The Best Is Yet to Come

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Michael Tomasky points out that there is plenty of ammunition left with which Clinton could destroy Trump. And he doesn’t even list it all. Here are just some of them:

Trump Foundation. By now you know all about this bogus enterprise, thanks to the great reporting of David Farenthold of The Washington Post. I would imagine there’s more coming, possibly having to do with the kinds of business relationships Trump had with the leading donors to the foundation (a ticket-scalper? Come on.). But even if there’s not more coming, there’s material aplenty already, from the serious (the apparent, and apparently illegal, self-dealing) to the comic (the two grandiose portraits of himself the charity spent tens of thousands of dollars to purchase).

But there’s more! A couple of days ago Josh Marshall wrote,

We now have clear evidence of self-dealing in the payouts made by the Foundation and as of yesterday pretty clear evidence that Trump has used the Foundation to avoid paying taxes on income. The combination could spell real legal trouble for Trump, possible even criminal penalties. In short, you’re not allowed to use a family foundation as a piggy bank or slush fund for tax avoidance and personal or business purposes. We’ve proceeded cautiously in what we know and what we don’t. We’ve also tried to be cognizant of the fact that this is an area of criminal law where intent is critical – which is to say, ignorance of the law is a defense. That said, one top former IRS official involved in oversight of tax exempt organizations told TPM, “Once you see a pattern of that kind of egregious nature, you start to think if whether there’s an appropriate criminal referral there.” Here’s the story.

And today, Talking Points Memo reports,

The New York attorney general’s investigation of the Donald J. Trump Foundation appears to have broadened to include new allegations of self-dealing by Trump that surfaced after the probe began, TPM has learned.

The town of Palm Beach, Florida, has provided documents to the New York Attorney General’s Office as part of the probe, a lawyer for the town confirmed to TPM on Wednesday. The documents relate to a legal dispute that Trump settled with the town using foundation money. The details of the 2007 Palm Beach case were first reported by the Washington Post last week. …

…New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman had announced earlier this month, before the Washington Post’s reporting on the Palm Beach case, that his office had opened an investigation into Trump Foundation after it was reported that Trump had used foundation money to buy personal gifts for himself.

The contact with Palm Beach by the Attorney General’s Office suggests its probe had widened to include other alleged acts of self-dealing. The Attorney General’s Office declined to comment Thursday.

Oh, but wait. Remember Trump University? Tomasky writes,

Trump University. In a lifetime of scams too numerous to count and too appalling to rank, this may be Trump’s biggest scam of all. Many people lost their money and got nothing whatsoever out of it. There are depositions that have been made public in which Trump U. employees admit they were under instructions to give students a very hard sell and sometimes to lie to them. Then of course there’s the whole way that the states of Texas and Florida dropped their investigations of it, after donations from the…

… from the Trump Foundation! This is what happened in Florida:

Trump, who bragged during the primaries about controlling politicians through financial support, is facing greater scrutiny for a 2013 contribution from his foundation to a political group working to re-elect Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi. The $25,000 donation came in just days after Bondi’s office said it was considering joining a New York-led investigation of Trump U. Florida ultimately decided against getting involved in the investigation

And this is what happened in Texas:

A few years earlier, Trump U. also caught the attention of the office of Texas’ then-Attorney General, Greg Abbott. In January 2010, his office opened an investigation into the school in response to complaints about deceptive business practices, and later in the year, the school effectively ended operations in the state altogether. Years later, when Abbott was running for governor, Trump made two donations to Abbott’s campaign, one for $25,000 and another for $10,000.

Hmmm. But wait, there’s more! Tomasky doesn’t even mention Newsweek‘s scoop, which is that one of Trump’s companies violated the U.S. embargo against Cuba!

Documents show that the Trump company spent a minimum of $68,000 for its 1998 foray into Cuba at a time when the corporate expenditure of even a penny in the Caribbean country was prohibited without U.S. government approval. But the company did not spend the money directly. Instead, with Trump’s knowledge, executives funneled the cash for the Cuba trip through an American consulting firm called Seven Arrows Investment and Development Corp. Once the business consultants traveled to the island and incurred the expenses for the venture, Seven Arrows instructed senior officers with Trump’s company—then called Trump Hotels & Casino Resorts—how to make it appear legal by linking it after the fact to a charitable effort.

Wow, that should cost Trump some support in Florida. Elsewhere, an anonymous plaintiff has re-filed her suit against Trump that claims he raped her when she was 13 years old. It’s not clear to me whether anything will happen with this suit before the election, but it’s remarkable so little is said about it. See also Snopes. That’s another one Tomasky left out. Tomasky also didn’t mention that U.S. Intelligence officials are still looking into ties between one of Trump’s advisers and the Kremlin.

Tomasky did go into Modelgate —

Modelgate. And speaking of undocumented workers, one of the better scoops of this season that failed to get the oxygen it deserved was this amazing report by James West in Mother Jones about how young female models in Trump’s employ were working in the country illegally and were treated worse than many people treat their dogs. Only one of these women talked to West on the record, but this is a story that would sicken the women watching the next debate, and the men with consciences, too.

Tomasky also mentioned Trump’s history of ripping off contractors and his plan to  round up and deport 12 million people, which certainly deserves more scrutiny.

Someday, Trump may actually regret he ever tried the running for president thing.

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11 Comments

11 Comments

  1. S. King  •  Sep 29, 2016 @2:26 pm

    Someday, Trump may actually regret he ever tried the running for president thing.

    Considering reports that his business has lost millions of dollars this year because his brand has become toxic to a large part of his target market, I expect he’s probably regretting it already.

    “Run for President they said. It’ll be fun, they said. It’s an easy way to get free publicity and a cushy commentator job on Fox News, they said.”

  2. Bill  •  Sep 29, 2016 @2:47 pm

    Maybe try for some of the low information voters too. See, Hillary aint so sickly. In fact she’s a tough sumbitch too. And Bill’s an alpha man ladies man. Hillary done more to fight Muslims than Trump did. Hillary done been to church more…

    Ugh. It’s easier to just trash Trump.

  3. c u n d gulag  •  Sep 29, 2016 @4:46 pm

    t-RUMP is a smarter Madoff.

    Whereas the latter ripped-off other very rich people, and paid the price, the former ripped-off employees, contractors, and (I can’t help but cheer this last one) gullible “investors” in his grifting casino’s and building/hotel schemes.

    Hey, Dick Cheney was selling Halliburton shit to Iraq when it was forbidden by US law, so why shouldn’t t-RUMP look to reinvigorate Mob control of new t-RUMP casino’s in Cuba?

    t-RUMP was a crook his whole life.
    He was never a “business man.”
    He was a brilliant “con-man!”

    And he remains so to this day.

    And FSM help us if he’s elected!
    Not only will he let Mike “The Dense” and uber-“Christian” bigoted Pence run the government. But you can bet that his pal Putin will be involved.
    All he’ll have to do, is compliment the Cheetos-colored cretin, and t-RUMP will do whatever Pooty-Poot wants.

    And he’ll sign whatever the GOP in Congress can dream-up.

    If you’re a woman, a minority, an LGBT person, a disabled one, a vet, an active military member, a student, a senior, a non-Christian, etc…, BE VERY AFRAID!!!

  4. c u n d gulag  •  Sep 29, 2016 @4:53 pm

    My comment disappeared?
    AGAIN?!?!

    What I say?

  5. Stella  •  Sep 29, 2016 @5:37 pm

    It’s a good list, but I put my hopes in two charges – rape and RICO. Yeah, I know, IOKIYAR.
    I’ll bet he regrets it already because so many people are calling him a loser.

  6. Swami  •  Sep 29, 2016 @6:59 pm

    Well, as a Cuban-American living in Florida all I can say is.. Señor Trump, Por que me has desamparado?

  7. csm  •  Sep 29, 2016 @8:17 pm

    “These include buying two paintings of himself for $30,000 and shelling out $258,000 to settle lawsuits.”

    For someone who brags about the billions of dollars he supposedly has, why would Trump put himself at risk of criminal liability for such small sums of money? And the fact that he has used the foundation this way, time and again, would undercut any claims of ignorance.

    Either Trump has nowhere near the wealth he claims to have, or he’s got a pathological relationship with money.

  8. maha  •  Sep 29, 2016 @9:19 pm

    “Either Trump has nowhere near the wealth he claims to have, or he’s got a pathological relationship with money.”

    Or both. He reminds me a lot of a woman I used to work for who was a socialized psychopath. Seriously. One of her traits was that she wouldn’t spend her own money on anything. She cheated the vendors outrageously; just about anyone who did business with her ended up suing her sooner or later. Once we employees found out our health insurance had been canceled, even though premiums were taken out of our paychecks. Sure enough; she’d been spending our premiums on fixing up her home in the Hamptons. Her husband, who must have had money, stepped in and covered the premiums. This was a guy who used to be married to her best friend; she liked to tell that story. I never went to her apartment, but I heard from others it was decorated in portraits of her, some of them nude. Trump reminds me of her a lot.

  9. paradoctor  •  Sep 29, 2016 @11:19 pm

    Trump’s supporters praise him for honesty, by which they mean sincerity, not accuracy nor integrity. Trump means it when he lies, because first he lies to himself.

  10. Swami  •  Sep 30, 2016 @3:18 am

    For some of you old timers.. Trump could squeeze a nickel till the buffalo shits.
    I might be reading the wrong sites, but it seems to me that the negative press toward Trump is really being ratcheted up. I keep hearing about how totally unfit for the office of the presidency Trump is.I’m guessing it has gotten to the point where Trump’s act has worn thin and people are starting to be more assertive in speaking out against the garbage that comprises his character.
    I heard a radio spot tonight where the speaker was saying his father had fought in WWII and he had served in Vietnam. He was a lifelong Repug and had decided that due to Donald Trump as a candidate he was going to reorder his priorities to country over party and vote for Hillary Clinton. He claimed that Trump was an affront and a disgrace to all that is sacred to those who have ever served their country.. And I wholeheartedly agreed.
    He’s a mess..If he think’s by dragging Bill Clinton’s sexual indiscretions back into the public arena in an attempt to smear Hillary as some sort of an enabler, he’ll be making a big mistake..It will only prove he’s in the death throes of his campaign with no sense of decency.

  11. LongHairedWeirdo  •  Sep 30, 2016 @11:41 pm

    With pending lawsuits, it wouldn’t hurt to remind people that the Republicans fought *very* hard to establish that Bill Clinton could be forced to give depositions while in office.

    And if they think they can trust Trump to do no more than to carefully stretch the truth, trying to stay *just* inside the legal requirements… well, it wouldn’t be very pretty. Better elect the competent adult.