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NY Civil Lawsuit & Criminal Trial Against Donald Trump & Family

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  • #61
    Trump Gets Caught Trying to Play Judges to Manufacture Trial Delays

    Faced with an onslaught of expensive lawsuits ranging from fraud to racketeering, former President Donald Trump is desperately trying to delay several trials well into the 2024 presidential election season—and he was just called out for the scheme.

    Trump’s lawyers have until Wednesday to explain how they tried to play two New York judges off one another by double-booking trials to potentially delay them both.

    Trump already pushed back a potential late 2023 trial over duping investors to Jan. 2024, citing a conflict with the New York Attorney General’s trial over his fake financial statements to banks. But when Trump’s team recently sought to delay that AG trial, they got caught.

    An attorney has alerted U.S. District Judge Lorna G. Schofield in federal court and Justice Arthur F. Engoron in state court that they may be getting played.

    “Donald Trump has a history of leveraging his presidential-campaign activities to delay and avoid judicial proceedings,” attorney Roberta Kaplan wrote in a letter sent to both judges. “We anticipated that, should the case schedule run into 2024, Mr. Trump will begin to argue that his campaign obligations must take precedence over his participation in this case, including at trial.”

    One retired state judge, who asked not to be quoted because he still oversees New York legal disputes, likened the Trump tactic to a child who separately asks parents for permission to eat more and more candy to trick them both into a better deal.

    Randolph M. McLaughlin, a law professor at Pace University, called it an apt analogy—particularly because Trump eventually got caught.

    “When children do this—go from one parent to another—if the parents aren’t aware of what the kid is doing, the kid can get away with things. But once the parent is aware the child is playing them against each other, the game is over,” he said.

    McLaughlin stressed how rare it is for a lawyer to do what Kaplan did: contact a judge in a separate case to flag questionable behavior.

    “I’ve never seen a situation like this where a lawyer who’s not before the court puts the court on notice on what the defendant is doing in the federal case. I think Engoron is going to slam with this,” McLaughlin said. “It’s highly irregular. Then again, we’ve never seen so many actions filed against one person all over the place.”

    Justice Engoron has not yet responded to Kaplan’s letter. But in the past, he has dragged Trump’s lawyers into his courtroom to explain their delay tactics in the past—at one point sanctioning the former president $10,000 a day for refusing to turn over documents and slowing down AG Letitia James’ investigation. Trump was eventually ordered to pay a $110,000 fine.

    By contrast, Judge Schofield immediately ordered Trump’s lawyers to explain themselves in writing by March 15.


    Trump’s defense attorneys, Clifford S. Robert and Alina Habba, did not respond to questions from The Daily Beast. Instead, a spokeswoman for the team offered a statement saying, “We maintain the utmost confidence that our client will be vindicated at the upcoming trial.”

    Kaplan, who wrote the letter on behalf of the investors who argue they were duped by Trump, did not respond to a request for comment. Kaplan has repeatedly called out Trump for his delay tactics in another case she’s working on for journalist E. Jean Carroll, who says Trump raped her in the 1990s—and defamed her when she went public decades later. In that third case, a federal judge has resisted Trump’s attempts to push the trial into later this year.

    The two cases in question here are vastly different, but both have an underlying theme: lies.

    In federal court, angry investors say Trump and the adult children he made executives used the NBC Apprentice show to knowingly hawk a crappy videophone—one that turned out to be a sour investment. In state court, the New York AG accuses the Trumps and their family company of routinely lying to banks by faking financial statements and inflating property values.

    In her letter concerning those two cases, Kaplan noted that Trump’s lawyer, Clifford Robert, agreed to a “firm” trial date in federal court—only to try and push the state court trial, too.

    “Based on Mr. Robert’s prior estimate that trial in that case will take longer than eight weeks, the delay that the [Trumps] are now seeking in the NYAG Case would almost inevitably risk interfering with the January 29, 2024 trial date the court has set for this case,” she wrote.

    The last-minute request to postpone trials is “consistent with the pattern of delay” judges keep seeing from the Trumps, she said.

    Alan David Marrus, a retired state judge in Brooklyn, noted that Kaplan’s “extraordinary action in contacting this judge directly” was “aggressive and unusual.” He explained that Kaplan could have been discreet and done it the way lawyers usually do—by simply notifying the AG and letting the government lawyers do it instead.

    “​​As a former judge, I would find it very disconcerting to receive a letter from a lawyer in another case,” he said, adding that the tactics exhibited by the Trump team show why “transparency is really something we would expect from the lawyers.”

    Marrus, who retired in 2016, now runs a civil wedding officiant service called Judges for Love.

    The nation’s inundated court system—with too few practitioners and too many cases—often results in schedule scrimaging, with lawyers and judges coordinating calendar dates months ahead of time. Some attorneys use that to their advantage, double booking important hearings or trials and hoping that one of them just falls through. When that happens, lawyers tend to lean on local, elected state judges to give way to the whims of Senate-confirmed federal judges who have lifetime sentences and greater stature.

    “I’ve certainly had the experience of being told by lawyers, ‘I can’t do it because somebody else has scheduled something.’ Very often, people try to trump the state courts with the federal courts,” said Carolyn E. Demarest, a retired New York justice who oversaw the entire commercial division in Brooklyn for more than a decade.

    But going back and forth? That’s basically unheard of.

    “I would think any judge—including me—would be furious if I found out somebody was trying to play me,” Demarest said. “Usually the judge takes very seriously a firm trial date and does not schedule anything in conflict for themselves. That's frustrating everybody.”

    Outside of New York, Trump’s army of attorneys has been busy trying to slow down the FBI’s investigation of his mishandling of classified records at his gilded estate of Mar-a-Lago in South Florida, the Department of Justice review of his attempt to overturn the 2020 election to stay in office, and the Fulton County District Attorney’s probe into his meddling in Georgia’s election. These varied attempts have had limited success, but all of these law enforcement efforts continue to plow forward and are expected to result in multiple indictments later this year.

    McLaughlin, the law school professor, said Trump’s games are over.

    “Delays work for the defendant. But you can only run the clock out so long. Eventually, judges get wise to this. And I think they’re getting wise,” he said. “They’re playing games with the legal system. It can be an effective strategy, when you have one or two cases. But he’s being pilloried all over the country in New York, Georgia, and D.C. It’s like he’s trying to stop the waterfall.”
    ______
    We are very, very close to being able to ignore Trump most nights, I truly cant wait... I hate him passionately. What hes good at is destroying things. Hes the undisputed world champion of that. He could easily destroy us if we play it wrong. Thats the last four years. Were all pretending weve got a lot to show for it, because admitting what a disaster its been is too tough to digest. But come on. There isnt really an upside to Trump." - Tucker Carlson, Jan 4 2021

    "Donald Trump and his supporters and allies are a clear and present danger to American democracy" ~ Judge J. Michael Luttig

    Comment


    • #62
      Why Did the Stormy Daniels Case Suddenly Go From Zero to 60?

      Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg has invited former President Donald Trump to testify before a grand jury about the Stormy Daniels hush money case. This is an about-face from Bragg’s previous reluctance to charge Trump in the financial crimes prosecution that his predecessor Cyrus Vance had appeared to green-light. But Bragg’s new-found prosecutorial libido may not bode well for any potential prosecution, given the challenges it is likely to face.

      As reported by The New York Times, Bragg’s invitation to Trump signals that an indictment may be imminent because potential defendants in New York have the right to answer questions before a grand jury prior to indictment. Reports that former Trump “enforcer” Michael Cohen also will testify before the grand jury further signals that Bragg’s investigation is very active. But if Bragg is really so far along in the prosecution, then the speed of the process is cause for concern.

      Keep in mind that the potential financial crimes case against Trump that Bragg derailed had been worked up by his predecessor Vance for years. Vance began that investigation in 2018 and as part of it he fought Trump’s efforts to block a subpoena of his tax records held by his accounting firm Mazars all the way to the Supreme Court—not once but twice.

      When Bragg tanked the case against Trump, the prosecutor who argued before the Supreme Court and won, Carey Dunne, resigned and another lead prosecutor on the case, Mark Pomerantz, who later wrote a book about his dissatisfaction with how Bragg handled the case, also resigned in protest. Bragg appeared unfazed by this extremely unusual situation and went on to blandly secure an arguably empty conviction against only the Trump Organization. He also gave Trump Chief Financial Officer Alan Weisselberg a generous plea deal, for which Bragg got no cooperation against Trump in return for Weisselberg’s light sentence.

      In sharp contrast to the exhaustive work done on the potential financial crimes case against Trump, the Stormy Daniels hush money case languished for some seven years before being revived by Bragg. That inaction was not Bragg’s fault. As set forth in a book by former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Geoffrey Berman, the Trump DOJ repeatedly interfered with the probe into potential federal campaign violations that could have arisen from the money paid to Daniels. Trump’s DOJ also told Vance’s office to back off any state charges. Seven years of inactivity damages any case—witnesses’ memories may have dimmed and evidence may have been lost—but the Daniels case also poses other challenges.

      For starters, the main prosecution witness, Michael Cohen, is a convicted felon who, like most cooperators, has baggage that the defense can exploit. Cohen pleaded guilty and served time for lying on Trump’s behalf, so he will be subject to cross-examination about his credibility. The prosecution will need to prepare carefully to fight off defense attacks. The amount of that preparation grows in ratio to how much a witness has already said about the case. Cohen, of course, has made innumerable public statements about the case both sworn and unsworn.

      Another challenge is that the legal theory Bragg must pursue in order to win a felony conviction is novel. The DA will have to prove that the falsification of Trump’s business records was meant to cover up another crime, such as a New York state election law violation. If Bragg can only prove the falsification, then Trump can only be convicted of a misdemeanor.

      Then there are the likely legal challenges that Trump’s legal team could bring, including arguments that federal law on campaign finance violations preempts any state charges and arguments that Trump’s status as a former president means the case has to be tried in federal court. While those arguments may or may not succeed—and in my view they will not—they are also complex novel issues of law that will have to be fought through by Bragg’s prosecutors.

      None of these are insurmountable challenges. Novel legal arguments are not necessarily hard for a jury to understand. Cooperators with baggage are used by prosecutors to secure convictions on a daily basis in cases, and the Manhattan district attorney’s office is more than capable of fending off Trump’s legal attacks. Most importantly, unlike the sprawling facts of the Jan 6 investigation, the Stormy Daniels case is a simple story to tell involving relatively few witnesses.

      The worrisome issue is the seeming haste with which Bragg has gone from zero to 60 in his interest in prosecuting Trump. To resuscitate such a cold case takes a very determined and bold prosecutor—adjectives not previously applicable in Bragg’s behavior toward Trump—so one is left wondering just how much Bragg is reacting to public criticism of him or even feeling a sense of competition with Fanni Willis, the district attorney for Fulton County, Georgia, who has been working her potential case against Trump for nearly two years.

      Don’t get me wrong—I think prosecutors are to be applauded when they are unafraid to bring hard cases and try them. But haste makes waste is an adage equally applicable to criminal cases, and I hope it will not end up being the epitaph to any charge brought against Trump by Alvin Bragg.
      ________

      This utterly baffles me. Why Bragg didn't go after Trump with criminal tax fraud charges is bizarre, especially after the Trump Org was found guilty of 17 counts of tax fraud, that were clearly directed or approved of by Donald Trump himself?
      We are very, very close to being able to ignore Trump most nights, I truly cant wait... I hate him passionately. What hes good at is destroying things. Hes the undisputed world champion of that. He could easily destroy us if we play it wrong. Thats the last four years. Were all pretending weve got a lot to show for it, because admitting what a disaster its been is too tough to digest. But come on. There isnt really an upside to Trump." - Tucker Carlson, Jan 4 2021

      "Donald Trump and his supporters and allies are a clear and present danger to American democracy" ~ Judge J. Michael Luttig

      Comment


      • #63
        Stormy Daniels: Donald Trump legal team ‘pushes for end to hush money case’



        45th President of the United States Donald Trump’s legal team recently urged the Manhattan district attorney’s office not to indict the former president over his role in paying hush money to a porn star, arguing that the payments would have been made irrespective of his 2016 presidential candidacy, sources familiar with the matter have said.

        The lawyer who represented the Trump team at the meeting with the district attorney’s office, Susan Necheles, also argued that campaign funds had not been used for the payments to the porn star, known as Stormy Daniels, and were therefore not a violation of campaign finance laws.

        The arguments presented to the district attorney’s office mark the most formal defense that the Trump team have raised to date, as they attempt to settle on a strategy to avoid conviction in the event that the former president is charged with a misdemeanour or felony over the payments.

        Trump may face an uphill struggle with those arguments, given the fact that having “mixed motives” to protect himself personally and to protect his campaign could leave him liable, and the timing of the payments suggests there was an urgency to pay the money before the end of the 2016 campaign.

        The effort to convince the district attorney, Alvin Bragg, not to bring charges may also prove futile amid increasing signals that an indictment is likely.

        On Wednesday, Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen testified for around two hours before the grand jury and told the Guardian that he provided the most complete account of the hush money scheme. He added that every juror asked a question, which suggested a particularly engaged grand jury.

        That is a typical sign for prosecutors as they weigh potential charges, legal experts say, because it could indicate the grand jury found him to be a compelling witness – and a jury at an eventual trial might be similarly convinced.

        Cohen is the crucial witness because he made the $130,000 payment to Daniels in late October 2016, buying her silence about the story of an affair with Trump. Trump later reimbursed him as president, through monthly $35,000 checks from his personal checking account, and Cohen pleaded guilty in 2018 to federal charges involving the hush money.

        The district attorney’s case is likely to focus on how Trump and the Trump Organization handled the reimbursements. According to court filings in the federal case, the Trump Organization falsely recorded the payments as legal expenses, referencing a legal retainer with Cohen that did not exist.

        Falsifying business records can be a misdemeanour in New York. But it can rise to a felony if prosecutors can show beyond a reasonable doubt that a defendant’s “intent to defraud” included an effort to commit or conceal a second crime.

        What is unclear in this investigation is the potential second crime, though Bragg could tie the falsification to a violation of state election law, arguing the payment to Daniels was an illicit contribution to the Trump campaign, given the money stifled Daniels and helped his campaign.


        Also on Wednesday, Daniels herself met with the district attorney’s office at their request, her lawyer said in a tweet. Daniels responded to questions, he said, “and has agreed to make herself available as a witness, or for further inquiry if needed”.

        The district attorney’s office has questioned at least seven other people before the grand jury and Cohen was expected to be one of the final witnesses to make an appearance. Trump was also recently invited to testify, but his legal team is understood to have declined the offer.

        The recent moves by the district attorney suggest criminal charges against Trump could be imminent. It would be rare for a prosecutor to question essentially every relevant witness in a high-profile white-collar criminal case and ultimately decline to seek an indictment.
        ________
        We are very, very close to being able to ignore Trump most nights, I truly cant wait... I hate him passionately. What hes good at is destroying things. Hes the undisputed world champion of that. He could easily destroy us if we play it wrong. Thats the last four years. Were all pretending weve got a lot to show for it, because admitting what a disaster its been is too tough to digest. But come on. There isnt really an upside to Trump." - Tucker Carlson, Jan 4 2021

        "Donald Trump and his supporters and allies are a clear and present danger to American democracy" ~ Judge J. Michael Luttig

        Comment


        • #64
          Officials are preparing security in case of Trump indictment
          NEW YORK (AP) — Law enforcement officials in New York are making security preparations for the possibility that former President Donald Trump could be indicted in the coming weeks and appear in a Manhattan courtroom in an investigation examining hush money paid to women who alleged sexual encounters with him, four law enforcement officials said Friday.

          There has been no public announcement of any timeframe for the grand jury's secret work, including any potential vote on whether to indict the ex-president.

          The law enforcement officials, who were not authorized to speak publicly and spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity, said authorities are just preparing in case of an indictment. They described the conversations as preliminary and are considering security, planning and the practicalities of a potential court appearance by a former president.

          The Manhattan district attorney's office and Trump's lawyer, Joseph Tacopina, had no comment. A message was left for court administrators.

          The grand jury has been hearing from witnesses including former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen, who says he orchestrated payments in 2016 to two women to silence them about sexual encounters they said they had with Trump a decade earlier.

          Trump denies the encounters occurred, says he did nothing wrong and has cast the investigation as a “witch hunt” by a Democratic prosecutor bent on sabotaging the Republican's 2024 presidential campaign.

          “Democrats have investigated and attacked President Trump since before he was elected — and they’ve failed every time,” campaign spokesperson Steven Cheung said in a statement Thursday about the inquiry.

          Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg's office has apparently been examining whether any state laws were broken in connection with the payments or the way Trump’s company compensated Cohen for his work to keep the women’s allegations quiet.

          Daniels and at least two former Trump aides — onetime political adviser Kellyanne Conway and former spokesperson Hope Hicks — are among witnesses who have met with prosecutors in recent weeks.

          Cohen has said that at Trump's direction, he arranged payments totaling $280,000 to porn actor Stormy Daniels and Playboy model Karen McDougal. According to Cohen, the payouts were to buy their silence about Trump, who was then in the thick of his first presidential campaign.

          Cohen and federal prosecutors said the company paid him $420,000 to reimburse him for the $130,000 payment to Daniels and to cover bonuses and other supposed expenses. The company classified those payments internally as legal expenses.

          The $150,000 payment to McDougal was made by the then-publisher of the supermarket tabloid National Enquirer, which kept her story from coming to light.

          Federal prosecutors agreed not to prosecute the Enquirer's corporate parent in exchange for its cooperation in a campaign finance investigation that led to charges against Cohen in 2018. Prosecutors said the payments to Daniels and McDougal amounted to impermissible, unrecorded gifts to Trump’s election effort.

          Cohen pleaded guilty, served prison time and was disbarred. Federal prosecutors never charged Trump with any crime.
          ___

          We are very, very close to being able to ignore Trump most nights, I truly cant wait... I hate him passionately. What hes good at is destroying things. Hes the undisputed world champion of that. He could easily destroy us if we play it wrong. Thats the last four years. Were all pretending weve got a lot to show for it, because admitting what a disaster its been is too tough to digest. But come on. There isnt really an upside to Trump." - Tucker Carlson, Jan 4 2021

          "Donald Trump and his supporters and allies are a clear and present danger to American democracy" ~ Judge J. Michael Luttig

          Comment


          • #65
            Trump expects to be arrested on Tuesday. More likely, Alvin Bragg's office alerted Trump's lawyers that he could be arrested as soon as Tuesday. Reports are that one more witness is needed - or at least desired - to make a deposition before they arrest Trump, so it's possible that more time is needed. Still, sounds like next week there's gonna be some excitement in lower Manhattan.

            Trump of course is engaging in his usual stochastic terrorism, and because he knows his supporters, he's throwing in some not-so-quiet dog whistle anti-Semitism for good measure to whip up their worst prejudices and fears:

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            We are very, very close to being able to ignore Trump most nights, I truly cant wait... I hate him passionately. What hes good at is destroying things. Hes the undisputed world champion of that. He could easily destroy us if we play it wrong. Thats the last four years. Were all pretending weve got a lot to show for it, because admitting what a disaster its been is too tough to digest. But come on. There isnt really an upside to Trump." - Tucker Carlson, Jan 4 2021

            "Donald Trump and his supporters and allies are a clear and present danger to American democracy" ~ Judge J. Michael Luttig

            Comment


            • #66
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              Loyalty to country ALWAYS. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it.
              Mark Twain

              Comment


              • #67
                As far as I know the grand jury has not returned an indictment yet. More than likely this is just more grift by Fat Nixon...right out of his playbook.
                Loyalty to country ALWAYS. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it.
                Mark Twain

                Comment


                • #68
                  Originally posted by Albany Rifles View Post
                  As far as I know the grand jury has not returned an indictment yet. More than likely this is just more grift by Fat Nixon...right out of his playbook.
                  Yeah an actual indictment probably won't happen until Wednesday/Thursday.
                  We are very, very close to being able to ignore Trump most nights, I truly cant wait... I hate him passionately. What hes good at is destroying things. Hes the undisputed world champion of that. He could easily destroy us if we play it wrong. Thats the last four years. Were all pretending weve got a lot to show for it, because admitting what a disaster its been is too tough to digest. But come on. There isnt really an upside to Trump." - Tucker Carlson, Jan 4 2021

                  "Donald Trump and his supporters and allies are a clear and present danger to American democracy" ~ Judge J. Michael Luttig

                  Comment


                  • #69
                    Trump’s call for protests gets muted reaction by supporters

                    WASHINGTON (AP) — Former President Donald Trump’s calls for protests ahead of his anticipated indictment in New York have generated mostly muted reactions from supporters, with even some of his most ardent loyalists dismissing the idea as a waste of time or a law enforcement trap.

                    The ambivalence raises questions about whether Trump, though a leading Republican contender in the 2024 presidential race who retains a devoted following, still has the power to mobilize far-right supporters the way he did more than two years ago before the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. It also suggests that the hundreds of arrests that followed the Capitol riot, not to mention the convictions and long prison sentences, may have dampened the desire for repeat mass unrest.

                    Still, law enforcement in New York is continuing to closely monitor online chatter warning of protests and violence if Trump is arrested, with threats varying in specificity and credibility, four officials told The Associated Press. Mainly posted online and in chat groups, the messages have included calls for armed protesters to block law enforcement officers and attempt to stop any potential arrest, the officials said.

                    Around the time the Manhattan courthouse complex opened Monday morning, a New York Police Department truck began dropping off dozens of portable metal barricades that could be used to block off streets or sidewalks.

                    The New York Young Republican Club has announced plans for a protest at an undisclosed location in Manhattan on Monday, and incendiary but isolated posts surfaced on fringe social media platforms from supporters calling for an armed confrontation with law enforcement at Trump’s Florida estate, Mar-a-Lago.

                    But nearly two days after Trump claimed on his Truth Social platform that he expected to be arrested on Tuesday and exhorted followers to protest, there were few signs his appeal had inspired his supporters to organize and rally around an event like the Jan. 6 gathering. In fact, a prominent organizer of rallies that preceded the Capitol riot posted on Twitter that he intended to remain on the sidelines.

                    Ali Alexander, who as an organizer of the “Stop the Steal” movement staged rallies to promote Trump’s baseless claims that Democrats stole the 2020 election from him, warned Trump supporters that they would be “jailed or worse” if they protested in New York City.

                    “You have no liberty or rights there,” he tweeted.

                    One of Alexander’s allies in the “Stop the Steal” campaign was conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, who amplified the election fraud claims on his Infowars show. Alexander posted that he had spoken to Jones and said that neither of them would be protesting this time around.

                    “We’ve both got enough going on fighting the government,” Alexander wrote. “No billionaire is covering our bills.”

                    That stands in contrast to the days before the Capitol riot when Trump stoked up supporters when he invited them to Washington for a “big protest” on a Jan. 6, tweeting, “Be there, will be wild!” Thousands of Trump supporters stormed the Capitol that day, busting through windows and violently clashing with officers in an ultimately failed effort to stop the congressional certification of Democrat Joe Biden’s victory.

                    Since then, about 1,000 participants have been arrested, many racking up steep legal bills and expressing regret and contrition in court for their actions. Some have complained of feeling abandoned by Trump. And conspiracy theories that the riot was fueled or even set up by undercover law enforcement informants in the crowd have continued to flourish online, with Trump supporters citing that angst as a basis for steering clear of a new large-scale protest.

                    “How many Feds/Fed assets are in place to turn protest against the political arrest of Pres Trump into violence?” tweeted Rep. Marjorie-Taylor Greene. The Georgia Republican also invoked a conspiracy theory that an FBI informant had instigated the Jan. 6 riot.

                    “Has Ray Epps booked his flight to NY yet?” she tweeted on Sunday.

                    Epps, an Arizona man, was filmed encouraging others to enter the Capitol. Conspiracy theorists believe Epps was an FBI informant because he was removed from a Jan. 6 “wanted” list without being charged. In January, the House committee that investigated the Capitol attack said the claims about Epps were “unsupported.”

                    John Scott-Railton, a senior researcher at Citizen Lab who has tracked the “Stop the Steal” movement online, said anxiety over being entrapped by so-called agent provocateurs feeds a “paranoia that if they go and do violence, they may get caught and there may be consequences.”

                    “It seems to reduce a lot of people’s willingness to make big statements about being willing to go out” and engage in violence, he said.

                    A grand jury is investigating hush money payments to women who alleged sexual encounters with Trump. Prosecutors have not said when their work might conclude or when charges could come. House Republicans on Monday wrote to Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg seeking documents related to his inquiry, which they called “an unprecedented abuse of prosecutorial authority.”

                    The conflicted feelings over how far to support Trump in his fight against prosecution extends into the political realm, including among fellow Republicans seen as likely opponents in the 2024 race.

                    His own vice president, Mike Pence, who’s expected to challenge Trump for the Republican nomination, castigated Trump in an ABC News interview this weekend as “reckless” for his actions on Jan. 6 and said history would hold him accountable — even as he echoed the former president’s rhetoric that an indictment would be a “politically charged prosecution.”

                    “I have no doubt that President Trump knows how to take care of himself. And he will. But that doesn’t make it right to have a politically charged prosecution of a former president of the United States of America,” Pence said.

                    Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, an expected GOP presidential candidate, criticized the Trump investigation on Monday as politically motivated but also threw one of his first jabs at the former president in a move likely to intensify their simmering political rivalry.

                    “I don’t know what goes into paying hush money to a porn star to secure silence over some kind of alleged affair. I can’t speak to that,” DeSantis said at a news conference in Panama City.

                    But, he added, “what I can speak to is that if you have a prosecutor who is ignoring crimes happening every single day in his jurisdiction and he chooses to go back many, many years ago to try to use something about porn star hush money payments, that’s an example of pursuing a political agenda and weaponizing the office. And I think that’s fundamentally wrong.”

                    ___

                    I think a few members of Cult45 are finally catching on to an inconvenient immutable universal truth:

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                    We are very, very close to being able to ignore Trump most nights, I truly cant wait... I hate him passionately. What hes good at is destroying things. Hes the undisputed world champion of that. He could easily destroy us if we play it wrong. Thats the last four years. Were all pretending weve got a lot to show for it, because admitting what a disaster its been is too tough to digest. But come on. There isnt really an upside to Trump." - Tucker Carlson, Jan 4 2021

                    "Donald Trump and his supporters and allies are a clear and present danger to American democracy" ~ Judge J. Michael Luttig

                    Comment


                    • #70
                      Former DOJ official says Trump's intimidation tactics could 'poison' jury pool
                      A former Justice Department official says former President Donald Trump's remarks and calls for protests are intimidation tactics that could "poison" the jury pool.

                      “What I think is happening here is [Trump] trying to, No. 1, intimidate local prosecutors and No. 2, I think it also has the effect of poisoning a jury pool,” said Anthony Cole, who used to head the DOJ’s Department of Public Affairs, said in an interview with Jonathan Capehart on MSNBC.

                      Cole's remarks come one day after Trump put on Truth Social that he expects to be arrested this Tuesday, decrying "illegal leaks" and a "highly political" prosecutor preparing to take him into custody.

                      "Illegal leaks from a corrupt and highly political Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, which has allowed new records to be set in violent crime and whose leader is funded by George Soros, indicate that, with no crime being able to be proven, and based on an old and fully debunked (by numerous other prosecutors!) fairytale, the far and away leading Republican candidate and former president of the United States of America, will be arrested on Tuesday of next week,” Trump wrote. “Protest, take our nation back.”

                      Cole said he found the former president's "incendiary rhetoric" to be the most troubling, drawing similarities to the remarks he made after the 2020 election.

                      "The thing that troubles me the most about what we saw over the last 24 hours is this type of incendiary rhetoric,” Cole said. “It’s … something we have, of course, seen before on Jan. 6 leading into the violent attack on the Capitol.”

                      Trump's comments refer to Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg's investigation into hush-money payments made to porn star Stormy Daniels in 2016. Several reports indicate that Bragg preparing to indict Trump on charges.

                      New York security agencies reportedly began putting safety plans in place on Friday in the event Trump is indicted. Agencies involved include the New York Police Department, New York State Court Officers, the Secret Service, the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force, and the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office.

                      Michael Cohen, Trump's former lawyer, testified before Congress in 2019 that he paid Daniels, an adult film star whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, $130,000 during the 2016 campaign to prevent her from going public about an affair she claimed to have with Trump in 2005.

                      Cohen, who pleaded guilty in 2018 and served time for the alleged payments, told lawmakers Trump reimbursed him in monthly installments. He said on Thursday that he believes an indictment of the former president is "imminent."

                      Bragg's case could make history, as it would be the first indictment of a former U.S. president. It could hinge on whether Trump falsified business records to list the reimbursement payments as legal expenses.
                      __________

                      Straight out of the Trump legal playbook.
                      We are very, very close to being able to ignore Trump most nights, I truly cant wait... I hate him passionately. What hes good at is destroying things. Hes the undisputed world champion of that. He could easily destroy us if we play it wrong. Thats the last four years. Were all pretending weve got a lot to show for it, because admitting what a disaster its been is too tough to digest. But come on. There isnt really an upside to Trump." - Tucker Carlson, Jan 4 2021

                      "Donald Trump and his supporters and allies are a clear and present danger to American democracy" ~ Judge J. Michael Luttig

                      Comment


                      • #71
                        Barriers going up around the Lower Manhattan court complex

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                        The New York Young Republicans Club is holding a protest on Monday evening. "Join us in peaceful protest of Alvin Bragg's heinous attack on President Donald J. Trump"

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                        We are very, very close to being able to ignore Trump most nights, I truly cant wait... I hate him passionately. What hes good at is destroying things. Hes the undisputed world champion of that. He could easily destroy us if we play it wrong. Thats the last four years. Were all pretending weve got a lot to show for it, because admitting what a disaster its been is too tough to digest. But come on. There isnt really an upside to Trump." - Tucker Carlson, Jan 4 2021

                        "Donald Trump and his supporters and allies are a clear and present danger to American democracy" ~ Judge J. Michael Luttig

                        Comment


                        • #72
                          New Trump Accountants Are Withholding Records, New York AG Says

                          Bloomberg) -- New York Attorney General Letitia James asked a state judge to force the accounting firm Whitley Penn LLP to produce documents and testimony in her $250 million lawsuit against Donald Trump.

                          Trump hired the firm after cutting ties with longtime accountant Mazars USA LLP, which disavowed nearly a decade of financial statements for the Trump Organization based on findings from James’s investigation.

                          James on Monday filed a letter in New York State Supreme Court requesting an order enforcing subpoenas she sent to Texas-based Whitley Penn last month. The subpoenas seek documents and communications related to the suit as well as the deposition of a Whitley Penn partner who was “involved in transactions and occurrences relevant to this litigation.”

                          “This court has ample basis for exercising personal jurisdiction over Whitley Penn, which has come to New York State to do business, has purposefully availed itself of the privilege of doing business in New York, and has provided professional services regulated by the State of New York,” James said in her filing.

                          She told the court the subpoenas were served under laws Whitley Penn had agreed to in applying for registrations and licenses in New York.

                          “Furthermore, the accountant-client privilege Whitley Penn has raised is not recognized in New York, was waived when defendants produced over 5,600 communications between the Trump Organization and Whitley Penn, and may be obviated by an order of this court in any event,” James argued.

                          A Whitley Penn spokeswoman didn’t immediately return a call seeking comment on the filing.

                          James sued Trump, his company and three of his children in September for allegedly inflating the value of his real estate company’s assets, the culmination of a years-long probe. She had joined forces in her investigation with the Manhattan district attorney’s office, which recently convened a grand jury examining hush money payments made to porn star Stormy Daniels during Trump’s 2016 presidential run.

                          The DA’s investigation could result in an indictment of Trump, who has denied wrongdoing and called the probe a partisan vendetta, as he runs for a second term in 2024.

                          Mazars compiled “statements of financial condition” for the former president from 2004 to 2020. Whitley Penn handled the compilation for Trump’s 2021 financial statement, James’s office said last year.

                          The case is New York v. Trump, 452564/2022, New York State Supreme Court, County of New York (Manhattan).
                          ___________

                          Christ on sale, it just never ends.
                          We are very, very close to being able to ignore Trump most nights, I truly cant wait... I hate him passionately. What hes good at is destroying things. Hes the undisputed world champion of that. He could easily destroy us if we play it wrong. Thats the last four years. Were all pretending weve got a lot to show for it, because admitting what a disaster its been is too tough to digest. But come on. There isnt really an upside to Trump." - Tucker Carlson, Jan 4 2021

                          "Donald Trump and his supporters and allies are a clear and present danger to American democracy" ~ Judge J. Michael Luttig

                          Comment


                          • #73
                            Trump Lawyer’s Emails to Stormy Daniels Given to Manhattan Prosecutors: Report

                            Stormy Daniels’ attorney has turned over communications between his client and Joe Tacopina, Trump’s current personal lawyer, to Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s office, according to CNN.

                            The records, which neither CNN nor The Daily Beast has seen, reportedly date back to 2018, when the adult film star was seeking legal representation.

                            Her current attorney, Clark Brewster, said he believes that Daniels disclosed confidential information in her emails to Tacopina and his firm. Tacopina denied to CNN that the performer’s confidential information had been shared with his office, and said there was no conflict of interest regarding an established attorney-client relationship.

                            He also denied ever having met or spoken to Daniels.


                            The report comes as Bragg’s prosecutors appear to be wrapping up their investigation into Trump’s alleged hush-money payment to Daniels, with New York City bracing for the former president’s possible indictment in the matter.

                            Trump has denied wrongdoing, blasting the inquiry on Truth Social earlier this month as a “political Witch-Hunt, trying to take down the leading candidate, by far, in the Republican Party.”

                            Earlier on Tuesday, it resurfaced that Tacopina, who began representing Trump in early 2023, had years earlier gone on CNN to proclaim that the hush-money arrangement was “illegal.”

                            “It’s an illegal agreement. It’s a fraud, if that’s, in fact, the case,” Tacopina said in 2018. “It doesn’t pass the straight-face test, and quite frankly, if that is what happened, we have a potential campaign finance issue.”


                            In a separate appearance on the network that year, Tacopina also indicated to host Don Lemon he’d been in contact with Daniels as she searched for an attorney. He added that he couldn’t “really talk about my impressions or any conversations we’d had because there is an attorney-client privilege that attaches even to a consultation.”

                            On Tuesday, Tacopina told CNN that his previous comments “lacked clarity.” He explained that he’d invoked privilege in his Lemon appearance to get the host to drop his line of questioning, “because someone on Stormy Daniel’s behalf did ask whether I would represent her, and I did not wish to discuss the matter on television.”

                            “However, those circumstances do not give rise to an attorney-client relationship in any form,” Tacopina said.
                            _________

                            A two-faced lawyer? Say it ain't so!
                            We are very, very close to being able to ignore Trump most nights, I truly cant wait... I hate him passionately. What hes good at is destroying things. Hes the undisputed world champion of that. He could easily destroy us if we play it wrong. Thats the last four years. Were all pretending weve got a lot to show for it, because admitting what a disaster its been is too tough to digest. But come on. There isnt really an upside to Trump." - Tucker Carlson, Jan 4 2021

                            "Donald Trump and his supporters and allies are a clear and present danger to American democracy" ~ Judge J. Michael Luttig

                            Comment


                            • #74
                              Trump Attorneys Tell Him to Prepare to Lose to Alvin Bragg


                              Donald Trump is about to be a loser, several of his attorneys say.

                              Since last month, according to two sources familiar with the matter, some of Trump’s lawyers have told him that if he is criminally charged in New York City, he should be prepared to lose. There’s a widespread belief in Trumplandia — including within the ex-president’s legal orbit — that it would be difficult for the former president to get an impartial jury in the Democratic stronghold of Manhattan. Instead, these Trump attorneys are telling him his best chance is to win on appeal.

                              “The [former] president is more confident in his chances [than others are], but when some of us have brought this [idea of counting on an appeal] up to him … it seemed like he believed we had a good point,” one of the sources says.

                              A Trump spokesperson and a Trump attorney did not immediately provide comment for this story.

                              Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg empaneled a grand jury to investigate whether the former president broke New York state business records laws by reimbursing his former personal attorney and fixer, Michael Cohen, for a hush money payment to cover up an alleged affair with porn star Stormy Daniels.

                              The Trump grand jury had been scheduled to meet again on Wednesday to hear from an unnamed witness, but the district attorney’s office abruptly canceled the meeting, according to CNN, leaving the timing of a potential indictment uncertain. (Days ago, Trump claimed on his social media network that he expected to be arrested on Tuesday, March 21.)

                              But if the case indeed goes to trial, Trump’s allies have already telegraphed that their plans to assail the prosecution as politically motivated, and even to allege that the city of New York itself is out to put the screws to Trump. The former president is also prone to hurling wild allegations at Bragg, such as bizarrely calling the DA “racist” for investigating him.

                              Prosecutors with experience in New York don’t find the argument persuasive.

                              “I don’t see a change of venue motion having success in this case,” says Jennifer Beidel, a former federal prosecutor in Manhattan who’s now a partner at Saul Ewing LLP. “A lot of high-profile cases — political cases, terrorism cases, massive fraud cases — occurred in New York. Bernie Madoff stayed in New York. ​​One would think that having committed that massive fraud in New York, if anything said that wasn’t the right jurisdiction for you, that would be it.”


                              New York City has already successfully prosecuted both Allen Weisselberg, the Trump Organization’s former chief financial officer, and two Trump companies, the Trump Payroll Corporation and Trump Corporation, on tax charges last year.

                              The strategizing in the New York grand jury investigation comes as Trump’s legal team has already moved to throw out the report from a separate grand jury investigation into potential election interference by Trump in Georgia. Trump’s attorneys filed a motion to quash a grand jury report because the jury foreperson allegedly “failed to protect the most basic procedural and substantive constitutional rights of all individuals discussed by this investigative body” by “engag[ing] in a media tour” where she discussed the case.

                              In Manhattan, Team Trump is looking at claiming victimhood as well.

                              “The former president deserves a jury that is unaffected by politics, and as a case of first impression, they need to make sure he has every ability to defend himself and that those participating in the process have clean hands. Skilled prosecutors can achieve this, but it’s a real challenge, given social media, news reporting, and because of how deeply politically charged this situation is,” says Michael Wildes, a former federal prosecutor and current Democratic mayor of Englewood, New Jersey. In the past, Wildes has worked for Trump, and continues to represent Melania Trump and her family on immigration matters. “That is not going to be easy, but it has to be achieved, otherwise the process will be tainted and appeals will be had,” he continues.

                              However, across the wide network of former Trump officials, there’s a dim view of his chances, as many believe a jury drawn from heavily Democratic Manhattan would easily vote to convict the former president. “It might be very difficult for Donald Trump to get a fair hearing in the county of Manhattan given it’s so overwhelmingly blue and anti-Trump,” lawyer and former Trump presidential transition team member Mark Smith said during a NewsNation appearance Tuesday. “It would be difficult. I’m not saying it would be impossible.”

                              The intense media scrutiny on the Trump case and his global notoriety also make it unlikely that other venues would make jury selection any easier, says Beidel. “Where can he go that’s not media-saturated? Where is the place where no one knows about this case or investigation at this point?”
                              __________

                              Seriously I think Trump's best defense is going to be "Die From Cardiovascular Disease"
                              We are very, very close to being able to ignore Trump most nights, I truly cant wait... I hate him passionately. What hes good at is destroying things. Hes the undisputed world champion of that. He could easily destroy us if we play it wrong. Thats the last four years. Were all pretending weve got a lot to show for it, because admitting what a disaster its been is too tough to digest. But come on. There isnt really an upside to Trump." - Tucker Carlson, Jan 4 2021

                              "Donald Trump and his supporters and allies are a clear and present danger to American democracy" ~ Judge J. Michael Luttig

                              Comment

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