Nel's New Day

September 25, 2021

DDT’s Troubles Multiply

The media has spent much time and paper describing what President Joe Biden faces and largely ignoring the tribulations of Deposed Donald Trump (DDT). A few of DDT’s catastrophes:

No matter how much the Cyber Ninjas tried to cover up their failure to swing Arizona into DDT’s camp through incompetent ballot counts, the vote majority in Maricopa County came out even higher for Biden by 360 votes. DDT is still ranting about a “stolen election,” even lying to his Georgia rally audience by telling him that he won the ballot count. Other states, however, may dilute his belief if their future fake audits have the same results.

DDT needs Biden to assert executive privilege shielding DDT’s records from the House committee investigating the January 6 insurrection attempt, but Biden said his using executive privilege to conceal these records is not appropriate. The House has sent subpoenas for “all documents and communications within the White House” on that day, including call logs, schedules, and meetings with top officials and outside advisers on January 6 from several federal agencies including the National Archives. DDT said he would assert his own executive privilege, but he is no longer an executive. He has until September 30 to object to documents’ release, but the current president, Joe Biden, has final ruling on the release.

The January 6 committee has also sent subpoenas to DDT’s former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, former deputy chief of staff Dan Scavino, former adviser Steve Bannon, and Kash Patel, a former chief of staff to then-acting Secretary of Defense Christopher Miller who had also served as an aide to Republican Rep. Devin Nunes.

Two GOP representatives, Jim Jordan (OH) and Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (CA) may also be sent subpoenas for their actions on January 6 and subsequent lies. Jordan finally admitted he talked to DDT “more than once” on the phone during the violent insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. Asked if Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) joined him on one of the calls as reported in the media, Jordan said he had to “think about it.” On the calls, Jordan and Gaetz reportedly begged DDT to call off the terrorists.

McCarthy, who tried to sabotage a congressional investigation into the Capitol attack, has flip-flopped by lying about the events of the day. Immediately after the event, McCarthy stated about DDT that “the president bears responsibility for Wednesday’s attack on Congress by mob rioters” but reversed that position by July. In September, McCarthy claims DDT has been exonerated.

DDT’s campaign secretly paid January 6 rally organizers $4.3 million by his and Jared Kushner’s funneling the funding through opaque firms and shell companies. Funding for the rally leading to the insurrection attempt may be far more because of complications in discovering the amount.   

A new court order yesterday ordered the Trump Organization to comply with subpoenas for the investigation by New York State Attorney General Letitia James and Manhattan DA Cyrus R. Vance, Jr. The business has been stonewalling the subpoenas for over a year. They are concerned whether DDT wrongly inflated his assets values to obtain mortgages while deflating them for tax advantages. In one indictment, DDT was named for writing checks to benefit family members of Allen Weisselberg, also facing tax crimes charges.

In August, Matthew Calamari Jr, Trump Organization director of security and son of COO Matthew Calamari, testified before a Manhattan grand jury to receive immunity protection. Prosecutors are examining Calamari’s unreported taxes on rent and cars provided by DDT’s company. The elder Calamari was moved to his position from being DDT’s bodyguard. Weisselberg’s ex-wife Jennifer witnessed DDT’s personal guarantee to cover expensive school costs for family members of two members instead of a raise to avoid paying taxes on the costs. DDT’s stalling in the prosecution puts the current schedule for the case in September 2022, a short time before mid-term elections.

E. Jean Carroll’s defamation lawsuit against DDT, on hold for a year, may continue while they wait for an appeals court decision. Attorneys for Carroll may pursue subpoenas for documents, records, and DDT’s DNA sample. Time prohibits Carroll from suing for alleged rape in the mid-1990s, but she can sue because of DDT’s defamatory remarks. He said he made these under the scope of his employment in the White House.

DDT is suing his niece, Mary Trump, and three reporters at the New York Times for $100 million about the coverage of his taxes, but the case isn’t going well. The suit accused reporters of forcing Trump to “smuggle records out of her attorney’s office and turn them over to The Times.” DDT’s new lawyer is Alina Habba, who has been a lawyer for a parking-garage company and represented one of his supporters in a complaint against Facebook.  

Legal experts pointed out serious flaws in DDT’s case composed of more invective than evidence:

  1. Freedom of the Press in the constitution: Former Principal Deputy Solicitor Neal Katyal, said the lawsuit covers an old article that actually won a Pulitzer award, reporting protected by the First amendment.
  2. Lack of Motive: Joyce Vance, former U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Alabama, said the lawsuit seems to an act of desperation and part of DDT’s history abusing the U.S. legal system. In addition, New York’s new Slapp law could permit Trump to have fast-tracking for dismissal of charges against her, leaving DDT to pay for court and attorney fees.
  3. Loser: DDT has won about one-third of the 1,300 cases he filed. The 3,500 cases in which he has been involved are primarily entered to cover failed projects and his refusal to pay his bills, even small ones.

Weisselberg resigned as the Organization’s CEO and been replaced by Donald Trump Jr. Yet DDT’s 43-year-old son lists his office address as a DDT golf course near his new Florida home, and the business is operated by a trust which is controlled by DDT. The company still has 10 hotels, 12 stand-alone golf courses, commercial and residential buildings, and a website selling Trump-branded T-shirts and candles. During DDT’s four-year term, four hotels closed, merchandising shrank, and buildings took down DDT’s name. New York may evict DDT’s company from a publicly owned golf course, and DDT’s Washington hotel is up for sale.

Without political campaigns or people wanting his favor, DDT is losing money at his private properties. The first six months of 2019 brought him $1.4 million from fundraising events; the same time in 2021 produced $350,000. Compared to 25 percent of spending in the first six months of 2019 at DDT’s hotel or restaurant, only 4 percent in 2021 was spent there with 85 percent at other properties, mostly Mar-a-Lago. Part of his loss comes from his own campaign spending no money although his campaign committees spent $1 million at Trump Organization properties between 2017 and 2019. The emolument game is over, maybe a reason DDT wants to run in 2024.

A federal judge ruled DDT’s accounting firm must give House Democrats the records of financial payments from foreign governments related to whether they paid millions of dollars to DDT’s businesses while he conducted foreign policy affecting those governments. A House committee is investigating whether DDT sold access to U.S. policy to foreign government, using the Supreme Court decision as a basis for the argument.

In August, the inspector general for the Federal Election Commission asked the agency to review its ethics policies and internal controls because senior FEC manager Debbie Chacona openly supported DDT and had a close relationship with an attorney who served as the 2016 DDT campaign’s top lawyer. Chacon oversees the office keeping unlawful contributions out of U.S. political campaigns; partisan activities on her part destroys credibility by implying preferential treatment for a candidate or party. She also took the word of the inauguration committee that no foreign nationals gave donations although they were included in its disclosure reports.  

While in the White House, DDT pardoned Ken Kurzon, Jared Kushner’s former newspaper editor and associate, for alleged cybercrimes against three people. The Manhattan DA has now charged Kurzon for cyberstalking his ex-wife by eavesdropping and criminal trespass, illegally accessing this then-wife’s communications in 2015 and 2016. Kurzon is accused of using spyware to log into his wife’s Gmail and Facebook accounts as well as anonymously sharing illegally obtained private Facebook messages. The DA indicated that DDT’s pardon might not be in effect for the recent charges because they are not federal ones.

Although Republicans appear to support everything DDT does, he lost them with his plot to remove Mitch McConnell (R-KY) from the position of Senate Minority Leader. When DDT talked to senators and allies, even Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) wouldn’t agree to the coup to replace McConnell with DDT’s choice. McConnell holds the purse strings to hundreds of millions of dollars used for senators’ reelections, but DDT, who raised $102 million for his super PAC, won’t give any money to GOP candidates.

June 28, 2021

DDT Goes to Court

After the 2016 election, Deposed Donald Trump (DDT) faced 75 court battles. Some of them have been settled: he paid $25 million to settle his Trump University’s swindles of thousands of students soon after he was elected and $2 million for abusing his charitable foundation, shuttered after the discovery of a “shocking pattern of illegality” and “repeated and willful self-dealing.” Today, his lawyers met with prosecutors in Manhattan to fight filing criminal charges against the Trump Organization because they would harm the business. Unable to stay out of the discussion, DDT called prosecutors “rude, nasty, and totally biased.”

DDT’s eight years of income tax returns he had to give New York City may show that he failed to pay taxes for tens of thousands of benefits to his executives, especially Allen Weisselberg—expensive automobiles, apartments, school tuition, etc.—and Matthew Calamari, DDT’s former bodyguard and now his business’s CEO. Ronald Fischetti, DDT’s 85-year-old personal lawyer, said DDT won’t be charged in he first indictment but the investigation is “ongoing.” 

Possibility of indictment in New York is just part of his problems. He’s being accused of defrauding people, violating the Voting Rights Act, and other illegal acts. According to protective attorneys general, he couldn’t be prosecuted while he was in the White House. His loss in the 2020 election, however, removed his immunity.

Election Tampering:

DDT wanted almost 11,000 more votes from Georgia to win the state so he pressured the state’s election authorities get them switched from Joe Biden. Fulton County DA Fani Willis is investigating DDT’s telephone call to Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger for that purpose. Possible charges: election fraud conspiracy, criminal solicitation of election fraud, and/or interference with elections duties.

NAACP and Michigan voting rights activists lawsuit against DDT regarding violation of the Voting Rights Act including his pressuring Wayne County GOP officials to not certify election totals for its jurisdiction of Detroit. The suit also seeks a restraining order requiring DDT to get court approval to obtain court approval “prior to engaging in any activities related to recounts, certifications, or similar post-election activities.”

The District of Columbia AG has a criminal investigation into DDT’s activities on January 6 with the possibility of charging DDT under the local statute making it “unlawful for a person to incite or provoke violence where there is a likelihood that such violence will ensue.”

U.S. Capitol Officers:

Two Capitol police officers beaten, maced, poked with flag poles, and pinned against the doors of the U.S. Capitol on January 6 are suing Trump for inciting the violence they endured and conspiracy claims that DDT joined the violent groups, the Proud Boys and the Oath Keepers, in their attacking the Capitol.  

Members of Congress:

Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS) and the NAACP filed a civil suit about violating the 1871 Ku Klux Klan Act to oppose southern White supremacists during the Civil War’s Reconstruction. It forbids conspiracies “to prevent, by force, intimidation, or threat” U.S. officeholders from discharging their duties or forcing them to leave the location where those duties must be performed. The lawsuit claims that “Defendants Trump, Giuliani, Proud Boys, and Oath Keepers plotted, coordinated and executed a common plan to prevent Congress from discharging its official duties in certifying the results of the presidential election.” It seeks to enjoin him from future violations.

Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) sued DDT for inciting the insurrection. Other defendants include Donald Trump Jr., Rudy Giuliani, and GOP colleague Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL) who spoke at the rally and who allegedly “directly incited the violence at the Capitol that followed.”

Sexual Activities:

E. Jean Carroll’s accusation of DDT sexually assaulting her during the mid-1990s in a department store dressing room led to DDT’s claim she was “totally lying,” he didn’t know her, and she wasn’t his “type.” The statute of limitations for sexual assault had run out so she filed a civil suit against him for defamation. Under AG Bill Barr, the DOJ became his legal representation, but a federal judge ruled against Barr’s decision because DDT wasn’t a protected government “employee” and his “allegedly defamatory statements [were not] with the scope of his employment.” The Biden DOJ is still defending DDT’s side. The suit seeks to force DDT “to retract any and all defamatory statements” as well as to pay compensatory and punitive damages.

Summer Zervos filed a civil suit alleging DDT defamed her in 2016 when he called her a liar after she accused him of sexual assault in 2007. Like several other women, she accused DDT of killing and groping her without her consent on several occasions; he called her story “phony.” After he was no longer in the White House, the New York Court of Appeals ruled the case could proceed, requiring DDT to testify under oath.

Family Issues:

Mary Trump, DDT’s niece, realized she was denied part of her inheritance after an expose about DDT’s fortune and his routine manipulation of his assets’ value. Her civil suit alleges DDT and others in the family carried out “a complex scheme to siphon funds away from her interests, conceal their grift, and deceive her about the true value of what she had inherited.” The suit seeks compensatory and punitive damages.

Businesses:

DDT’s family faced a class-action lawsuit in 2018 from anonymous Americans claiming DDT cheated them into joining a multi-level marketing scheme run by a third party called CAN secretly paid by DDT to promote. The civil suit alleges that DDT, his company, and his offspring executives Ivanka, Eric, and Don Jr. “operated a large and complex enterprise with a singular goal: to enrich themselves by systematically defrauding economically marginalized people looking to invest in their educations, start their own small businesses, and pursue the American Dream.” The suit asks for class-action status, allowing others to participate in the litigation, and for “actual, compensatory, statutory [and] consequential damages.” It also seeks the “disgorgement of all ill gotten gains” by the Trumps.

The investment group Ithaca Capital Partners claim DDT fraudulently induced it to purchase a majority stake in a 70-story hotel and condo complex in Panama City in 2019 after he claimed the complex was a successful business and well-maintained. According to the lawsuit, however, the Trump Organization was “grossly mismanaging its operations of the former Trump International Hotel & Tower Panama including causing intentional damage to the Hotel Amenities Units and failing to pay income taxes to the Panamanian government.” The civil suit seeks “not less than” $17 million in damages plus attorney fees.

Profit from the 2017 Inauguration:

The D.C. attorney general is suing DDT for diverting funds to DDT properties, alleging the nonprofit inaugural committee “wasted approximately $1 million of charitable funds in overpayment” to DDT businesses by charging exorbitant rates, including $175,000 for a ballroom that usually rented for $5,000. The AG alleges “the Trump Entities … unconscionably benefited from nonprofit funds required to be used for the public good.” The civil suit seeks to have the ill-gotten gains from the Trump properties donated to public-serving nonprofits.

False testimony by DDT’s children, Don Jr and Ivanka, has put themselves in trouble. Last February, Jr lied under oath in the inauguration scandal lawsuit, and now Ivanka has made the same mistake. Executive of the Trump Organization before moving to the White House as an adviser to DDT, Ivanka denied having any “involvement in the process of planning the inauguration.” She said she did nothing more than “give feedback to my father or to anyone who asked my perspective or opinion.”

Documents, however, prove “involvement.” Trump was directly involved in planning at least one proposed inauguration event, according to emails. They showed communication, including meetings, with Rick Gates, then deputy chair of the Presidential Inauguration Committee, and Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, a lead producer working with the committee. Trump was to host a “Women’s Entrepreneurs Reception/Dinner” for the inauguration, setting up the invitees and location. She also volunteered to coordinate with Reince Priebus, to be the White House chiefof staff, and Katie Walsh, his deputy. Although the reception/dinner didn’t happen, Trump was involved in other planning, including consulting on menu, recruiting talent, and guaranteeing media.

Under oath, Trump also said, “I didn’t know Stephanie Winston that well,” yet they were good friends at that time. Winston Wolkoff was recommended for her top spot on the committee because of Trump’s recommendation. Trump began to separate herself from her friend when Winston Wolkoff expressed concern about the Trump Hotel overcharging DDT’s inauguration committee, still twice the market rate after Trump supposedly interceded for a better rate. Winston Wolkoff warned Trump, Gates, and others that the spending would be audited and “become public knowledge.” She is a lead cooperating witness in the lawsuit against the Trump Organization and the inauguration committee.

Last month, Jared Kushner, Ivanka’s husband, lost another case in court when a judge found Kushner’s management company charged “deceptive” fees to thousands of its tenants. Two years ago, a Maryland judge found several violations of consumer laws, including a “bait and switch” by showing a prospective tenant one apartment and then renting them another, highly substandard, one. This case included the questionable fees such as a $12 “agent fee” on court filings against 28,000 tenants although the courts had no costs. In another 2,600 instances, Kushner assessed $80 for court fees when courts charged $50. The lawsuit is not yet settled: each side may file objections. State lawyers can also propose restitution costs for tenants as well as a civil penalty before the court decision can be challenged in Maryland’s appeals courts.

November 19, 2020

Biden Works, DDT Retaliates

President-elect Joe Biden:

Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) told an ally he lost but delays the transition process and sows doubt about the election to retaliate for Democrats’ questioning his own election’s legitimacy, especially with the Russian investigation. He said it’s only fair he not allow the transition and won’t back down. To DDT, his 70+ million votes give him ultimate power and authority. Biden leads by almost six million votes and has 306 electoral votes compared to DDT’s 232. DDT’s niece, Mary Trump, stated:

“He’s never in his life been in a situation that he can’t get out of either through using somebody else’s money, using connections, using power. And not only is he in a unique position, he’s in a position of being a loser, which in my family, certainly, as far as my grandfather was concerned, was the worst possible thing you could be.”

Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT), the sole Republican to vote against DDT in the impeachment trial, expressed more concern about DDT’s actions during the next 62 days than his not allowing a transition. About taking the troops out of Afghanistan, Romney said:

“We have some 40 coalition members that also have troops there. For us to pull our troops out obviously puts our remaining troops in some danger, as well as their troops. And they wonder, ‘how do we deal in a coalition with the United States leading it if there is a decision taken on a precipitous basis with which we may or may not have been familiar that puts our troops in jeopardy?’”

Newly elected lawmakers are nervous about DDT’s idea that the entire election was corrupt and fraudulent. Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA), returning for a second term, didn’t like today’s statement from DDT’s lawyer Sidney Powell:

“In terms of the level of corruption we are looking at here, we have no idea how many Republican or Democratic candidates … paid to have the system rigged to work for them.”

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin wants to sabotage Biden’s economy. He told Fed Chair Jerome Powell to put Congress in control of reallocating $455 billion originated by law for businesses, nonprofits, and local governments. Almost half the 22.7 million people losing jobs in the U.S. in 2020 because of DDT’s poorly managed pandemic are still out of work, and the economic recovery is fading. The Fed told Mnuchin the CARES programs should be extended. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Chief Policy Officer agreed, saying that action on Mnuchin’s request “unnecessarily ties the hands of the incoming administration.”

Biden might be able to solve the foreign policy issues early in his administration, according to suggested by Medea Benjamin and Nicolas J. S. Davies:

  • End the U.S. role in the Saudi-led war on Yemen and restore U.S. humanitarian aid to Yemen in accord with the War Powers Resolution passed by Congress but vetoed by DDT.
  • Suspend all U.S. arms sales and transfers to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), according to another DDT-vetoed congressional bill. U.S. laws require the suspension of arms transfers for use in violating U.S. and international law.
  • Rejoin the Iran Nuclear Agreement (JCPOA) and lift sanctions on Iran to stop an impending war, and give up regime change in Iran to deescalate Middle East conflicts.
  • End U.S. threats and sanctions against officials of the International Criminal Court (ICC) and accept the jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice (ICJ).
  • Back the diplomacy of South Korea President Moon Jae-in for a “permanent peace regime,” and formally end the Korean War of the 1950s.
  • Renew New START with Russia to freeze the U.S.’s trillion-dollar new nuclear plan.
  • Lift illegal unilateral U.S. sanctions against other countries.
  • Move to normalize relations with Cuba.
  • Restore pre-2015 rules of engagement to stop killing civilians.Freeze U.S. military spending to reduce it. At the end of the Cold War, then-Pentagon officials told the Senate that U.S. military spending could be cut in half over the next ten years. The exploitation of 9/11 made an excuse to create the one-sided arms race in which the U.S. spent 45 percent of global military costs from 2003 to 2011, far more than peak Cold War military expenditures.

Earlier this week, Biden had a conference on COVID-19, attended by healthcare workers who filled him in on the issues, including the lack of PPE. Not to be outdone, DDT had his first coronavirus task force press conference since July, the first time in a week he appeared in an official public event. It did not end well when DDT and VP Mike Pence refused to take questions after the event.

Dr. Deborah Birx showed a map (left) indicating how the virus covered the U.S. A chart (below) showing the increase in cases refutes Sen. Ted Cruz’s (R-TX) promise the U.S. will be virus-free after November 3. Dr. Scott Atlas was not present to tell people to invite people for Thanksgiving so that they would die.

DDT: 

The story of Wayne County (MI) GOP canvassing board officials hasn’t stopped. Tuesday, two Republicans refused to certify legal votes for the electoral college before reversing their vote three hours later. Yesterday they tried to rescind their rescinding—after a personal call from DDT who admired the “courage” of the two Republicans because they “refused to certify the election results!” Monica Palmer, GOP chairperson of the board, said DDT’s call to her and board member William Hartmann had nothing to do with her rechange of heart and blamed the state for not living up to its promise of an independent audit.

Today, DDT invited both Republicans to visit him at the White House tomorrow along with Michigan state Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey and House Speaker Lee Chatfield. Shirkey already declared Biden the president-elect, stating an effort to award Michigan’s electoral votes to Trump was “not going to happen.” DDT’s campaign also withdrew its last federal lawsuit in Michigan, falsely claiming that local election officials had declined to certify the votes in Wayne County. CNN attempted a fact check on Giuliani’s statements, including a large number of overvotes. Not only was this statement false, but 2016 also had more overvotes when DDT won the state.

According to the office of the Michigan secretary of state, the state has “no legal mechanism for them to rescind their vote.”  A judge has already ruled against action to block the certification of these votes.

Disgusting images from Hartmann’s public Facebook page about President Obama and other disgusting ones from the man trying to remove 863,000 votes from the Michigan voters. 

DDT Recounts:

After a hand count of all votes, Georgia declared the state for Biden with 12,284 more votes than DDT. Of the 5,800+ uncovered ballots, DDT gained almost 1,400 votes.

DDT Lawsuits:  

Today, state judges in Arizona and Pennsylvania and a federal judge in Georgia rejected election-related lawsuits from Republicans and DDT’s campaign.

Yesterday, DDT’s lawyers demanded all 6.8+ million votes in Pennsylvania be thrown out and the state legislature declare the 20 electoral college votes for DDT. Biden won the state by over 85,000 votes.

With DDT’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani in charge, the case isn’t going well. Major media kindly called him “rusty” as he forgot his conspiracy theories can’t replace evidence in a courtroom, and he couldn’t remember which judge was hearing the case. About the opposing attorney, Giuliani said, “I forgot his name.” Tweeting during the case wasn’t a good idea either. In one awkward exchange, he couldn’t remember the definition for “opacity,” believing “it probably means you can see, right?” The judge had to explain that opacity means the opposite: “It means you can’t.” Giuliani responded, “Big words, your honor.”

The judge canceled an evidentiary hearing scheduled for Thursday and gave each side three more days to file arguments. Pennsylvania still has seven active cases, none of which challenge enough ballots to change the state’s and the Electoral College vote. Counties in Pennsylvania must certify their votes by Tuesday, November 24. On Fox network last night, Giuliani explained bogus lawsuits are a “vehicle” to get to the Supreme Court who will give the election to DDT.  

(Credit Image: © Tom Williams/Congressional Quarterly via ZUMA Press)

Because Giuliani couldn’t answer the judge’s question about how he was justifying disenfranchising over 6.8 million voters in the state, his press conference today spouted more “fantasy island” comments about “widespread, nationwide voter fraud.” The plot recited by Giuliani and Michael Flynn’s Fox network lawyer Sidney Powell delivered a vast world conspiracy to elect Biden: Biden’s campaign, George Soros, Antifa, the media, the Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chávez (who died over seven years ago), Germany, China, Cuba, leading social media and technology companies, two voting technology firms, Democratic officials, and cities with mostly Black voters. “Globalist dictators, corporations, you name it! Everybody is against us,” Powell said. NBC host compared Giuliani’s press conference to “a Saturday Night Live skit.” More sordid details here. 

The media pointed out the brown hair dye running down Giuliani’s face in the sweat, and he looks must worse on video–seemingly ill. Fox aired Giuliani’s complete press conference before claiming it wasn’t true—“light on facts” and “simply not true,” according to Kristin Fisher.

Seth Hettena has a well-researched history of how Giuliani, once one of the most respected heroes of the United States, shrank to today’s appearance, a crazy toady of DDT.

Until November 4, 2020, DDT convinced his followers the coronavirus would magically disappear on that day. By November 19, over two weeks later, COVID-19 has worsened every day, hitting over 12 million in the U.S. today with 192,186 new cases and over 2,000 deaths.

September 27, 2020

DDT’s Financial Affairs Prove Him Liar, Cheat, Bully

Filed under: taxes — trp2011 @ 11:39 PM
Tags: , , ,

In the past, weekends were fairly peaceful in the news—just a few Friday dumps from politicians wanting to minimize a disaster. Not with Dictator Donald Trump (DDT). Today was a prime example when the New York Times released extensive information about his fraud in income tax filings. He constantly lied about not being able to release the returns while he’s being audited, but this lengthy newspaper article reveals how DDT has freeloaded on the U.S. public and used his position in the White House to make money. During over two decades: 

In 2016 and 2017, DDT, who claims to be unbelievably wealthy, paid only $750 each year in federal income taxes. (The NYT did not obtain his personal tax returns for 2018 and 2019.) Yet he paid $15,598 to Panama, $145,000 to India, and $156,824 to the Philippines.

In ten of the previous 15 years he paid zero taxes by claiming he lost more money than he made. While DDT campaigned on his statement he was “really rich” and had “built a great company,” he paid zero tax for 2014—for the fourth year.

A decade ago, he took a $72.9 million tax refund that could cost him over $100 million if it is found fraudulent. (Check the article for details.)

DDT makes more and more of his money from conflicts of interest with his position in the Oval Office.

A lawyer for the Trump Organization, Alan Garten, denied DDT didn’t pay taxes but used the term “personal taxes,” which could be taxes paid for his household employees such as Social Security and Medicare. Garten also stated DDT uses “tax credits” to pay for what he is owed, which isn’t money paid to the U.S.

The tax data shows write-offs of over $2 million in 2016 and 2017 for a criminal defense lawyer to defend DDT from the Russian investigation and problems with his fraudulent charitable foundation now determined illegal. Another tax scam deducted a mansion used as a family retreat. With no explanation, general and administrative expenses at DDT’s Bedminster golf club in New Jersey went up five times from 2016 to 2017. Other write-offs include hair stylists ($70,000), photographer ($210,000), table linens ($109,433)—anything he uses for “promotion.” He also wrote off Ivanka Trump’s $95,464 for a hair and makeup artist. The IRS requires deducted expense be “ordinary and necessary.

DDT claims that his annual financial disclosures tell the entire story about his finances, but they report only revenue, not profit. Most of his main enterprises such as his golf courses and the Washington hotel, lose tens of millions every year. Money from The Apprentice and licensing deals is disappearing, and he sold almost all his stocks. Within the next four years, over $300 million in loans come due.

DDT uses his properties to collect money from lobbyists, foreign officials, and anyone else who wants to curry favor with him. Mar-a-Lago brought him an additional $5 million a year starting in 2015, and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association paid at least $397,602 to him for an event at the Washington hotel.

Although DDT said he would pursue no new foreign deals after he was inaugurated, he made $73 million from abroad in his first two years, several from licensing deals in authoritarian countries or places with dicey geopolitics such as Philippines, India, Turkey, and Philippines.

DDT made $2.3 million from the Moscow Miss Universe in 2016 after the Agalarov family, who helped set up the 2016 meeting seeking dirt on Hillary Clinton, underwrote the event.

In 1995, DDT declared a loss of almost $1 billion, allowing him to avoid federal income taxes for almost two decades, but in 1995 he gained $427.4 million from The Apprentice. He made another $176.5 million in profit from two office buildings. Taxes for the year should have been over $100 million.

During The Apprentice, DDT bought 13 golf courses and transformed Washington’s Old Post Office building into a hotel, losing more money. For example, Miami’s Trump National Doral was purchased for $150 million in 2012 and lost $162.3 million in the next six years. Tax records show DDT spent $213 million and has a $125 mortgage due in three years. He reported losing over $315.6 million on his golf courses, including a loss of $63.6 for the two in Scotland and one in Ireland. The Washington hotel shows a loss of $55.5 million, and another loss of $134 million came from his real estate services company.

DDT’s supposed taxable income in 2016 and 2017 included profits from “celebrity status” ($24.8 million) and the loans he didn’t repay ($56.4 million), giving him a tax of $1 million for 2016 and $4.2 million for 2017—amounts disappearing by the time he filed his taxes because he used $9.7 million in business investment credits partly for the hotel renovation. The result was payment of $750 in taxes per year.

Between 2010 and 2018, DDT wrote off $26 million in unidentified consultants’ fees, some of them matched to payments to Ivanka Trump. The amounts were about one-fifth of his income; i.e., $1.1 million for $5 million on a failed hotel deal in Azerbaijan. The recipient was identified through Ivanka’s financial disclosures from 2017. Some businesses have paid IRS penalties for schemes avoid taxes through exorbitant fees to people who are not actually independent contractors. DDT’s father used this scheme to avoid gift taxes on millions he transferred to his children. About the Azerbaijan deal, a Trump Organization lawyer said, “We did not pay any money to anyone.” A person connected to developing two Trump towers in Tukey said it had no consultant, but tax records show consultant fees for $2 million. Ivanka Trump’s website described her role not as consultant but as a senior executive.

The NYT exposé describing DDT’s fraudulent tax practices and his incompetent business abilities follows news about Mary Trump’s lawsuit against him. People voted for DDT because they thought he was a good businessman, but his history shows him as a bully and a cheat as well as a failure. In 1990, he faced personal bankruptcy from creditors and a possible billion-dollar bill in divorcing his first wife, Ivana. DDT failed with his casino empire and the Trump Shuttle airline but got a $100 million line of credit and other money from bankers so they wouldn’t go down with him. As DDT’s debts mounted, Sr funneled $3.35 million into one of DDT’s casinos by paying for 670 gambling chips worth $5,000, but DDT still faced six corporate bankruptcies.

To salvage his financial problems, DDT sent two of his father’s trusted associates, an accountant and lawyer, to force Fred Trump, Sr, into immediately signing a codicil to his will putting DDT completely in charge. At 85, Trump Sr had hundreds of millions of dollars in real estate but faced cognitive issues. The charge is confirmed by a tape recording of DDT’s sister Maryanne Trump Barry, outraged about DDT’s efforts for a will change while his father was “in dementia.” Barry’s husband, a lawyer, said the codicil gave everything to DDT, and she persuaded her father not to follow DDT’s wishes. Mary Trump wrote the change would put his siblings “at Donald’s financial mercy, dependent on his approval for the smallest transaction.” An expert on New York estate law agreed. The codicil to the will would also protect all of DDT’s inheritance from seizure by Ivana and creditors.

The lawsuit by Mary L. Trump, Trump Sr’s granddaughter and DDT’s niece, against Sr’s estate executors DDT, Barry, and the estate of their deceased brother Robert Trump is about their lies concerning the “true value” of what she should have inherited from her grandfather. She and her brother, Fred III, went to court in 2000 to argue their grandfather was not of sound mind when he disinherited them in September 1991, alleging the will was “the product of undue influence and coercion” by DDT and his siblings. A physician wrote Sr had “significant memory impairment” and “early signs of dementia” only a month later. In another four months, a neuropsychological evaluation showed Sr’s mental state to be much worse—below the 15th percentile for a person in his age group. Yet DDT insisted in a deposition he have never seen or heard any evidence of his father’s decline throughout this time.

DDT and Robert threatened to withdraw medical care provided by the Trump Organization for the infant son of Fred III and Mary Trump’s nephew, William, who had cerebral palsy. DDT and his siblings told Fred III he should take a CPR course from the Red Cross and care for William because nursing care for the badly disabled newborn was “expensive babysitting.” Mary and Fred III settled the lawsuit with confidentiality agreements.

Mary said she is no longer bound by secrecy because she learned the estate was worth closer to $1 billion instead of the $30 million claimed by the executors. She only learned about the fraud in October 2018 when the NYT published an investigative report into DDT’s “suspect tax schemes.” New York statute of limitations requires a lawsuit within two years of discovery, making the lawsuit timely.

As Mary Trump’s lawsuit states, fraud for Donald Trump is “a way of life.”

July 6, 2020

Not All Bad in Week 180

Each year, the Supreme Court is usually finished by the end of June, having dropped all its bombs from the cases it hears. This year, however, the Supreme Court is waiting until July for the first time in 24 years. These are the five biggest ones still not released by July 5:

Subpoenas for Dictator Donald Trump’s (DDT) financial records: The House wants bank and accountant records to achieve its responsibility of oversight, and New York wants access to DDT’s personal and corporate tax documents. The decision determines whether DDT’s tax returns will see the light of day while he’s in the Oval Office. By denying the subpoenas, the high court will give presidents blanket immunity from criminal process.

Contraception Mandate in Affordable Care Act: The ACA requires most insurance plans and employer to cover preventative care, including contraception, without cost sharing. President Obama allowed religious nonprofits to claim an exemption, but DDT extended that exemption to all companies voicing religious or moral objections. The question is how far to allow Christians to control the U.S.

“Faithless electors” voting for their preference in the Electoral College: The question is whether electors representing their states should be required to select a president based on the states’ votes.

Religious exemptions from discrimination suits centering on parochial schools: Are Catholic schools immune from discrimination suits if they violate the First Amendment safeguards because of religious beliefs. One of the teachers was fired because she had breast cancer. Schools are declaring every employee—teachers, janitors, etc.—“ministers” so schools can claim “ministerial exception” in firing them.

Native sovereignty in Oklahoma: The case concerns whether the state can prosecute a crime by an enrolled member of another tribe on land that could still be classified as a reservation because the government never took action to take it away. The Muscogee (Creek) Nation maintains the reservation was never dissolved and Congress never transferred authority over its land, which includes Tulsa. If the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the Native Americans, other tribes could file lawsuits.

In other parts of the U.S., we the people are emerging victorious over fascist actions.

Two energy companies have dropped their six-year bid to build the 600-mile natural gas Atlantic Coast Pipeline tunneling under the Appalachian Trail because of uncertain investing after constant opposition. The company, Dominion, will sell other natural gas pipelines and storage assets to Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Energy for $10 billion. Last week, Dominion completed the biggest wind farm project in the country, located 27 miles off the coast of Virginia Beach. The pipeline had been stopped in courts for its hasty and slipshod federal permitting process.

With the signature of Gov. Tate Reeves, Mississippi has completed the removal of the Confederate emblem from its state flag, the last one to feature the Confederate battle flag. A commission will develop a new flag with the phrase “In God, We Trust.”

Thanks to state voters, Oklahoma became the 37th state to approve Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. Coverage begins July 1, 2021. The act should drive down the state’s 14-percent uninsured rate, and the federal government covers 90 percent of the cost of newly-covered adults.

DDT lost a restraining order against his niece’s new book, Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man. Simon & Schuster may continuing and distributing Mary Trump’s explosive insider account. Although a state Supreme Court judge imposed an order against the book, but the New York appellate division lifted it, permitting the book’s release on July 28.

U.S. District Judge Timothy Kelly, appointed by DDT, struck down DDT’s 2019 policy blocking thousand of Central American asylum seekers who didn’t first request protections in a nation between their home and the U.S. Like the ruling against DDT’s anti-DACA policy, the anti-asylum policy unlawfully bypassed the Administrative Procedure Act, requiring people to be informed and opportunity to respond. DDT ordered the policy to go immediately into effect.

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has openly come out against its chair, former private equity lawyer Jay Clayton, because of his decision to give private equity billionaires the opportunity to take advantage of people with 401(k) retirement accounts. Last week, DDT issued a letter permitting the savings of 100 million workers and retirees to be put at risk in high-risk, high-fee firms. SEC’s purpose is to police the financial industry, and it issued a damning report documenting privity equity crimes. One of the Supreme Court’s rulings last week had restricted SEC’s power to punish thee firms. The law may require restitution for criminal actions but not financial punishment. DDT now wants his good friend Clayton to become U.S. Attorney in Manhattan after firing Geoffrey Berman. Confirmation gives Clayton the ability to control prosecutors, the last line of defense, against private equity crimes. In 2014, a top SEC official reported legal violations or control weaknesses in over half the examined private equity firm, including fee gouging.

In a good news, bad news story, Lt. Col. Alex Vindman, who testified in DDT’s impeachment process, is currently being blocked from a promotion to colonel. That’s the bad news. The good news? Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) is blocking all 1,123 military promotions to the rank of colonel or above until Defense Secretary Mark Esper guarantees in writing Vindman will not be punished for his testimony.

Dealing with DDT is becoming harder and harder for Senate Republicans. DDT has threatened to veto defense appropriations bill with an amendment to remove Confederate names from military bases. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), up for reelection, is particularly worried about a veto for the bill and said he hopes DDT doesn’t carry through with his threat. Removing the amendment before sending the bill on requires 60 votes—53 Republicans and seven Democrats. The popularity of the Black Lives Matter movement and the struggle for social justice could endanger congressional Republicans up for reelection—197 seats in the House and 21 in the Senate. Three of these senators up for reelection—Joni Ernst (IA), Martha McSally (AZ), and Mike Rounds (SD)—on the Armed Services Committee support the name changes. Ernst and McSally are in vulnerable positions.

Twitch and Reddit have joined Facebook and Twitter in removing DDT’s hateful rhetoric on social media. Among 2,000 subreddits, Reddit banned a longtime forum used by his supporters, The_Donald, for frequent rule-breaking, and video streaming platform Twitch temporarily suspended DDT’s channel for the same reason. Facebook also announced changes to ban hateful content and removed hundreds of boogaloo violent accounts. The decision came after several boogaloos were charged with crimes during the protesters. Facebook has already taken down accounts and pages from white supremacists Proud Boys, American Guard, and Northwest Front.

Facebook is most likely reacting to an advertising boycott quietly starting but reaching huge proportions. After only three days, 800 worldwide companies from Coca-Cola to Unilever pulled millions of dollars in advertising from Facebook. The visibility of the boycott also links Facebook with racism and hate with the hashtag #StopHateForProfit campaign. Facebook stock dropped 8.32 percent last Friday. Boycotters are still negotiating, with civil rights groups planning to meet with Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg. There may not be much success: Zuckerberg believes in free expression, no matter the lies and violence. Social media depends on engagement; Facebook’s business model uses controversy and outrage to get readers and thus ads. Yesterday, Zuckerman said he will make no policy changes.

Not all of DDT’s officials follow the party line. FDA Commissioner refused to comment on DDT’s claim that 99 percent of COVID-19 cases are “harmless” and  would not predict a timeline for vaccine availability after DDT asserted a vaccine or therapeutic would be ready “long before the end of the year.”

DDT is showing his fear and desperation by recommending people wear masks—despite his promotion of maskless activities. Last month, he told the Wall Street Journal people wore masks only to demonstrate their disapproval of him; last week, he told Fox, “I’m all for masks.” He added:

“Actually, I had a mask on. I sort of liked the way I looked, OK? I thought it was OK. It was a dark, black mask, and I thought it looked OK. Looked like the Lone Ranger.”  

A recent study shows a national mask mandate would save the economy from a five-percent GDP hit. But not if people wear them like the Lone Ranger.

July 5: The number of COVID-19 infections is due to top three million tomorrow. Today’s numbers: 2,982,928 – infections; 132,569 – deaths.

 

June 28, 2020

Law Sometimes on Side of People

For the first time since the agency was created almost two decades ago, DHS has classified white supremacy a domestic terrorist threat because of recent mass shootings. The far-right may protest the decision, but white supremacists committed 39 of 50 extremist-related attacks last year. 

Mississippi lawmakers are moving toward removing the Confederate flag from the state flag, and for the first time Gov. Tate Reeves said he would sign such a bill if it reaches his desk. No other state has the Confederate symbol on its flag.

Judges not siding with Dictator Donald Trump (DDT):

For the second time, a court ruled DDT’s transfer of $2.5 billion into border wall funding illegal. Two of the three-judge 9th Circuit Court panel determined the transfer of military funds an illegal overreach of executive authority because “the U.S. Constitution exclusively grants the power of the purse to Congress.” The lone dissenter on the panel is a DDT appointee. Mexico has paid nothing for the wall, despite DDT’s promises, and DDT has weaseled $15 billion out of U.S. funds for his pet project. When the Supreme Court lifted a lower-court injunction against the transfer, it didn’t rule on its legality. DDT got the money by declaring a national emergency but said there wasn’t any emergency; he did it for convenience. 

A federal judge in Los Angeles ordered migrant children held over 20 days released from the country’s three family detention centers by July 17 because of COVID-19. Some of the 124 children in the facilities as of June 8 tested positive for COVID-19. One of the attorneys for the plaintiffs said the children are living in “horrific conditions.”

A federal judge overruled Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos preventing students with loans from getting their stimulus money. The law paused federal payments, reset the interest rate to 0 percent, and stopped debt collection until October 1, 2020. DeVos ignored the law and kept the stimulus checks from borrowers having overdue debt. When the law stopped her in May, she demanded students receiving emergency assistance through community colleges be eligible for financial aid under Title IV of the Higher Education Act. Her plan was to eliminate aid for “undocumented, international and DACA recipient students in addition to those with poor grades and previously defaulted student loans.” The assistance helps students with rent, child care, technology, and groceries. The judge ruled withholding these emergency funds would cause irreparable harm and injury during a global pandemic.

DDT wants police to have unlimited immunity from lawsuits, but the 4th Circuit Court vacated a lower court ruling granting five officers qualified immunity for the 2013 murder of Wayne Jones, a homeless black man with schizophrenia. Four officers shot him 22 times in two seconds, mostly in the back and buttocks, while he lay limp and unmoving after Tasing and a chokehold. Jones couldn’t understand their questions and had a small fix-blade knife. The court ruled a jury should be allowed to determine if the 22 shots killing Jones were the use of excessive force.

DDT sues people so often that it rarely hits the news. Among the thousands of lawsuits, or at least threats, are against media outlets, TV stations, authors, politicians, his sexual assault victims, other countries, states, local governments, social media, campaign manager Brad Parscale, whistleblowers, the FBI, even a 92-year-old widow in Scotland—a long list. Last week, he threatened to block his niece from publishing her book, due out a month from today, because she settled an estate dispute with a nondisclosure agreement.

A clinical psychologist, Trump may be well qualified to write Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man., described as “a nightmare of traumas, destructive relationships and a tragic combination of neglect and abuse.” DDT left the dirty work of suing to his brother Robert, who has thus far failed. A Queens County (NY) judge said his court lacked jurisdiction in the case where Robert submitted a restraining order request and suggested he take the case to another court. The judge also cited “several improprieties” in Robert’s filing, making it “fatally defective”: it is based on the official disposition of patriarch Fred Trump Sr.’s estate, wrapped up in 2001 and thus for legal purposes “nonexistent.” Robert’s lawyer said he picked Queens County because the family estate was settled there in 2011. He plans to file with the New York Supreme Court. Mary’s book is due to come out a month from today.

More lawsuits to watch:

Judge Emmet Sullivan isn’t rolling over for AG Bill Barr. When two of three judges on a DC Circuit Court panel told the district court judge to dismiss charges against Michael Flynn, Sullivan didn’t follow the order and may ask the entire circuit court to hear the case. Twice, Flynn pled guilty to lying twice to the FBI under oath about his secret conversations with the Russian ambassador during the last few months of President Obama’s second term with the promise DDT would go easy on Russia after his inauguration. In exchange for his testimony and providing information, Flynn also got out of acting as unregistered agent for Recep Erdoğan in a plot to kidnap a U.S. citizen for the Turkish president. When Barr became DDT’s personal lawyer, Flynn saw a way out and reversed his guilty plea.

In a Flynn casualty, the DOJ fired FBI’s top lawyer, Dana Boente, at the end of May. DDT heard Fox network Lou Dobbs accuse Boente of collaborating with FBI Director Christopher Wray to block release of evidence to clear Flynn.  

DDT put Michael Pack in charge of the U.S. Agency for Global Media, responsible for the Voice of America, to turn the independent broadcaster into his own propaganda machine. Immediately after the Senate confirmed Pack, he fired the top executives and advisory boards. A lawsuit filed on behalf of the Open Technology Fund argues Pack lacked the authority to fire staff or board or board members. The suit also claims Pack violates the federal broadcasting law protecting government-funded news outlets from political interference.

Nineteen attorneys general are suing Education Secretary Betsy DeVos for overturning a rule protecting students from predatory higher education institutions and denying federal funding if their students graduated with disproportionately heavy debt loads and weakened career prospects. California is also suing DeVos for failing to implement the department’s forgiveness program for student loans. Loans were supposed to be forgiven after a decade of on-time payments while the borrower is in a public service for a decade. Between May 2018 and May 2019, however, 99 percent of the applications were rejected.

DDT may be pleased with his filing to do away with the Affordable Care Act, but voters put Democrats into the House at the thought of losing health care. He insists people will keep their preexisting conditions, but the 82-page brief and legal team say the opposite. DOJ’s argument is that Republicans who voted for the tax cuts also voted to destroy the entire ACA. The issue will be huge in the rest of the 2020 campaign because it won’t be settled before November. Almost one-half million people signed up for healthcare plans after losing their jobs through the virus.

Traumatized by the “Black Lives Matter” painted on the renamed street of the same name in front of the White House, DDT went on another rant at the same phrase painted in front of the New York Trump Tower. In a tweet, DDT lied about protesters calling for the killing of police officers, using a 2015 protest shown on Tucker Carlson’s Fox program for his claim. Twitter responded by calling DDT a “snowflake.” Volunteers painted the same slogan on a street in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn. 

The following news gets the label “good” for the hope it gives. Mark Zuckerberg promises Facebook will remove posts inciting violence or suppressing voting, even by political leaders and DDT, and label posts violating hate speech or other policies. Zuckerberg’s statement came after major companies pulled ads from Facebook to protest his inadequate action against “hateful lies and dangerous propaganda” in a “#StopHateforProfit” advertising boycott already costing him over $7 billion. The announcement was made on Twitter. A few of the participating companies

Banks are getting close to minimum capital levels because of COVID-19, and the Federal Reserve plans new restrictions for the third quarter to suspend their share buybacks and cap dividend payment at the current level. In addition, banks will be required to resubmit payout plans again this year, possibly every quarter. According to the Fed formula, Wells Fargo has the biggest risk of a dividend cut.

When “small companies” were threatened with investigation, at least 63 public corporations returned $510 million to the federal PPP program intended for struggling companies, probably about 20 percent of public companies borrowing from the program. The remaining 80 percent of public companies have kept over $900 million. The Treasury Department claims any borrower receiving less than $2 million meets “the required certification concerning the necessity of the loan request in good faith.” Some companies earlier refusing to return money have reversed their position.

DDT speeded up testing a tiny bit by keeping open five of the 13 federal testing sites scheduled for cancelation. All five are in Texas.

Polling for DDT is so bad Fox raised the question of whether he will drop out of the presidential race before the election. Charles Gasparino tweeted an insider “described Trumps current psyche as ‘fragile.’

Today, June 28: New COVID-19 cases of 40,540 bringing the total to 2,637,077; 128,437 deaths—or far more.

June 20, 2020

DDT: Week 178 – Tulsa Rally, Other Controversies

Despite major events of the past week—protests, police brutality, another executive order, two big Supreme Court rulings, COVID-19 killing thousands of people while Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) ignores the virus, and DDT’s determination to infect thousands more at his Tulsa rally—the U.S. government is hiding more corruption.

 The biggest controversy—other than DDT’s Tulsa rally today—came from AG Bill Barr’s late Friday night firing Geoffrey Berman, U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, and DDT’s replacement appointment of Jay Clayton, SEC chair, who has no prosecutorial experience but was a lawyer for Deutsche Bank. Since DDT’s interim appointment of Berman, he investigated DDT’s hush money payments for two women after affairs with them, leading to a guilty plea from DDT’s former personal lawyer Michael Cohen, and into DDT’s finances. Berman also had cases against DDT lawyer Rudy Giuliani as well as against Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, indicted for funneling Russian money to GOP candidates. A replacement for Berman is unlikely if the GOP refuses to tackle a contentious process in an election year. An excellent insight into DDT’s maneuvers. 

Berman said he wasn’t quitting, Barr said DDT had fired Berman, and DDT told reporters that the ouster was “all up to the attorney general” and he hadn’t become involved in the matter. After Barr appointed Berman’s deputy AG as replacement, Berman quit. The House Judiciary Committee begins an investigation into Berman’s firing this coming week with two DOJ whistleblowers testifying about Barr’s politicizing the DOJ.

DDT’s loans for almost $500 million—or more—come due within four years. He’s also losing enough revenue from the pandemic he can’t even pay rent on his Florida golf course.

  • Deutsche bank, 2012: $125 million for the Doral golf resort, due in 2023.
  • Deutsche bank, 2014: $170 million for Trump Tower, due in 2024.
  • Deutsche bank, 2014: $25 to $50 million for Chicago hotel/complex, due in 2024.
  • Ladder Capital (lender of last resort): $100 million for Trump Tower, due in 2022.
  • Ladder Capital: $13 million for Trump Plaza.

Whistleblowers at the House hearing, Aaron S.J. Zelinsky, a DOJ prosecutor quitting the Roger Stone case after Barr’s political appointees requested a lenient sentence for him, and John W. Elias, an antitrust official, are using a federal law prohibiting reprisals against civil servants giving information to Congress. Barr has refused to testify. A third scheduled witness, Donald Ayer, served as deputy AG when Barr led the department’s Office of Legal Counsel in 1989 and 1990.

According to newly unredacted parts of the Mueller report, Paul Manafort, Rick Gates, and Michael Cohen told investigators Roger Stone promised the campaign damaging revelations by WikiLeaks. DDT knew in advance WikiLeaks would be releasing these embarrassing documents for Hillary Clinton but denied his knowledge in written testimony for Mueller’s team. Barr misrepresented this information and hid it until a court order forced him to remove the redactation.

The audience for DDT’s big rally comeback in Tulsa filled under two-thirds of the venue holding 19,000. He blamed the shortage of people on peaceful protesters outside. DDT again appealed to his white supremacist base by extolling the virtues of the Confederate heritage, a treasonous act that almost split the United States. DDT canceled a speech for an overflow crowd because almost no one came. Six campaign staffers for the rally tested positive for COVID-19 which is rapidly spiking in the state, especially Tulsa.

DDT gave one of the biggest pandemic-related contracts, $618 million, to an almost unknown biodefense company, Emergent BioSolutions, for a yet undeveloped vaccine. With the consolidation of contracts for the company comes “vulnerabilities in the supply chair,” according to WaPo, and inflated costs after DDT’s focus on biodefense instead of pandemics. Before becoming DDT’s assistant HHS secretary for preparedness and response, retired Air Force colonel Robert Kadlec advised Emergent and then started a biodefense consulting company with Emergent’s founder. As aide to Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC), Kadlec helped draft legislation that created his current position. Over 20 years ago, Emergent, then called BioPort, received a contract for an anthrax vaccine and inflated the price before members of the military receiving the vaccine reported bad reaction. Another company received the contract for a vaccine until Emergent bought the rights to the different vaccine and kept increasing the prices over the cost of its production.

Since COVID-19 hit the U.S., healthcare industry CEOs paid themselves $2.4 billion, 27 million people lost their healthcare coverage, and people have been charged from $400,000 to $1.1 million for treatment as well as $2,000 for testing. The nation is headed into a new recession. During the last one, the Federal Reserve committed $16 trillion to $29 trillion to large financial institutions, passed a bailout of $4 trillion to large corporations, and spent $10 trillion of the Iraq War, military budget, and Bush/DDT tax cuts. Remember these numbers when Republicans try to eliminate healthcare and Social Security.

DDT ordered meat plants to stay open, threatening a catastrophic domestic food shortage if infected workers didn’t stand close throughout the day. In April, the industry sold 129,000 tons of domestic pork to China, a record amount.

The EPA ignored a court order to permit perchlorate, used in fertilizers and explosives like solid rocket propellants, munitions, fireworks, matches, and airbag initiators, in clear water. The poisonous chemical severely reduces IQs in infants and causes disorders such as hypothyroidism.

With no announcement, DDT gave permission for sponsors of retirement plans such as 401(k)s to invest the money into funds managed by predatory private equity firms. The high-risk result can mean huge returns—and huge losses—while firms skim fees off the funds. Private equity millionaires and billionaires are the winners, up to $425 billion from just five percent of these funds available to private equity.

Litigious-happy DDT threatened his niece with a lawsuit if she publishes her “harrowing and salacious” book about him, Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man, on July 28. He claims that Mary Trump has an NDA that prevented her from repeating anything she knows about him after a 2001 settlement for the estate of her father, Fred Trump.

CIA displayed “woefully lax” security and the worst data loss in its history after one of its officers stole CIA hacking tools. The October 2017 report about publication of these hacking tools by WikiLeaks, submitted as evidence in the trial of Joshua Schulte, was unnoticed until Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) got the public version from DOJ and gave it to the WaPo. According to the report, there was no secrecy among users for sensitive information such as passwords, thumb drives and other removable media, and historical data. Without auditing, the theft wasn’t discovered for a year when WikiLeaks announced it in March 2017. The loss would never have been noticed without a publication. Wyden wants Congress to review the law exempting intelligence agencies from federal cybersecurity requirements.

Iowa Republicans will keep voters from getting absentee ballots by requiring the voter ID pin number on requests, something few voters know. The same bill includes a voter ID requirement for people casting their ballots at county government offices in early voting. Republicans slipped the mandates into a budget bill just before legislature’s adjournment after GOP members promised to remove restrictions from the bill.

Amidst the domestic trauma and the spiking of COVID-19 in the U.S., fights are breaking out throughout the world. A clash on the China-India border high in the Himalayas led to three dead Indian soldiers, the first such killings since 1975. DDT’s BFF Kim Jong-Un blew up the liaison office it opened with South Korea in 2018, functioning like an embassy, and threatened to send troops into the demilitarized zone. The explosion occurred just a few days after the two-year anniversary of his meeting with DDT in Singapore when DDT promised that Kim is “de-nuking the whole place.” Kim has now announced his bolstering the military to counter the U.S.

Make America Great Again Polls:

Rasmussen, DDT’s friendliest and most conservative polling: Joe Biden – 48 percent; DDT – 36 percent

NORC (University of Chicago): 14 percent of very happy people, down from 31 percent with people the unhappiest they have been in 50 years—before the death of George Floyd and the protests. Only 42 percent of people think their children will have a better standard of living, down from 57 percent in 2018 and the lowest ever.

Axios-Ipsos: 81 percent of people worry about a second wave of COVID-19; 64 percent think a return to pre-coronavirus life presents a risk, up from 57 percent a week ago; 40 percent worry about getting sick, up from 32 percent last week; 54 percent fear economic collapse, up from 48 percent last week.

AP-NORC: 63 percent believe the U.S. is heading in the wrong direction; DDT’s approval rating is at 39 percent.

While DDT ignores COVID-19, the number of infections is skyrocketing—33,388 today, June 20, raising the total to 2,330,578; at least 121,980 have died of the virus. At this rate, over 1 percent of the U.S. population will have the virus within three weeks.

June 14, 2020

Weekly Good News Begins with Defeating Confederacy

The biggest publicity this past week surrounded the possibly removal of Confederate monuments and other symbols of treason throughout the United States. Last week Marines banned displays of Confederate, followed by a Navy ban. The controversy when the Army considered renaming its bases such as Bragg and Benning, two of at least ten major Army installations named for traitors who led Confederate troops. In a tweet-fit protecting his white supremacist base, Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) wrote

“My Administration will not even consider the renaming of these Magnificent and Fabled Military Installations.”

For once not every GOP member of Congress fell in line behind DDT. In a voice vote, the Senate Armed Services Committee approved a provision in the Pentagon’s spending bill to rename the Army bases honoring Confederate traitors. Sen. Mike Rounds (R-SD) said:

“If we’re going to have bases throughout the United States, I think it should be with the names of individuals who fought for our country.”

Retired U.S. Army Gen. David Petraeus pointed out “most of the Confederate generals for whom our bases are named were undistinguished, if not incompetent, battlefield commanders.” Fort Bragg (NC) is named after the one of the most bumbling commanders in the Civil War who was relieved of command after losing the battle for Chattanooga in 1863. Benning, who lost at Antietam and Gettysburg, complained that abolition would lead to “black governors, black legislatures, black juries, black everything. Is it to be supposed that the white race will stand for that?” The bases got Confederate names because the military needed states to provide the land and allowed locals to pick the names.

House Democrats continued the momentum by pushing to remove the 11 Confederate statues on Capitol Hill. Four of them are being removed, and members of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) introduced legislation to eliminate the rest of them. Most of the Confederate statues came in with the Jim Crow laws in the early twentieth century. Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO), who chairs the panel overseeing the statues, said even a move to hide them in storage without states’ say “would violate the agreement with the states, which is contractual and legislative in nature.”

Reps. Barbara Lee (D-CA) and Bennie Thompson (D-MS), both senior CBC members, introduced legislation giving Congress the ability to remove all of the Confederate statues in the collection within 120 days. States could reclaim their statues, or they could be given to the Smithsonian. Rep. Will Hurd (Texas), the only black Republican in the House, said Capitol Hill is the wrong place to remember the leaders of the Confederacy. He said:

“The bottom line for me is [if] someone didn’t want to be part of this great country, then why would we want to have their statue on the Capitol?”

Many protesters and local governments aren’t waiting for the federal and state governments to take action because they move slowly. For example, a bronze statue of Confederate Edmund Kirby Smith still stares at visitors to the Florida capitol despite the two-year-old law to replace him with civil rights activist Mary McLeod Bethune. Confederate-backer Uriah Milton Rose and white supremacist James activist Daisy Gatson Bates. Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam endorsed removing Confederate army commander Robert E. Lee from the Capitol, but a Richmond (VA) circuit judge temporarily blocked its removal pending a lawsuit against the action. The lawsuit claims Virginia promised to “faithfully guard” and “affectionately protect” the statue in 1890 when the state annexed its location. Fredericksburg (VA) has already taken out an 800-pound slave auction block, and Alexandria (VA) no longer has a statue commemorating Confederate soldiers. Richmond did get rid of Confederate Gen. Williams Carter Wickham.

Mississippi, the only remaining state with the Confederate emblem on the flag, requires a two-thirds vote in the GOP legislature for a new flag, and GOP Gov. Tate Reeves wants the people to decide. The most popular design for a new flag was designed by a segregationist senator, producing more controversy.

Although 57 Confederate monuments and another 143 symbols celebrating the Confederacy have been removed from public grounds in five years, another 773 Confederate monuments still stand among almost 1,800 Confederate symbols in the U.S. With Confederate monuments being taken down in states such as Alabama, Florida, Kentucky, Indiana, and Virginia, activists want systems of white supremacy also taken down—police and judicial systems disproportionately affecting blacks.

In other good news, the former federal judge appointed to review the DOJ’s motion to dismiss criminal charges against Michael Flynn said the request should be denied because of a “gross abuse” of prosecutorial power. John Gleeson said the government “has engaged in highly irregular conduct to benefit a political ally of the President.” Flynn twice pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about conversations with the Russian ambassador to the United States while explaining DDT would remove sanctions after he became inaugurated. Gleeson stated prosecutors’ arguments to dismiss the case were “riddled” with legal errors. He also wrote Flynn had clearly committee perjury and should be punished.

U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan, who appointed Gleeson for a recommendation, will make the decision that could go to an appeals court. In an argument before the appeals court, the DOJ prosecutor argued the case should be dropped because it would be a political spectacle. Two of the three judges appeared doubtful about dropping the case; the third judge is a DDT appointee.

Peaceful protesters wounded by being violently cleared from the area for DDT’s photo-op at the church are suing AG bill Barr and other federal officials. The lawsuit demands restitution for “trauma and injuries” and a court order blocking officials from repeating the action. DDT first denied any use of tear gas, but officials later used the term in a statement. Reporters collected canisters of tear gas agents at the scene, and Barr is being sued in both his official and his personal capacity.

CBS polling shows an overwhelming bipartisan support for DACA recipients. As the country waits for the Supreme Court to announce its decision regarding the retention of the program, approval comes from 95 percent of Democrats, 84 percent of independents, and 73 percent of Republicans. DDT terminated the program, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) refuses to take up legislation regarding the issue.

A coalition of farming and conservation groups asked the 9th Circuit Court to hold EPA chief Andrew Wheeler in contempt for defying its order to immediately suspend use of dicamba, a poisonous weed-killer notorious for its tendency to drift and destroy nearby crops.

After studies showing facial recognition from photos fails the accuracy test with both minorities and women, IBM will stop selling the product, and Amazon declared a one-year pause. For example, Amazon had identified 28 members of Congress with people who had been arrested.

Several White House aides, disturbed by DDT’s tweets, are avoiding them by turning off their notifications.

A book from national security adviser John Bolton is due out on June 23, but the White House claims it still has classified information. Good news is pending.

Another DDT “tell-all” book is due out on August 11, this one from DDT’s niece, his deceased brother’s daughter. Too Much and Never Enough from Mary Trump supposedly includes her part in the NYT revelations about DDT’s taxes, his “fraudulent” tax schemes, and the $400 million in today’s dollars he received from his father’s real-estate empire.

Former Joint Chiefs of Staff James Mattis said, “We can unite without DDT.” Polling agrees.  

  • 53 percent support: Black Lives Matter (up from 37 percent in early 2017).
  • 74 percent support: protests after George Floyd’s killing.
  • 69 percent belief: Floyd’s killing indicative of larger problems in law enforcement (up from 43 percent after 2014 police killings of unarmed black men).

Approval of the Black Lives Matter movement has been shown by the popularity of this photo of the street mural from space.  

Florida’s former top coronavirus data scientist, Rebekah Jones, was fired because she refused to manipulate the data to show fewer COVID-19 infections in the state than fact. She is now publishing the data on her own website, indicating a considerable difference—today’s 83,720 instead of the state’s tally of 75,568 on June 14. Data comes from the state health department, hospitals, and a volunteer organization mapping virus testing sites. She also concluded the 

The state’s governor, Ron DeSantis, is also stuck with 980,000 doses of hydroxychloroquine, assumed not effective to treat COVID-19, after ordering 1 million doses in April. Even with doctoring the figures, Florida hit 1,900 cases last Friday, breaking its previous record.  That number was almost ten percent of all new cases in the U.S. on a day and now total 2,162,144 by June 14. The number of deaths has reached 117,853.

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