Trump Continues Contemptuous Behavior

The Contemptuous Donald Is Finally In Contempt…

Trump faces numerous law suits around the country

By Anna Hessel with Wes Hessel

 

Holding The Contemptuous One in Contempt

After years of apparent criminal and questionable civil business activities, Donald Trump is finally being forced to face the music.  He is being held in contempt of court by New York State Justice Arthur Engoron.  I heartily applaud this decision and am planning a “Contempt for Trump” party, complete with champagne, a DJ for dancing, and swag bags, including a mini-Donald Trump collector’s edition dartboard, macaroons, and a bottle of Evian water, for my guests.  It’s about time the orange haired scowling monster is called on the carpet legally.  Per the citation, this civil contempt charge will cost Trump ten thousand dollars per day until such time as he turns over the subpoenaed documents.

So, What Does That Mean, Really?

So, what exactly is “contempt of court”?  We sometimes hear this phrase referenced as just “contempt”.  According to Wikipedia, being in contempt of court means, “the offense of being disobedient to or disrespectful toward a court of law and its officers.”  This can include willful disobedience of a court order, ignoring the court’s decorum or authorization, or failure to preserve a reverent frame of mind.  Investopedia defines, “Contempt of court is a legal violation committed by an individual who disobeys a judge or otherwise disrupts the legal process in the courtroom.”  This describes Donald Trump accurately.

Ignore The Court at Your Peril

Wikipedia also states, “Contempt of court is essentially seen as a form of disturbance that may impede the functioning of the court.  The judge may impose fines and/or jail time upon any person committing contempt of court.  The person is usually let out upon his or her agreement to fulfill the wishes of the court.”  In other words, Mr. Trump, you have never been, nor will you ever be above the law.

Trying To Stave Off the Inevitable Again…

“The Donald” was ordered back in February of this year to turn over documents for scrutiny no later than March 31, 2022.  It is unclear whether the daily fine is retroactive to the end of March deadline or not, but we can hope that it is.  Sources report that Trump’s legal team had agreed to provide the documents but then filed exceptions saying the summons, despite having been approved by the judge, “is grossly overbroad, unintelligible, unduly burdensome, and does not adequately describe which documents and communications are requested or sought with reasonable particularity.”  Letitia James, the New York State Attorney General, sought the fines to force the former president to comply with the NY State subpoena.

More Of the Same Game

Trump and his company, The Trump Organization  is accused, quite bluntly, by the state of NY of tax fraud.  The attorney general’s accusations in the filing are regarding misreporting property values to receive loans with better terms and improved tax positions.  New York’s top lawyer had also said of late her investigators had, “uncovered substantial evidence establishing numerous misrepresentations in Mr. Trump’s financial statements provided to banks, insurers, and the Internal Revenue Service.”

What, Me Cooperate?

Needless to say, “The Donald”, who apparently feels he is above the law, is still not cooperating.  Ms. James considers Justice Engoron’s actions to be “a major victory” and that the rule of law has prevailed.  These documents are needed for an attorney general investigation into Trump’s business holdings.  Her office has been assisting the Manhattan District Attorney’s office with a synchronous criminal investigation into Donald’s companies, as well.  The court, declaring him in contempt is monumental.  Mr. Trump apparently committed crimes, and this decision should hopefully knock his attitude down a few pegs, but I doubt it will.

More Ways to Try to Hold Off the Inescapable

Criminal charges against his “Organization” are being pursued, and it’s CFO Allen Weisselberg who denies wrongdoing and has entered a not guilty plea despite charges of falsification of business records and tax fraud.  The subpoena in the civil probe by New York’s lead litigator is similar, perhaps say, to the turning over of one’s tax returns when running for president.  Forty-five sued Attorney General James, filing in federal court, at the end of 2021, claiming her exploration to have political motivation.  The suit is still unresolved.  Gee, could this be a stall tactic on the part of “The Donald”?  He would never do such a thing, not.  Trump attorney Alina Habba claims he is unable to turn over the documentation, claiming that he does not actually have said documents.  She goes on to say the office of the attorney general was told this.

I Don’t Know Where It Is

Ms. James made it clear that Trump and the company were to provide statements regarding what they did to attempt finding these documents.  She went on to say Donald should have knowledge of the whereabouts of such documentation, since he, “personally executed documents central to the issues under investigation.”  If this is complied with, the civil contempt charge can potentially be averted. Well, how difficult is it to look in the paper shredder or the fireplace, Mr. Trump?  It could save you ten grand a day.  If you go too many days being fined this significant sum of money, how will Melania get her plastic surgery, or will you be able to afford golf balls, because those are the only kind you possess.  Ten big ones is a lot of McDonald’s, Donald.

Which Witch is Which?

Of course, forty-five’s lawyer is calling this, “a continuation of the greatest witch hunt of all time”; let her tell that line to Joan of Arc.  The Trump Organization alleges turning over more than 750,000 documents in this investigation, however the New York attorney general claims that the release of papers has been rather lethargic.  She wants a look at “post it notes” and the files that “The Donald” utilized as communication to his employee base.  This information is necessary to examine and evaluate whether civil suit will be brought against the former ‘Oval Office’ occupant and his firm.

Still Subject to The Rule of Law

Trump’s attorneys have filed an appeal and we don’t know whether the court of appeals will suspend the fine during the appellate process.  But reportedly the judge has just recently rejected “The Donald’s” affidavit, which claims Trump does not have the documents that are being demanded by the Attorney General of New York.  In closing, I for one am overjoyed to see any legal action against forty-five because absolutely no one is above the law, whether it be criminal or civil.  Statutes govern all citizens, even former White House residents.

Part VII: Behind The Curtain

Part VII: Behind The Curtain

D. S. Mitchell

At the end of Part VI it was January 11th and Donald Trump was holding his first press conference since his Electoral College win. Trump stood to one side of the stage, flanked by Donald Jr 39, Ivanka 35, and Eric 33, listening to his tax attorney, Sheri Dillon explain to the audience of reporters and staff, the changes that were being made to the Trump Organization.

The stage with a center podium was decorated with solemn dark blue drapes and a row of American flags with long gold tassels giving the event a sober tone. On a black shrouded table, to the left of where Dillon stood at the podium, were stacks of manila folders. The stacks were impressively high. Pointing to the stacks of folders, Dillon claimed they were filled with 1000’s of documents proving that Trump was re-arranging his empire to satisfy the growing chorus of critics.

Dillon claimed the Trump “business empire” was “massive”. She emphasized massive several times. A couple of times Dillon tried to draw a correlation between Trump and former Vice President, Nelson Rockefeller as she talked about the changes being made at the Trump Organization. Evidently, she did not know that Rockefeller had released his tax returns and later offered to place his sizeable assets in a blind trust. Neither of which Trump has offered to do.

“The plan” was, according to Dillon, to put the Trump Organization into a trust to be managed by his sons and a long time executive. She emphasized that there would be no more foreign deals, an ethics advisor would be chosen and lastly, Donald Trump would have no involvement in the business. It quickly became clear that Trump was not going to sell his business or put those assets in a blind trust, or release his tax returns.

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Part IV: Behind The Curtain

Part IV: Behind The Curtain

D. S. Mitchell

As we have already seen, Russians have floated in the Trump swamp for decades. The President’s first contacts with Russians came in the late 1980’s when Trump was wooed by the Russian government to look at the prospect of building hotels in Moscow and Kiev.

Trump has had many Russian tenants in the Trump Tower.  One very memorable Russian tenant was alleged Russian mob boss Alimzhan Tokhtakhounov.  An apartment at Trump Tower rented to Tokhtakhounov was the subject of a raid in April 2013 by federal agents as part of an investigation in to two separate gambling rings. Interestingly, Ali Tokhakhounov was, despite being under indictment in the United States for various gambling and corruption charges, made an appearance at Trump’s Miss Universe Pageant held in Moscow that same year.

In addition to Russian tenants, Trump has had several Russian partners, most notably the boys from Bayrock. The Trump Organization has sold an endless stream of condo’s and private residences to Russians. His children have traveled extensively throughout Russia.  In fact, according to recent news stories the Trump Organization was actively negotiating with Russian officials to build a Trump Tower in Moscow during the 2016 Presidential election.

In January of 2017 Trump tweeted, “I have nothing to do with Russia–NO DEALS, NO LOANS, NO NOTHING.” We now know that was a blatant lie. In separate interviews about that same time Trump said in weird rambling denials that neither he or his campaign had any connection to Russians.  Trump’s praise of Putin, and his refusal to ever criticize the Russian strong man has brought those assertions into serious question, causing many to speculate that Trump has been compromised.

Going back to that 2013 Miss Universe Pageant, prior to the event Trump issued a very strange tweet, “Do you think Putin will be going to The Miss Universe Pageant in November in Moscow–if so, will he be become my new best friend?”

The answer to that very strange Twitter inquiry is unknown. Putin did not go to the event, but he did send an expensive lacquered Russian box to Trump. The event venue was the Crocus City Mall.  The Crocus City Mall is owned by Aras Agalarov a Russian oligarch with known ties to Vladimir Putin.  It is common knowledge that Agalarov and Trump discussed the construction of twin adjacent Trump towers in downtown Moscow during that 2013 visit.

Trump bizarrely equating business deals with diplomacy; answered as follows when a FoxNews commentator confronted him on his lack of foreign policy experience. “I know Russia well.  I had a major event in Russia two or three years ago, which was a big, big incredible event,” referring to the Miss Universe Pageant.

Really? Please explain to me, and the 70% of Americans who do not equate running a beauty pageant with running a country, how that answer and that experience would in any way qualify him as knowledgeable of foreign policy. Trump, I believe, is slowly beginning to realize what many of us already knew, that the two are in no way similar, or interchangeable.  In fact, many of the tactics used in business are inappropriate as national political strategy or policy.

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Trump Dances Around Conflict Of Interest Complaints

Trump Dances Around Conflict Of Interest Complaints

D. S. Mitchell

On 6/28/2017 Jeremy Venook wrote an interesting article for The Atlantic that pointed to serious conflicts of interest between Donald Trump’s business affairs and his job as President of the United States. I am going to review, comment, and regurgitate some of his points. Venook points to numerous questionable Trump dealings and created a list of what he has identified as conflicts of interest. I ask any readers to please go to the Atlantic.com site and read the accompanying articles addressing all the items of Venook’s list. The list is at the end of his 6/28/2017 article.

That list is as follows: 1.) Clean Water Rule 2.) Real estate development outside New Delhi 3.) Golf course in Westchester county, NY 4.) Russian Trademarks 5.) Trump Organization Event Planner 6.) Saudi Arabia lobbying effort 6.) Golf course in New Jersey 7.) Meeting in Brussels 8.) Tower in Toronto 9.) Condos for sale 10.) Re-election campaign funds 11.) Second hotel in Washington, D.C. 12.) Property in Azerbaijan 13.) Trump Tower penthouse 14.) Resort in the Dominican Republic 15.) Chinese Trademark 16.) Mar-a-Lago meetings 17.) Defense Department Trump Tower rental 18.) Red Cross Ball 19.) Washington, D.C. labor dispute 20.) Palm Beach estate 21.) Trump Organization planned business expansion 22.) Hotel in Vancouver, B.C. 23.) Reality TV show 24.) Pipeline 25.) HUD grants 26.) Golf course in Aberdeen, Scotland 27.) Other billionaire NY real estate developer 28.) Indonesian politician 29.) Emirati businessman 30.) Virginia vineyard 31.) Las Vegas labor dispute 32.) Kuwaiti event 33.) Certificates of Divestiture 34.) Carrier deal 35.) Blind trust issue 36.) Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac investments 37.) Phone call with Taiwan 38.) Deutsche Bank debt 38.) Properties in the country of Georgia 39.) Phone call and meet with Turkey’s Erdogan 40.) D.C. hotel 41.) Argentinian office building 42.) Companies in Saudi Arabia 43.) British Wind farms 44.) Indian business partners 45.) Envoy from Philippines.

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Karl Rove Goes On Trump Attack

Karl Rove Goes On Trump Attack

D. S. Mitchell

I have not heard Karl Rove’s name for quite sometime. When George W. Bush was in office Karl Rove dominated the news. Today he runs a SuperPac, or something.

Mr. Rove was not someone that I particularly liked when he was in the spotlight. However, in the Wall Street Journal yesterday Karl Rove took a bite at Donald Trump’s ankle. Here are a few samples of the criticism from that WSJ Op Ed.

Rove’s first nip was just another attack chorused by many Washington insiders, “He (Trump) lacks the focus or self discipline to do the basic work required of a president.”

Karl, most of us out here in the real world have known that simple observation for quite some time.  In my opinion, if Trump hadn’t inherited $300,000,000 million dollars when his father died I doubt whether he would have been able to hold a job due to his severe personality disorder.

Without his massive inheritance I can see Trump  drifting from job to job and living in his cousin’s trailer.  I think that sometimes the public believes that these rich guys are really, really smart. Yeah, some of them are really smart.  However, a whole lot of them inherited vast fortunes, have built up an inside network beginning at their private schools.  It’s nice to be an insider, it takes a lot of money and a lot of time.  It’s all about who you know and who you break bread with.

Rove continued his ankle biting attack, ” His (Trump) chronic impulsiveness is apparently unstoppable and clearly self defeating.  Mr. Trump may have mastered the modes of communication (Twitter) , but not the substance, thereby sabotaging  his own agenda.”

Pretty strong words coming from “Bush’s Brain”.  Getting fired up, Karl continues, “Mr. Trump has figured out how to tweet his way around the mainstream media.  Yet, by disregarding basic fact checking, he is deepening the already considerable doubts Americans have about his competence and trustworthiness.”

I probably shouldn’t give Karl too much credit for his Trump attack.  I assume that Karl Rove is more about saving the GOP, than Donald Trump.  My gut tells me that Karl was approached, in some way, by a group of rich Republicans who are beginning to feel the heat, and are getting nervous about Trump and want to distance themselves from the coming cataclysm.

What I find so amazing is that there are so many pans on the stove that the cook is unsure which one to take off the burner first;  Russian collusion, money laundering, bribery, self-dealing, corruption, obstruction of justice.  My hope is that Robert Mueller is able to pull the pans off the stove at the right time and produce a banquet of charges against Trump, The Trump Organization, The Trump Campaign, Jared Kushner, Mike Flynn, Jeff Sessions, Paul Manafort, Mike Pence, and everyone of those other folks who have been twisting the law for their own enrichment and holding hands with a foreign government while swearing to protect the United States Constitution and its people.

Remember, do something today to forward the Resistance. Write the letter, make the call, share a progressive tweet. Stay involved. Stay invigorated. Do not give into fatigue. We are fighting the most dangerous threat to Democracy since the founding of the Republic.

Dar

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Charitable Giving Stays ‘In House’ With Trump Family

Charitable Giving Trump Style

D. S. Mitchell

About Calamity News

Calamity Politics is a progressive political blog published on the North Oregon coast.  Calamity News and Politics aims to present engaging political commentary and analysis, where we, in our own sarcastic and cynical  manner put a spotlight on interesting and topical news issues.  Since January 20th, 2017, Calamity Politics has focused its energies on keeping the media spotlight on the calamitous and outrageous scandals centering around the Trump Administration. The Trump family is a scandal factory.

Trump News

The headline news, and the back pages too, of  yesterday’s papers were full of juicy stories.  I know… I complain about it a lot. Too many absolutely incredible salacious stories for me to keep up with. Nobody can write fast enough. I keep struggling on, however. Trump’s Twitter Turds. Mar-a-lago advertisements on the White House website. Melania Trump advertising her jewelry on Pinterest.  Speaking of Melania; a whole crop of nude photos from the 1990’s have surfaced. Kellyanne Conway is hawking Ivanka Trump’s apparel in front of the Presidential Seal. It keeps me slack-jawed.

Arm Waving Outrage

Never in my lifetime could I have imagined such outrage. If you aren’t mad, I mean screaming, arm waving, foot stomping mad, you are not paying attention. Listen, ladies and gentlemen the ongoing scandals, brewing up from the sewer of corruption known as the Trump Administration, is beyond comparison. I am not even talking about the possible conspiracy between the Trump campaign and the Russians.

The Eric Trump Foundation

The above three paragraphs were just me on a rant. Pardon me. The subject of today’s story is the manipulation and clear corruption of The Eric Trump Foundation by Donald Trump Sr. According to a Forbes story, in 2007 Eric Trump established the Eric Trump Foundation. The stated goal was to raise money for St. Jude’s Research Hospital. St. Jude’s is a hospital that specializes in cancer treatment of children. At that time, Eric chose several of his friends to sit on the board.

Initial Event

According to the promotional for the first event, The Eric Trump Foundation claimed costs would be minimal. Eric stated he could use the Trump National Golf Course, in Westchester County, New York for “free’. At the time Eric said, “We get to use our assets (the golf course) 100% free of charge.”

St. Jude’s Hospital

Information provided by several outlets including NBC, MSNBC, Forbes, and the Washington Post, show that Eric Trump delivered $11,000,000 between 2007 and 2015 to the St. Jude’s Research Hospital.  Sources further show that in addition to the $11 million Eric helped raise an extra $5,000,000 for St. Jude’s “through events hosted by other groups”.

Trump Sr Gets Involved

According to Eric Trump Foundation IRS filings the overhead cost of the golf course charity event was around $50,000, and although not “free” as claimed, certainly within reason for such an event. After 2010 apparently, Donald J. Trump, Sr caused expenses to more than double. A former employee, Ian Gillule, stated that Donald Sr. went on a terror when he learned that The Eric Trump Foundation wasn’t being “billed” for the club use. When the old guy flipped out according to Gillule he insisted that “EVERYONE” gets billed. From that point on, costs ballooned. In 2011 the costs were up to $142,000.  By 2015, the costs for the invitational golf event exceeded $322,000.

Excessive Fees

Forbes reported the increased costs for the tournaments coincided with two events. The first being Donald Trump, Sr deciding to “bill” the charity event.  Second, changes to The Eric Trump Foundation Board of Directors. Reports claim The Eric Trump Foundation began using its charitable status to “funnel” donations that donors believed were going to St. Jude’s Research Hospital, instead to The Trump Organization. This was done by charging excessive fees to use Trump properties during fundraisers, and then “re-donating” other funds to charities “friendly” to Trump interests.

Paying Daddy

Numerous news sources report The Eric Trump Foundation paid $1.2 million dollars to the Trump Organization between 2007 and 2015 despite Eric Trump’s claims they had “free” use of the links and buildings for the St. Jude’s event.  Based on filings from The Eric Trump Foundation and other charities, it becomes clear that the course was not free.

Watchdogs

Charity watchdogs told Forbes Magazine “the listed expenses defy any reasonable cost justification for a one-day golf tournament”. Dan Alexander writing for Forbes reported that they had uncovered that the Donald J. Trump Foundation, “apparently used Eric’s charity to funnel $100,000 into generating revenue for The Donald J. Trump Foundation.

Investigations

New York state is investigating The Donald J. Trump Foundation for its not so charitable activities. The president’s foundation had come under earlier scrutiny for “self dealing and advancing the interests of its namesake” rather than those of charity. Alexander wrote,”All of this seems to defy federal tax rules and state laws that ban self-dealing and misleading donors.  The Eric Trump Foundation suspended operations in December of 2016, after his father won the presidential election. Currently, Eric and Don Jr. are running the Trump Organization. That fact alone, raises larger questions about Trump family dynamics and whether Eric and Don Jr. are handling the Trump Org independent of their father

Hallucinating Mind

I think we all know there is no separation between the president and the affairs of the Trump Organization. The veil is obviously fake. It is clear old man remains involved in Trump Organization. Such activities should disqualify Trump from holding any public office, much less the presidency. Trump has not set up a blind trust by any stretch of the imagination. The Forbes story summation, “Altruism as a business development strategy isn’t necessarily illegal.  But, a situation in which outside donor money is redeployed away from the core mission in ways that seems to ultimately benefit the family that pays the majority of the Board is–at best–an appearance problem”.

Keeping It In House

Think about it. Just another example of the Trump family keeping the money ‘in house’. Remember, you can’t just sit around. These are challenging times. The president is head of a crime family. He must be replaced. Support the Resistance. Make a phone call, write a letter to the local newspaper, write a letter to your Senator, your representative. If you want to become more involved start a blog, march in a protest, run for office. Pick one small task each day, and do it.  It is the totality of action that moves mountains and societies.  Taking a phrase and reusing it in a whole new way, ‘just do it”.

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Trump Pushing U.S. Toward Authoritarianism

Trump Pushing U.S. Toward Authoritarianism

D. S. Mitchell

I was having coffee with a friend the other day and I was chattering about Calamity Politics, my beloved progressive political blog, telling her about a new line of ‘Resistance’ apparel, and some great “Resist’ and ‘Persist’ jewelry created by an Astoria, Oregon artist. I was adding both the apparel and the jewelry to the Calamity Politics. com site.

Out of the blue, she reached out putting her hand on my arm, and said with a crinkled brow, “Aren’t you worried?”

“What? Worried about what?” I said sensing real concern in her voice.

“I don’t know, I’m worried that Trump or his crew might try to strong arm you, or sue you; anything to shut you up.”

“Well, I appreciate your concern,” I said with a barely concealed smirk.

“I can see that you think I’ve slipped the tracks,” she said looking into her espresso cup.

“I’m pretty sure I’m safe from lawsuit,” I said watching her face closely, “Or what? Assault? Blackmail? A Twitter attack?”

“I don’t know, I’ve read some scary stuff about Trump’s mob connections. New York construction means mob entanglements. Plus, he was in the those Atlantic City, New Jersey casinos. Mobsters and thugs love construction, trucking, drugs, prostitution and gambling.”

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