Archive for the ‘Republicans’ 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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DeSantis: Cheap Trafficking In Human Misery

September 19, 2022

Florida MAGA/GOP governor Ron DeSantis is using newly-arrived refugees — many of them women and children — as hostages, political pawns in a cheap stunt, flying them to the rural island of Martha’s Vineyard. Somehow, he couldn’t find enough unauthorized migrants in his own state of Florida, so he imported 48 of them — by two state-funded charter jets — from Texas. DeSantis paid for the migrant flights with federal COVID stimulus money he didn’t spend on the needs of Florida citizens.

Bear in mind that the migrants, refugees from failed petro-socialist Venuzuela, are registered with DHS as Asylum Seekers; they are not the criminals DeSantis implies they are. Martha’s Vineyard has no immigration court or ICE center, so the migrants can’t check-in or recieve adjudication, which could jeopardize their status if they don’t get to a major city soon.

In this cruel Republican game, DeSantis is playing catch-up. MAGA governors Greg Abbot (Texas) and Doug Ducey (Arizona) have been sending migrants to New York, Chicago, and DC by chartered bus, often mis-representing where they are going and falsely promising migrants jobs when they arrive. A similar federal strategy was suggested in 2019 by Trump creature Stephen Miller. He threated to cut ICE funding if the federal agency didn’t send migrants to Democratic jurisdictions (it didn’t happen).

And where did lizard-person Stephen Miller get the idea? From short-lived stunts by the racist White Citizens’ Councils of the 1960s, so-called “Reverse Freedom Rides,” which bused Black Americans from the South to Northern cities. Like today’s people-traffickers DeSantis, Ducey, and Abbot, the racist Councils promised that jobs awaited the travelers at their destinations. One bus went to Hyannis, Massachusetts in 1962, where the Kennedy family had a summer home. This past July 26th, Fox News host Tucker Carlson publicly floated the idea of sending refugees to Martha’s Vineyard, pointing out that the Obama’s own a vacation home there.

In 1962, editors of the New York Times called the racist “Reverse Freedom Rides” a “cheap trafficking in human misery.” That’s certainly true for the stunts of MAGA migrant traffickers DeSantis, Abbot, and Ducey.

More:

“Planeloads of Venezuelan Migrants Arrive at Martha’s Vineyard Airport,” Brooke Kushwaha, Vineyard Gazette

“Migrants stranded in Martha’s Vineyard say they were lied to,”Bianca Padró Ocasio, Tampa Bay Times

“Martha’s Vineyard Migrants Leave Island as Outrage at DeSantis Grows,” Chas Danner, New York Magazine

“DeSantis gave GOP donors a glimpse of plans for migrant flights,” Josh Dawsey, Michael Scherer, and Isaac Arnsdorf, Washington Post

“DeSantis Flying Migrants to Martha’s Vineyard May Have Violated Federal Law, Experts Say,” Nikki McCann Ramirez, Rolling Stone

“Surprise is key part of migrant travel from Florida, Texas,” Rodrique Ngowi, Gisela Salomon, and Claudia Torrens, Associated Press

Related:

“Ron DeSantis Flew Immigrants to Martha’s Vineyard, Echoing a Racist Stunt From Exactly 60 Years Ago,” Kate Storey, Esquire

“JFK Library compares DeSantis migrants move to historic ‘Reverse Freedom Rides,’” Graeme Massie, The Independent, via Yahoo News

“This Isn’t the First Time White Racists Have Sent Migrants North on Buses (Though Using Planes Is New),” Kali Holloway, Daily Beast

“The Cruel Story Behind The ‘Reverse Freedom Rides,'” Gabrielle Emanuel, NPR Code Switch

“Biden officials to discuss ‘litigation options’ over migrant buses,” Stef W. Kight, Axios 

“Why Belarus is using migrants as a political weapon,” Ellen Ioanes, Vox

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Louie Gohmert Demands His Right to Lie to the FBI

June 6, 2022

Rep. Louie Gohmert (R, TX-1) told Newsmax it’s unfair that Republicans can’t lie to the FBI. The former Texas judge was speaking about former Trump aide Peter Navarro, indicted for criminal contempt of Congress, not for lying to anybody. Yet. Mr. Gohmert was miffed that a federal jury aquitted Democrat Michael Sussman of such an offense.

FYI: Nobody, Democrat or Republican, should lie to FBI agents, since it’s a felony. The best policy is to shut up, something beyond the ability of Louie Gohmert. He recently blamed wearing masks for his COVID diagnosis and asked the National Forest Service to alter the Moon’s orbit.

More:

“Louie Gohmert Whines That Republicans Aren’t Allowed to Lie to the FBI — Which Is a Felony,” William Vaillancourt, Rolling Stone

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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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Trump’s 15 Boxes of Stolen Documents

February 10, 2022

Trump's 15 Boxes of Stolen Documents

The National Archives had to retrieve 15 boxes of presidential documents illegally stolen by former president Donald Trump. At least the archivists got a trip to Mar-a-Lago out of that. During his time in office, Mr. Trump continued his habit of ripping up paperwork and throwing it in the trash or on the floor, and the poor shnooks in the presidential records mangement office had to tape them back together to be forwarded to the National Archives. The Presidential Records Act requires the preservation of memos, letters, notes, emails, faxes and other written communications related to a president’s official duties.

From descriptions, it seems like Mr. Trump ripped up papers he didn’t like (such as a letter from Chuck Schumer), and stole the ones he did, like “love letters” from Kim Jong Un. On the other hand, maybe he destroyed the incriminating papers and swiped the ones that incriminated other people, to use as leverage. After all, Trump’s mentor was Roy Cohn.

More:

“National Archives retrieved 15 boxes of Trump White House Documents From Mar-a-Lago,” Kevin Breuninger, CNBC

“Could Trump be prosecuted for his serial Presidential Records Act violations?” Peter Weber, The Week

“National Archives asks Justice Dept. to investigate Trump’s handling of White House records,” Matt Zapotosky, Jacqueline Alemany, Ashley Parker, and Josh Dawsey, Washington Post

“Trump denies flushing documents down White House toilet,” Quint Forgey, Politico

“MyPillow Customer Finds Classified Documents Inside Duvet,” Andy Borowitz, The New Yorker

“Trump’s document destruction isn’t something to paper over or shrug off,” Eugene Robinson, Washington Post

“Republicans Who Railed About Clinton Emails Are Quiet on Trump’s Records,” Lisa Lerer and Katie Rogers, New York Times

“Trump records at Mar-a-Lago clearly marked as classified, including documents at ‘top secret’ level,” Jacqueline Alemany, Devlin Barrett, Matt Zapotosky and Josh Dawsey, Washington Post

Updates:

“Archives Found Possible Classified Material in Boxes Returned by Trump,” Reid J. Epstein and Michael S. Schmidt, New York Times

“US House to investigate whether Trump broke law in handling of documents,” Hugo Lowell, The Guardian

“Trump: Return of documents to Archives viewed as routine and ‘no big deal,'” Joseph Choi, The Hill

“Trump Reportedly Clogged White House Toilet With Flushed Documents,” Inae Oh, Mother Jones

“Trump Flushed the Presidential Honor System Down the Toilet,” Jack Shafer, Politico

Related:

Presidential Records (44 U.S.C. Chapter 22), U.S. National Archives and Record Administration

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GOP: It’s Official, They’re Fascists.

February 7, 2022

GOP: It's Official, They're Fascists.

Meeting in Salt Lake City on Friday, the Republican National Committee (RNC) passed a resolution declaring that the actions of the Insurrection of January 6, 2021, including the violent attempt to overthrow the elected government of the United States and the defilement of the Capitol building, were “legitimate political discourse.” The resolution (co-authored by Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel) was passed by voice vote, without debate, so individual Republican leaders could avoid personal (and legal) responsibility for this outrage against two centuries of American democratic values. They’re not just fascists, they’re weasels.

More:

“Republican party calls January 6 attack ‘legitimate political discourse,’” Martin Pengelly, The Guardian

“GOP leaders approve resolution that says Jan. 6 was ‘legitimate political discourse,’” Bryan Schott, Salt Lake City Tribune

“G.O.P. Declares Jan. 6 Attack ‘Legitimate Political Discourse,’” Jonathan Weisman and Reid J. Epstein, New York Times

Updates:

“Murkowski criticizes RNC calling Jan. 6 attack ‘legitimate political discourse,'” Caroline Vakil,The Hill

“‘Legitimate Political Discourse’ Is Now an Official Republican Party Description of the Jan. 6 Attack on the Capitol,” Ryan Bort, Rolling Stone

“McConnell rebukes RNC, calls Jan. 6 ‘violent insurrection,'” Mary Clare Jalonick,  Associated Press

“‘Legitimate political discourse’: Three words about Jan. 6 spark rift among Republicans,” Josh Dawsey and Felicia Sonmez, Washington Post

“McConnell breaks with RNC: Jan. 6 ‘violent insurrection,'” Jordain Carney, The Hill

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February: Virginia Celebrates White Fragility Month

February 1, 2022

February: Virginia Celebrates White Fragility Month

While the rest of the nation observes the Lunar New Year and Black History Month, the Commonwealth of Virginia celebrates White Fragility Month by urging parents to inform on educators who teach the actual history of the United States, which, of course, included centuries of Black enslavement, legally enforced racial segregation, and disinvestment.

Two weeks ago, as Republican Glenn Youngkin moved into the Virginia Governor’s Mansion, built by enslaved laborers in 1813, he signed a stack of executive orders, including the Orwellian “rat on teacher” edict. “Negative” books are being removed from Virginia school libraries. Maybe book bonfires will be part of the state’s 2022 high school pep rallies. Go team.

Like-minded update:

“Glenn Youngkin’s No-Guilt History of Virginia for Fragile White People,” Dana Milbank, Washington Post

More:

“Where Things Stand: Trolls Flood Youngkin’s Teacher-Reporting Tip Line, As They Should,” Nicole Lafond, TalkingPointsMemo

“‘It’s Jim Crow, it’s not reform’: Concerns raised over Virginia governor’s new ‘divisive’ learning tip line,” Jim Dowding, WAVY-TV

“A GOP proposal targeting ‘negative’ U.S. history is cause for renewed alarm,” Greg Sargent, Washington Post

Updated:

“Youngkin Rescinds Racial Equity Resources For Schools,” Margaret Barthel, DCist

Related:

“Glenn Youngkin didn’t mind if some kids got an anti-racist education: His own,” Dana Milbank, Washington Post

“From slavery to socialism, new legislation restricts what teachers can discuss,” Terry Gross, NPR

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GOP State Politicos Push Quack COVID Cures

January 31, 2022

GOP State Politicos Push Quack COVID Cures

Republican state lawmakers in Colorado, Florida, Idaho, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Mississippi, Indiana, Virginia, and West Virginia have proposed legislation that allows quack doctors to prescribe ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine to prevent and treat Covid-19 which, despite pronouncements on Fox News and right-wing podcasts, they do not do. North Dakota and Tennessee have already passed such laws, even though:

” … those treatments have not proven effective at preventing or treating Covid and infectious disease experts see the bills as examples of right-wing lawmakers politicizing medicine – a trend that is increasing as the pandemic wears on in America in to its third year amid an increasingly fraught political atmosphere.

And so it goes with the latest suspect Covid-19 treatment that has become about more than just a drug, but rather about whether to trust established public health organizations or doctors who stray from their guidelines, and podcast and cable news hosts.”

— “Concern as Republicans push to make dubious Covid cure prescriptions easier,” Eric Berger, The Guardian

More:

“Republicans Are Changing State Medical Board Rules So It’s Easier For Doctors To Prescribe Hydroxychloroquine And Ivermectin,” Kadia Goba, BuzzFeed News

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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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Shocker: Matt Gaetz Marries Adult Woman

August 24, 2021

Shocker: Matt Gaetz Marries Adult Woman
Florida Man and well-known congressional sleazebag Matt Gaetz (R, FL-1) took a break from dodging a Justice Department inquiry into underage sex trafficking and traveling across state lines with a married woman to wed 26-year-old Ginger Luckey, merely 13 years his junior, in California. The couple met last year at Mar-a-Lago, of course. The bride markets preservatives you spray on fruits and veggies, and the goateed Gaetz brother-in-law founded a virtual reality company. As to the rest of family, his new sister-in-law called Mr. Gaetz a weird and creepy pedophile.

Congressman Gaetz wanted an Elvis imitator to officiate, but settled for former Rand Paul staffer and Trump fundraiser Sergio Gor, who has the power to marry people because he’s a Libertarian minister or something. It was a small ceremony on Catalina Island. In lieu of gifts, send weird conspiracy theories via Twitter, if you’re not banned.

More:

“Matt Gaetz, Republican in sex-trafficking investigation, marries in California,” AP via The Guardian

“’Trump Was an Inspiration for Me’: Matt Gaetz Tries to Shift the Focus With a MAGA Romance,” Abigail Tracy, Vanity Fair

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