Time was, U.S. presidents left office and focused on their philanthropic foundations, became amateur painters, and wrote very long books. Then there’s Donald Trump, who’s taken a slightly different tack, in that he spends his day crashing weddings, trying to overturn the results of the 2020 election, and drowning in lawsuits, civil probes, and criminal investigations.
One of the most significant legal actions, of course, is the Manhattan district attorney’s inquiry into Trump and his company’s financial dealings, which has thus far resulted in 15 charges against the Trump Organization and its longtime CFO, Allen Weisselberg. (Both parties have pleaded not guilty to all counts, which include criminal tax fraud, grand larceny, falsifying business records, and scheming to defraud the government.) But there are also at least three other criminal inquiries, numerous lawsuits, and an investigation by the New York attorney general’s office, which is about to get a cornucopia of key documents no thanks to the ex-president’s company.
In a September 2 order unsealed Friday, a judge said that the Trump Organization must comply with subpoenas issued by New York attorney general Letitia James’s office, or hire an outside firm to search through its documents and turn them over to prosecutors. According to Bloomberg, the company has until September 30 to “report on its efforts to preserve, collect, and produce all documents responsive to subpoenas issued by James as part of a civil probe into whether the company manipulated the value of its assets for loans and tax breaks,” as ordered by state court Justice Arthur Engoron. If James isn’t satisfied, the Trump Organization will have to hire a third party to oversee compliance, and while it is free to select one, the attorney general will have to approve it, according to The Daily Beast—in case anyone was thinking of hiring Rudy Giuliani & Sons at Your Service LLC. Per Bloomberg:
According to Bloomberg, it’s not just Trump who should be concerned about the judge’s order, but his adult children as well. The government’s search includes devices issued “to about two dozen people involved with the company, including Trump and three of his adult children, Donald Trump Jr., Eric Trump, and Ivanka Trump,” according to the outlet. Per The Daily Beast, others include chief operating officer Matthew Calamari, company controller Jeffrey S. McConney, Weisselberg, and Trump’s personal assistant Rhona Graff, whose correspondence could be extremely illuminating given that Trump has been known to personally eschew email and likely relied on other people to share his thoughts in writing. Last fall, The New York Times reported that one of the ways Trump was able to frequently pay virtually nothing in federal income taxes was by writing off virtually every aspect of his life as a business expense. That, according to the Times, has included flights between his homes, meals, and $70,000 worth of haircuts, in addition to classifying Seven Springs as an investment property, despite Eric Trump telling Forbes in 2014 that the place is a family compound.
While the New York attorney general and the Manhattan district attorney are jointly prosecuting the criminal tax fraud case against the Trump Organization and Weisselberg, this civil probe is unrelated to, and predates, that effort. And, as The Daily Beast notes, the A.G.’s office has a success record against Trump entities that should probably worry the ex-president:
In a statement issued after the judge’s order, James said: “For more than a year now, the Trump Organization has failed to adequately respond to our subpoenas, hiding behind procedural delays and excuses. Once again, the court has ordered that the Trump Organization must turn over the information and documents we are seeking, otherwise face an independent third-party that will ensure that takes place.”
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Speaking of subpoenas…
The House commission investigating January 6 has issued some of its own. Per The Washington Post:
In its letter to Scavino, the committee wrote: “it appears you were with or in the vicinity of former president Trump on January 6 and are a witness to his activities that day. You may also have material relevant to his video taping and tweeting messages on Jan 6.” The letter cites a report from Bob Woodward and Robert Costa’s Peril, which notes that Scavino was also with Trump on January 5 “when he and others were considering how to convince Members of Congress not to certify the election for Joe Biden.” Writing to Bannon, the committee said the White House adviser turned podcast host has “information relevant to understanding important activities that led to and informed the events at the Capitol” on January 6. “For example,” the letter says, “you have been identified as present at the Willard Hotel on January 5, 2021, during an effort to persuade Members of Congress to block the certification of the election the next day, and in relation to other activities on January 6. You are also described as communicating with then-President Trump on December 30, 2020, and potentially other occasions, urging him to plan for and focus his efforts on January 6.” This week, Bannon admitted that he told Trump before the January 6 insurrection that he needed to “kill [the Biden] administration in the crib early on.”
Bannon and Scavino did not respond to requests for comment. Meadows could not be reached. Patel issued a statement Thursday evening saying, “I am disappointed, but not surprised, that the Committee tried to subpoena me through the press…before seeking my voluntary cooperation. I will continue to tell the truth to the American people about the events of January 6th.”
Rudy Giuliani is sad
One day you’re sharing every insane thought that pops into your head with the Fox News audience, the next you’re reportedly persona non grata:
While it’s not clear exactly what caused Giuliani to be reportedly banned, it may have something to do with Dominion Voting Systems suing Fox News for allowing guests—like, for example, Rudy—to air their baseless voter-fraud claims on the network. (Fox has filed to dismiss the suit, claiming that Dominion cannot prove that Fox acted in malice.) Or maybe they just don’t want to be associated with restaurant grooming. Could be any number of things!
House passes legislation creating statutory right to abortion amid battle over Texas law (The Washington Post)
Biden urges front-line workers, Americans over 65, those with health conditions who got Pfizer vaccine to get booster shot (The Washington Post)
Biden harshly condemns horseback wrangling images from border: “It’s horrible what you saw” (CNN)
Chuck Grassley, the oldest GOP senator at 88, announces he will seek another term (The Washington Post)
CNN’s Chris Cuomo accused of sexual harassment by his former boss (The Week)
Greener pastures: Marijuana jobs are becoming a refuge for retail and restaurant workers (The Washington Post)
U.S. Could Hit Debt Limit as Soon as Mid-October, Analysts Say (NYT)
“Millions of people have found solace during the pandemic in cuddling a dog or cat. For a few, comfort comes in other forms—those of a horse or a pig, perhaps a possum-like sugar glider or even a tarantula.” (AP)
Look at These Pictures of Angela Merkel Surrounded by Exotic Birds (Vice)
Anderson Cooper Says His 85-Year-Old Mom Once Offered to Carry His Child (Vanities)
— An Exeter Teacher Was Punished for Sexual Misconduct. The Student Says It Never Happened
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— Florida Governor Celebrates Ban on School Mask Mandates as More Kids Die From COVID
— Billionaire Leon Black Allegedly Raped a Woman in Epstein’s New York Mansion
— Trump Is Reportedly “Laying the Groundwork” for a 2024 Run
— A Photographer Reckons With Her Family’s Trump Adoration
— Biden’s COVID Vaccination Strategy Triggers Full-Scale Republican Meltdown
— The Right’s War on COVID Vaccine Mandates Is About to Get Scary
— From the Archive: Martin Shkreli’s Poison Pill
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