David Gilbert writes at Wired that the Meatballs for God convoy is not going well.
On Monday morning, the organizers of the Take Our Border Back convoy kicked off their road trip to the Texas–Mexico border in Virginia Beach. Though they claimed that up to 40,000 trucks would be joining, only 20 vehicles made up the convoy as it rolled into Jacksonville, Florida, 14 hours later. The promised support had not materialized—not a single truck showed up, tires were reportedly slashed, participants got lost, and paranoia struck the group. In short, the convoy was a complete mess.
Do read the whole thing. It’s hysterical. This crew is going to be lucky to find Texas, although if they keep going west it’s hard to miss.
Our Swami quoted this Business Insider article in the comments to the last post, and I want to be sure everybody sees it. Basically, here’s the box Trump is in:
Sometime in the next few days, US District Judge Lewis Kaplan will issue a written order to Trump to pay the $83.3 million in damages awarded by the E. Jean Carroll jury. Once that is done, Trump has 30 days to file an appeal. Trump will have to put up at least $90 million to do that. The extra is for interest potentially owed to Carroll if Trump loses the appeal.
The court may or may not accept that much money in cash. Judge Kaplan accepted Trump’s payment of $5.5 million after the first trial. That money is sitting in a court-managed bank account. But courts usually prefer a bond from a major financial institution for really big sums, I take it. And it’s possible Trump doesn’t really have that much cash on hand.
If Trump goes with a bond, the article says,
Taking into account interest and other fees, including the potential need to secure an irrevocable letter of credit from a bank, Trump taking the appeal-bond route could bring his total outlay to $100 million and beyond.
A surety company could make Trump provide an extra 10 percent of collateral, and would require he pay a bond premium of anywhere from $250,000 to $1 million. A surety executive who spoke on condition of anonymity said the premium was money Trump would never see again.
Such a large bond could probably be handled only by one of the surety giants — such as Travelers Insurance, Liberty Mutual, Chubb, or JP Morgan Chase, said the expert, whose employer doesn’t allow press statements.
The big wrinkle: Judge Arthur Engoron is expected to issue his decision this week on what penalties Trump will have to pay in the civil fraud case brought by New York Attorney General Letitia James. James has asked that Trump pay $370 million and be banned from doing business in the state. And James wants a five-year ban on Trump applying for loans from any New York-registered financial institution.
If the latter is imposed, who is going to extend any credit to him to get his bond? What major financial company is not registered in New York?
No wonder Trump seems a tad tense lately.
In another wrinkle, it has been revealed that in 2023 Trump was spending nearly $1 million a week in legal fees, and that money came out of donations to his PACs. Steve Benen:
After Trump’s defeat in 2020, his followers sent millions to his Save America political action committee, hoping the money would go toward overturning the election results, as the Republican bombarded his base with brazen lies. (It didn’t.)
When the former president’s legal fees took a severe toll on Save America’s finances, the PAC did something weird: It asked an allied super PAC, Make America Great Again Inc., to give $60 million back, in order to ease the once-flush Save America operation’s financial strains. (The money was supposed to go toward primary-season advertising. Much of the money went to Trump’s lawyers instead.)
Do read the whole thing. The Trump campaign is required to file a financial report with the FEC at the beginning of every month, which is tomorrow. That report will be looked at closely, one suspects.
And then there’s the $48 million loan for Trump’s tower in Chicago that can’t be documented. The Trump organization cannot produce any sort of loan agreement documentation, or any other documentation for that matter, that says the loan existed. Trump and his lawyers and his representatives are on temper tantrum overdrive right now over the revelation of this alleged loan. But all they’d have to do is cough up proof that the load was real and not just something Trump made up to reduce his tax liabilities. Surely there are bank statements somewhere showing that money was here, and now it’s there, and here are payments on the loan, etc.
If they can provid documentation they had better scrape it together really fast, because Judge Engoron could be issuing his ruling any minute now. He could be writing it even now.
One does remember that Trump never held a real job in his life. The only boss he ever had to answer to was his father, who apparently was as big a mess as Donald. Trump has never been part of a corporate structure in which he has had to answer to anybody. Trump apparently has no idea how big companies actually are run. He just wings it. Badly. He should have stuck to real estate.