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The Trump Investigation(s) Thread

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Holman
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Re: The Trump Investigation(s) Thread

Post by Holman »

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?
Oops. Yeah. Stupid slip on my part.
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Re: The Trump Investigation(s) Thread

Post by El Guapo »

Black Lives Matter.
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Re: The Trump Investigation(s) Thread

Post by Zarathud »

We know Trump inflated those bank numbers like he inflated his inauguration numbers. Get the proof, and he's toast. If anyone does their job in applying the law.
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Re: The Trump Investigation(s) Thread

Post by malchior »

I'm curious if Vance subpoenaed Ladder Capital as well.
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Re: The Trump Investigation(s) Thread

Post by malchior »

The Sullivan/Flynn en banc hearing is today. It's good that the full DC court is likely not MAGA...yet. However, it still bugs me that Henderson went along with Rao's opinion which was off-the-wall.

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Re: The Trump Investigation(s) Thread

Post by Isgrimnur »

Lowering the Bar
At least in one situation: if it has moved to dismiss a prosecution under Federal Rule 48(a). If that is the case, the DOJ argued on Tuesday, the U.S. Attorney General could literally accept a bag of cash from the defendant in open court, and the judge would still have to grant the motion to dismiss.
...
The legal issue is actually pretty straightforward. Rule 48(a) says: “The government may, with leave of court, dismiss an indictment, information, or complaint.” See the issue? With leave of court. Hm. Well, what could that possibly mean? To the government, it means this: The court may ask the government if it really wants to dismiss, and then it must grant leave to do that.
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Re: The Trump Investigation(s) Thread

Post by malchior »

Isgrimnur wrote: Thu Aug 13, 2020 12:54 amLowering the Barr
Mortoned

Both Flynn's lawyer and the DOJ made that claim. SCOTUS adopted that 'leave of court' rule to deal with political corruption. As an aside, Rao is a hack.
As the full federal appeals court in D.C. considers whether to order dismissal of the criminal case against former national security adviser Michael Flynn, it should bear in mind a far more obscure prosecution: that of a Montana-based federal tax collector named Franklin Woody in the 1920s.

Woody was accused of embezzling federal funds. He was also extraordinarily well connected. His grandfather was Missoula’s first mayor and a district judge, while Woody’s father was close friends with the governor and had served as Montana’s assistant attorney general. After Woody’s indictment, the federal prosecutor argued that the case against him should be dismissed, noting that the defendant “is of a prominent pioneer family, is young, … [and] is studying law in a California university,” that “his ‘career as a lawyer will be spoiled,’ ” and “that the government’s losses have been reimbursed.”

The judge deciding whether to grant the government’s motion to dismiss the prosecution found his hands tied. The government’s reasons for dropping the case, he said in a 1924 ruling, “savor altogether too much of some variety of prestige and influence (family, friends, or money) that too often enables their possessors to violate the laws with impunity.”

Nonetheless, he acknowledged, “the district attorney has absolute control over criminal prosecutions.” Thus, despite the judge’s assessment that dismissal of the case was “abhorrent to justice,” he had no choice but to grant the motion to dismiss, “albeit reluctantly.”

That case helped lead to the federal rule that is at issue in Flynn’s case, Rule 48(a) of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure. As Thomas Ward Frampton explains in the Stanford Law Review, the committee tasked with drafting the federal rules “focused on the possibility that improper political influence might spur a prosecutor’s decision to drop a case.” Ultimately, the Supreme Court adopted the requirement currently found in Rule 48(a) — that the government obtain “leave of court” for a dismissal. That change, as Frampton observes, “armed the district judge with a powerful tool to halt corrupt or politically motivated dismissals of cases.”
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Re: The Trump Investigation(s) Thread

Post by Defiant »

Judge throws out Trump challenge to Manhattan DA subpoena for tax records
U.S. District Judge Victor Marrero said the president failed to show that the subpoena would pose an unfair burden, siding in favor of Manhattan D.A. Cy Vance, who has said his office is pursuing an investigation of potential violations of state law. Trump is likely to appeal the decision to a higher court.

The president’s attorney, Jay Sekulow, said Trump will appeal the decision.

The subpoena, directed to the president’s longtime accounting firm Mazars USA, seeks the president’s personal and business records, including tax returns, dating to 2011.
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Re: The Trump Investigation(s) Thread

Post by malchior »

This is Trump's wheel house. Legal stalling. A year plus for a simple sub poena...
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Re: The Trump Investigation(s) Thread

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Black Lives Matter.
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Re: The Trump Investigation(s) Thread

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Hodor.
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Re: The Trump Investigation(s) Thread

Post by El Guapo »

I assume that either the 2nd Circuit or the SCOTUS will grant a stay.
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Re: The Trump Investigation(s) Thread

Post by malchior »

El Guapo wrote: Fri Aug 21, 2020 1:00 pm I assume that either the 2nd Circuit or the SCOTUS will grant a stay.
Agreed. It hurts that this is just a sub poena. This farce has been running for over a year. Justice delayed....
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Re: The Trump Investigation(s) Thread

Post by El Guapo »

malchior wrote: Fri Aug 21, 2020 1:06 pm
El Guapo wrote: Fri Aug 21, 2020 1:00 pm I assume that either the 2nd Circuit or the SCOTUS will grant a stay.
Agreed. It hurts that this is just a sub poena. This farce has been running for over a year. Justice delayed....
I suppose it's possible that the third parties, were they so inclined, could produce at least some materials before any stay is granted, though I doubt that they're inclined to do so.
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Re: The Trump Investigation(s) Thread

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Black Lives Matter.
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Re: The Trump Investigation(s) Thread

Post by Holman »

El Guapo wrote: Fri Aug 21, 2020 3:00 pm
STEPHEN K. BANNON: Welcome back and this is Stephen K. Bannon. We're off the coast of Saint-Tropez in southern France, in the Mediterranean. We're on the million-dollar yacht of Brian Kolfage. Brian Kolfage -- who took all that money from Build The Wall.

No, we're actually in Sunland Park, New Mexico.
Watch Kolfage's face when Bannon just straight-up says it. He grits his teeth with a "WTF are you doing??" look.

The crimes had already begun by this time, since (IIRC) the investigation opened already.
Last edited by Holman on Fri Aug 21, 2020 8:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Trump Investigation(s) Thread

Post by pr0ner »

El Guapo wrote: Fri Aug 21, 2020 1:00 pm I assume that either the 2nd Circuit or the SCOTUS will grant a stay.
I'd be surprised if they did at this point.
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Re: The Trump Investigation(s) Thread

Post by El Guapo »

pr0ner wrote: Fri Aug 21, 2020 4:33 pm
El Guapo wrote: Fri Aug 21, 2020 1:00 pm I assume that either the 2nd Circuit or the SCOTUS will grant a stay.
I'd be surprised if they did at this point.
Why? I think it's 50/50 as to whether the 2nd Circuit does, but I think the odds that SCOTUS grants a stay are 99%+. A stay in this type of case isn't too unusual in the ordinary course (once the records are received and start getting reviewed it's hard to 'unring the bell'), and the SCOTUS's decisions in the subpoena cases suggest that they are at the least not too concerned about these records getting produced before the election.
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Re: The Trump Investigation(s) Thread

Post by pr0ner »

El Guapo wrote: Fri Aug 21, 2020 5:05 pm
pr0ner wrote: Fri Aug 21, 2020 4:33 pm
El Guapo wrote: Fri Aug 21, 2020 1:00 pm I assume that either the 2nd Circuit or the SCOTUS will grant a stay.
I'd be surprised if they did at this point.
Why? I think it's 50/50 as to whether the 2nd Circuit does, but I think the odds that SCOTUS grants a stay are 99%+. A stay in this type of case isn't too unusual in the ordinary course (once the records are received and start getting reviewed it's hard to 'unring the bell'), and the SCOTUS's decisions in the subpoena cases suggest that they are at the least not too concerned about these records getting produced before the election.
2nd Circuit says no immediate stay for Trump.

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Re: The Trump Investigation(s) Thread

Post by malchior »

So the question becomes will Vance accept more delay or force Trump to expedite it via SCOTUS.
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Re: The Trump Investigation(s) Thread

Post by pr0ner »

Flynn's petition denied by the full DC Circuit. Rao and Henderson filled dissenting opinions.

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Re: The Trump Investigation(s) Thread

Post by El Guapo »

Good news, and playing out generally as expected. I would tend to assume in general that SCOTUS wouldn't take this up, but these days, who knows. Actually even if they wanted to help Trump out on this granting an appeal probably wouldn't help because Flynn would still be in limbo pending the SCOTUS hearing.

I'll also add that Mike Scarella's tweet here is probably the most confusing way possible to explain the result.
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Re: The Trump Investigation(s) Thread

Post by malchior »

Wow - I'd love if someone else read the Rao and Henderson dissent and came to the same conclusion I just did.
Spoiler:
One of their arguments is that they essentially set a trap for Henderson. The 3 judge panel worded their order to preclude Henderson from filing an 'en banc' review since it would make him a party to the case -- therefore he should be removed. That seems -- bonkers to me.
Edit: Another note - I know page count is a poor proxy for judicial input - it does seem interesting to me that Henderson penned nearly 10 pages of dissent which Rao joins and Rao writes another 30-ish pages which Henderson joins. The majority opinion is 18 pages. Beyond the potentially wacky stuff in the spoiler...that seems like a lot of protesting.
Last edited by malchior on Mon Aug 31, 2020 12:37 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: The Trump Investigation(s) Thread

Post by El Guapo »

malchior wrote: Mon Aug 31, 2020 12:30 pm Wow - I'd love if someone else read the Rao and Henderson dissent and came to the same conclusion I just did.
Spoiler:
One of their arguments is that they essentially set a trap for Henderson. The 3 judge panel worded their order to preclude Henderson from filing an 'en banc' review since it would make him a party to the case -- therefore he should be removed. That seems -- bonkers to me.
Rao seems like a full throated Trumpist partisan at this point - probably a lock for a SCOTUS nomination if Trump gets reelection, honestly.

Disappointing / deeply concerning from Henderson, though.
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Re: The Trump Investigation(s) Thread

Post by malchior »

El Guapo wrote: Mon Aug 31, 2020 12:35 pmRao seems like a full throated Trumpist partisan at this point - probably a lock for a SCOTUS nomination if Trump gets reelection, honestly.

Disappointing / deeply concerning from Henderson, though.
It's also a little sad that Griffith feels like he has to write a concurrence saying that there is a lot of talk about appearing like we aren't partisan.
GRIFFITH, Circuit Judge, concurring: In cases that attract public attention, it is common for pundits and politicians to frame their commentary in a way that reduces the judicial process to little more than a skirmish in a partisan battle. The party affiliation of the President who appoints a judge becomes an explanation for the judge’s real reason for the disposition, and the legal reasoning employed is seen as a cover for the exercise of raw political power. No doubt there will be some who will describe the court’s decision today in such terms, but they would be mistaken.
Then you read Rao's and Henderson's dissents...
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Re: The Trump Investigation(s) Thread

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JFC. Sure, the House can validly subpoena McGahn for testimony, they just can't *enforce* such a subpoena.

I assume that this is going to get reversed en banc, and that this is part of the general game among GOP judges to just punt everything until after the election.
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Re: The Trump Investigation(s) Thread

Post by malchior »

El Guapo wrote: Mon Aug 31, 2020 1:44 pm

JFC. Sure, the House can validly subpoena McGahn for testimony, they just can't *enforce* such a subpoena.

I assume that this is going to get reversed en banc, and that this is part of the general game among GOP judges to just punt everything until after the election.
Oy. This is Griffith's opinion with Henderson. This comes on the heels of his statement above. COME ON. The judiciary is way more damaged than we thought it was. Guess the House is going to have to start arresting people.

Edit: I was just reading up on some of the drama here. This went to the panel originally -> en banc sent it back to the panel -> the panel churned out this horseshit -> it'll probably go back en banc -> and perhaps come back to the panel to talk about absolute immunity. Maybe they don't have the absolute numbers to go Hungary but they have enough power to obstruct like the Senate does. This is not a good sign.
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Re: The Trump Investigation(s) Thread

Post by Carpet_pissr »

Are these Trump appointed judges? I know nothing when it comes to these things, except that the Turtle and Mr. Trump have been VERY busy plugging in any federal judge vacancies since he's been in office. That sometimes worries me more than another term for His Orange Highness - the sheer number of judge positions he's filled (SC and other).
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Re: The Trump Investigation(s) Thread

Post by malchior »

Carpet_pissr wrote: Mon Aug 31, 2020 6:43 pm Are these Trump appointed judges? I know nothing when it comes to these things, except that the Turtle and Mr. Trump have been VERY busy plugging in any federal judge vacancies since he's been in office. That sometimes worries me more than another term for His Orange Highness - the sheer number of judge positions he's filled (SC and other).
Griffith was W. Henderson was Reagan. That is the concern. Rao was Trump and is clearly a Trumpist but you'd think that Republican judges from a different era would be Conservative but independent. The past few months really put a question mark on that now. Not that they are less independent in the sense the President is twisting their arms but that they are more willing to call balls as strikes for their guys which is corrosive.
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Re: The Trump Investigation(s) Thread

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Politico
An appeals court panel agreed Tuesday to delay Manhattan prosecutors’ effort to obtain President Donald Trump’s financial records, a decision that could likely punt resolution of the issue into early October — and possibly past the Nov. 3 election.

Following a morning oral argument session held by telephone, a three-judge panel issued an order granting Trump lawyers' request to block Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance from accessing the disputed documents until the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals resolves the issue.

The court's one-page order offered no rationale for the stay, but set a schedule for legal filings in the appeal over the next few weeks, followed by arguments September 25.
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Re: The Trump Investigation(s) Thread

Post by LordMortis »

heightened respect that’s due the president
He has extended no respect. He has earned no respect. He will get no respect from me. Yet another in a long line of first for him. When he dies, I'll respect those who build conversations to mourn him and not piss on them. I'll respect them by holding a separate conversation where I raise a toast to a nation and a planet that are better without him.
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Re: The Trump Investigation(s) Thread

Post by malchior »

Isgrimnur wrote: Tue Sep 01, 2020 3:50 pm Politico
An appeals court panel agreed Tuesday to delay Manhattan prosecutors’ effort to obtain President Donald Trump’s financial records, a decision that could likely punt resolution of the issue into early October — and possibly past the Nov. 3 election.

Following a morning oral argument session held by telephone, a three-judge panel issued an order granting Trump lawyers' request to block Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance from accessing the disputed documents until the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals resolves the issue.

The court's one-page order offered no rationale for the stay, but set a schedule for legal filings in the appeal over the next few weeks, followed by arguments September 25.
The whole Vance thing is ridiculous. The grand jury has been stifled on this subpoena for over a year now. It is essentially defacto absolute immunity. When the SCOTUS ruling came down it was pretty well understood that *we* wouldn't see the tax returns but Vance would get them quickly. I don't think he'll ever get them unless Trump loses.

Meanwhile Barr rips out another non-political appointee in a key post to ensure someone loyal is overseeing counter intel investigations. This seems like a move to put a Trump guy in to watch the agencies and make sure they don't pull a Comey on Trump perhaps.
Current and former national security officials are raising concerns over Attorney General William Barr's recent decision to remove the head of a Justice Department office that helps ensure federal counterterrorism and counterintelligence activities are legal – and replace him with a political appointee with relatively limited experience.

"It's very alarming," said Katrina Mulligan, who worked for the Obama administration in several national security roles and then, after President Donald Trump's inauguration, joined the Office of Law and Policy in the Justice Department's National Security Division.

For much of the past decade, that little-known office has been led by Deputy Assistant Attorney General Brad Wiegmann, a 23-year career public servant, not a political appointee. But two weeks ago, Wiegmann, 54, was told he is being reassigned and replaced with a political appointee, according to a Justice Department spokesman and sources familiar with the matter.

MORE: Citing concern over leaks, intel community will cease in-person election security briefings to Congress
Mulligan and other sources told ABC News that the new head of the office is 36-year-old Kellen Dwyer, a cyber-crimes prosecutor who joined the federal government six years ago and made international headlines in November 2018 when he accidentally revealed that federal charges had been secretly filed against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

Mulligan said that given Dwyer's limited time and experience handling national security matters, he is "a very odd" choice to replace Wiegmann, whom she described as "exceptional" at managing government bureaucracy and resolving "highly contentious matters across the government."

The timing of the personnel change – coming just two months before the U.S. presidential election, and in the midst of a battle against domestic terrorism and foreign interference in the election – has worried current and former members of the national security community.

Past chiefs of the office have served as political appointees, while others – like Wiegmann – served as career officials, so, "It would not have been that unusual early in an administration to place a political [appointee] in that policy role, but to do that now is very unusual," one current U.S. official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity.
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Re: The Trump Investigation(s) Thread

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NBC News
A judge denied a bid Wednesday to dismiss a lawsuit alleging that President Donald Trump's inaugural committee and the Trump Organization misused nonprofit funds to enrich the president's family business.

The suit, brought by Washington, D.C., Attorney General Karl Racine in January, alleges that the president's inaugural committee was aware that it was being overcharged for services at Trump's Washington hotel in 2017 and still spent over $1 million at the hotel, including money for a private party for Trump's three older children.

The inaugural committee argued in part that Racine's office failed to show a violation of the Nonprofit Act and does not allege that the committee is "continuing to act" in a manner that violates the law, court papers say.

But D.C. Superior Court Judge José López ruled against the defendants, writing that Racine's office has "sufficiently alleged that Defendant PIC is continuing to act in a prohibited manner," referring to the Trump inaugural committee.
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Re: The Trump Investigation(s) Thread

Post by Holman »

Much prefer my Nazis Nuremberged.
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Re: The Trump Investigation Thread

Post by malchior »

El Guapo wrote: Thu Oct 18, 2018 10:41 am
Max Peck wrote: Thu Oct 18, 2018 8:40 am Treasury official arrested, charged with leaking data from Russia probe
A senior Treasury Department employee was arrested this week and charged with leaking “highly sensitive information” about suspects in the high-profile investigation into Russia's meddling in the presidential election, the Justice Department said Wednesday.

Natalie Mayflower Sours Edwards, a senior adviser at the Treasury Department's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), allegedly "betrayed her position of trust” by leaking confidential banking reports on the Russian Embassy and suspects charged in special counsel Robert Muller’s Russian collusion probe, the government said in a statement.

Federal prosecutors said Edwards, of Quinton, Virginia, provided a journalist with confidential material, including suspicious activity reports (SARs) on former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and political consultant Rick Gates, according to the statement.
Given the general leakiness of the federal government these days, I'm sort of amazed that nobody at the IRS has dumped Trump's tax records yet.
FWIW this isn't "ordinary" leaking. The official apparently leaked SARs, whose confidentiality is taken *very* seriously.
Nearly 2 years later - Buzzfeed breaks FinCEN scandal story - that indicates the US and UK governments and most major banks are turning a blind eye to organized crime money laundering and evasion of sanctions schemes.
A huge trove of secret government documents reveals for the first time how the giants of Western banking move trillions of dollars in suspicious transactions, enriching themselves and their shareholders while facilitating the work of terrorists, kleptocrats, and drug kingpins.

And the US government, despite its vast powers, fails to stop it.

Today, the FinCEN Files — thousands of “suspicious activity reports” and other US government documents — offer an unprecedented view of global financial corruption, the banks enabling it, and the government agencies that watch as it flourishes. BuzzFeed News has shared these reports with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists and more than 100 news organizations in 88 countries.

These documents, compiled by banks, shared with the government, but kept from public view, expose the hollowness of banking safeguards, and the ease with which criminals have exploited them. Profits from deadly drug wars, fortunes embezzled from developing countries, and hard-earned savings stolen in a Ponzi scheme were all allowed to flow into and out of these financial institutions, despite warnings from the banks’ own employees.

...

FinCEN did not respond to repeated invitations to discuss security concerns.

Sen. Ron Wyden, a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, which requested some of these SARs, said the FinCEN Files investigation “reinforces the fact that we now have two systems of law enforcement and justice in the country.” Drug cartels move millions through US banks; poor people go to jail for possession. “If you're wealthy and well-connected, you can figure out how to do an enormous amount of harm to society at large and ensure that it accrues to enormous financial benefit for all of you.”

Robert Mazur, a former federal special agent and an expert in money laundering, said that making this material public "could enhance national security, aid future investigations, and encourage institutions to more consistently adhere to SAR filing requirements,” and "will hopefully get people who are in a position of power to correct an apparent systemic failure.”
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Re: The Trump Investigation(s) Thread

Post by malchior »

The Atlantic piece is worth a read. Essentially the President in their opinion committed crimes - duh - but because they couldn't prosecute they didn't say so. Nothing especially new but confirmation that this indeed was the calculus.

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Re: The Trump Investigation(s) Thread

Post by Isgrimnur »

CNN
A New York state judge ruled Wednesday that Eric Trump must sit to be deposed by the state attorney general's office by October 7, denying his request to delay an interview as part of an investigation into the Trump Organization until after the presidential election, according to the attorney general's office.
...
"To be clear, no entity or individual is allowed to dictate how or when our investigation will proceed or set the parameters of a lawful investigation," she said following Wednesday's ruling. "The court's order today makes clear that no one is above the law, not even an organization or an individual with the name Trump."

The office said Trump initially agreed to be interviewed for the civil investigation in July but then abruptly canceled.

Trump's lawyers had told the court that he never refused to comply with the demand for his testimony, but said they didn't receive assurances from the New York investigators that they have not and will not provide their investigative materials to any other law enforcement agency.
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Re: The Trump Investigation(s) Thread

Post by Carpet_pissr »

"The court's order today makes clear that no one is above the law, not even an organization or an individual with the name Trump."

Pretty clear to me that Trump IS above the law.

More bluster. You can SAY no one is above the law, but we all know that’s not really true.
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Re: The Trump Investigation(s) Thread

Post by Little Raven »

Carpet_pissr wrote: Wed Sep 23, 2020 9:35 pmPretty clear to me that Trump IS above the law.
Only until January 24th.

I hope.
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Re: The Trump Investigation(s) Thread

Post by gilraen »

Little Raven wrote: Wed Sep 23, 2020 9:37 pm
Carpet_pissr wrote: Wed Sep 23, 2020 9:35 pmPretty clear to me that Trump IS above the law.
Only until January 24th.

I hope.
January 20, you mean?
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