Categories
Corruption GOP U.S. Senate

Ted Cruz Caught Using Taxpayer Money To Employ Family Members

Proving that he’s just as corrupt as almost every member of the GOP, Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz has been caught employing members of his family with taxpayer money in direct violation of federal law.

According to Business Insider:

“Cruz employed the daughter of his first cousin in his Senate office as a paid press assistant and gave his cousin’s son a coveted Senate internship. Cruz put his cousin on the payroll for his 2016 presidential campaign and later for his Senate campaign, records show.”

Federal law could not be more clear. U.S Code § 3110 states:

“A public official may not appoint, employ,
promote, advance, or advocate for appointment,
employment, promotion, or advancement, in or
to a civilian position in the agency in which he
is serving or over which he exercises jurisdiction
or control any individual who is a relative of the
public official. An individual may not be appointed, employed, promoted, or advanced in or
to a civilian position in an agency if such appointment, employment, promotion, or advancement has been advocated by a public official,
serving in or exercising jurisdiction or control
over the agency, who is a relative of the individual.
(c) An individual appointed, employed, promoted, or advanced in violation of this section
is not entitled to pay, and money may not be
paid from the Treasury as pay to an individual
so appointed, employed, promoted, or advanced.”

When confronted with the information about his employment of relatives with taxpayer funds, members of his staff resorted to the ad hominem attack line used so often by failed, one-term former President Donald Trump, calling the article “fake news” and refusing further comment.

How do you suppose Cruz and his fellow Republicans in the Senate would act if say the son or daughter of President Joe Biden’s first cousin was suddenly given a plum job in the White House and drew a salary paid for with tax dollars? There’d likely be a hue and cry not heard since the days of the bogus Benghazi hearings, and it’s even safe to suggest that some extremists in the GOP (like Sen. Cruz) would recommend impeachment.

Ted Cruz is a liar, a fraud, and a man who gave aid and comfort to insurrectionists by refusing to certify the results of the 2020 presidential election even though he had no proof of any irregularities in the balloting.

 

Categories
Corruption Crime Donald Trump The Trump Adminstration

Court Documents Reveal Giuliani’s ‘Associates’ Are Likely To Flip On Him And Others: Report

New court filings in the case against one of Rudy Giuliani’s former “associates” suggest that he’s facing increasing pressure to cooperate with prosecutors and testify against the former New York City mayor for alleged fraud and illegal foreign contacts made by Giuliani in an attempt to bolster the campaign of former President Donald Trump.

Marcy Wheeler explains at her Empty Wheel blog that Giuliani associate Lev Parnas has managed to get his hands on documents from his former boss, but the documents also suggest he’s being pushed to flip on Giuliani in order to lessen his own legal exposure:

“We know the materials withheld under a Rule 16(d) extension are the files seized from Rudy Giuliani and Victoria Toensing’s iCloud accounts (as well as those of some Ukrainians) three ways. First, that’s what Parnas’ lawyer Joseph Bondy demanded in the May 20 request referenced in the footnote. And the government’s response to Bondy’s request explained that Oetken had authorized them under Rule 16(d) to delay sharing the material with the defendants on November 8, 2019. Finally, this is the July 14 order Judge Oetken issued denying Parnas and others the materials.”

While most of the documents have little or no relevance to the fraud trial against Parnas (which will begin on Oct. 4), they clearly show a pattern of behavior in efforts to get Ukrainian ambassador Marie Yovanovitch dismissed from her post, which was the impetus for Trump’s first impeachment:

“That means a substantial amount of what the government is sharing is discovery on the additional charges [another Giuliani associate Igor] Fruman and especially Parnas face, after they’re done with October’s trial and even after Parnas is done with a second, Fraud Guarantee trial. The government is effectively showing Rudy’s grifters what they have to look forward to in a Foreign Agent case involving Rudy Giuliani.

“This is, almost certainly, an effort to convince them to plead guilty and flip on Rudy, which explains why the government is so intent on keeping the trial scheduled for October, to increase the pressure on the grifters.”

However, Giuliani isn’t the only person Parnas may have dirt on. There’s also the possibility that former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo may have played a role, and Trump could also be facing charges for his actions in the attempt to extort Ukraine for damaging information on Joe Biden and members of his family.

The upcoming trial of Parnas could wind up precipitating more criminal charges against Giuliani and people in the orbit of former President Trump. No matter how you slice it, it’s clear that prosecutors are tightening the noose around anyone with a connection to Rudy.

 

Categories
Corruption Crime Donald Trump Russia The Trump Adminstration

Court Filings Suggest Giuliani And His ‘Associates’ Are In Bed With The Russian Mafia

When his attorney made a court filing ago to convince a judge that Rudy Giuliani’s electronic devices contain confidential information such as discussions with clients, the documents that wound up in the public record shed new light on the full scale of unsavory characters Rudy has been rubbing elbows with and also point to a larger conspiracy which involves the Russian mafia.

Giuliani’s attorney, Robert J. Costello, notes that the former New York City mayor should never have been raided by the FBI late last month, the New York Times reports:

“In a 17-page letter to the judge who authorized the searches, Mr. Giuliani’s lawyers argued that it would have been more appropriate — and less invasive — for the U.S. attorney’s office in Manhattan to seek information through a subpoena, which, unlike a warrant, would have given him an opportunity to review the documents and respond.

“The defense lawyers wrote that prosecutors ‘simply chose to treat a distinguished lawyer as if he was the head of a drug cartel or a terrorist, in order to create maximum prejudicial coverage of both Giuliani and his most well-known client — the former president of the United States.'”

Though Rudy may not be the head of a drug cartel, it seems he travels in the same circles and does business with members of organized criminal organizations that do indeed traffic in narcotics, engage in sexual trafficking of young girls, and have people killed for daring to report on their illegal activities.

At one point in the court documents that became public, there’s a tantalizing tidbit that refers to Dmitro Firtash, a Ukrainian businessman with extensive ties to Russian organized crime, legal analyst Marcy Wheeler pointed out on Twitter. It also mentions possible associates of Giuliani who worked in the United States as unregistered foreign agents of Firtash:

Firtash, it should be added, gave a $1 million loan to Lev Parnas, who was working for Giuliani at the time in an attempt to dig up dirt on the Biden family:

“A billionaire with alleged ties to the Russian mob, Firtash is facing bribery-related charges in the U.S. and fighting extradition from Vienna. He once attempted to buy and redevelop the famous Drake Hotel in New York with the now-incarcerated Paul Manafort, Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman. And he’s seen by Ukrainian anti-corruption activists and Western governments as a corrupt instrument of Russia.”

 

So former President Donald Trump’s personal attorney — the man who was actively working to sabotage Joe Biden’s 2020 campaign — was also doing business with a man who has deep ties to the Kremlin and the Russian mob.

The mention of Firtash in the court filings is also yet another connection that Trump has to Russia, despite his protestations that he has never done business with Russian entities or sought assistance from the Russian government.

If nothing else, the ongoing legal case against Giuliani could give us greater insight into just how deeply Donald Trump is tied to Russia, the Kremlin, and Russian organized crime. It may also wind up leading to criminal charges against the former president, his children, and members of the Trump Organization.

 

Categories
Corruption Crime Donald Trump Donald Trump Jr. WTF?!

Latest Trump Family Defense: We’re Only Accused Of Stealing $3.5 Million

After Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. indicted the Trump Organization and its Chief Financial Officer, Allen Weisselberg, members of the Trump family were making a full-court press on right-wing media to try and downplay the seriousness of the charges against their company.

On Fox News, Eric Trump — who has the title of Executive Vice President of Trump Org. — sounded outraged that prosecutors would dare to indict anyone for such a paltry sum of money:

“Crime is rampant, people are leaving the city in record numbers, it’s dirty, it’s disgusting — New York is no longer what it is. And they have an entire district attorney’s office and attorney general’s office that’s focused on $3.5 million to take down a political opponent?

“I mean, this is what they do, this is New York state for you. This is worse than a banana republic. “It’s truly horrible.”

Eric also made an appearance on Newsmax, where he seemed to suggest that he and his family were so “clean” that to indict their family business was just flat-out wrong:

“We’ve always led amazingly clean lives and believe me if they could have, they already would of right? That’s what they wanted, that was their own goal.”

And then he pivoted to Hunter Biden:

“The difference is that I’m not Hunter Biden. I’m not selling paintings to undisclosed people for a half a million dollars apiece. I’m not doing drugs in shady hotels. I’m not going out and soliciting prostitution and I’m not going out and selling influence to Ukraine and China and having lavish trips paid for while my father’s commander in chief, no I’m not doing that.”

Nifty whataboutism, huh?

Don Jr. also joined the obfuscation parade, according to HuffPost:

“‘But the Manhattan district attorney’s charges were ‘the political persecution of a political enemy,’ Donald Trump Jr. declared on Fox News.

“It was ‘no different’ to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s treatment of opposition leader Alexei Navalny.”

Alexi Navalny was poisoned with nerve gas and is currently serving time in a Russian gulag. Yeah, that’s totally the same thing as what the Trump family is going through.

Puh-lease!

However, it is interesting to noted that Junior referenced a Russian opposition leader. Seems Russia is never far from the mind of any Trump. That must be part of the deal they made with Putin: To talk about the Kremlin as often as possible in exchange for lots of money.

When you’re defense is “But we only stole a few million,” you know you’re screwed. And it couldn’t possibly happen to more deserving grifters.

 

Categories
Corruption Crime Donald Trump The Trump Adminstration

Trump And Giuliani May Wind Up Destroying Each Other In Order To Save Themselves

It’s been an exceptionally bad week for failed, one-term former President Donald Trump and his so-called “attorney,” Rudy Giuliani.

Like the proverbial one-two punch, the news began Thursday when a panel of five judges ruled that Giuliani could no longer practice law in the city he was once mayor of, a humiliating indignation for a man who once had presidential aspirations of his own.

Less than 24 hours later, the New York Times broke a story suggesting that the Trump Organization will be indicted sometime next week, a move that could well bankrupt the company and the man it was named for.

Even more terrifying for Donald and Rudy is that the two probably have all sorts of incriminating information about the other that would be of great value to prosecutors who are looking to indict both of them.

According to MSNBC legal analyst Katie Phang, the two men — who were once best of friends and were known to have each other’s backs — are now at cross purposes, a situation that could lead to both of them being destroyed:

“(Giuliani’s suspension is) a warning not just to Giuliani, but to other lawyers who are considering running with Trump’s conspiracy theories in court. For all the jokes about shady ambulance chasers, lawyers are supposed to abide by rules of ethics and professional conduct.”

The bad news for Trump is that most attorneys will now be unwilling to defend him because they fear receiving the same rebuke that was handed down on Giuliani:

“Giuliani’s ticket to play in the legal arena has been punched and he’s out of the game. The very loud and very clear message being sent by this interim suspension should be heeded by all attorneys — but especially those current and prospective lawyers for clients like Donald Trump.”

And though Phang doesn’t address the other threat Trump and Guiliani pose to each other, it’s there just the same: Either or both can cooperate with prosecutors in exchange for leniency when it comes time for sentencing.

However, the bigger threat is to Trump from Giuliani, because he’s a much bigger fish than Rudy will ever be. So while Rudy may be on the sidelines when it comes to practicing law, he still has plenty of cards to play in a last-ditch effort to save his own ass.

That being said, don’t rule out that Trump may agree to rat on Giuliani, if only as a form of payback once he believes his once-loyal lawyer is telling everything he knows to prosecutors.

What does the future hold for Trump and Giuliani? Mutually assured destruction, which both of them deserve.