The National  Memo Logo

Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.

Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

Reprinted with permission from AlterNet.

 

When the FBI raided the offices of a lawyer who formerly worked for the Trump Organization, observers were immediately curious to learn more details about what drove investigators to pursue this lead.

Now we know: Federal prosecutors unsealed a criminal complaint Thursday against the lawyer, Ed Burke, who has been a long-serving alderman in Chicago City Hall. He is being charged with attempted extortion. The unsealed criminal complaint says he tried to use his position in city government to push business toward his law firm.

His law firm, Klafter & Burke, used to perform legal tax services for the Trump Organization.

“The case outlined by federal prosecutors in the charges against Alderman Ed Burke is strong,” noted former federal prosecutor Renato Mariotti. “The calls between Burke and the alleged victims, and other calls intercepted by the FBI via wiretap, really make the case.”

You can read the whole criminal complaint here.

Because of Burke’s connection to Trump, the case his drawn outsized attention. However, while the case builds upon the mountain of evidence that Trump has long consorted with shady figures who don’t mind skirting the law, it’s far from clear the case will have any direct tie-in to the president or his myriad legal troubles.

“The charges are unrelated to Trump and the only way this could impact him legally is if Burke flipped and offered information on Trump’s businesses,” said Mariotti. “That would be complicated by privilege issues given that Burke was the Trump Organization’s attorney.”

 

Start your day with National Memo Newsletter

Know first.

The opinions that matter. Delivered to your inbox every morning

Jeff Danziger lives in New York City. He is represented by CWS Syndicate and the Washington Post Writers Group. He is the recipient of the Herblock Prize and the Thomas Nast (Landau) Prize. He served in the US Army in Vietnam and was awarded the Bronze Star and the Air Medal. He has published eleven books of cartoons and one novel. Visit him at DanzigerCartoons.

Jason Miller

Screenshot from C-SPAN

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos

If there's anything that right-wing chat platforms promising uncensored "free speech" like Gab and Parler have proven, it's that such predicates ensure the platforms will quickly be inundated with the worst people in the world—bigots spewing death threats, hatemongers, disinformation artists, conspiracy theorists, vile misogynists, and terrorists of all stripes. The kind of clients that will doom such networks to permanent deplatforming.

Keep reading... Show less
x

Close