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Judge Allows Lawsuit Against Trump Family Pyramid Scheme

One of the many lawsuits that the Trump Organization and members of the Trump family have faced allegations that they engaged in an illegal pyramid scheme. Attorneys for the company have tried to get the class action lawsuit placed on hold, but Judge Lorna G. Schofield — a federal judge in New York — has refused to stay the case.

In Law & Crime, reporters Matt Naham and Aaron Keller explain, "The class action plaintiffs allege that the Trump family business promoted a multi-level marketing or pyramid scheme known as ACN Opportunity, LLC. ACN, the plaintiffs said, was a 'get-rich-quick scheme' that relied on Trump and his family (conning) each of these victims into giving up hundreds or thousands of dollars,' in violation of various state laws."

Members of the Trump family named in the lawsuit include President Donald Trump and three of his children: Donald Trump, Jr., Eric Trump and White House Senior Adviser Ivanka Trump.

According to Naham and Keller, "The plaintiffs claimed that the Trump family falsely endorsed and promoted ACN by insisting that the enterprise 'offered a reasonable probability of commercial success' — even using 'The Celebrity Apprentice' to draw them in."

The plaintiffs first filed the lawsuit in October 2018, alleging "racketeering and conspiracy to racketeer." And in January 2019, attorneys for members of the Trump family requested that the case be thrown out altogether — which didn't happen, although the "racketeering and conspiracy to racketeer" claims were dismissed.Trump Organization lawyers were hoping that Schofield, who was appointed by former President Barack Obama, would put the case on hold. But the Southern District of New York judge ruled that the lawsuit would not be stayed.

The 64-year-old Schofield, Naham and Keller report, applied the "traditional standard" for determining whether or not to stay a case.

"The first factor is whether the parties applying for the stay — the Trumps and ACN — are likely to succeed on the merits," Naham and Keller note. "Here, Schofield ruled that they are not…. The second of the four factors for a stay, irreparable injury, did not outweigh the defendants' loss on the first factor, the judge ruled. The third factor, 'substantial injury' to the plaintiffs, factored 'lightly against a stay.' The fourth factor, 'public interest' weighed 'slightly in favor of a stay,' the judge ruled."

Schofield, in her ruling, asserted, "As a private business dispute, the action does not give rise to a public interest in the lawsuit. That one of the defendants has since assumed a position of national prominence does not create the type of public interest typically found to weigh against a stay."

Trump Campaign Is Funneling Money To Don Junior’s Girlfriend

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign includes not only Donald Trump Jr. and Ivanka Trump, but also, the women two of Trump’s sons have been romantically involved with. And according to the New York Times, the president’s campaign manager has been funneling money to Kimberly Guilfoyle (Trump Jr.’s girlfriend) and Eric Trump’s wife, Lara Trump.

The payments, the Times reported, were made through Parscale Strategy, a private, San Antonio, Texas-based company owned by the president’s campaign manager, Brad Parscale.

Huffington Post’s Mary Papenfuss notes that the “family benefits” are “linked to a network of politically connected private companies — operating with the support and help of Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner — that have charged roughly $75 million since 2017 to the Trump reelection campaign.”

Guilfoyle is a former Fox News pundit who left that right-wing cable news channel in 2018 and has been dating Trump Jr. for two years. In January, Trump’s campaign announced that Guilfoyle would be leading joint fundraising between Trump’s reelection campaign and the Republican National Committee (RNC).

Long before she dated Trump Jr., Guilfoyle was married to Democrat Gavin Newsom — who was mayor of San Francisco at the time and went on to become governor of California.

Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore

Don Jr. Displays Rifle With ‘Lock Her Up’ And White Nationalist Images

Donald Trump Jr. posted a photo of himself to Instagram on Sunday that showed him holding a machine gun with a magazine emblazoned with former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s face.

“Nice day at the range,” Trump Jr. wrote in the caption, thanking two companies for, “adding a little extra awesome to my AR and that mag…”

The “mag” — short for magazine, which holds ammunition — featured a drawing of Clinton peering out from behind prison bars.

That’s likely a reference to the “lock her up” chants popular at his father Donald Trump’s campaign rallies during the 2016 election, a demand from supporters that Clinton be jailed over her controversial private email server scandal.

It’s unclear whether the customized magazine was intended as a threat.

The elder Trump has issued veiled threats at Clinton before, including when he suggested during the 2016 campaign that “Second Amendment people” take Clinton down — a comment that was seen as a threat of violence.

Also on the younger Trump’s gun this weekend was an image of a Jerusalem cross, a medieval symbol that some experts claim has been adopted by white nationalists.

“Crusader imagery on weapons & propaganda has been used by Far-Right terrorists since Breivik,” Akil N. Awan, a senior lecturer at Royal Holloway University of London, tweeted. Anders Breivik, the white supremacist Norwegian terrorist, killed 77 people in both a bomb attack and at a summer camp in July 2011.

It’s unclear whether the image was actually intended as a reference to white nationalist ideology.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

Despite Denials, RNC Spent $94,000 Buying Copies Of Trump Jr. Book

A new campaign finance disclosure form filed by the Republican National Committee (RNC) shows that, on Oct. 29, the party spent $94,800 on “donor mementos” at the online bookstore Booksamillion.com.

The filing was first flagged by New York Times reporter Nick Confessore on Thursday.

According to Confessore, the mementos, a spokesperson confirmed, were part of their promotion of Donald Trump Jr.’s new book, Triggered: How the Left Thrives on Hate and Wants to Silence Us.

Last week, the RNC denied having made any bulk purchases of the book.

“Triggered” debuted last week at the top slot on the New York Times nonfiction best-seller list, but the paper included a dagger symbol to indicate that the total included a substantial number of bulk-purchased books. This symbol, the New York Post suggested, typically indicates that an author or those close to the author are buying up large quantities of books themselves — a way to manipulate the numbers and game the system.

At the time, the Post noted last Thursday, the RNC was sending copies of the book to donors as part of a fundraising incentive. But a spokesperson for the committee claimed, “We haven’t made a large bulk purchase, but are ordering copies to keep up with demand. Each book is sold to an individual who supports the Republican Party … Using books as a means to fundraise is standard practice from political parties on both sides of the aisle.”

A one-time, $94,800 charge would appear to be a “large bulk purchase.” Confessore estimated that, based on the discount price on the Books-a-Million website, the party could have purchased and sent out 4,000 books.

An RNC spokesperson did not immediately respond to an inquiry about the contradiction, but one told Confessore on Thursday that the group stood by its original statement.

Last month, Trump Jr. was called out for hypocrisy after he attacked Hunter Biden, suggesting that the son of former Vice President Joe Biden had made his living through nepotism, profiting off of his father’s job. “When you’re the father and your son’s entire career is dependent on that, they own you,” he claimed.

Trump Jr. also claimed recently during his book promotional tour that the Democratic Party has moved so far to the left that “JFK would be an alt-right neo-Nazi terrorist, according to them today.”

As recently as 2008, Trump Jr. gave $5,000 to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. In 2006, he donated $15,000 to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.