Nel's New Day

January 31, 2023

Supreme Court, House Attempt to Cover Up Scandals

Another ethics scandal has hit the Supreme Court: the wife of Chief Justice John Roberts makes millions of dollars each year by placing lawyers in firms that argue cases before the high court. One of Jane Roberts’ recruits, Ken Salazar, was put into a firm arguing over 125 times before the Supreme Court that has no binding ethics rules. The chief justice refuses to support a Judicial Code of Ethics and simply watches as “Clarence Thomas flouts ethical standards over and over and over,” according to Norman Ornstein, emeritus scholar at the center-right American Enterprise Institute. A month later, Ornstein said, “This is [Samuel] Alito’s court, and it is partisan and corrupt.”

The House is trying to match the Supreme Court in corruption and lack of ethics. Its new select subcommittee on the “weaponization” of the federal collection is thus far composed of a dozen GOP malcontents with one more added unless House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) increases the number. Leader is Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), the chair of the Judiciary Committee that heads up the subcommittee. The purpose of the subcommittee is to attack the DOJ, FBI, and other intelligence departments as well as the Department of Education and big tech. 

Members include two House GOP leaders, Elise Stefanik (NY) and Mike Johnson (LA); others are Chip Roy (TX), Dan Bishop (NC), Chris Stewart (UT), Kelly Armstrong (NC), Darrell Issa (CA), Thomas Massie (KY), Greg Steube (FL), Kat Cammack (FL), and Harriet Hagerman (WY) who defeated Liz Cheney last year. McCarthy made the choices to pay for the votes he received in the speaker battle; Bishop and Roy consistently voted against McCarthy for the first 11 of the 15 ballots.

Without Democratic members at this time, the committee is already discussing subpoenas skipping any requests for documents and witness testimony because they don’t need any Democratic support. Jordan’s targets include a current and a former FBI employee, two people associated with the National School Boards Association, and the former head of the disbanded DHS Disinformation Governance Board.

Like Fox, the “weaponization” targets will not be anything detrimental to Deposed Donald Trump (DDT) and other Republicans. Although Jordan plans to go after recently indicted former FBI agent Charles McGonigal as part of his attack on that agency, he tried to avoid questions about investigating DDT’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort for his ties to the same Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska, also connected to McGonigal.

Another issue that will be ignored in the “weaponization” subcommittee is the failure of special counsel John Durham to investigate DDT after receiving tips about his campaign’s involvement with Russia during his 2016 campaign. On Meet the Press,  Jordan said:

“The Durham investigation is not done. The Mueller investigation is done. And what did he conclude? No collusion, no conspiracy, no coordination.”

That’s one misrepresentation and one lie. The final Durham report is due in February, almost two years before the end of Jordan’s leadership of the Judiciary Committee, and Robert Mueller refuted the “no collusion” statement. Fortunately, the Senate Judiciary Committee will be investigating the omission of former AG Bill Barr’s and Durham’s decision to follow the tips about DDT’s possible involvement with Russia. 

Jordan holds his first Judiciary Committee hearing on February 1, this one about the border followed by the same subject with the Oversight Committee on February 6. Instead of a hearing, DHS wants a member briefing bringing threats of subpoenas from Comer. The GOP also has a problem with a lack of consensus especially between two Texans, conservative Roy and more centrist Tony Gonzales. All during the impeachment resolution of DHS Secretary Mayorkas from Pat Fallon, another Texas representative. Arizona’s Andy Biggs plans to lead impeachment articles against Alejandro Mayorkas this week.

On February 1, the Oversight Committee plans a hearing on government funding because of Covid, focusing on “waste, fraud, abuse, and mismanagement.” The Democrats have already studied this issue, but the GOP now has a Covid subcommittee to examine the intent of making viruses and pathogens more deadly or contagious with the evidence-free GOP theory that Covid was intentionally created in a lab.

In the $5 trillion of stimulus aid starting in spring 2020, the federal government may have awarded $5.4 billion in Covid aid to small businesses with ineligible Social Security numbers. Of over 33 million applicants studied, more than 221,000 ineligible Social Security numbers on requests for small-business aid were identified, and 70,000 of these applications were approved despite questionable data. Grift began with two programs created under DDT, the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL).

On February 8, the Oversight Committee plans a hearing about Twitter restricting users from sharing a New York Post story about Hunter Biden and continue with questions about a gallery selling Hunter Biden’s art. Chair James Comer (R-KY) plans to subpoena the Treasury Department after it rejected requests for documents. He declares his investigation “credible,” but conspiracy believers on the committee such as Paul Gosar (AZ), and Marjorie Taylor Green (GA), and Scott Perry (PA) raise skepticism.

Another hearing is from a new subcommittee to look at “strategic competition” between the U.S. and China with a focus on supply chains and social media, specifically TikTok. Although the decision was bipartisan, Democrats warned that the GOP may incorporate conspiracy theories and xenophobic language. Other foreign policy investigations are the 2021 withdrawal from Afghanistan and the oversight of aid to Ukraine.

Jennifer Rubin predicts failure from the GOP hearings because Republicans don’t have evidence for their so-called Democratic scandals. Explaining the convoluted right-wing conspiracy theories will take a lot of time and then not be accepted, like Jordan’s attempt on Meet the Press to explain how the FBI “targeted parents. Host Chuck Todd asked Jordan if the FBI should not “look into a death threat when an elected official gets a death threat.” Jordan struggled with the answer.

While the weaponization committee wastes time, the rest of the Republicans have been preparing useless bills that they will pass before sending them into the void. This week, they will address the horror of socialism as the “bill of the month,” according to FreedomWorks providing dark money to the Freedom Caucus members. The resolution outlines “the history of socialism as a failed ideology that has resulted in the deaths of over 100 million people worldwide.” Congress has no Socialist representatives.

A quote in the bill attributed to Thomas Jefferson about not taking money from hard workers to share with others is actually by French economist and philosopher Antoine Destutt de Tracy. The resolution also criticizes DDT’s BFF Kim Jong Un, leader of the North Korea.

Abandoning its concern for deaths, another bill this week will declare “The Pandemic Is Over,” removing healthcare workers from any vaccine mandate and eliminating the right for federal employees to work remotely. Within three years, Covid killed at least 1.1 million people in the U.S. and 6,759,755 worldwide. It is the eighth most common cause of child deaths in the U.S. Thus Republican bills supposedly stop the non-existent deaths from socialism but open up the possibility of millions of deaths from Covid. 

Bills and hearings show how Republicans have abandoned their campaign issues of crime and inflation. Jordan said that he has no interest in police killing the people they are employed to protect which reached an all-time high in 2022. 

When the House finally elected a speaker, it had 11 “ready-to-go” bills for the first two weeks. By the fifth week, they passed only six, some of them toothless resolutions. Some of them have disappeared because of GOP dissension. Primary subjects: two anti-abortion bills, one anti-IRS bill that raises the deficit, and one limiting oil withdrawal from emergency reserves that increases inflation.

Meanwhile, the Senate is waiting for Republicans to decide what committees they wish to join. Or maybe Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is just stalling.

Jennifer Rubin wrote:

“Republicans] prefer to spend time trying to defund the Internal Revenue Service, criminalize abortion providers, threaten economic meltdown, and beat the drum on ‘scandal’ investigations. Instead of working to clamp down on crime, House Republicans want to investigate those prosecuting the Jan. 6, 2021, armed insurrectionists and ride to the rescue of the former president, the target of multiple criminal investigations.”

For the last six months of 2022, while the GOP was hyping inflation, the rate declined with gas prices levels before the Ukraine war. Wages went up in December. The first bill passed in the House’s new GOP Congress was to increase the deficit by $100 billion by defunding the IRS; another one stopped President Joe Biden from reducing gas prices. Crime rates had already fallen in 2022, four percent lower than the previous year. This year, however, mass shootings are already up, but Republicans will never concern themselves with reducing those disasters. Crime is useful to Republicans only for its racist image as campaigns depict Black candidates as “different” and “dangerous” plus darkening their skin, hoping to make them appear more menacing.

But there’s really big news today in the House: McCarthy convinced Rep. George Santos (R-NY) to recuse himself from his two committee assignments until he no longer was a “distraction.” That’s a long story for another day.

August 15, 2022

Primaries – August 13, 2022 + It’s a Weird Time

Hawaii held their primary elections last Saturday, and almost no one noticed, perhaps because of the shortage of scandals. Tulsi Gabbard is off substituting for Tucker Carlson on Fox, taking her vitriol there, and no one left in the state seems to be vicious. Gabbard was elected four times from 2013 to 2019 as a Democrat, but she increasingly supported GOP policies, even speaking at the Conservative Political Action Conference summit last spring.

The last time Hawaiians elected a Republican to federal or statewide office was 2010, and general elections haven’t been competitive since 2014. In November Democrats have a 99 percent chance to win the U.S. Senate seat, governor, and both U.S. House positions. Jill Tokuda, a close ally of progressive Sen. Mazie Hirono, took the Democratic candidacy for Kahele’s House seat with over 57 percent. Incumbents won the Democratic candidacies for the other two congressional elections, Ed Case for the House and Blue Dog Brian Schatz for Senate.

Tuesday has two more primaries on August 16—Alaska and Wyoming where Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) face fierce opposition from Deposed Donald Trump (R-WY).

What’s being ignored during tantrums from Deposed Donald Trump (DDT) regarding the removal of documents he illegally took to Mar-a-Lago:

A new study has mapped the “extreme heat belt” by 2053 where the heat index can reach 125°F at least one day a year. Part of the belt is a three-state swath from Texas to Alabama through Iowa and Illinois into southern Wisconsin. Other parts go north from Florida to southern Pennsylvania, primarily along the coasts and southern California, Arizona, and New Mexico. The interactive map is here. The number of people suffering in this belt will rise to 107 million by 2053, but many coastal areas will have the 125°F by 2030. The states most likely to see the greatest growth in dangerous days are Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Missouri and Florida with the greatest changes primarily in Florida. Many places currently with heat indices above 100°F for over 20 straight days may have 74 consecutive days by 2053.

Oil prices in the U.S. are falling while China economy is weakening as Saudi Aramco stated it will increase oil input. China’s central bank cut a key interest rate to boost growth. U.S. gas prices have dropped for 30 straight days.

DDT’s former personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani no longer plans to stall his appearance before a Fulton County (GA) grand jury concerning the DDT administration interference in the 2020 presidential election. As a “target,” open to possible criminal charges, he plans to show up and refuse to testify, citing attorney-client privilege. A judge also denied Sen. Lindsey Graham’s (R-SC) request to dismiss his subpoena in the state prosecutor’s investigation and requires him to testify as a material witness. Graham plans to appeal with the claim that he is a high-ranking government official although his inappropriate questions to the state Secretary of Staff and his staff were not related to his position. Graham’s office asserts cited the Constitution’s speech or debate clause “prevents a local official from questioning a Senator about how that Senator did his job.”

Georgia is one of at least three states in which lawyers tied to DDT directed computer experts to copy sensitive data from elections systems in accessing voter equipment. The forensic firm performing the task charged an upfront retainer fee for each job, in one case $26,000. The other identified states are Michigan and Nevada. A Colorado county clerk, Tina Peters, was indicted on charges connected to an alleged breach of the voting system and leaking sensitive data online. Tightly regulated, voting systems are classified as “critical infrastructure” vital to national security. Officials took the machines out of service in many cases because the chains of custody were disrupted. DDT insiders also sent protesters to Washington, lobbied Congress to reject electoral votes, push former VP Mike Pence to block the voting process.  A WaPo report describes specific illegal activities in these attempts.

The DOJ grand jury has subpoenaed Eric Herschmann, DDT’s former White House legal adviser for documents and testimony. He represented DDT in his first impeachment trial but opposed DDT in his fight against the election results. Present at many important meetings, including the one where most of the DOJ top officials threatened to resign if DDT appointed Jeffrey Clark as AG, who pushed false voter fraud claims, Herschmann also opposed Powell’s and Michael Flynn’s requests for the military to seize voting machines. Testimony by Herschmann, included in public hearings, was quite colorful such as calling Clark’s proposal “nuts” and telling John Eastman, who pushed refusal of the electoral votes, to “get a great F-ing criminal defense lawyer.”

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) has won the contest—for the most hateful tweets since Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” law. Also on the top ten are Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-TX) and Christina Pushaw, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis former press secretary who has now joined his gubernatorial campaign. Greene’s tweets about the false “grooming” narrative reached almost 18 million viewers.

The far-right is now attacking school counselors, threatening them for “spreading hate and race-baiting” with accusations from Twitter accounts from such organizations as Courage Is a Habit. Fox’s Tucker Carlson also made the evidence-free claim to his TV audience that school shooters are “numbed by the endless psychotropic drugs that are handed out at every school in the country by crackpots posing as counselors.” In addition to helping students with goals for their future, counselors oppose bullying, combat discrimination, teach organizational skills, and support students understanding their sexuality or gender identity.

School nurses are other villains, according to conservatives. Parents confuse the approximately 2,500 health care centers at schools, operating under the local health department, which are completely separate from the school nurses. Parents or guardians must sign a consent form for students to be treated at these health centers, and they don’t provide hormonal therapy, as conservatives accuse them of doing.  

Parents’ opposition to schools began with mask mandates at the beginning of the pandemic and then increased to Republican myths about schools’ teaching systemic racism with demands to stop teaching history. For example, a special education teacher at an Escambia County (FL) public school quit after a staff employee told him to remove a display exhibiting “age inappropriate” racist behavior with photos of Black heroes like Martin Luther King Jr., Harriett Tubman, George Washington Carver, former Secretary of State Colin Powell, and former President Obama. In a predominantly Black part of the county, the majority of his former students are Black.

Parental discrimination moved on to the LGBTQ school community. A DDT-appointed judge in Tennessee banned two federal agencies from enforcing federal directives in 20 states providing protection for LGBTQ people in schools and workplaces. In 2020, a Supreme Court opinion, Bostock v. Clayton County, ruled 6-3 that Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act protects gay, lesbian and transgender people from discrimination in the workplace.

Some January 6 insurrectionists are promoting businesses, boosting social media profiles, and raising cash from their experiences through selling books, clothing, and even a rap album. Their plans lead prosecutors to ask for tougher punishments, and the DOJ is thinking about taking the money. Federal authorities have seized over $62,000 from a Utah defendant who sold his January 6 footage for $90,000. The man who propped his feet on the desk of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (R-CA) is selling photos for $100. Anti-vaxxer Dr. Simone Gold raised over $430,000 for her legal expenses from a nonprofit, but she didn’t tell the donors she had already pled guilty to illegally entering the Capitol. A rioter sentenced to three weeks in jail for entering the Capitol and watching insurrectionists beat up on the police helped his father sell clothing with “Back the Blue.”

A Kentucky judge using a lawyer for political purposes to support his reelection campaign accused the state Judicial Conduct Commission of being used for political purposes. In Kentucky’s southwestern Christian County, the county judge, suspended with pay, declared he will “stay the course.”

Almost a month ago, DDT buried his first wife, Ivana, at the first hole at his Bedminster (NJ) golf course, the first one there and requiring consecration of the property for a traditional Catholic burial. (Seventeen wives still have room.) Researchers debunked the idea that it was done for a tax break by saying the cemetery taxes waived only 5,700 square feet of land. One assumption is that DDT did it because he loves northern New Jersey. He’s also interested in burials. In 2007, he got permits for a windowless wedding chapel at the club to be converted into a mausoleum for himself and his families. Later, he planned a cemetery holding over 1,000 graves which morphed into two cemeteries, one selling 284 plots to the public and the other for ten plots next to the first tee from himself and his family.

DDT already gets massive tax breaks at the club, $88,000 annually, with keeping eight goats and raising hay on 113 acres of the property. New Jersey cemeteries avoid taxes, rates, assessments, and personal property taxes as well as business taxes, sales taxes, income taxes, and inheritance taxes. In 2016, the Trump Family Trust has tried to designate a property in Hackettstown (NJ), 20 miles from Bedminster, as a nonprofit company, but it won’t save them money. DDT annually pays $16.35 in taxes on the property, designated as a farm, that he bought for $461,000.

Richard Nixon did a better job honoring his dog, Checkers.

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.

May 26, 2022

1/6 Insurrectist Probe Moves Forward

Recent tragic murders have given Republicans a distraction from the possible anti-abortion Supreme Court decision, the new tell-all books about Deposed Donald Trump (DDT), book banning, and all the other negative news about the Party of Trump. But the House has not stopped probing the insurrection on January 6, 2021. This news shows progress in holding people responsible.

The 4th Circuit Court ruled that insurrectionists against the U.S. government can be blocked from being elected to the federal legislative and executive branches. The decision is legally binding for only Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina—states ruled by the 4th Circuit, but it provides a precedent. This ruling overturns one by DDT-appointed Chief District Judge Richard E. Myers II for the Eastern District of North Carolina allowing Rep. Madison Cawthorn to continue his campaign. Cawthorn lost his primary, but the ruling can apply to him in the future and others such as these candidates who admitted taking part in the January 6 insurrection.

  • Derrick Van Orden (Wisconsin)
  • Annie Black (Nevada)
  • JR Majewski (Ohio)
  • Sandy Smith (North Carolina)
  • Gary Leffler (Iowa)
  • Ian Smith (New Jersey)

Cases have also been brought against Republicans Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), two Arizona representatives Paul Gosar and Andy Biggs, and Arizona state representative, Mark Finchem.

The Constitution blocks any insurrectionist or anyone giving “aid or comfort to the enemies, thereof” from being elected to the federal legislative and executive branches. The 14th Amendment clause bans participants in coups to overthrow the government from this election. The argument from Cawthorn’s lawyers was that the 1872 Amnesty Act applied only to the past by preventing Confederate insurrectionists from being elected to the U.S. government. The 4th Circuit disagreed.

In other January 6 news, the House investigative committee has scheduled public meetings in June to announce its findings. These sessions begin and end with prime-time hearings on June 9 and 23 with 10:00 am hearings on June 13, 25, 16, and 21. Meetings are scheduled to last between 1.5 and 2 hours in the evening and 2 and 2.5 hours in the morning.

Testimony about January 6 stated that DDT supported the chant to “hang Mike Pence!” Former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows said DDT complained about Pence being taken to safety. The allocation lacks verification, but it’s backed up by DDT’s anti-Pence tweet accusing him of treachery, and DDT did not reach out to Pence to check on his wellbeing. The two men have been estranged since January 6, and Pence has said he would run for president even if DDT also decided another go at the White House.

In the past nine months, DDT and his allies have filed 25 lawsuits to block the committee, but House members fought only four of them to narrow the focus. An early House win gave them a rich trove of documents from the National Archives. Cases also largely concentrated on Meadows, the Republican National Committee, and John Eastman, attorney architect of DDT’s final attempt to overturn the election, and a last-minute offensive to obtain more sensitive documents.

Key cases:

Trump v. Thompson: DDT tried to block the committee from obtaining his White House records but lost in a January Supreme Court ruling. The documents, including the White House “daily diary” of DDT’s movements and photographs from DDT’s official photographer, keep rolling in.

Eastman v. Thompson: A federal judge kept dismissing the lawyer’s attempt to block his emails from the committee and issued a ruling that Eastman and DDT probably engaged in a criminal conspiracy to overturn the election. From evidence at the hearings, the public found out about excerpts from depositions, and the committee will share more evidence this week.

Meadows v. Pelosi: This case revealed more deposition transcripts, including the text messages between Meadows and other people planning to overturn the election.

Republican National Committee v. Pelosi: Data from internal RNC documents could disclose the extent to which DDT’s fundraising lies were read after the 2020 presidential election and if those misrepresentations helped radicalize the insurrectionists on January 6. Earlier this month, a DDT-appointed judge ruled for the House committee. A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals put that ruling on hold until mid-June. A decision overturning the judge’s ruling could be appealed to the full 11-member bench or the Supreme Court which would conceal the information until after public hearings.

Budowich v. Pelosi: In an accidental boon for the panel, the panel found his involvement in the January 6 rally finances through a search of his records from J.P. Morgan. A judge upheld the committee’s validity. The committee was searching for the rally’s source of funding, as much as $3 million with some of it from the heiress to the Publix supermarket chain, and the possibility that Budowich’s company is hiding information and funds about these donations. A judgment against Budowich would allow the government to take back the funds as a “fraudulent transfer.”

Rejects: The committee is now filing motions to dismiss less worthy lawsuits to them, including those filed by a founder of the rally Ali Alexander, the mother of a man entering the Capitol, and Eastman in a separate lawsuit. The panel ignored Phil Waldron, who claimed voting machine irregularities; Amy Harris, photographer tied to Proud Boys; Kelly Meggs, leader of the Oath Keepers; Kelli Ward, chair of the Arizona GOP; and Alex Jones, pro-DDT broadcaster.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) continues to protest against the committee’s requests to speak with GOP members and the subpoenas if they refuse to cooperate. He declared these subpoenas “unprecedented,” ignoring the fact that DDT’s insurrection are unprecedented. The request to Rep. Barry Loudermilk (R-GA) came after the discovery that the House member lied about not conducting a tour on January 5, 2021, the day before the attack on the Capitol. One of 147 Republicans voting to overturn the presidential election results, Loudermilk was communicating with former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows on January 6.

House Republicans threaten to release Capitol Police video to clear Loudermilk of conducting the tours, but they don’t have the footage. Obtaining the external drive could cost as much as $20,000. Capital Police said it has extensively cooperated with the committee and won’t release the footage “while their work is still pending.” Bipartisan members of the investigative group who saw the footage disagreed with the Republicans description showing “no tours, no large groups, no one with MAGA hats on.” Loudermilk said he did give a tour but only to a constituent family, about a dozen people “that we met at church.”

Reps. Scott Perry (PA) and Andy Biggs (AZ) formally objected to House subpoenas. Texts show Perry’s key role in reversing or delaying the election certification, sometimes with the excuse that China hacked Dominion voting machines, and strategizing ways to eliminate electoral votes in states DDT lost. Despite a law requiring records to be preserved for the archives, Meadows burned documents after a meeting with Perry, according to testimony from a former White House aide. Biggs participated in planning meetings at the White House and worked with Meadows to persuade state legislators to overturn the election.

After receiving his subpoena, Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), allegedly part of the scheme to overturn Biden’s election, went from his “I have nothing to hide” about the insurrection to refusing cooperation until the committee turns over all the information they have on him. Jordan’s reputation of lying includes denial about being told about his athletes’ sexual abuse while he was assistant wrestling coach at the University of Ohio.

On January 6, 2022, the first anniversary of the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, this article covered what was known at that time. The hearings will update it:

DDT inspired the attack: He seeded the attack with baseless claims that he continued, no matter the evidence. Then he invited people to attend the “big protest in D.C. on January 6th. Be there, will be wild.”

DDT aides and supporters actively sought to overturn the election: The most loyal lieutenants such as former personal lawyer Rudy Giuliana and strategist Steve Bannon set up the plan to overturn the election from suites and rooms in the Willard Hotel with John Eastman guiding their work. Unfortunately for them, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) was in charge of the congressional session to count electoral college votes.

The attack was violent: No matter how Republicans try to deny any insurrection, videos and photos depict the assaults and the damage, much of it with weapons intended to wound and possibly kill congressional members and Capitol Police. The images show that the “antifa” were not the insurrectionists and the event was not “staged.”

DDT took inadequate steps to calm the attackers: DDT watched the events unfold with no concern and did nothing for hours despite pleading from his family and other supporters. He even goaded on the insurrectionists by tweeting complaints about Pence.  

Many Republicans and Trump supporters, at least briefly, were appalled: Initially, private texts and public speeches from GOP leaders condemned the attack and DDT’s part in it, calling him responsible.

Capitol Hill security was deficient in part because of concerns about Trump: The National Guard wasn’t deployed in time to save the situation because of the fear that DDT invoke the 1807 Insurrection Act to declare martial law for his complete control of the U.S.

More details are here. In a month, people will hopefully know much more.

March 4, 2022

1/6 Criminal Charges Possible for DDT

While Vladimir Putin threatens to end the world, the House committee investigating events surrounding the January 6 insurrectionist is moving Deposed Donald Trump (DDT) toward criminal charges for his part in the attempted coup. According to a committee filing, DDT and a right-wing lawyer were part of a “criminal conspiracy” to overturn the 2020 presidential election. The filing is an attempt to persuade a judge to allow the panel access to emails from John Eastman, who claims attorney-client privilege.

The committee also hinted it may make a criminal referral to the DOJ using the arguments to the court as a preview to the case. Congress cannot bring criminal charges; only the DOJ can do that. One of the possible charges against DDT is obstruction because of his attempts to block Joe Biden’s certification as president. After DDT’s election loss, he communicated with state officials and “engaged in a personal campaign to persuade the public that the election had been tainted by widespread fraud,” according to the House lawyers. They cited DDT’s personal pressure on then-VP Mike Pence “to manipulate the results in his favor” and to block Congress’ vote although DDT knew he lacked sufficient legitimate electoral votes from the states.

The filing also detailed how DDT’s officials pushed back at his insistence to block the election result. DOJ leadership testified that DDT pressured them to declare the entire election “corrupt.” Eastman was also told that no Supreme Court justice would approve of his legal theories. Even DDT’s faithful adviser, said DDT had been advised “in pretty blunt terms” he was going to lose his fight. Pence, his advisers, and prominent conservative attorneys condemned Eastman’s theory as nonsensical and impossible.

The House is trying to overcome Eastman’s confidential attorney-client claim by showing his communications are about fraudulent activity, or ongoing or future crimes. One of Eastman’s available emails shows he knew people delaying the electoral count were breaking the law. A judge earlier ruled that Eastman cannot shield 19,000 emails requested by the House committee.

During the insurrection, Eastman wrote Pence’s aide that he had told DDT his vice president could not unilaterally determine the electoral college vote. Yet five hours later, he wrote the same aide, again asking that Pence stop the certification.

The second possible charge is conspiracy to defraud the United States. DDT lied about the 2020 election and therefore attempted to “interfere or obstruct legitimate Government activity” with “deceit, craft or trickery, or at least by means that are dishonest.” The committee also accuses DDT of conspiring to commit the same types of crimes as many of his followers breaching the Capitol grounds found guilty of engaging in conspiracies to interrupt Congress from its session certifying the election.

In addition, the House committee issued subpoenas to DDT’s lawyers suspected to be part of the efforts to stop certifying Biden’s presidential election. Closely involved in the scheme, DDT called the “war room” at the Willard Hotel, the location for planning to overturn the election, on January 5 to talk about ways that they could completely stop Biden’s certification. Present were the subpoenaed legal team with DDT’s former personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani and John Eastman. Christina Bobb, One America News host, was subpoenaed because of her involvement in drafting the executive order to direct federal agencies in seizing voting machines in states that Biden narrowly won. Cleta Mitchell, also subpoenaed, participated in DDT’s phone call to pressure Georgia’s secretary of state Brad to “find” the exact number of votes to reverse his loss in the state. Other subpoenaed people also worked with the executive orders or pressure on the DOJ or state legislators to commit fraud.

The House committee has interviewed over 550 people and still wants to talk to DDT’s daughter Ivanka Trump and Donald Trump Jr.’s girlfriend Kimberly Guilfoyle as well as the people they subpoenaed earlier this week. Roger Stone, DDT’s longtime friend, refuses to testify, but Danish filmmakers have footage for two years showing frank statements about his part in overturning the election. Committee members just need to watch the film, and everyone can watch A Storm Foretold, expected to be released later this year. A 90-minute period covering the height of the violence on January 6 and Stone’s conversations with DDT are missing, but he may have talked about these.

Part of the filming shows Stone pushing the “Stone Plan”—a blanket presidential pardon for himself, DDT’s congressional allies, and the America First movement for trying to overturn the election. Stone also wanted DDT to pardon other backers, including convicted mobsters, but White House counsel Pat Cipollone scuttled the idea. Wanting a pardon for what they did shows Stone realized his and conspirators’ actions were illegal.

Stone and DDT probably won’t be friends anymore. On Inauguration Day, Stone said DDT deserved to be impeached and was the “greatest single mistake in American history.” He added that federal authorities in Manhattan might prosecute DDT because he didn’t preemptively pardon himself. “A good, long sentence in prison will give him a chance to think about it, because the Southern District is coming for him, and he did nothing,” Stone said.

More details of the film here.

Eastman has already “retired” from Chapman University for his part in trying to overturn the election; now California’s state bar is investigating him for possible violations of “California law and ethics rules governing attorneys following and in relation to the November 2020 presidential election.” The probe began last September. A press release stated that “a number of individuals and entities have brought to the State Bar’s attention press reports, court filings, and other public documents detailing Mr. Eastman’s conduct.”

While the January 6 insurrectionists chanted “Hang Mike Pence,” Eastman blamed Pence for the violence when he wrote Greg Jacob, Pence’s chief counsel:

“The ‘siege’ is because YOU and your boss did not do what was necessary to allow this to be aired in a public way so that the American people can see for themselves what happened.”

Former acting Solicitor General Neal Katyal said the filing is really about DDT, not Eastman. He added that the legal brief states “there is a good faith basis to believe that Donald Trump committed felonies and this lawyer, John Eastman, helped him do it.”

One viable theory regarding DDT’s behavior, considering his past, comes from author Don Winslow. He thinks the sole goal of DDT and his allies is to stall the process by questioning the integrity of the investigation with the hopes that Republicans will take over the House this year and shut down the probe. Winslow tweeted footage from a political ad stating:

“Every single deposition that the [January 6th Committee] does from today forward will be able to be dodged by the person till after the November mid-terms, including [Kim Guilfoyle] It’s not an accident that they subpoenaed Kim Guilfoyle this late.”

Documents for the filing show that multiple witnesses and documents prove DDT was repeatedly told his election loss was real and his claims of “fraud” were based on nothing. As advisers destroyed his conspiracy theories, he made up more. It’s the behavior of someone creating false evidence to support a lie. Former DOJ official Richard Donoghue testified about DDT’s reason for trying to overthrow democracy. DDT said something like, “What do I have to lose?” Donoghue pled with DDT not to “hurt the country,” but DDT ignored him. DDT believed he would never face any consequences.

Amanda Marcotte wrote:

“Trump has been criming his entire life, and never faced anything like a serious consequence. As the New York Times has repeatedly shown in its reporting, Trump has been a massive tax fraud his whole career. He doesn’t even bother to deny it, but brags about how defrauding the government and other taxpayers is a ‘sport’ and makes him ‘smart.’ He’s been accused of sexual harassment, assault, and rape by over two dozen women. But we don’t have just their testimony to rely on to believe them, because Trump himself bragged about it on the infamous ‘grab ’em by the pussy’ tape. Even when one of his illegal schemes comes back to bite him—as happened when he was forced to settle out of court with defrauded customers of his “Trump University” grift—the consequences are insufficient to actually be felt. Hell, he’s even managed to get the Republican National Committee to pay his legal bills so that he can keep wasting his money on golf courses.”

With DDT, it’s the thrill and power of getting away with whatever he wants and putting one over on everyone else. Yet he never uses words that are likely to get him convicted. Like when he blackmailed Ukrainian Volodymyr Zelinsky, he said things such as “I would like you …” or asking him for a “favor.” In February, DDT did slip when he said that “Pence did have the right to change the outcome,” indicating his state of mind, but even that might not stick.

DDT has neither morality or ethics, just a fear of consequences.

January 20, 2022

Subpoenas Continue to Pour Out in January 6 Investigation

More shoes have dropped from the centipede in the House January 6 committee as it seeks testimony from witnesses to instigators of the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.

The committee has asked Ivanka Trump, daughter of now Deposed Donald Trump (DDT) and a former government official who swore to protect the constitution, for voluntary testimony regarding her knowledge about DDT’s actions before, during, and after the attempt to block reading of the Electoral College votes certifying Joe Biden’s election as president. According to evidence, Trump was present when her father tried to push Pence into rejecting votes for Biden and enlisted in White House aides’ attempt to persuade DDT to call off his supporters rioting at the Capitol. Other questions for Trump would be whether her father tried to block the National Guard deployment to the attack and if DDT “took appropriate action regarding the continuing threats of violence” in the days after the insurrection.

Trump was at the White House for all day on January 6, and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said he called her during the riot, asking for her help with her father. She told Graham she was trying to get her him to make a statement to stop his supporters. Former chief of staff Mark Meadows also called her for help, saying, “We’ve got to get this under control.”

The committee’s letter to Trump reveals information about her father. There is no evidence that DDT took any action for assistance at the Capitol, including deploying the National Guard or calling any law enforcement agency. Testimony from Gen. Keith Kellogg reveals the White House was worried about putting DDT on live TV during the insurrection for fear he would make the disaster even worse. DDT also pushed VP Mike Pence into making the “hard decision” to overturn Biden’s election, according to Kellogg, by trying to humiliate him. DDT’s White House counsel likely determined that Pence’s following DDT’s plans would be illegal or violate the U.S. Constitution. An unidentified member of the conservative House Freedom Caucus warned the White House that following DDT’s plans would “drive a stake in the heart of the federal republic.”

Former White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham has already told the January 6 committee about DDT’s secret meetings at the White House in the week preceding the insurrection. Grisham resigned from her position as Melania Trump’s chief of staff on January 6. She said Meadows scheduled the off-the-book meetings, known to only a few aides, and the former chief usher Timothy Harleth waved participants upstairs. Before going to the White House, Harleth was the director of rooms at the Trump International Hotel. He was almost fired after the election when tried to gain favor with Biden during the transition, but Melania Trump insisted on keeping him employed until Biden’s inauguration. DDT had increasingly stayed in his White House residency to work during his term to avoid being watched by aides. The committee is also seeking information from the Secret Service regarding DDT’s marching with supporters from the Ellipse to the Capitol as he promised the crowd.

The panel sent several subpoenas including to DDT’s former personal attorney Rudy Giuliani and his campaign lawyer Jenna Ellis who defended DDT’s lies in court and traveled to a number of states to encourage legislators and electors to overturn the Electoral College votes. Two others receiving subpoenas are Boris Epshteyn, a former DDT campaign strategic adviser, and Sidney Powell, another attorney leading failed lawsuits against the big lie of a stolen election.

Giuliani, whose license has been suspended in New York and Washington, D.C. for his lies, has been identified as the coordinator for fake electors in Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, and Wisconsin to prepare false Electoral College certificates in their attempt to overthrow the 2020 election in favor of Dictator Donald Trump (DDT). He publicly said these rival (aka false) slates were appropriate and necessary and was helped by Christina Bobb, an anchor from the conservative One America News. Former administration officials’ campaign was to recruit replacements for electors who didn’t want to participate in the scheme, distribute the fake language for certificates, and help electors gain access to Capitol buildings.

Leaders maintained that the fake certificates emulated Democratic actions six decades ago in a close race in Hawaii. In the state’s first election, a court found that the count favoring Richard Nixon was inaccurate but had not established that fact before certificates were required to be submitted on December 19. Both slates were submitted, and Congress unanimously voted to accept the certificate for John F. Kennedy. Presiding over the session, VP Richard Nixon accepted the decision “without the intent of establishing a precedent.” Hawaii had three electoral votes; JFK won by 84 votes, including those three.

The subpoena for Giuliani also demands evidence for his claims about the “stolen election” and specifics about the fees he was paid as attorney to push his false claims. A report had stated DDT didn’t pay the fees for Giuliani’s legal work, and DDT has paid nothing for Giuliani’s legal defense. The subpoena also requires information about the conspiracies used in the attempt to seize voting machines and the meetings at the “command center” at the Willard Hotel prior to January 6 to coordinate the overturn of the Electoral College votes.

Jenna Ellis, Giuliani’s close colleague, “prepared and circulated two memos purporting to analyze the constitutional authority for the Vice President to reject or delay counting electoral votes from states that had submitted alternate slates of electors,” according to the January 6 committee. Michigan AG Dana Nessel maintained the false electoral vote certificates were “an open-and-shut case of forgery of a public record.” New Mexico AG Hector Balderas also referred the fake certificate to federal prosecutors, and Wisconsin AG Josh Kaul said the federal government should investigate any illegal act furthering “seditious conspiracy.”

Epshteyn said he had conference calls with the legal team for discussions of alternate slates “in total congruence with the overall effort to send it back to the states” because of “rampant fraud across the country.” He was also at the Willard Hotel “command center” with Giuliani and others who have received subpoenas. A federal court in Michigan sanctioned Powell because her lawsuit against the state’s voting results was based on “speculation and conjecture.” She called it an “historic and profound abuse of the judicial process.”

About the alternative slate and false certificates, former chief of staff Mark Meadows texted, “I love it!” DDT’s sycophant in the DOJ, drafted a letter to Georgia’s governor, Brian Kemp, that lied about the DOJ believing these false electors were valid rivals, but Kemp’s supervisors rejected Clark’s letter. Kemp had already certified Biden’s elector, but Clark said the letter was legal. At the same time, DDT’s attorney John Eastman had written memos describing ways VP Mike Pence could use the false electoral college certificates to declare that seven states had no winner for the presidential election. The proposal became a PowerPoint presentation for many GOP congressional members. Pence’s chief of staff Marc Short has testified that his and Pence’s legal team found no legal basis in Eastman’s proposal to accept any DDT electors from states voting for Biden. At least 86 judges, including the nine Supreme Court justices, had reject all efforts to overturn the election’s results.

Other subpoenas issued by the House investigative committee:

Nick Fuentes: a self-described “white majoritarian” and supporter of the insurrection who was removed from several social media platforms for hate speech; leader in the “groyper” movement comprised of of young reactionary far-right nationalists white nationalist, homophobic, nativist, fascist, sexist, and anti-Semitic believers.

Patrick Casey: like Fuentes, an organizer of far-right rallies in Washington, D.C. and leader of the white nationalist American Identity Movement and also of the Groyper movement; also with Fuentes, receiving “tens of thousands of dollars in Bitcoin from a French computer programmer” being investigated by the FBI for links to the Capitol attack or other illegal activity.

Phone records for Eric Trump and Donald Trump Jr.’s girlfriend Kimberly Guilfoyle. 

Records from Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Reddit.

Steve Bannon and Mark Meadows are still refusing to cooperate with the investigation and have ben referred to the DOJ on criminal contempt charges.

Fulton County (GA) Fani Willis is continuing her probe into DDT’s alleged election fraud by requesting a special grand jury to investigate his efforts to swing the state’s election to his favor. On January 2, he called state Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to ask him to “find” just enough votes to create a win for DDT. Willis is also investigating the unexpected resignation of Atlanta’s top federal prosecutor, Byung J. “BJay” Pak, two days after DDT’s call and a call from Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) to Raffensperger about the election. The grand jury would force the testimony of several witnesses refusing to cooperate with the investigation into the “reasonable probability” that Georgia’s election in 2020 “was subject to possible criminal disruptions.”

January 3, 2022

2022: The GOP March to Fascism

A year ago, hopes were high after Deposed Donald Trump (DDT) had to leave the White House after the inauguration of Joe Biden as president. The plan for mass vaccinations was ready to roll, and reasonable people hoped DDT would disappear at Mar-a-Lago. But then came the insurrection on January 6 when DDT’s followers attacked the U.S. Capitol to overturn the election, and the GOP preparation for another coup continued. Despite over 100 judges ruling that the 2020 election had no wide-spread fraud and the failure of even Arizona’s $6 million ballot-counting by a private company, DDT and his followers—including congressional members—lie about a stolen election, inciting more violence. Texas also failed to change votes, and Wisconsin starts a new “audit” every time the old can’t find fraud.

Biden’s economy is far better than during the past four years, but the mainstream and far-right media refuse to publicize positive information. If the bull market, by now with highly overvalued stocks, turns bearish, it can devolve into another depression. The media calls Biden soft while he plays hardball with Vladimir Putin involving Russian threats against Ukraine—ironic DDT ‘s being Putin’s BFF, even allowing Russians to spy inside the Oval Office. China gallops ahead of the U.S. after DDT failed to manage the problems. Congressional hawks cry for blood, threatening world wars, speeding climate warming, and destroying security and economic growth.

The media may beat up on Biden to increase its audience, seriously shrinking without DDT in the White House. It made hay criticizing the withdrawal from Afghanistan and ignored the collapse’s trajectory for 20 years since George W. Bush declared a preemptive war. The media works on the same sensationalism it got from DDT.  

This year’s elections in other countries will help determine the global direction toward democracy or siding with China. South Korea (March 9) and France (April 10 and April 24 runoff) will decide whether to keep a progressive leader while Australia (probably mid-May) will determine whether it has a conservative Parliament. Its decision will determine relationships with the U.S. or China. Sweden’s center-right parties want to take over Parliament (September 11), and Western European far-right is on the rise.

Polls for the presidential election of Philippines (May 9), already leaning toward China, give a strong lead to the son of former dictator Ferdinand Marcos with current President Rodrigo Duterte’s daughter running for vice-president. In Brazil, leftist leader Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, who governed the country from 2003 to 2011, has a comfortable lead for October’s election after the Supreme Court threw out his conviction of corruption. Right-wing incumbent Jair Bolsonaro, known as the Trump of South America, is trailing by 30 percent, and Serge Moro, the judge who help to put Lula into jail, has only six percent.

Before DDT lost his election, he endorsed the authoritarian Bolsonaro, and four days before Poland’s election day last July, he endorsed the winner, incumbent President Andrzej Duda, for his restrictions on the judiciary, media, and civil society. Now he formally supports Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán in more opposition to democracy. Because of gerrymandered districts, the election in April or May will likely go to Orbán who consolidated hundreds of media outlets to be controlled by political allies, gamed elections, and expanded his power with the excuse of the pandemic. The title of a Vox report was “How Democracy Died in Hungary.”

Thomas Homer-Dixon, a political science professor at a British Columbia University only 35 miles north of the U.S., wrote an op-ed for Globe and Mail about how the United States could be ruled by a fascist dictator eight years from now. The piece covers implications for Canada, for example if “the U.S. regime demands” the return of “high-profile political refugees fleeing persecution.” The entire piece is here.

Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY), one of two Republicans on the nine-member House investigation committee, said the committee might consider criminal charges against DDT because he did nothing to halt the insurrection for the first 187 minutes. She said, “The Committee has firsthand testimony now that he was sitting in the dining room next to the Oval Office watching the attack on television as the assault on the Capitol occurred.” Twice, he ignored pleas from his daughter Ivanka Trump to go to the nearby briefing room and tell his followers to “stop,” “to stand down,” “to go home.” She added that the committee knows other people, like House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), asked DDT to tell his supporters to stop the violence.

According to Cheney, one criminal statute without question is “dereliction of duty,” and the committee must “look at … enhanced penalties for that kind of dereliction of duty.” She declared that DDT is “at war with the rule of law” and if he repeats the lies about a “stolen election,” he does so, knowing that violence will ensue. DDT plans to do exactly that during a press conference on January 6 at exactly the same time as the Capitol prayer service. Cheney called on her Republican party to choose between being “loyal to Donald Trump or … to the constitution.” She concluded, “We cannot be both.”  

Last year, Democrats passed at least a dozen major bills, including a large infrastructure bill and more financial assistance for a country suffering from the disease that DDT permitted to continue as a benefit to his political campaigning. Yet right-wing media, sometimes with the assistance of mainstream media, claim that Biden has accomplished nothing because two Democratic senators, Joe Manchin (WV) and Kyrsten Sinema (AZ), oppose both the jobs bill, Build Back Better, and the bill to protect voting rights for everyone in red states, both to be addressed during the upcoming year. An appropriations bill must be passed by February 13 to keep the country from shutting down.  

To address the looming monster of the 2022 elections, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said he will force a vote by January 17, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, to change the filibuster if GOP senators block voting rights legislation. A change requires only 50 votes, but Manchin and Sinema block altering it. Sinema even opposes voting rights reform, a serious problem in many states since 2013 when the Roberts Supreme Court overturned part of the 1966 Voting Rights Act. Democrats may try to make the filibuster more difficult that the current method in which one person can stop debate on a bill by calling in with that request.

Voter reform is vital. At least one state, Georgia, permits the legislature to overturn the legal vote in an election by selecting electoral voters who reject the ballot majority. In one poll, only 13 percent was “very confident” GOP state officials would accept election results if Republicans lose.

DDT and his conservative GOP followers, including legislative leadership, work to create another year of turbulence, but polls reflect they don’t necessarily represent the majority of the people. In an ABC News-Ipsos poll, 72 percent agree that the January 6 rioters threatened democracy, and 58 percent think DDT has a great deal or good amount of responsibility for the insurrection. Only 25 percent think DDT has no responsibility for the attack. The media usually reports only the large percentage of Republicans who refused to recognize Biden as the president, but almost two-thirds of the general population accept Biden as being legitmately elected president. Unfortunately, 68 percent of respondents to a CBS poll expect more violence after January 6, 2021.

The courts are also home to a building storm in the next year. Recently, DDT’s two older children, Donald Jr. and Ivanka, refuse to comply with subpoenas from New York AG Letitia James for a civil inquiry into the Trump Organization’s possible inflation of assets value for bank loans and understatements of these values elsewhere to reduce taxes. James already questioned DDT’s younger son, Eric, in her office. She cannot file criminal charges in the case but is involved with Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg’s criminal investigation into DDT’s business affairs. DDT’s lawsuit against the civil inquiry is based on his opinion of “political animus” and the claim that his testimony could be used against him, violating his Fifth Amendment rights.   

Always litigious, DDT will likely be embroiled in lawsuits until he dies. He does it to intimidate, to stall, to cost people money, to make news, to look impressive—almost any reason except to win. And now they aren’t costing him any money; GOP donors are paying for them. Before the 2020 election, he and his businesses were part of 4,095 lawsuits during three decades, over 2,100 as the plaintiff. Biden won the 2020 election, but DDT is still suing to overturn the election. Now he’s in the middle of lawsuits to secrete his shady—possibly illegal—involvement in overturning the election and his business affairs. Here is an amazing list and description of notable cases occurring or starting while he was in the White House.

There’s much more about upcoming events, but that’s for another time. As Rachel Maddow would say, “Watch this space.”

November 11, 2021

Insurrection Investigation Continues on Veterans Day

Today is November 11, 2021—Veterans Day. A three-judge panel of the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals commemorated the day by temporarily declaring Deposed Donald Trump (DDT) above the law by blocking the National Archives from delivering his administration documents subpoenaed by the January 6 Committee investigating the insurrection. DDT keeps pleading “executive privilege” although he is no longer the federal executive and President Joe Biden has twice approved the release of the documents. Arguments on the case are set for November 30.

In 1977, the Supreme Court determined, “The [executive] privilege is not for the benefit of the President as an individual, but for the benefit of the Republic.” The ruling was in answer to former President Nixon’s attempt to shield his tape recordings and documents. When Nixon threatened to destroy the tapes, Congress passed the Presidential Records Act, changing ownership of official files from private to public. In that case deciding whether a former president could assert executive privilege, the court voted 7-2. In the earlier 1974 United States v. Nixon, the court determined Nixon’s privilege was not absolute.

Last year, the high court expressed concern that congressional demands for presidential documents could interfere with DDT’s duties, but these have now disappeared. Earlier this week, U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan used Supreme Court precedent in ruling against DDT’s plea to stop the National Archives from releasing records. She wrote:

“At bottom, this is a dispute between a former and incumbent President. And the Supreme Court has already made clear that in such circumstances, the incumbent’s view is accorded greater weight.”

She added:

“Presidents are not kings, and the Plaintiff is not President. He retains the right to assert that his records are privileged, but the incumbent President is not constitutionally obliged to honor that assertion.”

Chutkan rejected DDT’s pleas a day later when he continued his attempts to stall the documents from going to committee members. That committee wrote that “the potential harm to the public is immense” because “our democratic constitutions … are at stake.” In 2020, the Supreme Court rejected DDT’s claim that the House lacked power to subpoena documents but returned the case to lower courts. Chutkan said the reasons for the high court’s apprehension no longer exist because Biden is president, and DDT does have the personal-privacy grounds cited in Trump v. Mazars.

Biden has already determined that executive privilege doesn’t apply to “events within the White House on or about January 6, 2021; attempts to use the Department of Justice to advance a false narrative that the 2020 election was tainted by widespread fraud; and other efforts to alter election results or obstruct the transfer of power.”

People have taken note that one of the January 6 defendants was sentenced to 41 months in prison, but even more notable is the commentary from GOP columnist Jennifer Rubin, an attorney for decades:

“By definition, every member of a conspiracy is responsible for the crimes of others that were reasonably foreseeable. Former president Donald Trump and his White House cronies need not have had contact with, or even know the identities of, specific defendants to face legal risks; so long as they took action to further the violent uprising as a last resort to halting Congress from carrying out its certification of electoral college votes, they could be in jeopardy. Trump’s refusal to take action during the hours-long Capitol siege lends credence to the argument that he had expected, or even welcomed, the riot after his ‘Stop the Steal’ rally and months of fomenting the ‘big lie’ of a stolen election.”

About the seemingly slow pace at the DOJ, she explained that it can go after the “small fry” and “wait for the evidentiary nuggets uncovered by the House.”  

This week’s sentencing does not bode well for upcoming defendants from January 6. Despite his history of assault cases and his punching a police officer, Scott Fairlamb got three months under the recommended time. Yet U.S. District Judge Royce C. Lamberth told the crying man that he was lucky and warned upcoming defendants who assault police they will not get off so easily. Lambeth said he felt “spun” by a previous defendant in another case, possibly Anna Morgan-Lloyd. She was shown sentencing leniency with no jail time or probation before going on the Fox network to minimize her conduct and crime.

In the U.S., about 19 million living veterans have fought around the world to protect the United States from foreign governments, but DDT’s officials are still supporting the treasonous insurrectionists trying to overturn the nation on January 6. Thus far the January 6 Committee has issued 35 subpoenas to people and groups:

Close DDT allies:

  • Mark Meadows, former White House chief of staff
  • Daniel Scavino, former White House deputy chief of staff for communications
  • Kashyap Patel, former Defense Department official
  • Stephen Bannon, former DDT adviser
  • Organizers of rallies and events preceding January 6 attack
  • Amy Kremer, founder and chair of Women for America First (WFAF)
  • Kylie Kremer, founder and executive director of Women for America First (WFAF)
  • Cynthia Chafian, submitted the first permit application on behalf of WFAF for the January 6 rally, and founder of the Eighty Percent Coalition
  • Caroline Wren, listed on permit paperwork for the January 6 rally as “VIP Advisor”
  • Maggie Mulvaney, listed on permit paperwork for the January 6 rally as “VIP Lead”
  • Justin Caporale, of Event Strategies, Inc., listed on permit paperwork for the January 6 rally as “Project Manager”
  • Tim Unes, of Event Strategies, Inc., listed on permit paperwork for the January 6 rally as “Stage Manager”
  • Megan Powers, of MPowers Consulting LLC, listed on permit paperwork for the January 6 rally as “Operations Manager for Scheduling and Guidance”
  • Hannah Salem, of Salem Strategies LLC, listed on permit paperwork for the January 6 rally as “Operations Manager for Logistics and Communications”
  • Lyndon Brentnall, of RMS Protective Services, listed on permit paperwork for the January 6 rally as “On-Site Supervisor”
  • Katrina Pierson, former DDT campaign official, reportedly involved in the organization of the January 5 and January 6 rallies as well as in direct communication with DDT about the rallies
  • Ali Alexander, connected to permit applications for the “Stop the Steal” rally
  • Nathan Martin, connected to permit applications for the “Stop the Steal” rally
  • Stop the Steal, LLC, organization affiliated with “Stop the Steal” rally

Department of Justice:

  • Jeffrey Clark, former DOJ official reportedly involved in efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election

DDT campaign officials:

  • William Stepien, DDT 2020 campaign manager
  • Jason Miller, former senior adviser to DDT 2020 campaign
  • John Eastman, an attorney who helped craft DDT’s argument that the election was stolen
  • Michael Flynn, former DDT national security adviser involved in meeting about how DDT’s campaign wanted to promote the lie that the election was stolen
  • Angela McCallum, national executive assistant to DDT’s 2020 reelection campaign
  • Bernard Kerik, participated in a meeting at the Willard Hotel centered around overturning election results

DDT’s White House officials:

  • Nicholas Luna, DDT’s personal assistant
  • Molly Michael, DDT’s special assistant to the President and Oval Office operations coordinator
  • Ben Williamson, DDT’s deputy assistant to the President and senior adviser to then-chief of staff Mark Meadows
  • Christopher Liddell, former DDT White House deputy chief of staff
  • John McEntee, DDT’s former bagman and White House personnel director
  • Keith Kellogg, national security adviser to then-VP Mike Pence
  • Kayleigh McEnany, DDT’s former White House press secretary
  • Stephen Miller, DDT senior adviser
  • Cassidy Hutchinson, special assistant to DDT for legislative affairs
  • Kenneth Klukowski, former senior counsel to Clark, Assistant AG

As former VP Mike Pence continues plodding forward in his 2024 presidential campaign, at least five of his allies may willingly testify to the House January 6 committee about how DDT and his colleagues pressured Pence to overturn the government by rejecting legal electoral votes. DDT was furious with Pence when he refused to put DDT back into the White House. 

On January 6, DDT’s senior DOJ officials made several calls to not only Pence but also congressional leadership, law enforcement, and military officials although the White House didn’t call for hours after the insurrection began. Then-acting AG Jeffrey Rosen talked twice with Pence.  

The Army may give Purple Heart Medals to soldiers wounded in the January 2020 Iranian ballistic missile attack on their base in Iraq. DDT had dismissed injuries, including over 100 traumatic brain injuries. The medal is awarded for service members killed or wounded by enemy actions and provides such entitlements as priority healthcare after retirement, preference in federal hiring, and eligibility for burial at Arlington National Cemetery.

Biden’s administration also plans to help veterans exposed to burn pits, common at U.S. bases during the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, used to destroy dangerous materials from electronics to human waste and releasing carcinogens and other toxic fumes into the air. In August, the VA began processing claims of asthma, rhinitis, and sinusitis from exposure to these pits. The agency will begin to examine links between these environmental hazards and other illnesses including constrictive bronchiolitis, lung cancers, and rare respiratory cancers, such as squamous cell carcinoma of the larynx or the trachea and salivary gland-type tumors of the trachea.

On the hundredth anniversary of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier Plaza, people were able to walk on the memorial and leave flowers near the memorial, a unique opportunity not again planned.

October 8, 2021

GOP Works against People Much of the Time – October 8, 2021

Republicans have no platform other than pleasing Deposed Donald Trump and keeping their base. All their actions in the past week head in that direction.

Two judges on a 5th Circuit Court panel returned vigilantism to Texas by overturning a Texas judge’s temporarily blocking the unconstitutional law allowing lawsuits from anyone in the world against a person “helping” a person get an abortion after the fetus reaches a six-week development. Anti-choice, pro-vigilante judges are Catharina Haynes, appointed by George W. Bush, and James Ho, DDT’s appointment. Judge Carl Stewart, appointed by Bill Clinton, dissented. Two days ago, the former judge put the law on hold until it could go through the judicial process.

Once Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) took the muzzles off GOP senators, 11 of them decided not to destroy the United States—for now. They voted to permit a vote on a two-month extension of the debt ceiling deadline and increased it by $480 million until December 16. That amount, less than 6.2 percent of the deficit ratcheted up during DDT’s term, will allow the government to pay its debts until December 3, about two weeks short of the deadline. The final bill passed 50-48 with no GOP votes. 

Republicans gave no reasons to block the debt ceiling increase other than hoping to take over the government in the next elections, but the snowflakes who wanted the U.S. to default on its debts expressed hurt feelings about Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s (D-NY) comments:

“Republicans played a dangerous and risky partisan game, and I am glad that their brinksmanship did not work. For the good of America’s families, for the good of our economy, Republicans must recognize in the future that they should approach fixing the debt limit in a bipartisan way.”

GOP senators, who blocked the bill, claimed they were generous in helping Democrats “solve a problem” and called Schumer “combative,” “unnecessarily partisan,” and “classless.” McConnell called Schumer’s statements “a rant that was so partisan, angry, and corrosive that even Democratic Senators were visibly embarrassed by him and for him” and referred to the words as “hysterics.” He called the debts run up by Republicans and DDT as “Democratic mismanagement” and promised he would not “provide such assistance again.” He took credit for “leadership [to] protect our citizens.” Sen. John Thune (R-SD) said, “Our guys … hate debt-limit votes,” but he wasn’t referring to those under DDT, Bush, and Reagan.

To all lawmakers, including my current U.S. representative Kurt Schrader (D-OR) who oppose price controls on drugs: take note. Merck is charging $712 for a five-day oral treatment of molnupiravir which supposedly cuts hospitalizations and deaths in half for moderate or mild COVID, 40 times the cost of $17.74 for its production. The drug company works with Ridgeback Biotherapeutics, a small Miami-based company that licensed the medicine from Emory University in 2020 and two months later sold worldwide rights to the drug to Merck. Emory received $29 million to develop the drug, but the two private companies will reap the rewards—billions of dollars within a short time. Merck stock is also going up. The company is licensing its rights to a generic form of the drug with five Indian companies which will market it outside the U.S. for $12 for a five-day course.

The White House has refused DDT’s request to withhold documents about the January 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol from congressional investigation. DDT claimed executive privilege, but the president of the United States has the final word. White House Counsel Dana Remus wrote to the National Archives, stating that President Joe Biden “has determined that an assertion of executive privilege is not in the best interests of the United States, and therefore is not justified as to any of the documents.” Remus added:

“These are unique and extraordinary circumstances. Congress is examining an assault on our Constitution and democratic institutions provoked and fanned by those sworn to protect them, and the conduct under investigation extends far beyond typical deliberations concerning the proper discharge of the President’s constitutional responsibilities. The constitutional protections of executive privilege should not be used to shield, from Congress or the public, information that reflects a clear and apparent effort to subvert the Constitution itself.”

Congressional requests include everything from tweets, phone and visitor logs, and videos and photos of events in which DDT participated as well as documents and communications about then-VP Mike Pence’s movements and security. The rally at the Ellipse and the subsequent violent riot at the Capitol were included as was planning for the ceremonial event for counting electoral votes during the joint congressional session.

Deposed during a $2 million lawsuit by Dominion Voting Systems, DDT’s former layer Rudy Giuliani declared he was only following orders when representing DDT in election fraud lawsuits and stating that the election was stolen from DDT. He said he represented DDT’s campaign with no compensation because “the president ordered me to do it.”

Four subpoenas from the House select committee investigating the January 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol have passed the deadline for response. DDT’s former White House adviser, Steve Bannon, refuses to comply, claiming DDT’s nonexistent executive immunity, but former chief-of-staff Mark Meadows and Kashyap Patel, chief-of-staff to former-acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller, have “engaged” with the committee. Leaders Bennie Thompson (D-MS) and Liz Cheney (R-WY) didn’t comment on DDT’s former deputy chief of staff for communications Dan Scavino because he is in hiding to not receive a subpoena. Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) said the four witnesses have not provided the committee with any “written communication.” DDT has told all four of these subpoenaed witnesses to fight against the requirement to meet with the committee.

More subpoenas this past week include ones for members of the right-wing Stop the Steal group, including Ali Alexander, listed as Ali Abdul Akbar, and Nathan Martin as well as records from the group. Akbar and Martin are connected to a permit for the January 6 rally from a group, One Nation under God, discovered to be connected to Stop the Steal. Before the rally, Alexander called for violence and praised congressional members, including Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ), who attended the event. Last week, subpoenas went 11 people, including Maggie Mulvaney, niece of DDT’s former adviser Mick Mulvaney, and DDT’s 2016 campaign spokesperson Katrina Pierson.

A 27-page letter from the House Committee on Oversight and Reform has revealed the tip of DDT’s corruption with financial information about his Washington, D.C. hotel.  Some of the findings from the federal agency managing DDT’s lease on the property: 

  • Foreign governments paid $3.7 million to stay at DDT’s hotel between 2017 and 2020, equal to 7,433 Nights at the hotel, violating the U.S. constitution.
  • Officials in domestic corporations also paid to stay at DDT’s hotel while seeking favors from him, for example T-Mobile’s $26-billion merger with Sprint.
  • DDT lied when he said he made a profit of $156 million on the hotel, but instead lost over $70 million since it opened in 2016.
  • Another part of Trump Organization loaned the hotel $27 million, but that money wasn’t repaid.
  • DDT renegotiated a $170-million loan with Deutsche Bank in 2018 that permitted him to make no payments on the principal on his loan for six years—until the year he hopes to be re-elected to the White House.
  • DDT withdrew $31 million from the Deutsche Bank construction loan in August 2016, one month before the hotel opened, but DDT did not disclose how the money was used or accounted for on financial statements.

The Senate Judiciary Committee released a report, “Subverting Justice: How the Former President and his Allies Pressured DOJ to Overturn the 2020 Election,” showing how close the U.S. came to a constitutional crisis before DDT left the White House. Although the 394-page document is heavy reading, a summary is under “Recommendations” and the timeline at the end. One focus of the report comes from the actions of former Acting Civil Division Assistant Attorney General Jeffrey Clark to be DDT’s Big Lie Lawyer in pressuring his colleagues to overturn the 2020 election. The report is destined to make waves for DDT and Republicans.

Several North Carolina state representatives demanded the resignation of Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson after he called the LGBTQ community “filth” in a video of his speech at the Asbury Baptist Church (Seagrove) in June. On the video, he referred to “transgenderism” to make being transgender sound like a condition. The majority of his constituents disagree with Robinson: this year, ten municipalities passed protections protecting LGBTQ people from discrimination in  public accommodations, employment, etc., and 67 percent of voters in the state support this legislation including 50 percent of Republicans.

Every time the Idaho governor leaves the state, he turns authority over to the lieutenant governor, currently Janice McGeachin. When Gov. Brad Little headed south to investigate immigration issues on the Mexican border, McGeachin ordered the state National Guard to that border and banned mandates of COVID vaccination proof at schools, colleges, and universities. The commanding general of the Idaho National Guard told McGeachin she couldn’t activate the troops, and Little said he will reverse the vaccine order when he gets back. The last time Little left the state, McGeachin banned any mask mandates which Little also rescinded.

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.

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