Thurs 8/23 – Kavanaugh-t Thursday. Just say “NO” to Trump’s “get-out-of-jail-free” card.

Would Kavanaugh protect Trump from the Mueller investigation? Oh, yes.

A sitting president has never been indicted. Yet. Can it happen? Well, that would be a question that the Supreme Court would decide. Which is why we’re including Brett Kavanaugh’s opinions on this subject as a reason to call your senators and urge them to vote against this nominee.

His past writings make it clear that he would side with Trump if the president were indicted or subpoenaed. He has argued that presidents should not be distracted by civil lawsuits, criminal investigations or even questions from a prosecutor or defense attorney while in office. But what if a president ascended to his position illegitimately? Or is unable, due to an unremittingly malign character, to fulfill his oath of office to support and defend our Constitution? We need to stop this nomination process now.

Minimal script: I’m calling from [zip code] and I want Senator [___] to insist that the Kavanaugh nomination be put on hold Mueller’s investigation of the integrity of the 2016 election is completed.

More script if you want it: We cannot allow the president to continue exercising power when it is getting clearer and clearer that he did not come by it honestly. The future of our democracy depends on this!

Contact your Legislator
Senator Feinstein: email DC (202) 224-3841, LA (310) 914-7300, SF (415) 393-0707, SD (619) 231-9712, Fresno (559) 485-7430
and Senator Harris: email DC (202) 224-3553, LA (213) 894-5000, SAC (916) 448-2787, Fresno (559) 497-5109, SF (415) 355-9041, SD (619) 239-3884
Other Contacts: https://hq-salsa.wiredforchange.com

Background – Possible criminal and civil charges against the Trump machine

Being in legal hot water is not new for our president.

Neither is lying. USA Today has so far identified over 4000 lawsuits against him dating back to the ’70’s. At least 60 suits have been filed since he took office and things are starting to add up against him.

Michael Cohen is just the beginning…

In coordination with and at the direction of a candidate for federal office… I participated in [felonies]… for the principal purpose of influencing the election.”

—Michael Cohen, former personal lawyer to President Donald Trump, pleading guilty to eight criminal charges, including campaign-finance violations on Aug. 21, 2018

And, he has stated that he and Trump together arranged hush money payments to Stormy Daniels and playboy model Karen McDougal. Trump has been implicated in a felony. While a sitting president can’t be indicted for law-breaking, he can be impeached.

We’re not done with Manifort.

We’re going to hold off on Manifort’s issues until his next trial in September, which will more directly deal with his foreign lobbying work and alleged witness tampering. Mueller’s team confirmed in a court filing this year that he was being investigated for potential crimes related to Russian interference with the election.

Trump and personal sexual harrassment suits – (bullet points required)

  • In March, a state Supreme Court judge in New York allowed the defamation suit brought by Summer Zervos, who says the President sexually harassed her, to go forward. The judge is requiring that Trump sit for a deposition.
  • Meanwhile, in California, Stormy Daniels’ attorney Michael Avenatti has filed a motion in federal court seeking to depose President Donald Trump and his lawyer Michael Cohen to ask about a $130,000 payout before the 2016 election. He’s using the Bill Clinton deposition of 1998 as precedent.
  • Playboy model Karen McDougal hadn’t gone away either, suing Trump to get out of the agreement she signed to sell the story of her alleged affair with him. However, she’s been successful. In April, McDougal and AMI reached a settlement releasing her from the contract, allowing her to freely discuss the alleged tryst with Trump from years earlier.
  • Here are more.

Trump and his employees should not be beating up protesters.

(wapo) Bronx Supreme Court Judge Fernando Tapia denied Trump’s motion to dismiss allegations of assault and battery and destruction of property, saying that a jury could find that Trump “authorized and condoned” the guards’ conduct. The case was brought against six defendants, including then-presidential candidate Trump, the Trump Organization and his security director Keith Schiller, three months after Trump announced his candidacy. Tapia found that Trump could be held “personally liable,” partially based on Trump’s statement at a campaign rally, “Maybe he should have been roughed up because it was absolutely disgusting what he was doing.” The plaintiff are asking for punitive damages.

The “charitable” adventures of Trump and his family.

Barbara Underwood, New York’s attorney general, is suing the Trump Foundation, as well as Donald Trump and his children, alleging “extensive and persistent” lawbreaking. She says the charitable foundation had engaged in “unlawful political co-ordination” designed to influence the 2016 election. She also claims that Trump has illegally used charitable assets to pay off legal obligations, to promote his own business and to purchase personal items, most famously a painting of himself.

The lawsuit, filed on Trump’s 72nd birthday in the state Supreme Court in Manhattan, seeks $2.8 million of restitution plus penalties, a 10-year ban on Trump serving as a director of a New York nonprofit, and one-year bans for his children.

This case is actually a bigger deal than just a shade charity.  As the Foundation’s actions could have also violated a federal ban on campaigns funneling “soft money” through nonprofits, Underwood has sent letters about possible breaches of federal law to both the FEC and the IRS. This could trigger federal penalties such as civil tax penalty excise taxes, revocation of tax-exempt status and potentially the application of the “termination tax” under section 507 of the Internal Revenue Code which authorizes the IRS in cases of repeated, flagrant violation of the rules for foundation behavior, to levy a tax equivalent to 100% of the assets of the foundation. In addition, the filing of knowingly false or inaccurate Form 990 federal tax returns has triggered criminal sanctions in at least five or six cases in the last 10 years. The charges in those case included conspiracy to defraud the United States, the making false statements on tax returns and the aiding and abetting of the filing of a false tax return. The penalties can include substantial fines and jail time.

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The 2016 Trump Campaign 

(cnbc) The Democratic National Committee has filed a multimillion-dollar legal action  alleging a conspiracy between the Trump campaign, Russia and Wikileaks.

This could become the most expansive legal fight of President Donald Trump’s political career, naming as defendants his campaign officials, his confidants, his son and son-in-law .

That tricky “emoluments” clause…

In March, Judge Peter Messitte of the US District Court of Maryland allowed a lawsuit to go forward that alleges possible illegal gifts or payments from foreign and domestic governments were made to the President, violating the Constitution’s Emoluments Clause. He limited the scope of the case brought by the Maryland and District of Columbia attorneys general to the Trump Organization’s operations in Washington, excluding issues with Mar-a-Lago in Florida or other Trump properties. The lawsuit might require that Trump divest his ownership interests in his companies or to stop doing business with foreign governments. The emoluments clause violations uncovered by this lawsuit also could conceivably enter into impeachment proceedings against him.

Trump against former employees of federal agencies.

Former Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe is arguing that his firing, which came just hours before he was eligible to retire with full benefits, was politicized.

“Here is the reality: I am being singled out and treated this way because of the role I played, the actions I took, and the events I witnessed in the aftermath of the firing of [former FBI Director] James Comey,” he said in the statement. His attorney, michael Bromwich, is indicating that he and McCabe are considering a defamation suit against Trump.

The Trump administration against the future of our kids

Exercising my ‘reasoned judgment,’ I have no doubt that the right to a climate system capable of sustaining human life is fundamental to a free and ordered society.” –

– U.S. District Judge Ann Aiken (pg. 32 of 54)

On July 30, 2018 the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously ruled in favor of the 21 youth plaintiffs in Juliana v. United States, the constitutional climate lawsuit filed against the federal government. The Court denied the Trump administration’s application for stay, preserving the U.S. District Court’s trial start date of October 29, 2018.  The Court also denied the government’s “premature” request to review the case before the district court hears all of the facts that support the youth’s claims at trial.

17 states have also filed a legal challenge against the United States Department of Energy (DOE) over efforts to remove or shrink existing climate change regulations.

And then there’s always California.

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra has filed 35 lawsuits on behalf of his state on issues such as healthcare, immigration, net neutrality, EPA suspensions of protections for agricultural workers and failure to enforce methane rules, as well as loan forgiveness for students defrauded by for-profit schools. Most of the cases are still pending, but he has won 15 times, including getting a preliminary injunction to keep the DACA program intact.

Reading

  • So many guns, so much smoke (Slate)
  • I was a lawyer for Spiro Agnew. President Trump should consider resigning. (time)
  • The only reason that Trump hasn’t been indicted is that he’s the president (vox)
  • What does Michael Cohen’s plea deal mean for Trump? I asked 13 legal experts. (vox)
  • Narco-a-Lago: Money laundering at the Trump Ocean Club Panama (global witness)
  • If Trump is laundering Russian money, here’s how it works. (wired)

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