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Monday, December 09, 2019

Tag: ivanka trump

Ivanka Trump Tried To Dodge Her Court-Appointed Financial Monitor

Ivanka Trump, daughter and ex-aide of former President Trump, tried and failed to keep her finances — and hers only — away from the prying eyes of a court-appointed financial monitor tasked with scrutinizing the Trump Organization’s transactions and those of entities connected to it, The Daily Beast reported Monday, citing anonymous sources.

According to the Beast, Ivanka Trump’s attorneys sent private letters to Justice Arthur Engoron, the New York state judge who ordered the financial supervision in the state’s ongoing lawsuit against the Trump company, asking to be exempt from the monitor’s scrutiny, a step her brothers, Don. Jr. and Eric, didn’t take.

Engoron summarily ignored Ivanka’s private plea and — in a bold ruling on Thursday — said the Trump Organization had just two weeks to provide "a full and accurate description of the corporate structure” to the monitor, retired judge Barbara Jones, giving her a window into the company’s “financial disclosures to any persons or entities."

The Trump family must also provide the judge a 30-day advance notice before moving any assets, Engoron ruled, citing the audacious founding of a Trump Organization II in Delaware, “the shell company capital of the country,” according to the Beast.

New York Attorney General Letitia James requested a monitor to supervise the Trump family company’s finances until her civil suit against the organization — the culmination of her three-year-long investigation into its business practices — goes to trial.

In her over 200-page-long filing, James’ office alleged widespread fraud by Trump, his company, and the offspring he made its executives — participants in an over ten-year-long effort to bloat the former president’s finances to get favorable loan agreements.

Seeking $250 million in penalties from the Trump Organization, in a motion filed last month, James asked for the company to be barred from offloading its assets ashore and conducting any kind of “significant fraudulent and illegal business,” ensuring that “funds are available to satisfy any disgorgement award.”

Ivanka Trump — who has sought to distance herself from her father’s political operations, most recently his announcement of a 2024 presidential bid— is a defendant in James’ suit even though her name hasn’t come up in recent court hearings, the Beast noted.

“I love my father very much. This time around, I am choosing to prioritize my young children and the private life we are creating as a family,” Ivanka told Fox News, excusing her absence from her father’s announcement. “I do not plan to be involved in politics.”

In the Trump family’s attempt to stave off Engoron’s ruling via appeal filing, Ivanka’s lawyers made a personal argument to get her off the hook, saying that she had not been involved with the company for over five years.

“Ms. Trump submits this separate affirmation to set forth with specificity the reasons why the trial court erred in including Ms. Trump in the Order in her individual capacity… there was no legal or factual basis to issue the Order against Ms. Trump,” her lawyers argued.

“Ms. Trump has had no involvement for more than five years… Ms. Trump has had no role as an officer, director, or employee of the Trump Organization or any of its affiliates since at least January 2017… NY AG never intended to impose an injunction against Ms. Trump,” the attorneys added.

In her tenure as a White House adviser, Ivanka Trump raised myriad ethics red flags, and as a Trump Organization executive before that, she was — as described by James in a court filing for Ivanka’s refusal to testify in January — a "key player in many of the [Trump company’s] transactions."

Video Shows Furious Roger Stone Calling Ivanka An 'Abortionist Bitch'

Longtime Trump ally and MAGA provocateur Roger Stone flew into a rage upon learning he wouldn’t be granted a post-2020-election pardon despite extensive lobbying efforts and unleashed a flurry of expletives at former President Trump’s family, newly released footage showed.

In the video — captured by the Danish film crew “The Ark” for its forthcoming documentary A Storm Foretold, and first published by The Daily Beast — Stone is seated in a moving vehicle, seething at the discovery that there would be no 11th-hour pardon to shield him from accountability for his role in the effort he helped lead to overturn Trump’s loss in the 2020 election.

“Jared Kushner has an IQ of 70,” Stone ranted on the phone on President Joe Biden’s inauguration day, when then-outgoing President Trump could no longer grant pardons. “He’s coming to Miami. We will eject him from Miami very quickly; he will be leaving very quickly,” Stone said through gritted teeth. “Very quickly.”

His anger rising rapidly, Stone segued into a threat of violence, warning, “He has 100 security guards. I will have 5,000 security guards. You want to fight. Let’s fight. Fuck you.”

The political “dirty trickster” ended his tirade with a jab at Ivanka Trump, saying, “Fuck you and your abortionist bitch daughter!”

The Beast noted it was unclear who Stone was speaking to on the phone, but the film crew’s boss, Christoffer Guldbrandsen, confirmed to the publication there was “no doubt” it was Ivanka that Stone had called an “abortionist bitch.”

Why Stone would refer to Ivanka — who, according to the HuffPost, “staunchly declared herself in a 2020 interview ‘pro-life, and unapologetically so.’ — is not yet clear; however, Guldbrandsen told the Beast that Stone blamed Kushner for his failed bid for a second pardon.

“Aside from Donald Trump, he also held Jared Kushner responsible as being the guy who was the point man on the pardon,” Guldbrandsen said, noting that the beleaguered agitator’s vulgar rant had taken place in Fort Lauderdale on January 20, 2021.

Stone, a self-proclaimed pro-life advocate, has had no misgivings in discussing violence, a trait prominent amongst the right-wing militias he’s allegedly affiliated with, most notably the Oath Keepers and Proud Boys. (His first wife Elizabeth "Bitsy" Stone operated a "pro-choice Republican" nonprofit and PAC for many years in Washington, which he supported.)

“I say fuck the voting. Let’s get right to the violence. We'll have to start smashing pumpkins, if you know what I mean," Stone said in a video clip released by the House Select Committee on Thursday.

“Shoot to kill. See an Antifa? Shoot to kill. Fuck ’em. Done with this bullshit,” Stone said in a video clip CNN obtained from the film crew last month.

Previous reporting by the Washington Post showed that vowing violence against Kushner is something Stone has done more than once.

“In two weeks [Kushner’s] moving to Miami,” Stone told a staffer on Inauguration Day, the Post reported in March, citing over 20 hours of Stone documentary footage it had reviewed. “He’s going to get a beating. He needs to have a beating. And needs to be told, ‘This time we’re just beating you. Next time we’re killing you.’”

Moments later, Stone rejected the staffer’s urging to pass his threat off as a joke, saying, “No, no, it isn’t joking. Not joking. It’s not a joke.”

In a car with the filmmakers that same day, the Post noted, Stone continued outlining plans for Kushner’s demise; this time, on the phone with a friend named Tom.

“Stone said Kushner needed to be “punished in the most brutal possible way” and would be “brain dead when I get finished with him,” the Post wrote in its report.

Stone accused the Post of attacking him using “a clever blend of ‘guilt by association,’ insinuations, half truths, anonymous claims, falsehoods and out of context trick questions.”

Representatives for Ivanka and Kushner didn’t return the Beast’s request for comment.

Stone has levied personal attacks against Guldbrandsen and threatened to file a $25 million lawsuit against the filmmaker.

New York Attorney General Sues Trump, Adult Children For Massive Fraud

By Karen Freifeld, Jonathan Stempel and Luc Cohen

NEW YORK (Reuters) -- Donald Trump and his adult children were sued for "numerous acts of fraud and misrepresentation" on Wednesday by New York state's attorney general in a civil investigation into the former U.S. president's business practices, court records showed.

The lawsuit, filed in a New York state court in Manhattan, accused the Trump Organization of wrongdoing in preparing Trump's annual statements of financial condition from 2011 to 2021. It also named the Trump Organization, the former president's son Donald Trump Jr,. and his daughter Ivanka Trump as defendants.

Attorney General Letitia James said Trump and the Trump Organization misstated the values of its real estate properties to obtain favorable loans and tax benefits. She said she was referring allegations of criminal wrongdoing to federal prosecutors in Manhattan and the Internal Revenue Service.

"With the help of his children and senior executives at the Trump Organization, Donald Trump falsely inflated his net worth by billions of dollars to unjustly enrich himself and cheat the system," James said in a statement.

The lawsuit marks one of the biggest legal blows for Trump since he left office in January 2021. Trump is considering running again for president in 2024.

James told reporters she is seeking to have the defendants give up all the benefits he obtained from fraud, estimated at $250 million. The lawsuit also seeks to bar Trump and his children from running companies in New York, and to bar the Trump Organization from engaging in real estate transactions. James has been conducting a civil investigation into Trump's business practices for more than three years.

The Republican former president has denied any wrongdoing and described James' probe as a politically motivated witch hunt. James is a Democrat. The Trump Organization has called James' allegations "baseless."

Wednesday's lawsuit followed a contentious investigation in which James accused Trump, his company, and some family members of using delay tactics to ignore subpoenas and avoid testifying.

Trump on August 10 declined to answer questions in a lengthy, closed-door deposition at the office of the attorney general, invoking his constitutional right against self-incrimination more than 400 times.

Donald Trump Jr. and Ivanka Trump agreed to sit for depositions only after court decisions required it.

Another of Trump's children, Eric Trump, invoked the right against self-incrimination more than 500 times in a 2020 deposition.

Trump has been beset with legal troubles since leaving the White House.

The FBI conducted a search of his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida on Aug. 8 as part of a criminal investigation into his handling of presidential records including classified material.

Trump also faces a criminal investigation in Georgia over his efforts to overturn the 2020 election results.

He has denied wrongdoing in the various probes.

James' civil probe is separate from a criminal tax fraud probe against the Trump Organization by Manhattan's district attorney, Alvin Bragg.

The company is scheduled to stand trial in October, accused of paying off-the-books benefits to employees. Its former longtime chief financial officer, Allen Weisselberg, has pleaded guilty and will testify against the company.

James is assisting Bragg in his criminal probe.

(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel, Karen Freifeld and Luc Cohen in New York; editing by Will Dunham and Alistair Bell)

Ivanka And Kushner Seeking Safe Distance From Donald Trump's Disgrace

Neither the former president’s eldest daughter and former White House aide Ivanka Trump nor his son-in-law and ex-adviser Jared Kushner want any further involvement in Donald Trump’s Big Lie-fueled political operations. They have reportedly distanced themselves from him, according to a new Axios report.

In that report, reporter Jonathan Swan disclosed that former president Trump — angered by the litany of explosive revelations brought to light by the House Select Committee hearings — has cut ties with nearly every ally and aide who didn’t embrace his false claims of election fraud.

Ivanka Trump and Kushner both served as senior advisers during his presidency, but neither of them actually bought into Trump’s lies of a stolen election, which most of his allies — including those who would later denounce him — initially disseminated, according to the New York Times.

The Times report indicated that Ivanka had refused to speak at the January 6 rally on the White House Ellipse, but accompanied Trump to prevent him from clashing with former Vice President Mike Pence.

“As rioters rampaged through the Capitol, [Ivanka] ran up and down the stairs in the West Wing from her office to the Oval Office, hoping to persuade her father to issue stronger statements calling off the attackers," the Times reported.

Ivanka told House Select Committee investigators during her April deposition that former Attorney General Bill Barr’s assessment that no amount of fraud was sufficient to overturn her father’s loss “affected my perspective,” so “I accepted what he was saying.”

Trump mildly rebuked Ivanka on social media after her deposition testimony was aired in July to millions of Americans during prime-time hearings. "Ivanka Trump was not involved in looking at, or studying, Election results," Trump wrote.

The Times noted that Kushner told aides that he had seen the writing on the wall after vote tabulation of the 2020 elections commenced and knew Trump would lose. The White House’s power couple began washing their hands of Trump’s presidency while the former president devised plots to overturn his loss, the Times claimed.

Sources said that Kushner had another concern: Rudy Giuliani. "To Mr. Kushner, his father-in-law's decision to turn once again to Mr. Giuliani was a red flag. As far as Mr. Kushner was concerned, Mr. Giuliani was an erratic schemer who had already gotten Mr. Trump impeached once because of his political intriguing in Ukraine, and nothing good would come of the former mayor's involvement in fighting the election results," reported the Times.

Kushner tried to broker peace between Trump and Pence in the aftermath of the Capitol attack, according to Salon. However, the former president insisted on “waging war on Mr. Biden and the system,” repeatedly claiming without evidence that victory in the election was stolen from him.

In the aftermath of the first series of select committee hearings on January 6, which outlined his alleged crimes, Trump has reportedly ramped up plans to grab the mantle of president again in 2024.

The former president has excommunicated from his re-election plans and inner circle the aides who distanced themselves from his bogus 2020 election claims, even those who once had his ear. This growing list includes former senior adviser Hope Hicks, former Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, and former campaign manager Bill Stepien, according to Axios.

Although Ivanka and Kushner attended Trump’s farewell ceremony at Joint Base Andrews and flew to Florida with him aboard Air Force One after that, the couple has since moved on with their lives.

The Big Lie, Wrapped In More Lies -- And Finally Stripped Bare

Now Americans know for certain what many suspected since Election Day 2020, which is that Donald Trump, his enablers in the Congress, his publicists on Fox News and his co-conspirators in the White House were in on the Big Lie from the very beginning. All of them understood all along that Trump's insistent claim about election fraud was false and intended solely to deceive their followers.

Both the original deception and its protective wrapping were ripped away by the House Select Committee's revelatory hearing on June 9.

It is now undeniable that Trump and his gang were aware from the first week of November 2020 that he had lost the election to Joe Biden. Trump aide Jason Miller testified to the select committee that the campaign's own data expert had informed the then-president he "was going to lose," based on an internal assessment of the reported "county-by-county, state by state results."

According to Miller, Trump rejected this incontrovertible judgment because he wanted to fight the outcome in court. But his campaign swiftly lost every case brought to contest the election on both the state and federal levels, in courts overseen by judges of both parties, culminating in the summary dismissal of its claims by the Supreme Court, with a conservative majority that included three of his appointees.

Trump and his cronies knew from the start that their legal claims were entirely meritless. So did the lawyers representing him, including Sidney Powell and Rudy Giuliani, both of whom have suffered court disciplinary action for their conscious lies.

Everybody around Trump, and their brothers and sisters and cousins, knew that he and they were lying about the election, even as they stoked outrage among his gullible true believers. But they continued to promote the Big Lie — and all the subsidiary lies — as the fateful date of January 6 approached.

Attorney General William Barr testified that he told Trump on three separate occasions that the claims of fraud were absolutely baseless. "I made it clear I did not agree with the idea of saying the election was stolen and putting out this stuff, which I told the president was bullshit."

Yet instead of accepting the blunt assessment of the nation's highest law enforcement official, who had defended him during the Russia investigation, even misleading the public about the Mueller report, Trump threw Barr out of the Oval Office. He then attempted to appoint an eager flunky, Jeffrey Clark, as acting attorney general in order to foist a conscious lie on the states by misusing the authority of the Justice Department.

On December 28, 2020, Clark had drafted a letter to Georgia officials falsely asserting that the department had found voting irregularities that affected election results in several states. This was itself a conscious lie. What stopped Clark's appointment was a threat by Acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen and other top attorneys in the Justice Department and the White House to resign en masse, a potentially ruinous scandal.

The pattern was clear as the hearing proceeded, with Ivanka Trump testifying that she believed Barr (confirming a New York Times report that neither she nor her husband Jared Kushner credited Trump's "fraud" nonsense). But nobody around Trump saw any evidence to support the Big Lie, including the president himself.

Neither did the professional liars at Fox News, who gulled their audience into believing claims that they knew were ridiculous. At the hearing, Rep. Liz Cheney displayed an ominous text from Fox host Sean Hannity to White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany: "Key now, no more crazy people, no more stolen election talk. Yes, impeachment and 25th amendment are real. Many people will quit." In other words, Hannity knew that the Big Lie was a lie, even as he and his network mendaciously promoted it.

Conscious of its own guilt and involvement, Fox refused to televise the hearings, devoting its airtime to conspiracy theories. The same consciousness of guilt also seems to have seized a number of Republican members of Congress, whose futile efforts to obtain pardons from Trump during his final days in office were also disclosed by Cheney.

The only people who honestly swallowed the Big Lie were Trump's followers, thousands of whom assaulted the Capitol on that "wild" day of January 6. Now many of those unfortunate fools — the same crowd who invested their faith in fascist nonsense about coronavirus vaccines and Hollywood pedophiles — will go to prison because they believed in their golden calf, Donald Trump, who knew he was lying to them and leading them to the slaughter.

To find out more about Joe Conason and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at

Endorse This! Colbert Owns Fox News On Avoiding January 6 Coverage

Even if Fox News choose to ignore the explosive January 6th hearings like Covid guidance in order to keep their viewers ignorant as always, every major news network broadcasted the first of several high-profile hearings involcing all the sordid details of the January 6th insurrection. And while the Republican party of treason claimed that the first airing of hearings would be a "nothing burger," it was a freaking impossible burger.

The Late Show host Stephen Colbert weighed in on why the hearings were quite significant and why Fox News desperately made sure not a single one of their sheep (or viewers) turned the channel.

“They were wrong,” he said to cheers from his audience. “It was such a juicy burger that Fox News knew that even their viewers would be tempted to take a bite. Which is why—and this is true—for the hour of his show opposite the hearings, Tucker Carlson took no commercial breaks.”

“Do you understand what that means?” he asked. “Fox News is willing to lose money to keep their viewers from flipping over and accidentally learning information.” But the host said he wasn’t “surprised” because “that’s the first rule of any cult: never leave the compound.” The second rule? “Present your testicles to the tanning station.”

Watch the entire segment below:

Ivanka Trump Testifies That She  Rejects Father's Election Fraud Claim

By Richard Cowan

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Donald Trump's daughter and adviser Ivanka Trump told a congressional panel investigating the U.S. Capitol attack that even she does not believe the former president's false claims that his 2020 election defeat resulted from widespread voting fraud.

Ivanka Trump, one of her father's most trusted allies during his four years in the White House, appeared in a video deposition shown during the first in a series of congressional hearings by a House of Representatives select committee investigating the deadly January 6, 2021, attack.

"I respect Attorney General [William] Barr. So I accepted what he was saying," Ivanka Trump told congressional investigators.

And what Barr was saying, Ivanka testified, was that his Justice Department had discovered no significant fraud to support President Trump's claim - one the former president is still making - that massive voter fraud in several key states caused the 2020 election to be "stolen" from him.

The committee showed a video of Barr's appearance before panel investigators. In that video, Barr called his former boss' fraud claims "bullshit"

The former president has been more successful in persuading Republican voters of this view. A Reuters/Ipsos poll completed on Wednesday found that 58 percent of Republicans viewed the outcome of the 2020 election to be the result of fraud.

Also shown testifying was Ivanka husband, Jared Kushner, another of the former president's top aides. In the video, the president's son-in-law mentioned "whining," referring to top Trump aides threatening to resign because of the January 6 attack.

The January 6, 2021, riot followed shortly after Trump gave an incendiary speech to thousands of supporters outside the White House, repeating his false claims of a stolen 2020 election and urging them to march on the Capitol and "fight like hell."

(Reporting by Richard Cowan; Editing by Scott Malone and Will Dunham)

House Democrat Predicts 'Disturbing' New Evidence At Select Panel Hearings

Almost a year after its formation, the committee of lawmakers investigating the January 6, 2021, attack on the US Capitol is ready to make its case public, marking a turning point in — as the committee’s vice-chair, Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY), put it — “one of the single most important congressional investigations in history.”

On Thursday, the House Select Committee announced it would hold the first of eight televised hearings on June 9, in prime time at 8. PM ET, when viewers will hear from live witnesses and even watch pre-taped depositions of key figures, including members of former President Trump’s own family -- namely Ivanka Trump, his daughter, and Jared Kushner, her husband.

In its statement, the committee said the hearings would “present previously unseen material documenting January 6th, receive witness testimony, preview additional hearings, and provide the American people a summary of its findings about the coordinated, multi-step effort to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election and prevent the transfer of power.”

Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI), a former impeachment manager, echoed the committee’s statement and specified that the evidence to be unveiled at the upcoming hearings would be “disturbing,” according to CNN.

"This is our democracy. This was the greatest assault on American democracy in my lifetime. The world is watching to see how we respond to this," Cicilline told CNN.

"There will be, I think, substantial evidence that really demonstrates the coordination and the planning and the effort, despite the fact that they understood that Donald Trump lost the election and even once the insurrection began and the violence began, there were ongoing efforts to persuade the former President to stop the violence and call on folks to go home, and he refused to do it," the lawmaker from Rhode Island added.

The hearings mark the culmination of a nearly year-long exhaustive investigation conducted in private, despite a succession of minor leaks. The committee has invited over 1,000 people for depositions, collected and reviewed over 125,000 records, and pursued nearly 500 leads via its confidential tip linme. It has also reviewed text messages from within Trump’s inner circle plotting to keep Trump in power despite his loss; examined memos from pro-Trump attorneys devising blueprints for an electoral coup; and listened to audio recordings of leading Republicans in Congress privately expressing their frustrations at Trump for inciting a mob of his supporters into storming the Capitol.

In its most difficult undertaking yet, the House committee must now bring the American people into its deliberations; share key findings and facts with them; depose witnesses in front of them; and build a compelling narrative of how aggressively Trump and his allies moved to overturn the results of the 2020 elections — and how close they came to succeeding.

To tell this story, the committee will have to use testimony obtained from Trump Administration insiders, including, as reported by the Washington Post, a former White House aide who has given the congressional panel a detailed reconstruction of meetings and other activities in the White House.

Although the end result of the committee’s efforts remains in question — what with public opinions of Trump having long since solidified into competing blocs difficult to break through — members of the committee still believe that the American people should know about the events that preceded and followed the deadly Capitol attack.

“It’s important that we tell the American public, to the best we are able, exactly what happened,” said Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), one of seven Democrats on the committee. “The public need to understand the stakes for our system of government, and we need to devise potential changes in legislation or procedures to protect ourselves in future.”