoint to check whether there were at least two occupants per vehicle as mandated. “There are two of us,” said Ms. Bottone, pointing at her swollen midsection. Despite Texas’ hearty embrace of the US Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision, which overturned Roe v. Wade, she got a $215 ticket.

More:

“Pregnant woman says her fetus should count as a passenger in HOV lanes. She got a ticket,” Dave Lieber, Dallas Morning News

“Pregnant woman given HOV ticket argues fetus is passenger, post-Roe,” Timothy Bella, Washington Post

 

Note: We do not consider 2 people in a vehicle “high occupancy,” and refer to HOV 2+ as “Buddy Lanes.”

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19 Children Shot to Death in Texas

May 25, 2022

19 Children Shot to Death in Texas

At least 19 children and 2 teachers were shot to death at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, on Tuesday. The victims were in a single 4th grade classroom. The teenaged perpetrator wore body armor but was shot dead by police. The shooter was legally able to buy his assault-style rifle this month, the day after his 18th birthday.

There have been 213 mass shootings in the United States so far this year, 27 school shootings. And it’s only May.

In other Texas news, the National Rifle Association will hold its annual meeting in Houston on Friday. Scheduled speakers include Texas Governor Greg Abbott (R), Texas Senator Ted Cruz (R), South Dakota Governor Kristi L. Noem (R), Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R, TX-2), and former president Donald J. Trump. At this time, no grieving parents from Uvalde are on the agenda.

More:

“21 killed at Uvalde elementary in Texas’ deadliest school shooting ever,” Sneha Dey, Texas Tribune

“Firearms are now the leading cause of death for U.S. children,” Peter Weber, The Week

“‘No Way To Prevent This,’ Says Only Nation Where This Regularly Happens,” The Onion

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Racist Mass Murder in Buffalo

May 17, 2022

Racist Mass Murder in Buffalo

A teenaged white supremicist has murdered 10 people in a supermarket in Buffalo, NY. He was able to legally purchase an assault-style firearm despite earlier threats to commit such acts. There have been 202 mass shootings in the United States so far this year. And it’s only May.

More:

“The victims: What we know about those killed, injured in Tops shooting,” Buffalo News

“The Buffalo Shooter Isn’t a ‘Lone Wolf.’ He’s a Mainstream Republican,” Talia Lavin, Rolling Stone

“Scrutiny of Republicans who embrace ‘great replacement theory’ after Buffalo massacre,” Richard Luscombe, The Guardian

“White Power, White Violence,” Kathleen Belew, The Atlantic

“Conservative media is familiar with Buffalo suspect’s alleged ‘theory,’” Paul Farhi, Washington Post

“‘No Way To Prevent This,’ Says Only Nation Where This Regularly Happens,” The Onion

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Federal Grand Jury Looks at Trump Document Tampering

May 13, 2022

Federal Grand Jury Looks at Trump Document Tampering

In January 2021, when he left the White House, Donald J. Trump sent 15 boxes of presidential documents to Mar-a-Lago instead of the National Archives, as required by law. Many of the docs were marked “Classified” and “Top Secret.” The Archives asked the Department of Justice to investigate the violation. On Thursday, the New York Times reported that a federal grand jury was convened to look into the matter:

“Federal prosecutors have begun a grand jury investigation into whether classified White House documents that ended up at former President Donald J. Trump’s Florida home were mishandled, according to two people briefed on the matter. The intensifying inquiry suggests that the Justice Department is examining the role of Mr. Trump and other officials in his White House in their handling of sensitive materials during the final stages of his administration.”

— “Prosecutors Pursue Inquiry Into Trump’s Handling of Classified Material,” Maggie Haberman and Michael S. Schmidt, New York Times

Another grand jury in Atlanta is investigating Mr. Trump’s efforts to interfere in the 2020 presidential election there.

More:

“Grand jury used in probe of classified documents taken to Mar-a-Lago,” Matt Zapotosky, Jacqueline Alemany, and Josh Dawsey, Washington Post

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Ivanka Invited to House Committee Meeting

January 20, 2022

Ivanka Invited to House Committee Meeting
The U.S. House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol requests the pleasure of the company of Ms. Ivanka Trump at a morning meetup. Attire: Business Fabulous.

The barely bipartisan House Select Committee investigating the Capitol insurrection has invited Ivanka Trump, former Senior Advisor to the former President, for a chat about her senior-advising of her daddy on January 6th, 2021.

The committee has already heard testimony from Keith Kellogg, a Pence adviser who was in the White House with Donald Trump during the riot, that the former President phoned Pence on the morning of January 6 and attempted to coerce him to overturn the election. Kellogg said Ivanka heard the call, too. The panel wants Ivanka Trump’s account of this conversation and any others she witnessed in which her father discussed obstructing or impeding the election certification process. The committee has lots of emails and phone data; perhaps Ms. Trump was on some of those exchanges, too.

Ms. Trump, married to slim slumlord Jared Kushner, has extensive private sector experience as a  sweatshop shmata merchant, book marketermultimillionaire wifenanny-hiring motherretail brand, and former runway model. As an hôtelièr, she earned millions by renting out rooms in a publicly-owned building her dad’s company leases in Washington.

More:

“Ivanka Trump asked to interview in Capitol riot inquiry,” Chris Marquette, Roll Call

“January 6 committee asks Ivanka Trump to talk with them,” Annie Grayer and Jeremy Herb, CNN

“Ivanka Trump asked to cooperate with Capitol attack committee,” Hugo Lowell, The Guardian

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Gaetz Ex-Girlfriend Talks to Federal Grand Jury

January 12, 2022

Gaetz Ex-Girlfriend Talks to Federal Grand Jury

The ex-girlfiend of Florida Man and well-known congressional sleazebag Matt Gaetz (R, FL-1) testified to a federal grand jury investigating him on underage sex-trafficking and other charges. The young woman has been in talks for months with prosecutors about an immunity deal, NBC reports, hoping to avoid prosecution for obstruction of justice in return for testifying as to whether Gaetz paid a 17-year-old female for sex and violated a federal law prohibiting people for paying for prostitutes overseas. This testimony is seen as a sign that the grand jury is moving closer to indicting Trump idolator Gaetz.

More:

“Matt Gaetz’s ex-girlfriend testifies to grand jury in sex trafficking probe,” Marc Caputo, NBC News

Update:

“Matt Gaetz’s ex-girlfriend granted immunity before testifying in sex trafficking probe,” Michael Kaplan, CBS News

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January 6th

January 5, 2022

January 6th
America’a red-hatted MAGAheads will be celebrating January 6th, but not as the Feast of the Epiphany (which features swarthy, undocumented Magi immigrants) or as a national day of prayer and mourning for the near-death of American democracy last year. The right-wing paranoid and election-denying alt-right, GOP coup plotters, Proud Boys, QAnon, Boogaloo Bois, Oath Keepers, Trump loyalists, white nationalists and Infowars fanatics and their ilk will commemorate their deadly attack on the U.S. Capitol last year, when they attempted to overturn the presidential election, as directed by the election’s clear loser.

The Capitol Police seem more prepared for a lunatic onslaught this January 6th, so there may be decentralized right-wing assaults on other federal, state, and local government buildings and officials. There will certainly be plenty of right-wing attacks on the truth.

More:

“A Roundup of January 6 Anniversary Commemorations in DC,” Damare Baker, Washingtonian

“Right-wing and liberal vigils planned in D.C. on anniversary of Capitol riot,” Ellie Silverman, Washington Post

“At time of Capitol prayer service Jan. 6, Trump will deliver remarks doubling down on the ‘Big Lie,’” David Siders, Politico

“Bannon, Trump to counterprogram Dems for Jan. 6 anniversary,” Jonathan Swan, Axios

Updates:

“Ingraham, Graham talked Trump out of Jan. 6 press conference,” Axios

“Trump cancels Jan. 6 news conference at Mar-a-Lago, blames news media and House committee investigating attack on Capitol,” Felicia Sonmez and Josh Dawsey, Washington Post

Related:

“Every Day Is Jan. 6 Now,” New York Times editorial

“A year after Jan. 6 attack, Capitol Hill neighborhood still feels the effects.” Joe Heim, Washington Post

“A look back at Americans’ reactions to the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol,” John Gramlich, Pew Research Center

“We’ve reached the ‘Yeah, it was pretty much an attempted coup, so what?’ stage of the Jan. 6 probe,” Aaron Blake, Washington Post

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