Posts Tagged ‘corruption’

Doral Golf: Trump Whiffs on G7

October 22, 2019

Doral Golf: Trump Whiffs on G7

U.S. President, hotelier, and celebrity golf cheat Donald Trump wanted the 2020 G7 meeting held at the Trump National Doral resort in Florida, but it’s not happening. For some reason people thought holding the June meeting at Trump-owned Doral (“Come for the golf, stay for the Zika“) reeked of self-dealing just because it certainly does. It would also violate the Constitution.

Mr. Trump may think the “G” in G7 stands for “golf,” but it’s the Group of Seven finance summit. Speaking of finance, the Doral could have used the money. During the Trump presidency its net operating income fell 69%, and the Doral’s debts are international, since it was financed through loans from Deutsche Bank. The president nixed consideration of the enviroment during the 2020 G7 meeting, but there’s an environmental issue at Doral. The swimming pools haven’t been inspected in the past year.

More:

“Trump Dismisses Doral Criticism: ‘You People With This Phony Emoluments Clause,’” Julia Arciga, Daily Beast

“Trump says his Doral golf resort will no longer host next year’s G-7 summit, bowing to criticism,” Philip Rucker and David A. Fahrenthold, Washington Post

Related:

“Trump’s G7 and trade adviser Kelly Ann Shaw departing the White House,” Rebecca Falconer, Axios

Updates:

“Trump’s Doral resort was added as possible G-7 site at last minute, secret service email reveals,” Eileen AJ Connelly, New York Post

“RNC to hold winter meetings at Trump resort that was considered for G-7 summit,” David A. Fahrenthold and Michael Scherer,  Washington Post

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Top image (“President Trump Addresses the Issues”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

Rudy Giuliani’s Expert Consultant on Ukrainian Corruption

October 4, 2019

Rudy Giuliani's Expert Consultant on Ukrainian Corruption

If you want expert advice on Ukrainian corruption, check with convicted felon Paul Manafort, former consultant to Viktor Yanukovych, the Ukrainian president removed from office for rampant corruption. That’s what Rudy Giuliani, Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, did in an attempt to corroberate yet another conspracy theory about the Mueller Investigation. That probe caught Mr. Manafort with secret foreign bank accounts stuffed with Ukrainian cash and sent him to the slammer. Before he began serving time, Paul Manafort served as Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign chairman and chief strategist.

More:

“Who Would Be the Worst Possible Person to Help You Avoid Ukraine-Related Crimes?” Ryan Bort, Rolling Stone

“Giuliani consulted on Ukraine with imprisoned Paul Manafort via a lawyer,” Josh Dawsey, Tom Hamburger, Paul Sonne, and Rosalind S. Helderman, Washington Post

“Five fantasies Trump is pushing about the Ukraine scandal – and the truth,” Ed Pilkington, The Guardian

Related:

“Trump Removed Ambassador to Ukraine After Giuliani Insisted: Report,” Julia Arciga, Daily Beast

“Giuliani Claims The State Department Warned Him Not To Meet With A Top Ukrainian Official,” Hayes Brown, BuzzFeed News

“Judge Andrew Napolitano: Trump’s call with Ukraine president manifests criminal and impeachable behavior,” Fox News

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

Adam Schock Legal Shocker

March 8, 2019

Adam Schock Legal Shocker

Adam Schock, the disgraced former GOP congressman, fraudster, and ticket scalper indicted on 24 felony counts, reached a sweetheart deal with Federal prosecuters in Chicago on Wednesday without actually pleading guilty. He agreed to pay a $25,000 FEC fine, will repay his campaign committees $67,956, and fork over unpaid 2010–2015 taxes and taxes on the $42,375 he made by scalping sports tickets. Mr. Schock has already repaid Congress $40,000 for redecorating his House office as Downton Abbey and $88,000 in phony mileage expense claims. In the “deferred prosecution” arrangement, if Aaron Schock doesn’t re-offend for six months, charges will be dropped and his criminal record wiped clean. He won’t rule out another run for public office.

It did not go unnoticed that Mr. Schock, the Prince of Peoria, avoided jail time, while another former Illinois Congrssman, Jesse Jackson Jr., was sentenced to 30 months in prison for misusing campaign funds.

More:

“Ex-congressman Aaron Schock strikes deal to avert prosecution,” Matt Zapotosky, Washington Post

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

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Donald Trump, Banana Republican

September 4, 2018

Donald Trump, Banana Republican

On Monday President Trump attacked Attorney General Jeff Sessions for the Federal indictments of two sitting Republican congressmen, both strong Trump supporters:

Republican Senator Ben Sasse, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, responded: to the President’s partisan attack on the rule of law:

“The United States is not some banana republic with a two-tiered system of justice – one for the majority party and one for the minority party. These two men have been charged with crimes because of evidence, not because of who the President was when the investigations began. Instead of commenting on ongoing investigations and prosecutions, the job of the President of the United States is to defend the Constitution and protect the impartial administration of justice.”

“This is not the conduct of a President committed to defending and upholding the constitution,” tweeted Arizona Republican Senator Jeff Flake, “but rather a President looking to use the Department of Justice to settle political scores.”

Contrary to Mr. Trump’s tweet, at least one of the investigations began during his own administration. Rep. Christopher Collins (R, NY-27) is charged with participating in an insider trading scheme, and phoned insider stock tips while picnicking on the White House lawn in June 2017. He has denied wrongdoing but is not seeking re-election. Rep. Duncan Hunter (R, CA-50) and his wife were indicted for allegedly using campaign funds to pay for personal expenses. Mr. Hunter is still on the midterm ballot.

More:

“Trump Twitter attack on Sessions and Justice is most serious impeachment fodder yet,” Chris Truax, USA Today

“Trump’s Attacks on Jeff Sessions and the DOJ Are Reaching Absurd New Levels,” Ryan Bort, Rolling Stone

“Trump sets up rule-of-law crisis,” Jonathan Swan, Axios

“The Proud Corruption of Donald Trump,” David A. Graham, The Atlantic

“Sorry, Mr. Trump, the Attorney General Is America’s Lawyer,” New York Times editors

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Image: Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

Pruitt Family Values

June 18, 2018

Pruitt Family Values

Recent discussion of EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt’s brilliant Washington career has concentrated on his abuses of science, taxpayer dollars, and the power of his office, but he’s not so selfish that he neglected the Republican love of Family Values. Mr. Pruitt assigned EPA aides to try to get his wife a job with a conservative group and a Chick-fil-A franchise, and his daughter a White House Internship and a place in a good law school.

More:

“Why Scott Pruitt’s effort to get his wife a job could be his most consequential scandal,” Amber Phillips, Washington Post

“For Pruitt Aides, the Boss’s Personal Life Was Part of the Job,” Eric Lipton, Steve Eder, Lisa Friedman and Hiroko Tabuchi, New York Times

Background:

“Scott Pruitt’s [dirty] laundry list,” Mike Allen, Axios

Update:

“Whistleblower: EPA’s Pruitt kept secret calendar to hide meetings,” Scott Bronstein, Curt Devine and Drew Griffin, CNN

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

Soccer Trial In Brooklyn: Guilty

December 23, 2017

Soccer Trial In Brooklyn: Guilty

Two former officials of the South American soccer association were found guilty in U.S. Federal Court on Friday of accepting millions of dollars in bribes. The jury will deliberate on a third defendant next week. 24 other people tied to FIFA, the governing body of international soccer, have pleaded guilty, and 15 more charged in the racketeering  and money-laundering probe are fighting extradition to the U.S.

More:

“2 Top Soccer Officials Found Guilty in FIFA Case,” Rebecca R. Ruiz, New York Times

“Fifa trial: two ex-soccer officials found guilty on multiple charges of corruption,” Oliver Laughland, The Guardian

Update:

“Fifa trial: ex-president of Peru soccer acquitted of corruption charge,” AP via The Guardian

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

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Swiss Cops Eyeball FIFA’s Sepp Blatter

September 27, 2015

Swiss Cops Eyeball FIFA's Sepp Blatter

Zurich’s Joseph “Sepp” Blatter, recently reelected President of the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), will be leaving that position in a few months — if he is not arrested first. On Thursday, investigators from the Swiss Office of the Attorney General (OAG) quietly initiated criminal proceedings against Herr Blatter on suspicion of criminal mismanagement under Articles 158 and 138 of the Swiss Criminal Code. On Friday they surprised him at FIFA HQ, interrogating him and other top soccer execs, looking into the specifics of the 2005 TV rights deal Herr Blatter cut with Caribbean football chief Jack Warner and his $2 million payoff to underling Michel Platini in 2011.

Herr Blatter has ruled the international sports empire since 1998 and has helped FIFA bring the lucrative World Cup matches to places like Russia and the North Pole Qatar. His resignation followed news that Herr Blatter’s top assistant, Jérôme Valcke, was involved in a questionable $10 million money transfer.

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U.S. Court to Bob McDonnell: Go to Prison, Already

August 21, 2015

U.S. Court to Bob McDonnell: Go to Prison, Already

The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has told disgraced former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell that if he wants to appeal his political corruption conviction to the Supreme Court, he can do it from the slammer.

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Bob McDonnell Corruption Conviction Upheld

July 11, 2015

Bob McDonnell Corruption Conviction Upheld

A three judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld the political corruption conviction of disgraced former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell so, pending further appeal to the full U.S. Fourth Circuit Court, he’s going to the slammer for 2 years. He’s lucky; based on Federal Sentencing Guidelines he could have gotten at least 10 years in prison.

During the initial trial ex-Gov. McDonnell, devoted husband and father of five, explained the $150,000 in loans, vacations, golf outings and luxury goods Virginia’s First Couple took from a snake-oil salesman for promoting his dubious nostrums by blaming it all on his screaming lunatic harridan of a wife, Maureen McDonnell. That defense was not successful.

Understandably, Mr. McDonnell left his conjugal home and has been staying at the rectory of Richmond’s St. Patrick’s Church with a sympathetic priest who’s had legal problems of his own. His estranged wife, former NFL Cheerleader Maureen McDonnell, was convicted on 8 counts and sentenced to a year and a day in the hoosegow.

Due to these circumstances, Bob McDonnell is perhaps the only prominent Republican not running for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination. Yet.

More:

“Official Acts,” Dahlia Lithwick, Slate

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht,NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

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Sepp Blatter to Leave the Game

June 3, 2015

Sepp Blatter to Leave the Game
Zurich’s Joseph “Sepp” Blatter, recently reelected President of the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), will be leaving that position in a few months, if he is not arrested first. Herr Blatter has ruled the international sports empire since 1998, and has helped FIFA bring the lucrative World Cup matches to places like Russia and the North Pole Qatar. The abrupt resignation followed news that Herr Blatter’s top assistant, Jérôme Valcke, was involved in a questionable $10 million money transfer.

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