Trump Family’s Deceptive Trade Practices

A CNN Special Report by Erin Burnett exposed some stunning deceptive practices employed by the Trump family in their real estate dealings. Some of the deceptive statements the Trumps used to lure in real estate investors are borderline criminal fraud. According to the CNN Special Report, the Trump family essentially embarked on real estate projects worldwide and then made false media pronouncements that their properties were sold out in an effort to lure in investors. Non-suspecting investors then pumped money into what they believed were very profitable Trump properties only to be hit by bankruptcy notices resulting in severe losses. The full CNN Special Report titled “The Trump Family Business” is available here but the relevant clip is below

In 2009 Ivanka Trump for example told CBS regarding the Trump Tower Toronto project, “We have projects all over the world that are incredibly successful and that are virtually sold out…from Hawaii to Toronto to Istanbul.” However according to Erin Burnett, bankruptcy papers filed for the Toronto project years later totally contradicted Ivanka’s statement to CBS. Turns out a whopping 75% of the “sold out” Toronto building remained unoccupied.

Similar shocking deceptive practices were also employed at Trump’s SOHO project where Ivanka told reporters in 2008 that 60% of the units had been sold. It later turned out upon further inspection that contrary to Ivanka’s assertion, only 15% of the units had been sold. Even more troubling about the SOHO project is the fact that there were email exchanges between Ivanka and Trump’s eldest son Don Jr showing that the two were willfully lying to investors about the occupancy rates at Trump SOHO. This apparently led to a lawsuit which the Trump family settled with the terms remaining secret.

Bottom line as Erin Burnett’s Special Report points out, a lot of these real estate investors who were lured into investing based on gross misrepresentations by the Trumps, ended up losing large sums of money. These were not just harmless sales gimmicks employed by the Trumps. Even though it is unlikely that any criminal prosecution could be initiated against Trump’s adult children(statute of limitations), the only decent cause of action for them given their current status in society(Presidential children) would be to make a public apology to the investors who got crushed by their deceptive trade practices.

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Ivanka’s Lawyer Told Cohen To Lie About Her Role In Trump Tower Moscow

There was a bombshell revelation in MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow show yesterday that Ivanka Trump’s lawyer Abbe Lowell directed Michael Cohen to lie to Congress about Ivanka’s role in the Trump Tower Moscow project. You’ll remember that Ivanka’s role in Trump Tower Moscow project became a huge issue of concern among those who believed President Trump colluded with Russia during the 2016 elections. Intense media coverage around this issue led to Ivanka’s infamous remark that she knew “literally almost nothing” about the Trump Tower Moscow project. The full Maddow segment is available here but the relevant clip is below.

Maddow said on last night’s show, “One of the allegations at issue here for which there is apparently some sort of documentary trail, is the allegation that lawyer Abbe Lowell specifically told Cohen that he should tell Congress Ivanka Trump had essentially no knowledge of Trump Tower Moscow. According to Michael Cohen that wasn’t true. According to Cohen, Ivanka Trump was regularly briefed on Trump Tower Moscow. Well, if as Cohen alleges, Abbe Lowell was involved in telling Michael Cohen to lie to Congress specifically about the involvement of Ivanka Trump in that scheme….that is sensitive on a lot of different levels.”

Maddow’s segment essentially raised questions as to why Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen was prosecuted and is now serving prison time while the people who crafted the said lies that got him in legal trouble (attorneys Abbe Lowell, Jay Sekulow and others) got away scot-free. Maddow’s segment also raised legitimate questions as to why Trump’s eldest son Don Jr was never prosecuted even though there is enough evidence showing he engaged in the exact similar conduct as Cohen–lying to Congress. Even more troubling, as Maddow correctly pointed out, Don Jr has not just gotten away with clear cut felonies, he is also now dictating to Congressional committees the terms under which he will testify before them–a total travesty of justice.

Bottom line, as Yours Truly has repeatedly stated in previous posts, we are facing a crisis of confidence in the U.S. justice system. Specifically, it is becoming quite evident that there is a separate and distinct system of justice that applies to the poor (especially minorities) and the one that applies to the rich (especially rich White people like Don Jr and Abbe Lowell). All reasonable people will agree that if Michael Cohen was prosecuted and is now serving prison time for lying to Congress, then lawyer Abbe Lowell and others who crafted the lie he presented to Congress should also be criminally prosecuted or face some kind of sanctions up to and including disbarment. Reasonable people will also agree that if Michael Cohen was prosecuted for lying to Congress as part of the TrumpRussia investigation, then Don Jr should also be prosecuted for committing the exact similar offense. Simply put folks, we either have equal justice under the law or we don’t.

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Why Didn’t Mueller Interview Ivanka, DonJr?

An interesting segment on MSNBC’s AM Joy show touched on a growing frustration among Democrats, especially minorities, over why Special Counsel Mueller chose to end the TrumpRussia investigation without questioning Ivanka Trump or DonJr even though both of them are intricately involved in their father Donald Trump’s business and political activities.

Elie Mystal captured the people’s frustration perfectly when he told host Joy Reid, “I do not understand how we’ve investigated these people for 22 months and nobody has asked these children[Ivanka and DonJr] a question. We can’t ask them a question? We can’t put them under oath and ask them a single question about their involvement in the Trump Tower meetings, about their involvement in the hotel business? Yes I do think the SDNY is coming for them and I still do have hope for that, but I do not get how we have gotten to this place because when you look at how the criminal justice is applied to everybody else in this country, when you are the top head of an organization, people understand that when they squeeze your children, that is the way to get you to tell the truth, and as far as I can tell Mueller put no pressure on these children.” Below is the clip of the aforementioned Elie Mystal venting.

Bottom line, we are yet to find out from AG Barr exactly what Mueller put in his report and specifically, whether it will mention the roles Ivanka Trump and DonJr played in the whole scheme. However reasonable people will agree with Elie Mystal that Mueller should have at least questioned Ivanka, DonJr or their father for that matter under oath so as to straighten out the numerous inconsistent accounts they have given and continue to give to the media about their business activities and their interactions with Russians.

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GOP Senator Grassley Obstructing Justice By Blocking DonJr Testimony

Sen Chuck Grassley(R-IA), Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee

As the Mueller probe appears to be approaching its much anticipated end, evidence is piling up showing that people in Trump’s orbit were not truthful when they testified before the various congressional committees set up to investigate Trump’s campaign ties to Russia. This is especially so after former Trump lawyer and trusted aide Michael Cohen began fully cooperating with the Mueller investigation and Mueller subsequently stating equivocally that his team of investigators believe Cohen’s account of events.


Michael Cohen’s account of events relating to the Trump Tower Moscow business deal, the infamous Trump Tower meeting meant to deliver “dirt” on Hillary Clinton and various other aspects of the TrumpRussia investigation does not line up with what Donald Trump Jr(aka DonJr) told the various congressional committees probing TrumpRussia. Specifically DonJr testified in congress under oath, that he was “only peripherally” involved in the Trump Tower Moscow business deal and that he never discussed the Trump Tower meeting with his dad both of which in light of Michael Cohen’s account seem to be untrue.

Naturally Democrats in the Senate Judiciary Committee, as any prudent investigator would, are demanding that DonJr appear before the committee to address the glaring inconsistencies laid bare by Michael Cohen’s account of events.

One would assume there would be no opposition from any U.S. senator to such a straightforward and prudent cause of action, right? Wrong!! Turns out the very Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Sen Chuck Grassley, is blocking efforts to have DonJr come back and testify. According to Sen Grassley “there is nothing inconsistent” about DonJr’s sworn congressional testimony that he was only “peripherally” aware of the Trump Tower Moscow business deal. Sen Grassley added in Trumpian fashion that allegations of DonJr lying to congress are based on “fake news”. Mind you Michael Cohen says Donald Trump Jr and Ivanka Trump were intimately involved in the Trump Tower Moscow deal

Bottom line as Mueller probe appears to be coming to an end and evidence of obstruction of justice mounting, we must never forget that congressional Republicans like Sen Grassley have been part and parcel of the obstruction. When Mueller finally lays out the evidence to the public and Sen Grassley starts running for cover, he must be confronted with a record of his own efforts at obstruction of justice.

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Did Russia Funnel Money To TeamTrump Through The NRA?

One of the biggest obstacles for Democrats, especially in the battle for control of State Legislatures has been the powerful gun lobby group National Rifle Association(NRA). Unlike other powerful lobby groups that influence both the Republican and the Democratic Party, the NRA literally has a stranglehold on the Republican party. NRA’s stranglehold on the GOP is so bad, even President Trump recently had to ask GOP Members of Congress not to be “afraid of” the gun lobby group when discussing sensible gun control proposals. Marion Hammer, a powerful NRA lobbyist in Florida for example is so feared by Florida State GOPers, that she’s dubbed “The Real Gov of Florida.” Such is the power the NRA wields over the GOP

https://youtu.be/L6I0zp-lAeo

The troubling news therefore that the FBI is investigating the NRA as a possible vehicle for funnelling Russian money to help Trump in the 2016 elections should be of great concern to Democrats. New York Times Columnist Frank Bruni said on CNN’s Outfront with Erin Burnett that the NRA spent a whopping $30M to help Trump get elected, which is more than they spent the last two Presidential cycles combined. A Russian banker Alexander Torshin who has ties to Putin is an NRA life member and the key suspect in the alleged funnelling scheme. Torshin apparently wanted to create a “back channel” between the Trump Campaign and Russia and one of his associates reportedly told a Trump campaign staffer that “Putin is deadly serious about building a good relationship with Mr. Trump.”(see YouTube video from 14:00 onwards)

Under normal circumstances this would be just another questionable daliance between a powerful U.S. gun lobby group and a foreign financier. However against the backdrop of an ongoing Special Counsel investigation into U.S. election meddling by the Russians, this strange relationship between the NRA and the Putin-allied Russian financier has become a much more serious issue, one that Americans trust Mueller and Co. will get to the bottom of.


It also bears pointing out, as New York Times Columnist Frank Bruni did that Trump’s son Donald Trump Jr, is a major NRA supporter and activist. Trump Jr you’ll remember is already in the middle of a very questionable meeting with Russian lawyer Natalya Veselnitskaya at Trump Tower. Veselnitskaya has since confessed that she’s an informant for Putin’s Kremlin

Simply put, the NRA-Russia story is a major story that could affect the Dem political fortunes from here on out. According to CNN Political Correspondent Sara Murray, the NRA is privately, very concerned about the FBI’s investigation into its ties to the Russian Banker(vid at 14:00). Obviously we Dems have to be patient and allow the feds to conduct their investigation into the NRA but just like Trump used the ongoing Clinton email probe to hamstring her 2016 campaign, there is no reason why the DNC should not pummel NRA-allied GOP candidates over Russian money as we head to Midterms 2018, the perfect target being Sen Ted Cruz

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