Nel's New Day

November 5, 2022

Standard Time Returns Morning Light, DDT Brings Dark

Tomorrow brings a “gift”—an additional hour to the day. The end of daylight savings time “springs back” the time, and people go through another jetlag. Last March, the Senate used a fast-track process to unanimously pass a bill retaining daylight savings year-round, keeping sunrise as late as 9:30 am in some parts of the U.S., according to this map. The House didn’t move the bill. In another 17 legislative days, the Sunshine Protection Act expires with the shift to the 118th Congress.

Nineteen states and more people prefer daylight savings for the norm, sending children to school in the dark but encouraging shoppers in later afternoon light. In 1974, then-President Nixon signed a bill for permanent daylight savings time to save gas; the new law was so disliked that it was overturned nine months later by then-President Ford. No matter how government changes time, Ali Güler, associate professor of biology at the University of Virginia, said it best: “We cannot stretch the day.”   

According to scientists, the healthiest setting for people is standard time using morning light to reset “our whole internal clock with what goes on in the world around us.” That light maintains circadian rhythms, sleep-wake cycles, and overall health, keeping a person permanently aligned. Time-change disturbs cardiac functions, metabolic processes, and hormone fluctuations. An excellent explanation of the importance to health by standard time.

Life is darker for Deposed Donald Trump (DDT) as he searches for solutions to his multiple legal problems, the latest protection with a presidential candidacy. Using inflation and rejection of democracy, Republicans may retake Congress in 2022. According to his advisers, DDT hopes to take credit for the GOP win and declare his 2024 campaign on November 14.

Stalling has not worked in one of DDT’s lawsuits. The man who brags about never settling lawsuits has settled one with protesters alleging assault at the Trump Tower in 2015 by security guards. The amount of the settlement was not released, but plaintiffs are satisfied, according to their attorney. Attorneys from both sides stated that “the parties all agree that the plaintiffs in the action, and all people, have a right to engage in peaceful protest on public sidewalks.” DDT did not participate in the physical assault on five New Yorkers of Mexican descent, but plaintiffs alleged he should have known the security guard would have behaved in a “negligent or reckless manner.”

DDT claimed he knew nothing about the protest or his guard’s actions, but his former lawyer/fixer Michael Cohen said he told DDT about the protesters. DDT told his head of security, Keith Schiller, “Get rid of them.” Later Schiller told DDT, “I took the sign. He grabbed me, so I hit him across the side of the head.” DDT said, “Good.” Although he said he knew nothing about what happened, he said that Schiller “did nothing wrong.”  

More of DDT’s legal problems:

The House January 6 investigative committee has refused to change the November 14 date for DDT to testify, according to a subpoena. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has said she thinks that DDT isn’t “man enough” to show up. The committee already gave DDT an additional week to provide subpoenaed documents connected to the January 6 insurrection which were due on November 4.

The House Oversight Committee wants the return of more items from DDT—expensive gifts such as golf clubs, diamond earrings, and the infamous soccer ball from Russian president Vladimir Putin, dozens of presents collectively worth over $50,000 and each worth over $415. Over that sum, the giftee must pay for them. DDT is unable to understand that the gifts were official presented to the president of the United States, not the individual Donald Trump.  

The Manhattan DA’s criminal case against the Trump Organization moved ahead for tax fraud because the company allegedly paid executives with gifts and other “off- the books” compensation to avoid paying taxes on the income. A conviction could result in up to $1.6 million in fines and cause creditors and business partners less likely to work with them. DDT’s lawyers blame former CFO Allen Weisselberg, 75, while still paying him part of his $1 million annual salary. If Weisselberg doesn’t cooperate in this trial, he receives an additional decade to his five-month prison sentence after pleading guilty. His benefits included a luxury apartment, several Mercedes Benzes, a city parking place, and his grandchildren’s private school tuition.

During the trial’s opening arguments, the judge sent jurors out of the room for 15 minutes to caution lawyers not to explain the law after they claimed the case was only cheating on personal income taxes. Lawyers tried to confuse jurors by stating that Weisselberg “acted solely for his own benefit.”

A separate pending civil lawsuit by New York AG Letitia James accuses DDT and his business, family members, and associates of fraudulently inflating or deflating the stated value of their assets for financial gain. This lawsuit could cause harsher punishments than the Manhattan case, including business certificates for the business canceled in New York, DDT and his children banned from leading New York businesses, and a $250 million fine. James also referred evidence of alleged criminal activity to the DOJ and IRS for further investigation.

A New York judge blocked the Trump Organization from transferring funds to DDT’s new business, Trump Organization II, established in Delaware to shield the assets from “ongoing fraudulent activity or deceptive activity.” In another order, the judge guaranteed the demand by appointing a monitor. DDT called on his supporters to protest in possibly more violence.

DDT filed his second lawsuit against Letitia James for bias and “great harm” against him although his own lawyers strongly opposed filing the suit, calling it frivolous. Filed in Florida, DDT’s case searches for friendlier judges and accuses James of trespassing on DDT’s right to privacy in Florida. DDT’s complaint in a federal court in New York was already dismissed.

DDT, his two older sons, and his company face a 2018 class action lawsuit for an alleged scam with multi-level marketing company ACN that paid them $8.8 million. The case accuses the Trumps of racketeering, unfair competition, deceptive trade practices, negligent misrepresentation, and dissemination of untrue and misleading business statements.

Other DDT lawsuits and investigations: two DOJ probes regarding his handling of White House documents and efforts to overturn the 2020 election; a Fulton County (GA) probe into DDT’s attempts to overturn that state’s election; E. Jean Carroll’s defamation case based on her accusation of DDT’s raping her; and multiple lawsuits from lawmakers and police offers seeking to hold him liable for the January 6 attack.

The Washington Post, Politico, and other news outlets accessed eight emails from John Eastman, DDT’s former lawyer who orchestrated the overturn strategy of the 2020 election, because public court documents led to an active link to the Dropbox file where they were stored. The emails revealed the scheme persuading SCOTUS Justice Clarence Thomas to block the 2020 presidential election results by making the public think the results were illegitimate. Although Thomas’ wife was part of overturning the election, Thomas’ involvement is unknown.

The DOJ offered immunity to Kash Patel, DDT’s ally and one-time staffer for Truth Social CEO Devin Nunes, to testify before a grand jury about DDT’s handling of the 11,000 documents seized from Mar-a-Lago last August. A DDT loyalist, Patel won’t intentionally incriminate him at this time, but this agreement requires him to testify under oath about DDT’s claim he “declassified” documents. Patel declared DDT said they were declassified instead of following the legal procedure. In court filings, DDT’s lawyers refused to assert that DDT definitely declassified the documents. In Patel’s October appearance before the grand jury, he used the Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination but can no longer do this if he wants immunity. According to John Bolton, DDT’s national security adviser until DDT fired him in September 2019, said, “There was never a standing order to declassify things.”

A top-notch national security prosecutor, David Raskin, joined the DOJ investigation of classified documents seized from Mar-a-Lago. Raskin already won a guilty plea in the case of a former FBI analyst taking over 300 classified materials to her home, including documents about al-Qaeda and Osama bin Laden’s associate. The DOJ may also unseal DDT’s grand jury filing, deciding by November 15.

DDT shifted $20 million from his Save America leadership PAC to a new DDT-aligned super PAC called Make America Great Again and another pro-DDT super PAC tossed $8.9 million into the MAGA PAC. A former veteran campaign finance lawyer surmised that DDT is avoiding laws preventing him from spending his personal stash on a 2024 presidential run. DDT has to make any transfers before declaring himself a candidate, and the scheme may still be illegal in the end.

After maintaining silence for a few days after the vicious attack on Paul Pelosi, the House Speaker’s husband, DDT smeared him, possibly to divert the media from his own problems. DDT doesn’t even have to make up his own lies; he just uses the ones from the millions of QAnon conspiracy theorists. His details are disproved by the video from the Capitol Police’s security cameras, but that hasn’t stopped him or the other liars.

SCOTUS Chief Justice John Roberts gave DDT one temporary victory, a temporary stay for providing DDT’s IRS returns to a House committee until the Supreme Court had made a ruling. DDT has stalled since 2019, and the Washington D.C. Circuit Court had ordered him to turn them over.

October 22, 2022

DDT’s Troubles Multiply

The House January 6 investigative committee has issued a formal subpoena for testimony and documents from Deposed Donald Trump (DDT): November 4 is the deadline for materials related to DDT’s efforts to overturn the election, and November 14 is the closing date for his testimony. Part of the 10-page statement from Chair Bennie Thompson (D-MS) and vice chair Liz Cheney (R-WY):

“As demonstrated in our hearings, we have assembled overwhelming evidence, including from dozens of your former appointees and staff, that you personally orchestrated and oversaw a multipart effort to overturn the 2020 presidential election and to obstruct the peaceful transition of power.”

Steve Bannon’s four-month prison sentence for refusing a subpoena, the first conviction for contempt of Congress, is an example if DDT doesn’t show up. Bannon is upset about even a light sentence from a DDT-appointed judge for his crime and called it “radically partisan.” Supposedly DDT told advisers he’d be willing to testify live before the committee, but they don’t expect him to follow through.

DDT can delay the subpoenas through the courts as he usually does, “testify” by using the Fifth Amendment not to answer which incriminates him, refuse the subpoena in contempt of court making him look like a coward, or answer questions—which has a one percent of doing. Any one of the four leaves him open to criminal proceedings.

Nineteen categories of document requests including communications with Roger Stone, former Secret Service agent Anthony Ornato, attorneys John Eastman and Sidney Powell, Rep. Scott Perry (R-PA), and over a dozen other officials, associates, and members of extremist groups such as the Proud Boys and the Oath Keepers. The committee also wants the “information sufficient to identify every telephone or other communications device” DDT used from November 3, 2020, to January 20, 2021 and specifies communications conducted on Signal—an encrypted phone messaging application—on any personal devices, or any communications conducted by any other means.

Some of DDT’s alleged actions in the committee’s three-page letter to him:

“Purposely and maliciously disseminating false allegations of fraud,” “attempting to corrupt the Department of Justice,” “illegally pressuring state officials and legislators,” “orchestrating and overseeing” the fake-electors scheme,” “corruptly pressuring your own Vice President,” “pressuring Members of Congress to object to valid slates of electors from several states,” “filing false information, under oath, in federal court,” and summoning and deploying his followers “knowing they were angry and some were armed.”

“In short, you were at the center of the first and only effort by any U.S. President to overturn an election and obstruct the peaceful transition of power, ultimately culminating in a bloody attack on our own Capitol and on the Congress itself.”

Requesting a president to testify before Congress is not unprecedented. After they left office, John Quincy Adams, John Tyler, Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, Herbert Hoover, Harry Truman, and Gerald Ford testified. President Richard Nixon provided evidence in response to congressional subpoenas, and sitting presidents Abraham Clinton and Bill Clinton testified. President Roosevelt explained:

“An ex-President is merely a citizen of the United States, like any other citizen, and it is his plain duty to try to help this committee or respond to its invitation.”

The public now knows that some of the highly sensitive documents seized left lying around at Mar-a-Lago included intelligence about Iran and China, one about Iran’s missile program, that could expose methods of gathering information necessary to keep hidden. Leaks could cause retaliation against the U.S. Some of the documents are so sensitive that FBI personnel and DOJ attorneys “required additional clearances before they were permitted to review certain documents.” Classified documents are still missing, according to the National Archives. Maybe at his Bedminster golf resort?  

Fox network compared these materials to “mementos” and compared them to “overdue library books.” DDT has returned to the National Archives and the FBI of trying to frame him by planting the documents.

No criminal referral to the DOJ has been issued—yet. But the DOJ doesn’t have to have a recommendation from Congress to indict DDT.

DDT is also squabbling with his own “special master,” Raymond Dearie, about whether a few records are “personal” and “privileged.” In a phone call with both sides, Dearie said he didn’t understand how DDT could claim records are in both categories. DDT claims that documents, including immigration policies, are his personal property, but the DOJ disagrees. The agency asserts that all documentary materials created or received by a president, his staff, or his office in the course of official activities are government property and thus should go to the National Archives. Dearie said that DDT’s legal team hadn’t provided substance to explain his claims. DOJ said that a former president cannot use executive privilege to keep executive branch materials from executive branch criminal investigators. DDT hadn’t designated documents as personal while in the White House.

After reviewing hundreds of attorney John Eastman’s emails, which he claimed were “privileged,” U.S. District Court Judge David Carter determined the committee may have some of them because they were “sufficiently related to and in furtherance of a conspiracy to defraud the United States.” One email informed DDT that some of his allegations and voter fraud “evidence” in the Georgia election lawsuit were wrong. Last March, Carter had ruled that DDT and Eastman “launched a campaign to overturn a democratic election, an action unprecedented in American history.”

DDT knew there was no stolen election, no huge voter fraud. Yet he has lied for two years and fed the same lies to his chosen candidates. Much to the frustration of GOP leadership, he warns Republicans against early and mail-in voting, telling them to wait until Election Day to cast their ballots. According to Carter, Eastman cannot keep confidential communication private because they were part of an attempt to commit a crime or fraud. Carter concluded the communications were to further illegal conduct.

One of the emails from former White House lawyer Eric Herschmann responded to a comment about his edits in Eastman’s emails:

“I will review now. I didn’t send John edits, I explained that I was concerned about the President signing a verification about facts that may not be sustainable upon detailed scrutiny.” 

The newly-revealed emails confirm that DDT signed a court statement under oath, verifying his lies about voter fraud. The bogus “evidence” was used to push the insurrection, incite violence used in attempts to overturn the election, and elect DDT’s chosen candidates in the primary. Other documents prove that DDT’s lawsuits in swing states were only to delay the Electoral College results certification, not for legal relief.

DDT has used his Truth Social to lambast the judiciary. He called Carter a “partisan hack” and judges in John Durham’s inability to find DDT’s supposed truth “biased.” To Republicans, all their failures are a fraud. After DDT quietly sat for a deposition in the E. Jean Carroll defamation trial, he reposted pieces from Rumble to smear her and repeated the insults about her that led to the defamation lawsuit, leading to more proof for Carroll’s claims.

Considering Tony Ornato a “person of interest,”the House committee plans to interview the former Secret Service official and then White House Deputy Chief of Staff, despite his resignation from the government.  resigned after stalling on a second interview. The concerns were whether Secret Service agents refused to drive DDT to the Capitol on January 6 and the accusation that DDT’s supporters were armed at the rally. Documents support these claims that the Secret Service denied in more lies to federal investigators.

In a newly released audio from by journalist Bob Woodward, DDT claims better rapport with world leaders who are “tougher and meaner.” He talked about liking Russian President Vladimir Putin and gets along well with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan although he commented that people say he’s a “horrible guy.”

For almost two hours, DDT rehashed his whining lies Saturday during a rally at the fairgrounds in Robstown (TX), including the “stolen election” and plans to sue the Pulitzer Prize board because of its 2018 awards for reporting the Russian interference. He’s having trouble finding venues for his rants: GOP operatives fear he’s alienating some voters, and the numbers at his rallies have been shrinking.

AG Letitia James finally served DDT for a $250 million lawsuit in New York state after he avoided process servers for three weeks. She finally got a court order permitting her to send them electronically. Oral arguments are set for October 31 to determine if the Trump Organization immediately needs an independent financial monitor that he appoints and oversees. DDT is also trying to shelter his assets by forming a new business, Trump Organization II, and possibly move it out of state. His lawyer Alina Habba has failed in moving the case to Manhattan’s Commercial Division. 

An early employee of Trump Media & Technology Group’s (TMTG) Will Wilkerson stated that DDT, who already had 90 percent of shares in the parent company for Truth Social, pressured executives to give their shares to his wife, Melania Trump, despite their losses in taxes. He fired one of them who refused. Both DDT’s sons, Donald Jr. and Eric, book equity from TMTG employees. CEO Devin Nunes, formerly DDT’s congressional leaker with no technological experience, also caused employees to quit because he berated them and brought in loyalists.

 The editorial board of Rupert Murdoch’s very conservative Wall Street Journal wrote that DDT should be held to account for his attack on democracy. A conservative voter posted her comment about the GOP: “Where is the honor? Where is the integrity?”

October 13, 2022

Dark Clouds for DDT

October 13 gave Deposed Donald Trump (DDT) at least three huge blows.

In one sentence with no dissent, DDT’s handpicked Supreme Court denied DDT’s pet judge Aileen Cannon’s order permitting special master to review classified documents that FBI seized at Mar-a-Lago using a warrant. 

New York AG Letitia James asked a state court to freeze Trump Organization assets to keep them from being transferred outside of the state.  

The House January 6 investigative committee culminated its hearing, the last if the GOP takes the house, with a unanimous vote to subpoena DDT for testimony and documents from his administration. The subpoena expires at the end of 2022.

All nine committee members made presentations during the 153-minute hearing, some of it recaps. New video provided videos of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (R-CA) desperately calling high-level officials for help when DDT rejected her pleas to call off his violent supporters. The hearing also replayed congressional speeches by then-Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) explaining that DDT was responsible for the January 6 insurrection.

Other testimony added pieces of the puzzle:

The Secret Service knew DDT-supporters’ threats and plots of violence much earlier than they had previously admitted but provided no warning or cautionary strategy for protecting congressional members and the vice-president from the armed protesters.

Months before DDT’s losing election, video and social media posts from DDT’s allies such as Roger Stone and Steve Bannon prove they instructed DDT to proclaim he won the election if he loses because “possession is nine-tenths of the law.” They also knew about DDT’s plans to have his supporters storm the U.S. capitol.

Knowing he lost the election, DDT signed a flurry of military orders, requiring “the immediate withdrawal of troops from Somalia and Afghanistan.”  

Evidence shows that DDT knew Joe Biden won the presidency despite his public lies and DDT approved of the insurrection.

The committee will recall witnesses who already testified under oath to see if they lied about DDT’s actions on January 6.

More on DDT’s problems:

As DDT’s rallies shrink in size, they increase in hatred, anti-science, and bigotry. The Mesa (AZ) event last weekend was in a dirt field; DDT still owes the city almost $65,000 for a previous event as well as outstanding debts to Phoenix and Tucson.  

From the Nevada and Arizona rallies:  

  • Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) said that all Blacks commit crimes and that only God changes the climate. Rep. Don Bacon (R-NE) defended Tuberville’s bigotry.
  • Jim Marchant, DDT’s endorsement for Nevada’s secretary of state, said that he’ll put DDT back into the White House and “take our country back” when we “get all our Secretaries of State elected.”
  • State GOP chair Michael McDonald claimed the “fake electors” were just standing up “for the rights of Nevadans.”
  • DDT demanded that Ukrainians immediately stop trying to destroy the Russian army invading their country.
  • And of course, “Lock her up!”

DDT’s legal fees are rapidly mounting, but they’re being picked up by donors through his Save America PAC and the RNC while he fails to fund GOP candidates as he promised. His incessant appeals is contributing to burnout with small donors, but the organizations are funneling large sums of money to DDT’s businesses and nonprofits created by former White House, including DDT’s chief of staff Mark Meadows.

New revelations:

DDT’s former lawyer Christina Bobb told the DOJ that another lawyer, Evan Corcoran, told her to sign the supposedly complete list of documents although she didn’t do the search. She signed the statement as a custodian rather than a lawyer which means she may not be subject to attorney-client privilege protections.  

DDT threatened to expose identities of confidential government sources from his first impeachment and still obsesses about this revenge fantasy, according to a Rolling Stone report by Asawin Suebsaeng and Adam Rawnsley. After the insurrection, he waved papers and complained about redactions, saying that people should see who “did it” to the president, and he continues to talk about getting “the names” into the public record.

When chances of overturning the election reduced, DDT and Meadows pushed the DOJ to declassify the binder with records of the FBI’s 2016 Russian investigation. Recently, DDT wanted to tell the Archives he would trade “his” documents for information on the Russian investigation, but his aides didn’t follow through. Blackmail is always the name of the game for DDT.  

A DDT aide told the FBI that DDT directed his moving White House records from storage to his apartment, a statement supported by surveillance tapes. Since his campaign in 2016, DDT has repeatedly demanded lengthy prison sentences for people who he believed mishandled classified materials, starting with Hillary Clinton, and promised “to enforce all laws concerning the protection of classified information.” He added, “No one will be above the law.”

At his Arizona rally, DDT said he had “a small number of boxes,” but they were his. Legal experts have said that he is admitting a crime. Documents dated after DDT left the White House may be mixed in with the other ones, indicating that DDT has handled the documents after he left office.

Without naming DDT, the National Archives refuted his claims that past presidents had mishandled White House records with the help of the agency. At his Nevada and Arizona rallies, DDT made these claims about former presidents of both parties from Reagan to Obama. He even invented the lie that George H.W. Bush’s records were stored in a combination Chinese restaurant and bowling alley “with no security and a broken door.” The Archives declared temporary storage always “met strict archival and security standards and have been managed and staffed exclusively by NARA employees.” Any insinuations that records were stored in substandard conditions “are false and misleading.” DDT also accused President Clinton of losing nuclear codes.

Assigned by AG Bill Barr, special counsel John Durham’s almost four-year investigation into Robert Mueller’s investigation, which DDT promised to be a bombshell, dribbles to an end with the trial of Igor Danchenko. Durham claims that the researcher fed information to former British spy Christopher Steele with allegations about DDT’s ties to Russia in 2016. The judge appeared skeptical about the charge. 

DDT’s wealthy investor friend Tom Barrack is on trial for his lobbying between DDT and the United Arab Emirates for DDT’s profit. Barrack also worked with Paul Manafort, who pled guilty to fraud and conspiracy, and met DDT through their association with sexual predator Jeffrey Epstein. Influencer of Middle Eastern countries, including Saudi Arabia, made Barracl a foreign agent, but he failed to register for this role as required by U.S. law.

DDT’s defamation suit against CNN accuses them of comparing him to the Nazis and Hitler as well as the “malice” of using the term “Big Lie” for his massive lying about a stolen election. As a public figure, he may have trouble proving his case against the media, especially with the precedent from a DDT-appointed judge who ruled that Fox network’s Tucker Carlson didn’t engage in slander because of the opinionated nature of his show.

In another defamation suit by E. Jean Carroll, DDT will be deposed on October 19. She claimed he raped her, and DDT denied it, calling her “a liar” and “not my type.” He said this libel and slander was part of his presidential duties. Two judges on a 2nd Circuit panel said Carroll couldn’t sue DDT for defamation but asked the D.C. Circuit Court to rule on whether DDT acted “outside the scope” of his position when he defamed Carroll by casting doubt on her credibility and demeaning her personal appearance. Carroll will bring a civil suits against DDT for a sexual assault because a recent New York law changes the statute of limitations.

A federal judge denied DDT’s motion to pause Carroll’s defamation suit. He also ruled that DDT couldn’t show a meaningful threat of irreparable injury if a stay is not put in place but that Carroll would suffer irreparable injury with a stay. Twenty months ago, the judge denied DDT’s request that the United States be substituted for DDT in the lawsuit.

The special master assigned to the Mar-a-Lago case about DDT’s stolen documents gave DDT until October 20 to prove why the seized unclassified materials are covered by executive privilege. The reason has to go beyond “I thought so.” 

One of DDT’s ongoing associates while he was in the White House is Chinese businessman Tao Liu, a fugitive from China and mastermind of a conspiracy defrauding thousands of investors with connections to Chinese and Latin American organized crime. His crimes cover the world.  The FBI monitored Liu because he allegedly worked with Chinese spies to buy access to U.S. political figures. The Secret Service didn’t screen Liu at Bedminster where he wandered in and out, and the government kept their encounters secret. In 2021, Liu was sentenced to seven years in prison after pleading guilty in a federal pled guilty in a federal conspiracy to bribe a U.S. official in a passport sting and money laundering.

This list of DDT’s legal problems is two months old but gives an excellent summary up to August 21, 2022.  

In an Atlantic article, Franklin Foer explains why Merrick Garland will likely indict DDT.

Remember! DDT said, “Nobody is above the law.”

 

September 22, 2022

News – September 21, 2022 (DDT Faces More Trouble)

 Aileen Cannon, a judge appointed by Dictator Donald Trump (DDT), had ruled against the DOJ’s immediately using seized classified documents from Mar-a-Lago on August 8 for an investigation. In one week, however, DOJ appealed; DDT again won Cannon’s approval; DOJ appealed to the 11th Circuit Court for the materials; and a three-judge panel granted a stay on Cannon’s orders in a ruling siding with the DOJ. It may be the fastest judicial action in history. In the temporary victory for national security, the panel said that Cannon “abused” her discretion in requiring outside review of seized classified documents. In a 29-page opinion, the panel wrote:

“For our part, we cannot discern why [Trump] would have an individual interest in or need for any of the one-hundred documents with classification markings.”

The panel, composed of one judge appointed by President Obama and two appointed by DDT, also unanimously refused to accept the claim from DDT’s legal team that he might have declassified the documents, as did the special master Raymond Dearie, DDT’s choice for special master that Cannon appointed.

“Plaintiff suggests that he may have declassified these documents when he was President. But the record contains no evidence that any of these records were declassified. And before the special master, Plaintiff resisted providing any evidence that he had declassified any of these documents. In any event, at least for these purposes, the declassification argument is a red herring because declassifying an official document would not change its content or render it personal.”

DDT has consistently claimed the documents were not classified because he said they were declassified. On the Fox network, he went farther when he told Sean Hannity by falsely saying that there was no declassification process and he could wordlessly declassify documents:

“You can declassify just by saying “it’s declassified,” even by thinking about it.”

The 11th Circuit Court ruling simplifies Dearie’s work by removing classified documents from his purview; he had said he wanted to avoid reviewing them if possible. The question is whether DDT’s team will appeal the 11th Circuit Court decision.  

Hours before the bad news for DDT from the 11th Circuit, New York Attorney General Letitia James announced she has filed a civil lawsuit against DDT, three of his adult children, and the Trump Organization for $250 million in financial penalties to cover over a decade of fraud when they falsely inflated and deflated their assets to pay lower taxes while getting better insurance coverage. She also asked for a judgment barring DDT and his children in the suit from serving as officer or director of any state-licensed or registered corporation, real estate acquisition in New York, and applications for loans from any financial institution in the state for five years.

The lawsuit comes from a three-year civil investigation with 65 witnesses and reviews of millions of documents. The defendants allegedly conspired to violate state laws, falsifying business records, issuing false financial statements, and committing insurance fraud. Possible federal crimes, including bank fraud have been referred to federal prosecutors and the IRS. DDT supposedly turned the Trump Organization over to his two adult sons in 2017 and serve as executive vice presidents.

Former AG Bill Barr criticized James for trying “to drag the children into this,” referring to adults ages 38 to 44. Yet all three participated in “the fraudulent valuation methods and assumptions.” As usual, DDT claimed that the lawsuit is political by a “failed A.G.” James said:

“There aren’t two sets of laws for people in this nation: former presidents must be held to the same standards as everyday Americans.”

DDT’s fraud related to 23 assets inflated every year between 2011 and 2021, totaling over “200 false and misleading valuations” between 2011 and 2021 is the building at 40 Wall Street owned by the Trump Organization which was valued at $200 million on a tax filing in 2010 that was valued at $524 the following year. In 2015, DDT’s triplex in Trump Tower, 10,996 square feet was three times that size and valued at $327 million. At that time, only one apartment in New York City, housed in a newly built ultra-tall tower, had sold for as much as $100 million. In DDT’s building, the most expensive apartment had sold for $16.5 million. Rental units worth $750,000 were valued at nearly $50 million. DDT claimed his Mar-a-Lago home was worth $739 million, but it was worth one-tenth of that estimate. 

Last month, DDT was deposed for the lawsuit, but he claimed the Fifth Amendment against self-incrimination for all questions except his name. Jurors can consider declaration of the Fifth as negative in civil suits. The Trump Organization also tried to settle last month, but James rejected the offer.

The civil lawsuit could have horrendous results for DDT and his children. New York Times reporter Susan Craig said DDT might have to renegotiate crucial loans because of liquidity problems. If liens are called, loans will be extremely hard to get, and values for them will be much lower than DDT had declared. It would be “financial ruin for the company” as well as be disastrous for a 2024 campaign.  

James’ civil lawsuit is separate from the Manhattan criminal case, but they work together on the inquiry. DA Alvin Bragg criminally charged Trump Organization and its longtime CFO Allen Weisselberg for a scheme to not pay taxes on noncash perks. He will have to testify against the business as part of his guilty plea. Weisselberg also described instructions to inflate assets on financial statements. Earlier in 2019, Michael Cohen, DDT’s former lawyer and fixer, habitually inflated and deflated DDT’s assets for financial gain.

Donors who think they are paying for “election integrity” by giving to DDT’s Save America PAC are not only providing DDT’s legal fees but also paying for Melania Trump’s fashion designer. The PAC also gave $650,000 to the Smithsonian Institution for portraits of DDT and former first lady Melania Trump. Two artists have reportedly been commissioned for the two portraits. No spending on any “election fraud” as the PAC advertised. The DOJ is investigating.

DDT faces another New York lawsuit since the state’s new sexual assault survivor’s law went into effect. E. Jean Carroll had accused DDT of raping her in a Manhattan department store in the 1990s, but the statute of limitations expired. Now adult accusers have a one-year window to bring civil claims over alleged sexual misconduct no matter how long ago it happened. Carroll’s defamation suit can also proceed. Her attorney Roberta Kaplan wrote that the case will be filed on November 24, 2022. While DDT was in the White House, AG Bill Barr’s DOJ had defended DDT in the defamation suit.

Justice Clarence Thomas may also be in trouble if his wife, Ginni Thomas, honestly testifies to the House January 6 investigative committee. She pushed former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows to overturn the election as shown by multiple texts between the election and the January 6 insurrection, and worked with DDT’s election attorney John Eastman for the same purpose. In addition, Ginni Thomas emailed 29 Arizona state lawmakers in late 2020, urging them to overturn the state’s popular vote victory for Joe Biden and put together “fake electors” for DDT. She also emailed two GOP Wisconsin lawmakers with the same intent. In March 2021, Thomas attending a meeting of right-wing activists where the audience was told that DDT remains the “legitimate president.” She has a long history of participating in far-right organizations, many of them with cases before the Supreme Court; her husband has always refused to recuse himself and voted in their favor.

 Lawyers representing asylum seekers allegedly “tricked” into flying from San Antonio (TX) to Martha’s Vineyard are seeking a nationwide injunction to block Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis from luring immigrants to travel across state lines. Taking funds from the $12 million federal COVID money assigned by state legislators to transport undocumented immigrants, DeSantis started with 50 asylum seekers, paying Oregon-based Vertol Systems Company over $1.5 million for “relocation of unauthorized aliens.” Florida paid the company $615,000 on September 8, following by $950,000 on September 19. The chartered planes landed in Massachusetts on September 15. DeSantis accused “opportunistic” activists of using illegal immigrants as “political theater.”

Two state legislators asked the DOJ to investigate the asylum seekers’ involuntary relocation from Texas. The letter explained migrants didn’t know where they were being flown and put on the plane under false pretenses.

A federal bankruptcy judge in Houston ordered new officials to supervise Alex Jones’s bankruptcy of his parent company and probably destroyed Jones’ plans to hide his assets from court orders to pay for court rulings in his all four lost defamation trials regarding the Sandy Hook massacre. The DOJ-appointed trustee monitoring the case has expanded duties. Jones is also under scrutiny for a potential role in the January 6 insurrection.

The House January 6 investigating committee has scheduled its first fall hearing for September 28, 2022, at 1:00 pm EST. Chair Bennie Thompson (D-MS) announced it might not be the last one but would probably be the only one before the November 8 Midterm elections.

August 23, 2022

DDT Keeps Monopolizing the News

More news about classified documents at Mar-a-Lago: John Solomon, conservative writer and a designated liaison to the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) appointed by Deposed Donald Trump (DDT), released a May 10 letter from NARA that the agency and federal investigators “had grown increasingly alarmed about potential damage to national security caused by the warehousing of these documents at Mar-a-Lago, as well as by Trump’s resistance to sharing them with the FBI.” NARA had discovered over 700 pages of classified material, including “special access program materials” which are some of the most highly classified secrets in government, in the 15 boxes recovered from Mar-a-Lago last January.

A major question is why “Team Trump” would release this damaging information that makes DDT look even worse by confirming the large haul of highly classified national security materials illegally taken to DDT’s club. Lawyers have made no mention of DDT’s having declassified the documents, as he claims. Politico’s Kyle Cheney tweeted:

“Trump has been on notice since at least May of the FBI’s efforts to access this material. So his motion to seek a special master following the execution of the search warrant is months—not just weeks— late.”

The letter from National Archivist Debra Wall to DDT’s attorney, Evan Corcoran, also stated that DDT had no executive privilege; only the current executive branch of the government and president can grant this way for DDT to escape. Solomon posted the letter on his website, hoping to cause trouble for Biden. 

A fictional excuse for DDT taking top secret classified documents home with him after permanently leaving the White House is that he gave an order to declassify all the documents. Sycophant Kash Patrel, acting chief of staff to Acting Secretary of Defense Chris Miller after DDT lost his 2020 election, has been pushing the myth, citing DDT’s tweet from October 6 2020:

“I have fully authorized the total Declassification of any & all documents pertaining to the single greatest political CRIME in American History, the Russia Hoax. Likewise, the Hillary Clinton Email Scandal. No redactions!”

White House chief of staff Mark Meadows rejected Patel’s claim in a sworn statement when a judge demanded clarification about the tweet. It was in direct opposition to the White House’s position to not classify the Russia records. Meadows conceded that the tweet was not an order to declassify or release any records. Meadows wrote:

“The president indicated to me that his statements on Twitter were not self-executing declassification orders, and do not require the declassification or release of any particular documents.”

Patel refused to give up on his false assertion and said that he witnessed DDT declassify “whole sets of documents” in December 2020 and January 2021 while he was “on his way out.” Previously, however, Patel said DDT “failed to generate the paperwork to change the classification markings.”

According to protocol, declassification doesn’t happen in secret. Former Obama administration Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson called such a concept “laughable” because “part and parcel of any act of declassification is communicating that act to all others who possess the same information.” In July 2020, the 2nd Circuit Court stated that “declassification, even by the President, must follow established procedures,” according to The New York Times. There is no evidence that DDT even tried to have a “standing order” to declassify everything taken to his home, as he claimed. John Bolton, DDT’s former national security adviser, called the statement “almost certainly a lie.”

DDT’s possession of classified documents opened an investigation to his violation of the Espionage Act, possible obstruction, and removing and destroying official documents.

Thanks to the lies spread from GOP legislative leaders among DDT’s base, The IRS is facing threats to its 600 facilities, comparable to those in 1995 after the Oklahoma City bombing of a federal building that killed 168 people and injured more than 500. The Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) isn’t spending its annual extra $8 million for the next decade to hire 87,000 new IRS agents, and it isn’t taxing people making under $400,000 a year. No matter. Lies are what the GOP campaigns thrive on, even if they kill people.

Fomenting the fear and hatred, House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy (D-CA) spread these lies from the House floor about the IRS on August 9:

“They have 80,000 employees. You know what the IRS also has? 4,600 guns. 5 million rounds of ammunition. Why? Democrats want to double its already massive size. With this new power, the IRS will snoop around in your bank account, your Venmo, your small business. Then the government will shake you down for every last cent. In light of [the FBI’s search of Trump’s residence], let me ask: Do you really trust this administration’s IRS to be fair, to not abuse their power?”

McCarthy wasn’t the only person to put these lies into the House record: he was followed by Andrew Clyde (R-GA). Sen. Rick Scott wrote an open letter last week to job seekers discouraging them from applying for IRS jobs. His ire was focused on a posting for an IRS criminal investigator to serve search warrants and make arrests with the insinuation that all the IRS’s new hires will “need to be ready to audit and investigate your fellow hardworking Americans, your neighbors and friends, you need to be ready and, to use the IRS’s words, willing, to kill them.” Fewer than 3,000 of the IRS’ 78,000 employees work in criminal investigations and carry firearms.

Far-right extremist Proud Boys, supported by many Republicans, posted that the new IRS hires had to be “willing to use deadly force.” Other online memes from the white supremacist supporters compared IRS employees to Nazi SS officers and called for a “tea party” to tar and feather tax collectors. Twitter has permanently banned Luis Miguel, a GOP House candidate for Florida’s state legislature primary, for his tweet, “Under my plan, all Floridians will be able to shoot FBI, IRS, ATF, and all other federal troops ON SIGHT. Let freedom ring.” Facebook and Instagram allowed him to continue posting after that statement was removed. Miguel lost the primary to the GOP incumbent, Bobby Payne.

Last week, a three-judge panel from the D.C. Circuit Court ruled that former AG Bill Barr failed to be honest about having a deliberate process after the release of the Mueller report into Russian interference on the part of DDT’s 2016 presidential election. The DOJ must now make public the internal memo prepared by senior lawyers in 2019 about whether ties between DDT’s campaign and Russia consisted of crimes usually charged by prosecutors. A judge said that Barr’s DOJ claim that the memo was part of his decision about prosecuting DDT is inaccurate and that the memo was more like a “thought experiment.” Barr decided DDT would not be charged with a crime before the memo was written.

A federal judge ruled that Arkansas violated the Voting Rights Act with a six-voter limit for those who help people cast ballots in person. He wrote that Congress gave voter their choice of whom they wanted to assist them at the polls other than their employer or union representative.

Justice has finally been served in the planned kidnapping of a public official, namely Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. A jury found two men, part of the far-right anti-government Wolverine Watchmen, guilty of conspiring to kidnap Whitmer in 2020 after a hung jury earlier this year. They were also convicted of conspiring to obtain a weapon of mass destruction in a plan to blow up a bridge as part of the kidnapping. 

 The men also went on “reconnaissance missions” to Whitmer’s vacation home, where they planned to carry out the kidnapping, and collected high-powered guns. Angry about Whitmer’s orders to stop COVID, they were also part of the hundreds of armed men who entered the state Capitol building. Two other men pled guilty and testified for the prosecution, and another two were acquitted in the trial deadlocked on the convicted men.

For years, Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg had pled the Fifth Amendment, invoking his right against self-incrimination. No longer. Now that he has taken a plea deal, he can’t avoid answering questions about DDT’s business dealings. If he tries to back out of the deal, the 75-year-old man faces a 15-year prison term. He can provide valuable information about DDT’s business and person misconduct without cooperating in a criminal probe against DDT.

Rasmussen has long been known as having a conservative bent, but new discoveries about their polling, lowering the average using several polls, show that anti-Biden authors are paying Rasmussen for surveys about Biden as advertising for their books. The company has a history of this problem: President Obama typically received approval numbers about five points lower on Rasmussen than other polls. Part of the problem may be their phrasing of statements to sway the answers for negative responses to Democrats and their actions. For example, August used this one last August:

“It’s always better to cut taxes than to increase government spending because taxpayers, not bureaucrats, are the best judges of how to spend their money.”

Daily Kos blogger Steve Singiser sarcastically asked why Rasmussen didn’t add “how tax cuts regrow hair, whiten teeth, and ensure that your favorite team will win the Super Bowl this year.”

[Note: Something has happened at Rasmussen recently. It’s latest poll for Biden averaging several sources was 47 percent, six points over the average of 42 percent of likely and/or registered voters. 

And tomorrow–primary results from Florida, New York, and New York. 

Media Focuses on DDT—His Election Fraud, Stolen Documents

The incompetent legal team for Deposed Donald Trump (DDT) has asked a federal judge to stop the FBI review of documents taken with a legal search warrant from Mar-a-Lago until an appointed neutral special master inspects the materials. The federal lawsuit also attacks the search which DDT’s lawyers call a “shockingly aggressive move, overly broad, and maintains that deserves a more detailed description of the seized records. According to the filing, the seizure showed “no understanding of the distress that it would cause most Americans,” indicating a possible threat. It added that the FBI and DOJ treated DDT “unfairly” and “illegally seized.” Again, DDT, who was hiding classified documents, is described as “fully cooperative” although he didn’t respond to a subpoena for them.

The DDT-appointed federal magistrate judge in Florida authorizing the search warrant at Mar-a-Lago stated he “carefully reviewed” the FBI’s sworn evidence before signing off and considers the facts contained in an accompanying affidavit to be “reliable.” Bruce Reinhart included this information in the order unsealing redacted portions of the affidavit giving evidence for the search. He also noted that “neither Former President Trump nor anyone else purporting to be the owner of the Premises has filed a pleading taking a position” on efforts to unseal the affidavit.

The judge said the necessary redactions may make the document “meaningless” to the public. He also suggested the physical description of Mar-a-Lago could hinder the Secret Service’s ability to protect DDT because of access by “private members” to the premises and made suggestions for DOJ’s redactions to address that concern. Other judicial recommendations included protecting witness identities, actual information in the files, and methods of the ongoing investigation. Reinhart refused the request from media and conservative advocacy group Judicial Watch to unseal the entire affidavit because complete disclosure “would detrimentally affect this investigation and future investigations.”

A new report from the New York Times has specific information about documents seized from Mar-a-Lago and the process. The first 150+ documents marked as classified were retrieved last January by the National Archives. The 15 boxes included material from the CIA, the National Security Agency, and the FBI covering a number of topics of national security interest. According to several people, DDT had gone through the boxes himself in late 2021 before giving them to the FBI.  

Worried about the highly sensitive nature of the material in the earlier seized boxes, archives officials referred the matter to DOJ which had convened a grand jury investigation. In May, the DOJ issued a subpoena for the missing documents, and in early June, DOJ officials made another visit to Mar-a-Lago. DDT’s lawyer Evan Corcoran went through the boxes to retrieve classified documents for the DOJ and gave them a few dozen documents. He drafted a statement which another DDT lawyer, Christina Bobb, signed. She is supposedly the custodian of the documents, and the statement declared that, to the best of her knowledge, all classified material at Mar-a-Lago had been returned. Corcoran also showed Jay Bratt, the chief of the DOJ counterespionage section of the national security division, the basement storage room and said the remaining material had been kept there.

The question is who is lying with the statement, DDT for hiding documents from his lawyers or Bobb for signing a false statement.

On June 22, the DOJ sent a subpoena to the Trump Organization for Mar-a-Lago’s security footage, including the hallway outside the storage area which is well-trafficked. It revealed people moving boxes in and out of the storage, sometimes changing containers for the documents. The DOJ is now seeking surveillance footage between the first subpoena and August 8, the date of the search. Mar-a-Lago has little control over who comes into the club, even finding a spy who stole electronic items.

Armed with a search warrant two weeks ago, FBI agents removed 26 more boxes of material with over 11 sets of material marked at different levels of classified, including the highest level of classification—top secret/sensitive compartmented information—a total of over 150 records. They were located in the basement storage and in a closet within DDT’s office.

DDT’s allies continue to insist that he had a “standing order” to declassify the material and tried to excuse his taking the boxes because the General Services Administration, not DDT’s staff, packed the boxes with the documents. No documentation has been found to indicate DDT declassified any of the documents, and the alleged crimes identified by the DOJ isn’t connected to the documents’ classification status. White House aides described the chaos in trying to pack up the White House as some records were tossed into burn bags. One source blamed former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows for the documents at Mar-a-Lago.

National Archives officials worked to get the material returned throughout much of 2021 because all presidential records material remains government property to be provided to the archives at the end of his term. Some of the missing documents were common knowledge such as DDT’s original letters from North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un and the note that President Barack Obama left DDT before he left office. Former White House officials who DDT designated as his representatives to the archives tried to regain the documents for the archives, but DDT described the boxes of documents as “mine.”

Some members of the “Gang of Eight,” House and Senate leaders and leaders of intelligence committees from both parties, want access to documents seized from Mar-a-Lago. Other lawmakers want complete copies of the affidavit also, but the magistrate judge must sign any releases. Not all the “gang” supports the request. 

To overturn Joe Biden’s presidential win, DDT-related attorneys obtained sensitive election system files that they shared with election deniers, conspiracy theorists and right-wing commentators. The lawyers hired a Georgia computer forensics firm to place the files on a server where they were downloaded dozens of times to 10 accounts “associated with a Texas meteorologist who has appeared on Sean Hannity’s radio show; a podcaster who suggested political enemies should be executed; a former pro surfer who pushed disproven theories that the 2020 election was manipulated; and a self-described former “seduction and pickup coach” who claims to also have been a hacker,” according to a Washington Post report.

Records obtained through a subpoena include contracts between Atlanta-based SullivanStrickler and DDT-connected attorneys, notably Sidney Powell. Data came from Coffee County (GA) and Antrim County (MI). One of the plaintiffs in a Georgia lawsuit said the recklessly handled files “go far beyond” these two counties.

Previously, Misty Hampton, a Coffee County elections supervisor in 2020, permitted a group into the offices to prove the “election was not done true and correct,” she said. Hampton resigned under pressure last year because she falsified time sheets. Coffee County files were downloaded to at least four people outside the company: Jim Penrose, a cybersecurity consultant who claimed to have worked for the National Security Agency; Doug Logan, operator of the now defunct CyberNinjas that performed the Arizona GOP election review; Conan Hayes, former Hawaii pro surfer; and “Scott T,” claiming to work with Hayes at Allied Security Operations Group that produced a discredited report on Antrim County used by DDT as proof of a stolen election.  

Hayes’ Twitter account has posted conspiracy theory material and images smearing Dominion voting systems in Michigan. He also allegedly worked with Mesa County (CO) officials to copy elections software in May 2021. One of three arrested was Tina Peters who lost a run for secretary of state but claims that the election was rigged.

SullivanStrickler’s work began in Michigan after Matthew DePerno, now the DDT-endorsed GOP candidate for the state attorney general, won a court order in December 2020 to have access to Antrim County’s election systems. The next week, SullivanStrickler employees uploaded dozens of files that were shared with attorneys representing Antrim and Michigan’s attorney general in a lawsuit opposing the county election results for DDT. Later the Antrim files were made available to a larger pool of accounts for people who made false claims about the election and promoted conspiracy theories about election fraud. Data security expert Harri Hursti said that widespread release of server images “lowers the barrier to planning an attack against any election management system running this Dominion software.”

The right wing had hoped to campaign on how horrible the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) is, but news about it is barely a blip on the screen with DDT, as usual, sucking up all the time through his possible corruption and attacks to avoid backlash. One theory is that the culture war and DDT are feeding conservative activism so that the GOP can’t weaponize the IRA. The GOP sweep in 2010 came from the GOP attacking Democrats over the Affordable Care Act, but the health care is now popular. Attacking the investment of money in clean energy isn’t a good talking point.

Republicans also set their hopes on campaigning with complaints about the Democrats’ economy, but a new NBC poll gives threats to democracy at the top concern from 21 percent of registered voters. “Cost of living” was five points lower at 16 percent, and third at 14 percent was “jobs and the economy.” In the poll, 57 percent believe investigations into alleged misconduct by Deposed Donald Trump (DDT) should continue. Republicans will need to look for more issues

August 18, 2022

News – August 18, 2022

Another day, and another news cycle largely fixated around Deposed Donald Trump.

In pleading guilty to a 15-year-long tax fraud, decades-long CFO for the Trump Organization, Allen Weisselberg, agreed to testify against DDT’s business but not DDT. Weisselberg admitted he failed to pay taxes on $1.7, concealing it from his accountant, and pled guilty to 15 felonies. He agreed to five months in the notorious Rikers Island jail followed by five years of probation instead of 15 years in prison as well as repaying $1.9 million in back taxes, interest, and penalties to New York state and New York City.

Consider all the “good men” who DDT promised he would select to surround him in government. Those charged, convicted, and sentenced to prison: former campaign chair Paul Manafort, former campaign vice chair Rick Gates, former personal lawyer Michael Cohen, former adviser and campaign aide Roger Stone, and former campaign adviser George Papadopoulos. DDT’s former National security adviser Michael Flynn was charged and convicted, his former chief strategist Steve Bannon was charged with wire fraud and money laundering before DDT pardoned him, and his former inaugural committee chair Tom Barrack was charged with illegally lobbying DDT on behalf of a foreign government. These are the criminals selected by a Republican “tough on crime” who represents the “law and order” GOP. When talking about the border wall in 2019, DDT said, “I care about crime.”

DDT’s sons aren’t bothered about crime. Trump Organization executives Donald Jr. and Eric Trump argued that it’s not a big deal because people dodge taxes all the time. The $1.76 million in taxes that Weisselberg didn’t pay to the government is “pennies on the dollar.” In another encouraging response, conservative Newsmax host Greg Kelly said that DDT could run from prison if he’s indicted. Former Donald Trump campaign attorney Joe diGenova pointed out that “Eugene Debs ran for president from a federal prison,” referring to the activist charged under the Espionage Act who competed with Warren Harding in 1920.

A federal magistrate judge appointed by DDT said he may unseal at least part of the probable cause affidavit used to obtain the search warrant for Mar-a-Lago and stated the it wouldn’t jeopardize the investigation into DDT’s alleged theft of government documents. The argument against the release also expressed concern for “the safety of the witnesses.” Conservatives have also threatened FBI agents, the judge, and his family members. DDT’s lawyer Christina Bobb was in court but said nothing.

DDT’s spokesman Taylor Budowich accused the DOJ of trying to “hide” the affidavit and said that DDT was “clear” that people “should be permitted to see the unredacted affidavit related to the raid and break-in of his home.” He criticized redacting any part of the document, possibly so that DDT could discover the informant(s). The judge asked for DOJ’s suggested redactions by August 25. DDT doesn’t realize that publicizing the affidavit may not help his cause.

In another disagreement, DDT’s aides want him to release the surveillance footage of the FBI search of Mar-a-Lago that he claims to have. They don’t know if DDT has seen the footage himself and may not know what is on it. Other people close to DDT are concerned about its footage because it could be a strong visual of the quantity of documents illegally taken from the White House. DDT is also angry about news reports that he cannot find experienced legal advice and disputed the story in Washington Post. He said he’s “very happy with” his “excellent and experienced” lawyers. As the article stated:

“The former president’s current legal team includes a Florida insurance lawyer who’s never had a federal case, a past general counsel for a parking-garage company and a former host at far-right One America News.”

The government may need to take some action on whether the documents are actually classified. Two months ago, Kash Patel, once an aide for former Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA), now the Truth Social CEO, declared he would retrieve documents from the National Archives and publish them on his website. DDT had told the National Archives it should give Patel and conservative journalist John Solomon, fired by the conservative Hill, access to nonpublic administration records. Chief of staff for the acting defense secretary during the last months of DDT’s term, Patel claimed that DDT had declassified a large collection of “Russiagate” documents but the White House counsel blocked his getting them and sent them to the National Archives.

A federal judge ruled that DDT’s media and technology company must turn over information about Nunes’ employment after the former representative filed a $75 million defamation lawsuit against Hearst Magazine Media Inc and journalist Ryan Lizza. The suit involves a 2018 Esquire magazine article stating that the Nunes dairy cow farm had moved from California to Iowa. A district court dismissed the lawsuit a year ago, but the 8th Circuit Court resurrected it with a ruling about the single publication rule based on a tweet by Lizza. Nunes has a history of filing—and losing—multiple lawsuits, stating his right to an “unimpaired reputation” as a “sacred right.”

A federal judge blocked partial enforcement of Florida’s “Stop WOKE Act,” pushed by Gov. Ron DeSantis, ruling that it suppresses free speech. He compared the state to the upside-down world in Netflix’s Stranger Things, picturing “a parallel dimension containing a distorted version of our world.”The law prevents teaching race-based school curriculum and mandatory diversity, equity, and inclusion training in private companies.

According to the DOJ, the Florida GOP intentionally targeted Black voters with their new voting restrictions last year. In March, a U.S. District judge blocked the restrictions on absentee ballot drop boxes, regulations for third party voter registration groups, and a ban on providing food and water to people standing in line to vote. The deeply conservative 11th Circuit Court overturned the block while considering an appeal. The DOJ agreed with the court’s findings that the state’s lawmakers passed the laws to harm Black voters after their turnout surged in 2020 and violated Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act, prohibiting racial discrimination in voting practices. The judge also said the risk of racial discrimination was so severe that the state needed to get approval from a federal court for the next decade to change its voting laws. That ruling was also blocked, pending appeal. Judicious about involvement in state voting laws, the DOJ has also filed challenges to laws in Arizona, Georgia, and Texas. 

Edging closer to Fox network conservatism with its new management, CNN has canceled the Brian Stelter show, Reliable Sources, which discusses the media. Stelter has led the show for nine of its 30 years. In a February episode, he expressed a concern about the influence of investor John Malone, a major financial stakeholder of the new Warner Discovery conglomerate. Author of Hoax: Donald Trump, Fox News and the Dangerous Distortion of Truth, Stelter has been targeted by conservative critics. Corporate leaders claim they want more reporting and less opinion on CNN.

The DOJ has subpoenaed the National Archives for all the documents that it provided to the House January 6 investigative committee for the grand jury. The subpoena lists “all materials, in whatever form,” including the more than 770 pages of documents that DDT unsuccessfully tried to claim executive privilege over.

Jared Kushner’s book, Breaking History, may have received the worst possible review from the New York Times. Some bits:

“He betrays little cognizance that he was in demand [in the White House] because, as a landslide of other reporting has demonstrated, he was in over his head, unable to curb his avarice, a cocky young real estate heir who happened to unwrap a lot of Big Macs beside his father-in-law, the erratic and misinformed and similarly mercenary leader of the free world. Jared was a soft touch.”

The book is “earnest and soulless” that “almost entirely ignores the chaos, the alienation of allies, the breaking of laws and norms, the flirtations with dictators, the comprehensive loss of America’s moral leadership, and so on, ad infinitum, to speak about his boyish tinkering (the ‘mechanic’) with issues he was interested in.” [The Secret Service moniker for him was “mechanic.”]

“You finish Breaking History wondering: Who is this book for? There’s not enough red meat for the MAGA crowd, and Kushner has never appealed to them anyway. Political wonks will be interested—maybe, to a limited degree—but this material is more thoroughly and reliably covered elsewhere. He’s a pair of dimples without a demographic.”

The NYT was alone in its criticism. The Guardian called it “dispiriting,” and Goodeads reviewers averaged it at 2.2 points out of 5. Most major publications, however, just chose to review the NYT review.

Outside politics, a new study from Oxford University of over one million patient files discovered that people recovered from COVID are at higher risk of “brain fog,” dementia, and psychosis for two years after the infection. Some symptoms such as anxiety and depression can level off, in line with other respiratory diseases after two months. People between 18 and 64 suffer from brain fog at a rate 16 percent higher than patients with other respiratory diseases, and the difference is greater for those over the age of 65. Even the mild Omicron variant poses similar long-term risks. Only those in the health system with a COVID diagnosis were included in the study, undercounting those with only mild symptoms. People might want to wear their masks.

And those are pieces from August 18, 2022.

August 13, 2022

DDT’s Difficulty with Generals, Search Warrant

With the danger of Deposed Donald Trump (DDT) running for the presidency in 2024, news about his past becomes far more important. An ongoing message from DDT is his love for generals, but appointing them didn’t bring the satisfaction he thought it would. Once, he complained to a former Marine Corps general, his chief of staff John Kelly, that he wanted “totally loyal” generals like World War II generals who served Adolf Hitler. This information is included in The Divider: Trump in the White House, 2017-2021 by journalists Peter Baker and Susan Glasser. Kelly responded:

“You do know that they tried to kill Hitler three times and almost pulled it off?”

DDTd couldn’t believe Kelly and insisted, “No, no, no, they were totally loyal to him.” The book’s authors describe DDT’s military leaders in conflict between resigning in protest and remaining in the administration to prevent more catastrophes. In another conversation with Kelly, DDT said he didn’t want any injured veterans to be part of his Independence Day parade, that “this doesn’t look good for me.” He kept disagreeing with Kelly who told him “those are the heroes.”

A week after the military police fired gas cannisters and used grenades at peaceful racial justice protesters in Lafayette Square, Gen. Mark A. Milley, chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, drafted a resignation letter. DDT’s action to clear the square for his photo op in front of a church caused Miley to do “deep soul-searching,” according to the draft of the letter. He added DDT was “doing great and irreparable harm” to the country and made “a concerted effort over time to politicize the United States military.” Miley felt he could no longer change that.

“You are using the military to create fear in the minds of the people—and we are trying to protect the American people. I cannot stand idly by and participate in that attack, verbally or otherwise, on the American people.”

Milley concluded by writing he “deeply” believed that Trump was ruining the international order and causing significant damage to the United States overseas and did not understand that millions of Americans had died in wars fighting fascism, Nazism, and extremism. He pointed out that DDT “subscribe[s] to many of the principles that we fought against.” Milley never sent the letter because he was persuaded to stay, but he later feared two “nightmare scenarios” from DDT’s clinging to power: the 1933 fire in the German parliament Hitler used to seize German control and a declaration of martial law “or a Presidential invocation of the Insurrection Act, with Trumpian Brown Shirts fomenting violence.” The insurrection on January 6, 2021 was DDT’s failed “Reichstag moment,” the parliament fire. Milley later said about the attack:

“They shook the very Republic to the core. Can you imagine what a group of people who are much more capable could have done?”

Baker and Glasser provided a detailed description of DDT’s relationship with his generals from their book in this article. In response to DDT’s desire to have “the biggest, grandest military ever for the Fourth of July” after watching the one in France for the Bastille Day celebrations, then Defense Secretary James Mattis said, “I’d rather swallow acid.” Authors explained that the difference between DDT and his generals were difference in values, their view of the U.S. Air Force general Paul Selva, the vice-chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said that parades in Portugal, where Selva grew up under a dictatorship, “were about showing the people who had the guns.” DDT was surprised that Selva didn’t like his idea.

DDT had avoided going into the military with “bone spurs” [visual] but loved being Commander-in-Chief. As generals continued to disagree with him, however, he called them “very untalented people” and he “did not rely on them” because they weren’t unquestioning loyal to him. DDT then frequently replaced them for no reason other than they weren’t his “loyalists.” He openly said, “I want a yes-man!” The “adults” in the White House were largely gone by 2019. And in his devotion to Russian President Vladimir Putin, he “gave Russia Ukraine and Syria,” as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) told him.

One of DDT’s infamous questions for Milley was about turning the National Guard on protesters. “Can’t you just shoot them? Just shoot them in the legs or something?” he asked. This question indicates DDT’s increasingly erratic thoughts and behavior, causing Robert Gates, a former Secretary of Defense and C.I.A. chief, to persuade Milley and then Defense Secretary Mark Esper to stay in their jobs until they were fired. Milley was contrite about his presence at Layfayette Square, but he still participated in the killing of Iranian commander Qassem Suleimani without briefing congressional leaders in advance. Pelosi described him as “evasive” and disrespectful to Congress. Milley had followed DDT’s order not to notify lawmakers.

Esper, too, was on the hot seat. DDT’s then chief of staff Mark Meadows threatened Esper for not recanting his opposition to invoking the Insurrection Act after Lafayette Square. Yet Esper was determined “to endure all the shit and run the clock out,” as he put it. He refused to turn the right to deploy troops over to people such as Robert O’Brien or Ric Grenell.

 Both Milley and Esper hung on, but Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told them that the “crazies” were ascendant in the White House and inside the Pentagon. The day after DDT lost the election, he fired Esper, Defense Secretary, and replaced him with Christopher Miller, an obscure mid-level counterterrorism official at DDT’s National Security Council, surrounded by DDT’s political minions and one of only two people in the U.S. able to launch nuclear weapons. DDT lobbied Miller to preemptively attack Iran.

Milley knew coups required the takeover of the military, the national police, and the interior forces, and he was again persuaded not to retire. He warned Miller and his new people that they were being watched and the newly elected president could put them “behind bars” for any illegal actions. Milley overheard DDT asking Miller if he were ready for the upcoming January 6 protest because “it’s going to be a big deal.” He told Miller to have “enough people to make sure it’s safe for my people.” Milley didn’t see DDT after that.

On January 6, Milley ordered the D.C. National Guard to the Capitol at 3:04 pm. They arrived at 5:40 pm, almost four hours after the attack began, and set up a perimeter by 7:00 pm. Then-VP Mike Pence had also tried to defend the Capitol, but Meadows told him to pretend DDT was the person who took action to give the impression that he “is still in charge.” Milley called DDT both “shameful” and “complicit.”

The search warrant updates won’t go away. More pieces:

  • At least one of DDT’s lawyers signed a written statement in June claiming that all classified material in the Mar-a-Lago storage were returned to the government after a government visit to the club on June 3. The assertion was wrong—or a lie. Therefore the DOJ cited a potential violation of a criminal statute related to obstruction as one basis for the warrant.
  • Material seized by the search warrant contained 11 sets of documents with confidential or secret markings, some of them “classified/TS/SCI”—“top secret/sensitive compartmented information” to be viewed only in a secure government facility.
  • The search was done in the storage areas with boxes of material as well as DDT’s office and residence.
  • DDT said he had declassified the material while he was still in the Oval Office, but there is no evidence that this happened. Right-wing writer John Solomon, designated by DDT as a representative to interact with the National Archives asserted that DDT had a “standing order” during his term that “documents removed from the Oval Office and taken to the residence were deemed to be declassified the moment he removed them.” No law permits this order.
  • Surveillance video outside the storage room for two months showed boxes moved in and out of the room while the DOJ was attempting to retrieve the materials.
  • The 30 million documents that DDT claims President Obama has in Chicago are under sole custody of the National Archives in that city.
  • DDT has been barred from receiving intelligence briefings usually provided to former presidents; Biden said DDT could not be trusted because of his “erratic behavior.”

The good news: the U.S. economy recovered all the jobs lost since the pandemic shutdown in 2020, the fastest employment bounce-back in U.S. history. Biden has seen 9.5 million jobs, 3 million more than DDT achieved in his first three years before he lost them all to his mismanagement of the pandemic. Job seekers have their choice of 10.7 million openings.  

Hypocrisy for the day:

Mama Bears, a group of Georgia mothers has been intent on banning library books. One of its members now complains about her being banned from a school board for censorship because she can’t read what she calls sexually explicit passages aloud at the meetings. Mama Bears has tried to ban over 100 books with no evidence they are pornographic. Fifty-one years ago, the Supreme Court ruled that “one man’s vulgarity is another’s lyric.” People upset by language can avert their eyes.

August 12, 2022

Bad to Worse News for DDT

Huge news today—much beyond anything having to do with Deposed Donald Trump (DDT).

The Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) passed the House on its way to President Joe Biden’s desk in what Al Gore called a “critical turning point” with the first-ever climate legislation. The package had a completely partisan vote: no Republicans voted for the bill that covered not only a delay to climate change but also lowered costs for seniors’ prescriptions—for which GOP congressional members will undoubtedly take responsibility.

The 220-207 vote concluded an 18-month-long debate after Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WY) got enough rewards to support the bill. Like their position on the Affordable Care Act over a decade ago, Republicans promised to roll back the IRA “when” they take over Congress this fall. The new law will make a popular Democratic campaign issue for the next three months; climate-related spending should reduce emissions by 40 percent by the end of the decade. As always, the Republicans lied about the effect of the law.

A major falsehood came from House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s (R-CA) tweet that “Democrats’ new army of 87,000 IRS agents will be coming … with 710,000 new audits for Americans who earn less than $75k.” First, the new law doesn’t hire those new agents, and second, the audits will be for those people making over $400,000. The IRS will fund the hiring of 7,000 to 12,000 people added annually to conduct audits, improve informational technology, and enhance customer service. The IRS is down to 82,000 employees from 90,000 in 2012, and about 50,000 of the staff is eligible for retirement in the next five years.  The IRS also lost 40 percent of staff specializing in complex tax audits, down to the level during World War II.

Eighty percent of audits of individuals are written requests for additional information. If the audits do increase by 710,000, that will be 0.06 percent of the population making under $75,000. Higher-income taxpayers will have the greatest increase of audits. Audit rates for that category have dramatically declined: audits for those making over $10 billion in income dropped from 21 percent in 2010 to 3.9 percent by 2019 while lower-income people, identified by those filing the earned income tax credit, are now higher than average, more than half directed toward taxpayers making under $75,000. The Washington Post gave McCarthy Three Pinocchios for his lies.  

Other lies show how crazy Republicans are in trying to smear Democrats:

Sen. Ted Cruz’s all-caps, blood-red graphic highlights the lie that “Biden is building a shadow army of 87,000 new IRS agents to hunt you down and take your money.” As we discussed yesterday, this was as factually wrong as it was unsubtle.

RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel tweeted, “How long until Democrats send the IRS ‘SWAT team’ after your kids’ lemonade stand?”

Sens. Rand Paul (R-KY) and Josh Hawley (R-MO) want to impeach AG Merrick Garland.

Sen. Chuck Grassley, the 88-year-old running for another six-year term, said on Fox, “Are they going to have a strike force that goes in with AK-15s [sic] already loaded, all ready to shoot some small-business person in Iowa with these?”

Medicare advantages start to begin almost immediately. Mandatory rebates for higher-than-inflation drug price hikes start in October and grow over the next few years. Vaccine cost-sharing will be eliminated in 2023, and catastrophic coverage co-insurance ends in 2024 as does the beginning of expanded eligibility for Part D subsidies and limits on premiums growth begin in 2024. The $2,000 out-of-pocket drug cap goes into force in 2025. Medicare must negotiate the price of 10 certain high-cost drugs in 2026, a number rising to 15 drugs in 2027 and 20 by 2029.

Republicans are wrong in their claim that the pharmaceutical industry will no longer be able to do research and development for new medications. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimates that new drugs introduced over 30 years will drop by 15, only one percent. Eighty-three percent of all adults “strongly” or “somewhat” favor government price negotiation with drug companies, including 84 percent of adults 65 and older. An equal 83 percent agreed that the cost of prescription drugs is “unreasonable.” After two decades of the GOP blocking this negotiation when George W. Bush’s Medicare D prohibited negotiation for lower drug prices, Democrats have started to knock down the wall between the pharmaceutical industry and the Medicare program.

News about DDT today has shown the new disasters DDT faces. A judge denied the request from Trump Organization to dismiss the criminal case against the business and former CFO Allen Weisselberg regarding a 15-year tax scam that incorporated conspiracy, grand larceny, tax fraud, and falsifying records. Weisselberg claimed that he was being prosecuted because of his relationship to DDT; prosecutors said he violated the law in failing to pay his taxes. In his deposition on Wednesday, DDT pled the Fifth Amendment to not incriminate himself 440 times, only answer the question asking for his name. Until now, he always claimed invoking the Fifth means guilt. 

The district attorney of Fulton County (GA) is scrutinizing DDT about his criminal interference with others in the state’s 2020 presidential election. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), also subpoenaed to appear in the same case, failed to show up for his scheduled appearance this week. He too claimed that the probe is politically motivated. After the election, Graham called Georgia’s Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to talk about whether some ballots had been properly verified, i.e., a way to get them tossed out so that DDT would take Georgia’s election. A judge questioned Graham’s claim that his job as a South Carolina senator was to look into Georgia’s votes.

DDT’s former personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, who tried to get the legislature to throw out Biden’s votes, also tried to avoid testifying. He claimed a medical procedure kept him from flying to Georgia, but he bought airline tickets to Rome and Zurich. A judge ordered him to show up next week whether by “train or a bus or Uber” if he can’t fly.

The biggest DDT news this week, however, was the ongoing saga of the FBI search warrant at Mar-a-Lago that discovered highly classified documents, some of them about nuclear weapons, that he illegally took from the government. The government claims the documents are restricted to only a few people; the Republicans claim “no big deal,” going so far as to say that DDT can take anything he wants and call them unclassified because they are in his possession. Sens. Rand Paul (R-KY) and Josh Hawley (R-MO) want to impeach AG Merrick Garland. Republicans were much more incensed before revelations about the search warrant and a list of materials being sought, released by the DOJ after court permission. DDT could have released the information at the beginning of the week, but he reveled in causing more trouble.

DDT tried to worm himself out of his problems by a number of lies that rational people are not buying:

  • The FBI wouldn’t allow anyone to be present during the search. In truth, the agents notified DDT’s lawyer about the warrant and permitted her to be on location.
  • The FBI planted the documents during their search. The agents didn’t take anything into Mar-a-Lago with them, and DDT’s attorney Christina Bobb accidentally told Real America’s Voice that DDT and his family watched the entire search on a live video feed.
  • The government should have just sent a subpoena. It did last June but didn’t get all the documents requested.
  • Biden knew about the search before it happened because Trump did when he was in office, according to his son Eric. Biden wasn’t notified because he knows that the DOJ is an independent agency.
  • The judge was Obama-appointed. Nope, DDT appointed him.
  • The search is only because people are out to get him. No, DDT committed a crime–or more.
  • The government let President Obama take classified documents with him. The National Archives determined what President Obama could take. 

The search on Monday, two months after law enforcement talked to DDT’s team about government documents at Mar-a-Lago, came after an informant said he might still unlawfully have classified records in his possession. According to the Wall Street Journal, FBI agents found and took 11 sets of classified documents, some marked top secret and limited to specific government facilities. The receipt for removed items, signed by DDT’s attorney Christina Bobb, included 20 boxes, binders of photos, a handwritten note, and the grant of clemency for Roger Stone. The search warrant described an investigation into DDT for obstructing justice and violating the Espionage Act. 

DDT has a reputation for careless handling of classified materials, beginning when he gave two Russian officials in the Oval Office highly classified information during his first few months, and cozied up with foreign dictators, some of them U.S. enemies. He also insisted on using his personal cell phone where he was easily heard by foreign spies. His continued closeness with Saudi Arabia, exhibited by his hosting the controversial golf tournament at Bedminister (NJ), may have helped his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, obtain $2 billion for a new business. After the search, Russia expressed its love for DDT.

DDT’s alleged crime of removing classified materials brings an up-to-five-year sentence for a felony because of a 2018 law DDT promoted and former Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) introduced to use against Hillary Clinton. Before then, the conviction wasn’t a felony. DDT has always said that it’s the little things that get you. And the suspicion of an unknown informant is driving DDT crazy.

July 11, 2022

Change in Hearing Times, DDT’s Problems

[Change in January 6 hearings: New information, fear of leaks, and threats on testifying witnesses may have postponed the primetime July 14 hearing, and the July 12 one has been changed to 1:00 EST. Facilitated by Reps. Jamie Raskin (D-MD) and Stephanie Murphy (D-FL), the focus of the seventh hearing comes from the involvement of Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) with congressional members and violent domestic terrorists intent on overturning the 2020 presidential election. Oath Keepers, Proud Boys, The 1st Amendment Praetorian (Michael Flynn’s paramilitary group), and other activists interpreted DDT’s tweet to come to the “wild” event to act out. After being charged with seditious conspiracy, several of the Oath Keepers are cooperating with the government. Video clips of recent testimony from former White House counsel Pat Cipollone and aides’ persuasion will provide additional information.]

After weeks of angst by Twitter employees, Elon Musk is backing out of his $44 billion deal to buy and company, and DDT is rejoicing. His joy at Musk’s withdrawal probably comes from his hopes that people will switch to his personal social media platform, Truth Social. It has two million active users compared to 300 million on Twitter. Yet his joy may be short-lived. DDT, his son Jr., and other Trumpists Kash Patel and Wes Moss slipped off the board of  the Trump Media & Technology Group (TMTG), owner of Truth Social, after SEC and DOJ probes into its merger with Digital World Acquisition Corp. Scott Glabe, the company’s general counsel, and Andrew Northwall, its COO, also disappeared. Truth Social denied the resignations, but the Florida Division of Corporation verified the information. The gang apparently left the board before Digital World’s subpoenas but before the firm’s board of directors received subpoenas from the DOJ. The departure occurred before TMTG got the subpoenas from the SEC and the Manhattan grand jury. The merger, valued at $875 million, may be just one more in a long line of DDT’s failures.

With Musk’s announcement came an 11-percent drop in the company’s stock. The problems for Twitter since Musk said he would purchase the company could raise the question about whether the intent of the far-right, DDT-supporter was to destroy its popular form of communication. The question is who pays the $1 billion separation fee. Musk says Twitter is at fault because of its large number of bots, fake accounts. Twitter blames Musk and hired high-powered lawyers.

For months, Musk has been acting as if he owns Twitter—generally creating chaos. After Musk’s accusations, Texas AG Ken Paxton, running for reelection as the GOP candidate despite his numerous indictments for fraud, began investigating the alleged spam accounts and repeated Musk’s evidence-free assertion that 20 percent of Twitter accounts are fake. Musk’s accusations led to Twitter stocks dropping 25 percent in two weeks, and some of the 7,500 employees updated their résumés or prepared for battle. The company’s CEO Parag Agrawal fired two executives and reduced hiring while three other top officials announced their departures. Employees compared Musk’s behavior to “a dog playing with a toy.”

Twitter users concerned about Musk allowing DDT to tweet are delighted, and some suggest that Musk be banned from Twitter. Musk’s Tesla stock are also tanking at this time because of its internal problems and in his other businesses. 

DDT may be charged with committing a “sleeper wire fraud” scam with other federal charges against DDT’s campaign officials and the RNC. He raised $250 million in donations and falsely claimed the money was for his non-existent legal defense fund to stop election fraud. The House January 6 investigative committee uncovered and explained the scheme. Campaign officials and lawyers testified they told DDT they didn’t believe his claims of election fraud, yet the campaign team continued its bombardment of emails to raise money from claims that officials, by their own admission, knew were false. Former U.S. Attorney Barb McQuade, professor at the University of Michigan School of Law, explained:

“If it can be shown that Trump or others sent an email asking for money for one purpose, and then used it for another, that could constitute fraud, regardless of whether it can be proved that they knew the election had not been stolen.”

Partner at Bradley LLP Natalie Adams, experienced in prosecuting wire fraud cases, said:

“You don’t get to say things you know to be false. It’s not whether you know something absolutely for sure. It’s if it’s ‘reasonably foreseeable’ to you that people will believe promises and statements that you either know aren’t true, or are reckless or deceptive, which you are trying to use to get something of value.”

To prosecute the fraud, the DOJ will need to know who designed, approved, and disseminated the solicitations. Adams, however, believes that the committee can dig deeper to build a substantial case that reaches DDT. She explained:

“With conspiracy, you don’t necessarily have to commit an overt act. And jury instructions don’t require proof of a formal agreement, because criminal actors avoid doing that. But if people work together and profit from it, it’s helpful to show who had the access and opportunity to review those communications, and who would be likely to know by virtue of their job what is ‘reasonably foreseeable’ to occur, who are charged with vetting the truth of statements, and so on.”

DDT’s court cases are interfering with his money-making ventures: he was forced to cancel his for-profit North Carolina rally to testify in his New York fraud case. With son Jr. and daughter Ivanka, DDT is scheduled to testify under oath Friday regarding the Trump Organization’s finances. Tickets for the American Freedom Tour ran from $9 to $3,955. Any tickets sold in North Carolina will be honored at other tour events, but only one other event is scheduled, the one on August 20 in Wisconsin. DDT isn’t offering any refunds.

Justin Clark, DDT’s attorney, has also been interviewed by the FBI about the Steve Bannon contempt case set for trial on July 18. Bannon had refused to comply with a subpoena from the House January 6 investigative committee. He changed his mind and decided to testify, but the trial still continues. Bannon’s excuse for a reversal was that DDT had “waived” claims of executive privilege, but DDT never made any such claim. Clark contradicted claims of executive privilege by Bannon and his defense team that they blamed on Clark’s correspondence. Clark also interviewed with the House January 6 committee.

Other DDT problems:

A grand jury in Fulton County (GA) is circling DDT with subpoenas for his inner circle, including Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), for their attempts to overturn the presidential election in the state. While DDT was begging for just 11,780 more votes in Georgia, Graham twice called Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to ask him for a move favorable outcome for DDT by examining “certain absentee ballots cast in Georgia.” Graham said he would refuse to comply with a subpoena because it was “all politics,” but a judge ordered him to obey a subpoena and appear before the grand jury on August 2 as a “necessary and material witness” to the probe.

DDT said he couldn’t find his records in the case about his cheating on taxes and loans through faulty evaluations so a judge imposed a daily $10,000 fine on the New York real estate firm evaluating DDT’s properties. Earlier, a judge ruled the company, Cushman & Wakefield, lied to financially—and possibly illegally—help the Trump Organization.

The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration is investigating the mysterious massive audits of former FBI Director James Comey’s and his deputy director Andrew McCabe’s taxes, both fired by DDT because they criticized him. Audits should be determined randomly, but these two don’t seem to be a coincidence. The term of IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig, a DDT appointee, terminates in November 2022. He was commissioner when both Comey and McCabe were chosen for the extensive audits. While touting his coffee table book of photos from the White House, DDT said he fired Comey five months into his term to keep himself out of personal trouble.

DDT’s donors paid him $375, 416.70 in 2021 to “rent” one of his Manhattan tower’s office spaces—for the PAC located in Florida. Save America and related entities don’t have offices there; one person visited the 7,000-square-foot space during the ten months. DDT can’t find legitimate renters for his offices.

he current DOJ will investigate how DDT’s officials seized phone records of leading congressional Democrats. In 2017 and 2018, DDT’s DOJ ordered Apple to release data in his search for who was leaking information about contacts between Russia and DDT’s associates, the subject of congressional investigations. Reps. Adam Schiff (D-CA) and Eric Swalwell (D-CA) were two of the targets. House Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Judiciary Committee chair Dick Durbin (D-IL) said if former AGs Jeff Sessions and Bill Barr don’t testify they will receive subpoenas. Previously, several media outlets reported DOJ officials secretly obtained journalists’ phone records in 2017.

Despite DDT’s impeachments, he can be charged now as a private citizen for the same offenses. According to a 2000 DOJ memo, impeachment is constitutional, different from criminal charges for private citizens. Therefore, DDT could be charged with an of the ten examples of his potentially obstructive actions during the Mueller/Russia investigation, including Comey’s firing and measures he took during the Ukraine scandal.

Next Page »

Mind-Cast

Rethinking Before Restarting

Current

Commentary. Reflection. Judgment.

© blogfactory

Truth News

Civil Rights Advocacy

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. -- Margaret Mead

AGR Daily News

Quaker Inspired, Evidence Based, Art And Science Of Sustainable Health Plus Success - How To Create Heaven On Earth - Education For Seventh Generation Rainbow Warriors

JONATHAN TURLEY

Res ipsa loquitur - The thing itself speaks

Jennifer Hofmann

Inspiration for soul-divers, seekers, and activists.

Occupy Democrats

Progressive political commentary/book reviews for youth and adults

V e t P o l i t i c s

politics from a liberal veteran's perspective

Margaret and Helen

Best Friends for Sixty Years and Counting...

Rainbow round table news

Official News Outlet for the Rainbow Round Table of the American Library Association

The Extinction Protocol

Geologic and Earthchange News events

Social Justice For All

Working towards global equity and equality

Over the Rainbow Books

A Book List from Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Round Table of the American Library Association

WordPress.com News

The latest news on WordPress.com and the WordPress community.

%d bloggers like this: