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The Trump Investigation(s) Thread

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stessier
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Re: The Trump Investigation(s) Thread

Post by stessier »

malchior wrote:
Fri Jul 10, 2020 9:09 pm
You know how you can tell Trump is worthless trash goblin? He commutes a criminal like Stone who intimidated witnesses and retaliated against Vindman who told the truth. Trump is a stain on all of us. There is not a doubt that we face an existential crisis that can be resolved by running him out of Washington ASAP.

The tweet is kind of weird. The commutation means the conviction stands, but the sentence changes. A pardon removes the conviction.
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Re: The Trump Investigation(s) Thread

Post by malchior »

stessier wrote:
Sat Jul 11, 2020 4:32 am
malchior wrote:
Fri Jul 10, 2020 9:09 pm
You know how you can tell Trump is worthless trash goblin? He commutes a criminal like Stone who intimidated witnesses and retaliated against Vindman who told the truth. Trump is a stain on all of us. There is not a doubt that we face an existential crisis that can be resolved by running him out of Washington ASAP.

The tweet is kind of weird. The commutation means the conviction stands, but the sentence changes. A pardon removes the conviction.
If you accept a pardon, you accept the guilt of the original charge. By commuting it, Trump enables Stone to continue with appeals to truly clear his name. In reality, Stone will probably cut his losses and just maintain he was railroaded. The right is shameless anyway now and the conviction won't mean anything but bragging rights for him.

Edit: I shouldn't mean now. The Republicans have had this in them for a long time. It isn't like they banished G Gordon Liddy or Haldeman to the pit after they committed crimes for Nixon. They were generally taken care of. Their claims to law and order have always been a 'bitter joke' to anyone paying attention to how they treat their anti-heroes.

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Re: The Trump Investigation(s) Thread

Post by Unagi »

Also. The very idea that you could have turned on someone, more or less admits there is stuff to turn.

Of course, Trumps main defense has always been ‘you can’t prove anything’

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Re: The Trump Investigation(s) Thread

Post by malchior »

Unagi wrote:
Sat Jul 11, 2020 7:53 am
Also. The very idea that you could have turned on someone, more or less admits there is stuff to turn.
It very likely does. You typically only get favorable terms after you proffer useful, probative information.
Of course, Trumps main defense has always been ‘you can’t prove anything’
Sure. He's a mob boss. He just bought silence in front of the world and the GOP is not going to do a damn thing to even speak out against it.

Edit: Romney at least did the right thing this morning.


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Re: The Trump Investigation(s) Thread

Post by Holman »

stessier wrote:
Sat Jul 11, 2020 4:32 am
malchior wrote:
Fri Jul 10, 2020 9:09 pm
You know how you can tell Trump is worthless trash goblin? He commutes a criminal like Stone who intimidated witnesses and retaliated against Vindman who told the truth. Trump is a stain on all of us. There is not a doubt that we face an existential crisis that can be resolved by running him out of Washington ASAP.

The tweet is kind of weird. The commutation means the conviction stands, but the sentence changes. A pardon removes the conviction.
This is Stone announcing "I could turn on you and would prefer not to spend a single night in prison. Did I mention I could turn on you?"

In any normally corrupt scenario, Stone would have toughed it out and been made to wait for a post-election pardon/commutation. Stone holds all the cards here, and Trump knows he's willing to betray him to serve his own comfort.
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Unagi
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Re: The Trump Investigation(s) Thread

Post by Unagi »

Well. I’ll only push back a little and say Stone’s chance to turn on Trump is history now.
I mean, Stone is no longer in a position to make any deals, not realistically. (Speaking of yesterday, not “now” now, of course)

But I do think it was an obvious ‘tap out’ by Stone and Trump has very few allies like Stone.

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Re: The Trump Investigation(s) Thread

Post by Smoove_B »


In honor of Roger Stone's pardon, here's a picture Alex Jones tweeted out of Stone flashing the white power symbol with some Proud Boys in a hotel bar in my hometown, where he'd just given the keynote address to the state GOP convention. The best people. Truly the best people.

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Alefroth
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Re: The Trump Investigation(s) Thread

Post by Alefroth »

That's not ok.

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Re: The Trump Investigation(s) Thread

Post by malchior »

Alefroth wrote:
Sat Jul 11, 2020 4:09 pm
That's not ok.
Someone should go tell the Oregon State Police that.

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Re: The Trump Investigation(s) Thread

Post by LawBeefaroni »

2018. Also, Alex Jones. What a world.
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Re: The Trump Investigation(s) Thread

Post by Holman »

I have no doubt that Stone will be back to engineering dirty tricks and other ratfucking before the weekend is done. It's what he is.
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Re: The Trump Investigation(s) Thread

Post by Kurth »

malchior wrote:
Sat Jul 11, 2020 7:56 am
Unagi wrote:
Sat Jul 11, 2020 7:53 am
Also. The very idea that you could have turned on someone, more or less admits there is stuff to turn.
It very likely does. You typically only get favorable terms after you proffer useful, probative information.
Of course, Trumps main defense has always been ‘you can’t prove anything’
Sure. He's a mob boss. He just bought silence in front of the world and the GOP is not going to do a damn thing to even speak out against it.

Edit: Romney at least did the right thing this morning.

I just donated to The Lincoln Project. Their ads are timely, prevalent, and the most effective and impactful attacks on Trump and the corruption in the GOP I've seen. I hope they keep going and push even harder. We need a legitimate two party system.

Edited to add: Just jumped over to the NYT and read this opinion piece on the Lincoln Project. Worth a read.
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Re: The Trump Investigation(s) Thread

Post by malchior »

Unless this is a Constitutional amendment this is a total waste of time.


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Re: The Trump Investigation(s) Thread

Post by YellowKing »

malchior wrote:Unless this is a Constitutional amendment this is a total waste of time.
I'm guessing it's just her way of getting Republicans to go on record supporting the President's corruption.

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Re: The Trump Investigation(s) Thread

Post by Holman »

The Stone commutation has prompted Robert Mueller to speak out.

The entire WaPo editorial by Mueller (spoilered for length):
Spoiler:
The work of the special counsel’s office — its report, indictments, guilty pleas and convictions — should speak for itself. But I feel compelled to respond both to broad claims that our investigation was illegitimate and our motives were improper, and to specific claims that Roger Stone was a victim of our office. The Russia investigation was of paramount importance. Stone was prosecuted and convicted because he committed federal crimes. He remains a convicted felon, and rightly so.

Russia’s actions were a threat to America’s democracy. It was critical that they be investigated and understood. By late 2016, the FBI had evidence that the Russians had signaled to a Trump campaign adviser that they could assist the campaign through the anonymous release of information damaging to the Democratic candidate. And the FBI knew that the Russians had done just that: Beginning in July 2016, WikiLeaks released emails stolen by Russian military intelligence officers from the Clinton campaign. Other online personas using false names — fronts for Russian military intelligence — also released Clinton campaign emails.

Following FBI Director James B. Comey’s termination in May 2017, the acting attorney general named me as special counsel and directed the special counsel’s office to investigate Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. The order specified lines of investigation for us to pursue, including any links or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the Trump campaign. One of our cases involved Stone, an official on the campaign until mid-2015 and a supporter of the campaign throughout 2016. Stone became a central figure in our investigation for two key reasons: He communicated in 2016 with individuals known to us to be Russian intelligence officers, and he claimed advance knowledge of WikiLeaks’ release of emails stolen by those Russian intelligence officers.

We now have a detailed picture of Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election. The special counsel’s office identified two principal operations directed at our election: hacking and dumping Clinton campaign emails, and an online social media campaign to disparage the Democratic candidate. We also identified numerous links between the Russian government and Trump campaign personnel — Stone among them. We did not establish that members of the Trump campaign conspired with the Russian government in its activities. The investigation did, however, establish that the Russian government perceived it would benefit from a Trump presidency and worked to secure that outcome. It also established that the campaign expected it would benefit electorally from information stolen and released through Russian efforts.

Uncovering and tracing Russian outreach and interference activities was a complex task. The investigation to understand these activities took two years and substantial effort. Based on our work, eight individuals pleaded guilty or were convicted at trial, and more than two dozen Russian individuals and entities, including senior Russian intelligence officers, were charged with federal crimes.

Congress also investigated and sought information from Stone. A jury later determined he lied repeatedly to members of Congress. He lied about the identity of his intermediary to WikiLeaks. He lied about the existence of written communications with his intermediary. He lied by denying he had communicated with the Trump campaign about the timing of WikiLeaks’ releases. He in fact updated senior campaign officials repeatedly about WikiLeaks. And he tampered with a witness, imploring him to stonewall Congress.

The jury ultimately convicted Stone of obstruction of a congressional investigation, five counts of making false statements to Congress and tampering with a witness. Because his sentence has been commuted, he will not go to prison. But his conviction stands.

Russian efforts to interfere in our political system, and the essential question of whether those efforts involved the Trump campaign, required investigation. In that investigation, it was critical for us (and, before us, the FBI) to obtain full and accurate information. Likewise, it was critical for Congress to obtain accurate information from its witnesses. When a subject lies to investigators, it strikes at the core of the government’s efforts to find the truth and hold wrongdoers accountable. It may ultimately impede those efforts.

We made every decision in Stone’s case, as in all our cases, based solely on the facts and the law and in accordance with the rule of law. The women and men who conducted these investigations and prosecutions acted with the highest integrity. Claims to the contrary are false.
tl;dr: Mueller defends his investigation, the facts of Russian interference and Trumpian acquiescence, and that Stone is a piece of shit.
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Re: The Trump Investigation(s) Thread

Post by Unagi »

Would have been nice if he said some of that stuff (I know he felt the report spoke for itself, but clearly he sees the light now) before...

It's nice he said it though.

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Re: The Trump Investigation(s) Thread

Post by gbasden »

Kurth wrote:
Sat Jul 11, 2020 5:24 pm

I just donated to The Lincoln Project. Their ads are timely, prevalent, and the most effective and impactful attacks on Trump and the corruption in the GOP I've seen. I hope they keep going and push even harder. We need a legitimate two party system.

Edited to add: Just jumped over to the NYT and read this opinion piece on the Lincoln Project. Worth a read.
I've sent them a hundred dollars as well. As much as I disagree with them on many issues, I think it's critical that we have another rational party in Government, and the Lincoln Project may be the seeds of that some day. And they are brutally effective at getting under Trump's skin.

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Re: The Trump Investigation(s) Thread

Post by Unagi »

Graham says he will call Mueller to testify before Senate panel about Russia probe

I can't bring myself to get excited about a single thing these days, but this does seem like something I would have liked to have heard in a time long long ago.


My money is on: Mueller will disappoint me.

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Re: The Trump Investigation(s) Thread

Post by Remus West »

Unagi wrote:
Sun Jul 12, 2020 7:23 pm
Graham says he will call Mueller to testify before Senate panel about Russia probe

I can't bring myself to get excited about a single thing these days, but this does seem like something I would have liked to have heard in a time long long ago.


My money is on: Mueller will disappoint me.
This Graham? I wouldn't get your hopes up on him either.
Not that I suspect you of having your hopes raised by Linsey Graham regardless these days.
“As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.” - H.L. Mencken

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Re: The Trump Investigation(s) Thread

Post by Smoove_B »

I mean...

Sen. Leahy: “Do you believe a president could lawfully issue a pardon in exchange for the recipient’s promise not to incriminate him?”

AG Barr: “No. That would be a crime.”
So I guess commuting a sentence in exchange for the recipients promise not to incriminate is super terrific then and totally not a crime. We're all good!

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Re: The Trump Investigation(s) Thread

Post by hepcat »

If Trump loses in 2020 by a large margin, it can only be seen as a mandate from the American public. At which point, it will be interesting to see if current republican office holders scramble to distance themselves from past Trump support, or if they'll resign/get kicked out in large numbers.
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Re: The Trump Investigation(s) Thread

Post by Kraken »

hepcat wrote:
Mon Jul 13, 2020 1:18 pm
If Trump loses in 2020 by a large margin, it can only be seen as a mandate from the American public. At which point, it will be interesting to see if current republican office holders scramble to distance themselves from past Trump support, or if they'll resign/get kicked out in large numbers.
Given that the Republican rank-and-file are a personality cult, they will remain under the spell of Dear Leader for as long as he lives, regardless of whether he's in or out of office. Most of the never-trumpers have retired or left the party; those who have not will coalesce around the Lincoln Project or some similar nucleus to form a new conservative party, while most of the GOP incumbents tear each other apart over who gets to be trump's heir.

That said, it's a little premature to celebrate the demise of the party that holds the presidency, the Senate, most governorships and state houses, the SCOTUS, and a large chunk of the federal courts.

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Re: The Trump Investigation(s) Thread

Post by hepcat »

I don't think they're in thrall to Trump. I suspect behind closed doors they mock the orange doofus just as much as the next person. However, he has the reigns of power right now, and he's shown an eager willingness to attack anyone who doesn't show him complete and utter fealty, so of course they're going to tow the line in public.

But remove Trump's power and I bet we see an avalanche of "I never really believed in him much" mea culpas.
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Re: The Trump Investigation(s) Thread

Post by Remus West »

hepcat wrote:
Mon Jul 13, 2020 1:56 pm
I don't think they're in thrall to Trump. I suspect behind closed doors they mock the orange doofus just as much as the next person. However, he has the reigns of power right now, and he's shown an eager willingness to attack anyone who doesn't show him complete and utter fealty, so of course they're going to tow the line in public.

But remove Trump's power and I bet we see an avalanche of "I never really believed in him much" mea culpas.
I believe he is referring to the maggats at large not office holders. Office holders will keep toeing the tRump line as long as the idiots in mainstream America follow him. Office or no office.
“As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.” - H.L. Mencken

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Re: The Trump Investigation(s) Thread

Post by hepcat »

Ah, my mistake. I was talking about politicians in my original post. I assumed they meant the same.
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Re: The Trump Investigation(s) Thread

Post by Kraken »

hepcat wrote:
Mon Jul 13, 2020 2:13 pm
Ah, my mistake. I was talking about politicians in my original post. I assumed they meant the same.
Sorry I wasn't clear. "Rank-and-file" in my first sentence refers to the base. The second sentence was about politicians. Whatever they think of trump himself, they need the 90% of Republican voters who approve of him.

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Re: The Trump Investigation(s) Thread

Post by malchior »

Smoove_B wrote:
Fri Jul 10, 2020 5:58 pm
Holman wrote:
Thu Jul 09, 2020 4:30 pm
To be fair, these days *anybody* found in a restaurant outside of their residence should probably be arrested.
Cohen was put back in jail because he refused to cooperate:
Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump's former personal attorney, was sent back to prison Thursday after refusing to sign a home confinement agreement barring him from publishing a book or speaking to the media, according to law enforcement officials and Cohen's attorneys.

U.S. marshals took Cohen into custody after he arrived at a New York federal courthouse Thursday morning to sign home confinement documents, said his lawyer Jeffrey Levine.
This got lost in the Stone noise but this was very dirty. This is police state stuff folks. That it now just gets lost in the shuffle of worse abuses should be a concern. It also is probably no coincidence that the tax ruling came down the same day. They are taking no chances with him.


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Re: The Trump Investigation(s) Thread

Post by Alefroth »

Roger Stone stayin' classy.

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Re: The Trump Investigation(s) Thread

Post by malchior »

The right is chittering about indictments coming out of the bullshit Barr Russia probe.


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Re: The Trump Investigation(s) Thread

Post by malchior »

Barr DOJ burned FBI sources.

Interesting note: The NY Times spends a good part of this article talking about the 'deeply flawed' Steele dossier. It still seems that they are holding to the Trump partisan political narrative that the 'document itself' is an issue versus it's composition as *RAW INTELLIGENCE*. It was never intended to be released as some polished intelligence report. It always feels like some attempt at balance to frame it like this. It unfortunately plays into the dangerous narrative being spun around it by Trump's stooges especially Barr and Graham. The NY Times at least clearly says that it wasn't the basis for the subsequent Russia investigation.
Not long after the early 2017 publication of a notorious dossier about President Trump jolted Washington, an expert in Russian politics told the F.B.I. he had been one of its key sources, drawing on his contacts to deliver information that would make up some of the most salacious and unproven assertions in the document.

The F.B.I. had approached the expert, a man named Igor Danchenko, as it vetted the dossier’s claims. He agreed to tell investigators what he knew with an important condition, people familiar with the matter said — that the F.B.I. keep his identity secret so he could protect himself, his sources and his family and friends in Russia.

But his hope of remaining anonymous evaporated last week after Attorney General William P. Barr directed the F.B.I. to declassify a redacted report about its three-day interview of Mr. Danchenko in 2017 and hand it over to Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina and chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Mr. Graham promptly made the interview summary public while calling the entire Russia investigation “corrupt.”

The report blacked out Mr. Danchenko’s name and other identifying information. But within two days, a post on a newly created blog entitled “I Found the Primary Subsource” identified him, citing clues left visible in the F.B.I. document. A pseudonymous Twitter account created in May then promoted the existence of the blog. And the next day, RT, the Kremlin-owned, English-language news and propaganda outlet, published an article amplifying Mr. Danchenko’s identification.

The decision by Justice Department and F.B.I. leaders to divulge such a report was highly unusual and created the risk it would help identify a person who had confidentially provided information to agents, even if officials did not intend to provide such a road map. The move comes at a time when Mr. Barr, who is to testify before lawmakers on Tuesday, has repeatedly been accused of abusing his powers to help Mr. Trump politically.

...

Mr. Danchenko’s identity is noteworthy because it further calls into question the credibility of the dossier. By turning to Mr. Danchenko as his primary source to gather possible dirt on Mr. Trump involving Russia, Mr. Steele was relying not on someone with a history of working with Russian intelligence operatives or bringing to light their covert activities but instead a researcher focused on analyzing business and political risks in Russia.

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Re: The Trump Investigation(s) Thread

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Re: The Trump Investigation(s) Thread

Post by Smoove_B »

If only he went after COVID as hard as he does for the people trying to see his tax returns.

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Re: The Trump Investigation(s) Thread

Post by Unagi »

i.e. Witch Hunt !

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Re: The Trump Investigation(s) Thread

Post by Holman »

Oh, hey. SDNY is investigating the Trump Org for bank and insurance fraud.

We've all assumed that this is the case, but this is a wider formal investigation than we've heard about before. The fun part is that Bill Barr can't interfere here.



How awful would it be to have a presidential candidate under active criminal investigation??
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Re: The Trump Investigation(s) Thread

Post by Max Peck »

Holman wrote:
Mon Aug 03, 2020 8:52 pm
Oh, hey. SDNY is investigating the Trump Org for bank and insurance fraud.
Isn't this the New York state DA rather than SDNY?
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Re: The Trump Investigation(s) Thread

Post by El Guapo »

Max Peck wrote:
Mon Aug 03, 2020 10:51 pm
Holman wrote:
Mon Aug 03, 2020 8:52 pm
Oh, hey. SDNY is investigating the Trump Org for bank and insurance fraud.
Isn't this the New York state DA rather than SDNY?
Specifically it is the Manhattan DA.

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Re: The Trump Investigation(s) Thread

Post by Grifman »

Based upon prior reporting, It seems most likely that Trump engaged in tax fraud or financial fraud by providing false information to either the NYC property tax authority or to his banks:

https://www.propublica.org/article/trum ... istencies

If he were to be re-elected i wonder how this would play out. It wouldn't be the Justice Department involved so the whole "we can't indict a sitting president" thing wouldn't fly. So it comes down to how the Supreme Court would rule because you know it is going there in the end.
Last edited by Grifman on Tue Aug 04, 2020 8:39 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Trump Investigation(s) Thread

Post by Pyperkub »

Grifman wrote:Based upon prior reporting, It seems most likely that Trump engaged in tax fraud by providing false information to either the NYC property tax authority or to his banks:

https://www.propublica.org/article/trum ... istencies

If he were to be re-elected i wonder how this would play out. It wouldn't be the Justice Department involved so the whole "we can't indict a sitting president" thing wouldn't fly. So it comes down to how the Supreme Court would rule because you know it is going there in the end.
Also insurance fraud by undervaluing them in separate filings with reportedly different numbers of floors.
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Re: The Trump Investigation(s) Thread

Post by Grifman »

Pyperkub wrote:
Tue Aug 04, 2020 12:41 am
Grifman wrote:Based upon prior reporting, It seems most likely that Trump engaged in tax fraud by providing false information to either the NYC property tax authority or to his banks:

https://www.propublica.org/article/trum ... istencies

If he were to be re-elected i wonder how this would play out. It wouldn't be the Justice Department involved so the whole "we can't indict a sitting president" thing wouldn't fly. So it comes down to how the Supreme Court would rule because you know it is going there in the end.
Also insurance fraud by undervaluing them in separate filings with reportedly different numbers of floors.
If he undervalued them for insurance purposes, is that really fraud? He's paying for coverage worth less than what the buildings are really worth. He's paying less but he's getting less too, and since he is getting what he paid for, I don't see the harm to the insurance companies.
Tolerance is the virtue of the man without convictions. – G.K. Chesterton

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Re: The Trump Investigation(s) Thread

Post by malchior »

Grifman wrote:
Tue Aug 04, 2020 12:44 am
Pyperkub wrote:
Tue Aug 04, 2020 12:41 am
Grifman wrote:Based upon prior reporting, It seems most likely that Trump engaged in tax fraud by providing false information to either the NYC property tax authority or to his banks:

https://www.propublica.org/article/trum ... istencies

If he were to be re-elected i wonder how this would play out. It wouldn't be the Justice Department involved so the whole "we can't indict a sitting president" thing wouldn't fly. So it comes down to how the Supreme Court would rule because you know it is going there in the end.
Also insurance fraud by undervaluing them in separate filings with reportedly different numbers of floors.
If he undervalued them for insurance purposes, is that really fraud? He's paying for coverage worth less than what the buildings are really worth. He's paying less but he's getting less too, and since he is getting what he paid for, I don't see the harm to the insurance companies.
I agree that this doesn't sound like insurance fraud to me. And I don't think it'd be insurance-based bank fraud either because you'd imagine the loan underwriters would need the original insurance documents and would have a team of lawyers/accountants/insurance experts review them. He would have needed to be insuring them for the appropriate amount for the loan to be approved.

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