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Tag: ivanka trump

House Select Committee Interviews Coup Conspirator Donald Trump Jr.

Donald Trump Jr., former President Trump’s eldest son, voluntarily appeared before the House Select Committee, a bipartisan congressional panel investigating the sordid January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, according to multiple news outlets.

The meeting happened virtually and lasted a few hours, and Trump Jr. answered every question without pleading the Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination. Sources told CNN that interaction between congressional investigators and the former president’s son was "cordial.".

The interview marks the select committee’s investigative foray into Trump’s inner circle of family members and top political advisers. Trump Jr. is the second of Trump’s adult children to testify before the select committee. Ivanka Trump submitted to an 8-hour-long interview with the committee in early April, and her husband and former senior Trump adviser, Jared Kushner, spoke to the select committee for 6 hours and provided, according to Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), "useful” testimony.

Last week, the select committee chair, Bennie Thompson, told reporters that Trump Jr. was on the panel’s deposition wishlist, which isn’t a surprise because the former president’s oldest son was a top figure in his father’s 2020 reelection campaign.

Trump Jr. was also one of the most high-profile disseminators of election fraud conspiracies at the center of his father's doomed reelection bid. He was present at the “Stop the Steal” rally at the Eclipse on January 6 with his fiancee, Kimberly Guilfoyle, and other members of his family, where his father gave a speech that, investigators believe, incited a pro-Trump mob to attack the Capitol during the congressional certification of Joe Biden’s victory.

“These guys better fight for Trump. Because if they’re not, guess what? I’m going to be in your backyard in a couple of months!” Trump Jr. told a crowd of Trump supporters at the January 6 rally, threatening Republican lawmakers thinking of voting to acknowledge Biden’s landslide victory.

Guilfoyle also spoke at the rally in support of Trump’s baseless conspiracies of widespread election fraud, a publicity stunt that garnered the interest of the January 6 congressional investigators. The select committee said it had evidence that Guilfoyle boasted of her role in fundraising for the rally, and that she had told others who Trump would allow to speak at the rally, per CBS News.

Months earlier, Guilfoyle volunteered to testify to the select committee, but her lawyers abruptly ended the interview, which was being done remotely, over a disagreement over ground rules. The select committee later issued a subpoena to Guilfoyle, compelling her to testify for over nine hours.

Last month, CNN published reams of messages between Trump allies before and after the Capitol riot, and among them was a text message Trump Jr. sent to Mark Meadows, then-White House chief of staff, two days after election day; “It’s very simple. We have multiple paths. We control them all,” Trump Jr. told Meadows, referring to a shocking inner-circle effort to declare then-President Trump the victor of the 2020 elections he lost.

In a series of text messages released by the select committee itself, Trump Jr. sang a different tune after the crowd at the January 6 rally stormed the Capitol. “We need an Oval address. He has to lead now. It has gone too far and gotten out of hand,” Trump Jr. wrote to Meadows.

Trump Jr. is one of 1000 witnesses the select committee has deposed as it seeks to wrap up its far-reaching investigations into one of the worst Capitol attacks in over 200 years.

However, some Trump Administration staff members have refused interviews, including several top Trump allies: Don Scavino, Meadows, Peter Navarro, and Steve Bannon. Congress has held all four in contempt for refusing to comply with congressional subpoenas. The Justice Department has already charged Bannon, who, along with the others, claimed to be following Trump’s orders to claim executive privilege.

New York Attorney General's Probe Of Trump Asset Fraud Is 'Nearly Complete'

The office of the New York attorney general, Letitia James, said it has almost completed a civil investigation into the Trump Organization’s “nesting doll” assets.

Investigators told a court Monday that they’re waiting to search two cellphones belonging to former President Trump and two computers owned by his longtime assistant Rhona Graff, per CNN.

“The process is near an end,” said Kevin Wallace, senior enforcement counsel in the attorney general's office.

James’ office hired a third-party firm to search Trump Organization’s files, and it found 151 people or entities that may possess documents sought by the office. Still, Wallace stressed the office’s focus on finding the "most important” pieces of information because, under the statute of limitations, the office had until Saturday to file its lawsuit.

Although the tolling agreement with the Trump Organization will end on Saturday, the attorney general’s office could take several weeks to decide how to proceed with its investigation.

On Monday, New York State Judge Arthur Engoron held Trump in civil contempt for an inadequate response to a subpoena by James’ office and slapped the former president with a $10,000 per day fine — a ruling Trump appealed on Wednesday.

"Given the upcoming end of the tolling agreement we will likely need to bring some kind of enforcement action in the near future to preserve our rights," Wallace said.

Lawyers for the attorney general’s office agreed to a meeting with Trump Organization’s attorneys to, according to Wallace, flesh out what “appropriate resolutions might look like” in a case that has hung for three years over Trump, who has called James a “racist” and the investigation, a “witch hunt.”

In court filings, the attorney general’s office has said it believes Trump Organization made misleading statements and omissions in its financial statements to lenders and insurers to get tax benefits.

Trump and his children, Ivanka Trump and Trump Jr., have failed to cooperate with investigators and appealed an earlier ruling by the same judge demanding they sit for depositions. However, Eric Trump was deposed in 2020, and he invoked the Fifth Amendment more than 500 times.

"The company relies more on its people than its systems," Wallace said to the court, noting that hundreds of entities in the Trump Organization moved millions of dollars around many business units using different accounting systems.

Wallace alluded to Trump’s golf course in Jupiter, Florida, purchased for $5 million in 2012, stuffed into a financial statement with $2 billion of club assets, and suddenly valued by the company at $46 million. Investigators are yet to determine where the extra $41 million originated.

"Each of these assets is like a Russian nesting doll," Wallace added.

A lawyer for Trump Organization, Alina Habba, dismissed Wallace’s claims, arguing that the company’s operations mirror “how real estate companies operate."

Danziger Draws

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, a novel and a memoir. Visit him at DanzigerCartoons.

Ivanka Trump Meets With House Select Committee On Capitol Riot

As a contempt vote in the House looms for Trump White House officials who sidestepped subpoenas from the House Select Committee on January 6, NBC News has reported first that investigators of the attempted overthrow are meeting today with Ivanka Trump, the ex-president’s daughter and onetime adviser.

Ivanka reportedly will appear before the committee Wednesday, on the heels of a private deposition given by her husband and fellow senior adviser to the former president, Jared Kushner. Kushner appeared voluntarily. Ivanka was first asked to appear in January and talks have reportedly been ongoing since then.

The probe is particularly interested in hearing details from Ivanka about her father’s conduct before, during, and after the siege. Former Vice President Mike Pence’s national security adviser, Keith Kellogg, told the committee he and Ivanka were present when Trump called Pence to pressure him to stop the certification.

As that call ended, Ivanka turned to Kellogg and said of the vice president: “Mike Pence is a good man.”

It is unclear whether Ivanka Trump will appear remotely or in person. A representative for the committee declined to comment to Daily Kos on Wednesday.

If she indeed appears, she will be the second member of the Trump family circle to testify since Kushner went first last week.

Investigators have targeted phone records belonging to Eric Trump, as well as records belonging to Kimberly Guilfoyle, Donald Trump Jr.’s fiancée. Guilfoyle received a separate subpoena direct from the committee on March 3 following a voluntary appearance that fell apart fast.

The committee has appeared generous with Trump family members thus far, extending opportunities for “friendly” or voluntary meetings and granting time to negotiate appearances.

Guilfoyle was afforded that friendliness, too, but balked on the day of her deposition, when she realized she would have to testify in front of members of the committee as well as House counsel. Her attorney chalked up the opposition to a fear of media leaks.

Guilfoyle’s fundraising efforts around the rally at the Ellipse on January 6 are front and center for the probe. Last year, text messages obtained by ProPublica showed Guilfoyle boasting about raising no less than $3 million for the event. She was also backstage at the rally, seen celebrating with those closest to the president just before his speech to a crowd that would soon descend violently on the U.S. Capitol.

It is unclear whether Guilfoyle has agreed to cooperate since her last botched appearance.

Kushner’s appearance went smoothly, according to Rep. Zoe Lofgren, a California Democrat who serves on the committee. Lofgren was mum on details during an appearance on CNN following the meeting but described Kushner as “precise.”

Though she did say Kushner “did not volunteer” anything.

The meeting lasted six hours but Lofgren emphasized that the deposition was not “volatile.”

Fellow January 6 investigator Rep. Elaine Luria (D-VA) told NPR that Kushner’s testimony was “helpful.”

“I think that the committee really appreciates hearing information directly from people who have relevant facts about January 6, and the fact that Jared Kushner came as a witness is helpful to building the story of our investigation,” the Virginia Democrat said.

Unlike Ivanka, Kushner was not in Washington, D.C., on January 6.

He was heading back to the U.S. from Saudi Arabia while she, according to testimony already provided to the committee, was busy trying to convince her father to say something publicly to soothe the mob attacking the Capitol and threatening to kill Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Vice President Pence.

Where Ivanka’s insights into how she soothed her father during the riot are sought by the committee, it’s likely that investigators asked Kushner about the widely reported role he played: telling Trump that he lost the 2020 election to Joe Biden.

Luria said that Kushner’s testimony allowed the committee to “substantiate information” while providing “his own take on different reports on the January 6 attack.”

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos

Trump, Ivanka And Don Jr. Must Testify In Financial Probe, Judge Rules

Donald Trump and his two oldest children, Don Jr. and Ivanka Trump, must appear for questioning under oath in the New York attorney general’s civil investigation into their family firm's financial conduct, a Manhattan judge ruled today. Lawyers for the Trumps had argued against the subpoenas issued by New York State Attorney General Letitia James, accusing her of acting improperly as a criminal prosecutor and of partisan animus against them. But Manhattan Supreme Court Judge Arthur Engoron ruled in favor of the attorney general, requiring the former president and his children to testify.

The Trumps must surrender subpoenaed documents within two weeks and appear for depositions within three weeks, the judge ruled, although the response could be delayed on appeal.

Swatting down the arguments of Trump's lawyers, the judge wrote that failure to subpoena him and his children in an investigation of the Trump Organization's bizarre finances "would have been a dereliction of duty" by James.

Both the New York attorney general and the Manhattan district attorney are investigating allegations that Trump manipulated the stated value of his properties in order to obtain loans and avoid taxes.

Before the judge ruled, he presided over a circus-like hearing that featured an astonishing performance by Trump attorney Alina Habba.

“I want to know,” Habba, in court, asked the NY Attorney General, “are you gonna go after Hillary Clinton for what she’s doing to my client?” Habba continued, “That she spied at Trump Tower in your state...Are you gonna look into her business dealings?”

This made a poor impression on Judge Engoron.

“The Clintons are not before me,” the judge replied.

Habba also told the judge that James had undertaken a “selective prosecution,” -- as Law & Crime News managing editor Adam Klasfeld reports.

“It’s unconstitutional,” she claimed. The judge swiftly issued his sweeping ruling against the Trumps.

House Select Committee May Subpoena Ivanka, Who Has Ignored Request

The House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack is weighing a subpoena for former First Daughter and Trump White House senior advisor Ivanka Trump, who appears to have ignored the committee’s polite but emphatic request for her to voluntarily testify.

“Any move to subpoena Ivanka Trump and, for the first time, force a member of Trump’s own family to testify against him, would mark a dramatic escalation in the January 6 inquiry that could amount to a treacherous legal and political moment for the former president,” The Guardians Hugo Lowell reports.

On January 20, an appropriate date, the Committee sent a detailed 11-page letter inviting the former President’s daughter to talk with them in early February. Her response? A publicly-issued, terse statement from her spokesperson saying she had urged those attacking the Capitol to end the violence. That statement neglected to note Ivanka Trump had called the insurrectionists “American Patriots.”

The Committee has yet to decide the best course of action to obtain her testimony about her father’s efforts to unlawfully remain in office. She is believed to have been in the White House at least part of the day on January 6.

Former federal prosecutor Joyce Vance notes the “busy month ahead for Ivanka” as New York Attorney General Letitia James “pushes to depose her” and the January 6 Committee “considers a subpoena after she scorns their request for her testimony.”

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

White House Kills Mining Leases For Firm Linked To Ivanka And Kushner

The U.S. Department of the Interior announced this week that it is canceling two leases for copper mining in the Minnesota wilderness that President Donald Trump authorized during his presidency.

Twin Metals Minnesota, a subsidiary of Antofagasta plc, a multinational mining conglomerate, was slated to mine for copper in the Boundary Waters region. The area — which spans over 1.1 million acres from Minnesota to Ontario, Canada — has "pristine" water quality and is home to more than 50 animal species and more than 200 bird species.

Environmental activists had warned that the Twin Metals mining operation could put the Boundary Waters' status as a haven for natural life in jeopardy, with runoff flooding the area with contaminants.

"After a careful legal review, we found the leases were improperly renewed in violation of applicable statutes and regulations, and we are taking action to cancel them," U.S. Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland said in a statement.

In October, the Biden administration announced it would consider withdrawing the Boundary Waters from consideration for any mining leases for the next 20 years — the maximum amount of time under the Secretary of the Interior's authority.

In the final months of President Barack Obama's administration, the department declined to renew Twin Metals' leases to mine in the Boundary Waters region. Former President Donald Trump reinstated the company's leases. In 2018, Trump's Department of Agriculture canceled a study assessing the environmental impact of mining operations in the area.

After Trump took office, Antofagasta plc heavily increased its lobbying in Washington, spending upwards of $900,000 to advocate for the leases to be reopened, the New York Times reported.

Around the same time, Andrónico Luksic, whose family controls Antofagasta, entered into a private financial arrangement with Ivanka Trump and her husband, Jared Kushner.

In December 2016, Luksic purchased a $5.5 million home in the high-end neighborhood of Kalorama in Washington, D.C. One month later, when Trump took office, Ivanka Trump and Kushner rented and moved into Luksic's house.

Richard W. Painter, who served as ethics chief under former President George W. Bush, told Newsweek magazine in 2019 the arrangement gave the appearance that Luksic was "trying to influence" the administration on its mining decision by aligning himself with Trump's daughter and son-in-law.

Throughout Trump's presidency, Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner each faced numerous accusations of self-dealing and corruption.

Antofagasta has previously faced allegations of being involved in corrupt actions like bribery as well as concerns that the company's mining operations have caused damage to culturally significant heritage sites.

The Biden administration's reversal of the decision by the Trump team was hailed by Save The Boundary Waters, an activist group opposing the project on environmental grounds.

"It is heartening to have an administration making decisions with integrity," Becky Rom, the group's national campaign chair, said in a statement. "Twin Metals leases should never have been reinstated in the first place, and this announcement should stop the Twin Metals mine threat."

Rep. Betty McCollum (D-MN), who represents the Boundary Waters region in Congress, praised the Department of the Interior's decision.

"The Biden administration's cancellation of two Twin Metals leases that threatened this watershed is a rejection of the deeply flawed and politically motivated process under the Trump administration and a victory for sound science and protecting a precious and irreplaceable natural resource," McCollum said in a statement.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.