Another Trump Loss; Biden in Michigan

Trump just lost in court again. The AP reports,

A judge ruled Tuesday that Donald Trump committed fraud for years while building the real estate empire that catapulted him to fame and the White House.

Judge Arthur Engoron, ruling in a civil lawsuit brought by New York’s attorney general, found that the former president and his company deceived banks, insurers and others by massively overvaluing his assets and exaggerating his net worth on paperwork used in making deals and securing financing.

Engoron ordered that some of Trump’s business licenses be rescinded as punishment, making it difficult or impossible for them to do business in New York, and said he would continue to have an independent monitor oversee the Trump Organization’s operations.

That’s going to wind up the old fart nicely. Next he’ll be calling for an investigation of all the courts, followed by firing squads.

Update: More from the New York Times.

While the trial will determine the size of the penalty, Justice Engoron’s ruling granted one of the biggest punishments Ms. James sought: the cancellation of business certificates that allow some of Mr. Trump’s New York properties to operate, a move that could have major repercussions for the Trump family business.

The decision could terminate his control over a flagship commercial property at 40 Wall Street in Lower Manhattan and a family estate in Westchester County. Mr. Trump might also lose control over his other New York properties, including Trump Tower in Midtown Manhattan and his golf club in Westchester.

The order will not dissolve Mr. Trump’s company, which is a collection of hundreds of entities, but the decision could nonetheless have a sweeping impact on the heart of its New York operations. If Justice Engoron’s decision is not reversed by an appeals court, it could shut down an entity that employs hundreds of people working for him in New York, effectively crushing the company. …

… Justice Engoron’s decision narrows the issues that will be heard, effectively deciding that the trial was not necessary to find that Mr. Trump was liable and that the core of Ms. James’s case was valid. It represents a major blow to Mr. Trump, whose lawyers had sought to persuade the judge to throw out many of the claims against the former president. …

…The judge also ordered sanctions against Mr. Trump’s lawyers for making arguments that he previously rejected. He ordered each to pay $7,500.

Now, on to Biden in Michigan:

Short but sweet. The UAW hasn’t formally endorsed Biden, but today Biden and UAW President Shawn Fain were clearly on the same page. Trump is almost certainly going to slam the Union leadership tomorrow. Given his current behavior, he may call for executions.

The New York Times is reporting that Biden was pressured into going to Michigan by the UAW and by other Democrats more than by Trump’s plans.

And speaking of other Democrats, Democratic senators are now stepping up and calling for Bob Menendez to resign.

In last night’s piece, I noted that while Bob Menendez’s D.C. dam was mostly holding, the story was dramatically different in New Jersey where virtually everyone in the state party establishment had already called on him to resign. Just in the last couple hours the D.C. dam appears to be giving way. Sens. Warren and Rosen and, most importantly, his New Jersey colleague Cory Booker have now each called on Menendez to step down. I’d be surprised if half his senate colleagues hadn’t followed suit by the end of the day.

As I wrote last night, at this point it almost doesn’t matter whether Menendez resigns. New Jersey is a machine politics state. You can win an election if you don’t come from the machine — either because you can spread around a lot of money (as former Gov. and Sen. Jon Corzine did) or because you have some unique political gifts. But if you’re a machine type politician who lacks a ride-or-die mass constituency and the machine abandons you, I think you’re toast. A primary challenge can likely drive Menendez from office. The only question is whether state Democrats can coalesce around a single challenger.

My concern is that if the New Jersey Dems don’t get their act together the seat could go to a Republican next year. That shouldn’t happen, but it could.

I did watch Rachel Maddow‘s interview of Cassidy Hutchinson last night. It was interesting, although I can’t think of anything she said that surprised me. The closest was that Matt Gaetz responded to something said about him by claiming that he and Hutchinson dated for a time. She said that wasn’t true. I tend to believe her. Gaetz is so weird.