Categories
Crime Donald Trump

Busted! Chairman Of Trump’s 2017 Inaugural Arrested On Federal Criminal Charges

An arrest made Tuesday in Los Angeles is certain to send shockwaves across the inner circle of failed, one-term former President Donald Trump, and also suggests federal prosecutors are starting to take down everyone with any connections to the Trump administration.

According to NBC News, Tom Barrack was taken into custody by federal agents and has been indicted for allegedly working on behalf of a foreign government to influence U.S. foreign policy:

“In a seven-count indictment, unsealed in a New York federal court, Barrack, 74, and two others are accused of ‘acting and conspiring to act as agents’ of the UAE between April 2016 and April 2018. Barrack was also charged with obstruction of justice and making multiple false statements to federal law enforcement agents.

“The trio acted ‘to advance the interests of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in the United States at the direction of senior UAE officials by influencing the foreign policy positions of the campaign of a candidate in the 2016 U.S. presidential election and, subsequently, the foreign policy positions of the U.S. government in the incoming administration, as well as seeking to influence public opinion in favor of UAE interests,’ the Justice Department said.”

Barrack is a longtime friend of the former president. It’s believed he sold access to the Trump White House on behalf of the UAE, a clear violation of federal law that could land Barrack in prison for decades.

Saudi Arabia is also part of the larger conspiracy to gain favorable treatment from the Trump administration, according to NBC:

“(Prosecutors) charge that not only did Barrack work at the direction of UAE leadership, but that he also ‘met with and assisted senior leaders of the KSA [Kingdom of Saudi Arabia], a close ally of the UAE.'”

Trump, you may recall, refused to penalize the Saudis for being behind the murder and dismemberment of U.S.-based journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who was employed by The Washington Post when he was called to the Saudi Arabian embassy in Istanbul, Turkey, and cut into pieces with a bone saw (while he was still alive) on the orders of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Trump is also believed to have business connections to the Saudi royal family, some of whom have purchased luxury apartments from the former president.

Barrack’s arrest is especially troubling for Donald Trump Jr. and his sister, Ivanka Trump, both of whom were intimately involved in their father’s 2017 inaugural and are believed to have directed inaugural funds into hotels owned and controlled by the Trump Organization. Barrack might agree to testify against the Trump children in exchange for leniency.

Everywhere he looks, Donald Trump sees those connected to him being indicted. There’s probably an indictment with the former president’s name on it, too. The only question is when it will be unsealed.

Categories
Corruption Crime Donald Trump Donald Trump Jr. Ivanka Trump

Washington DC Attorney General Is Investigating Trump’s Kids For ‘Massive Fraud’

Indictments were handed three weeks ago against the Trump Organization by the office of Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, Jr., but there’s plenty of other legal news on the horizon, and it involves the three eldest children of the failed, one-term former president, Don Jr., Ivanka, and Eric.

The Daily Beast reports that prosecutors with the office of District of Columbia Attorney General Karl A. Racine are seeking testimony from Allen Weisselberg, the chief financial officer of Trump Org.:

“The District of Columbia’s attorney general will have to wait just a little longer to find out if three more people in the Trump family circle can be forced to testify, as investigators continue to look into whether Donald Trump’s 2017 inauguration committee misspent more than $1 million and enriched his own company.

“A local judge Sunday, on the eve of a potentially critical court hearing in that case, ruled that he won’t even let the D.C. attorney general’s office argue in court on Monday why it should subject these key witnesses to tough questions.”

Recent court filings show Racine suspects that the Trump children were involved in massive fraud related to the 2017 inauguration, steering money to Trump-branded properties in violation of the law.

One person who has intimate knowledge of the allegedly illegal actions by the Trump kids is Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, who says the former president’s children have been involved in what’s known as “self-dealing”:

“The world’s about to learn how Trump’s inner circle—with Trump’s full knowledge—took advantage of the presidential inauguration.

“Everything they did was all about self-dealing. They had a nonprofit pay them for their own hotel at an inflated cost.”

It should be noted, however, that Racine isn’t seeking criminal penalties against Don Jr., Ivanka, and Eric. At least not yet.

The case underway against the three Trump children is civil in nature, and seeks to recover any improperly spent money which would then be handed over to a non-profit to be used for the benefit of the public.

So while Donald Trump waits to see if he and his company will be charged in Manhattan (which seems a virtual certainty), the D.C. case could also open up members of the Trump family to severe financial penalties and leave them vulnerable to prosecution for attempting to enrich Trump Org. with money intended solely for the inauguration.

Things are about to get much worse for the Trumps. They’re certainly deserving of whatever karma has in store for them.

 

Categories
Crime Donald Trump Elections

D.C. Attorney General Suspects Don Jr. Illegally Diverted $1 Million From The Inaugural Committee

As we’ve learned over the years when it comes to the Trump family, nothing matters more than money and getting as much of it as possible by any means necessary, even if that involves ripping off others (i.e. Trump University), refusing to pay contractors for their work, and even engaging in predatory practices to evict the elderly so new condos emblazoned with the TRUMP logo can be constructed and sold to the rich and powerful.

Now, however, some of those greedy grabs for the Almighty Dollar are catching up with the Trumps in very bad ways that could eventually send them all to prison for a long time.

Such is the case with the 2017 Trump inaugural committee, which has been under investigation for years and has now ensnared the president’s eldest son, Don Jr. in its reach, according to the Washington Post:

“The D.C. Attorney General’s office said Thursday it has notified Donald Trump Jr. that it wishes to interview him as part of a lawsuit alleging that President Trump’s 2017 inaugural committee improperly funneled money to the president’s business.

D.C. Attorney General Karl A. Racine’s lawsuit, filed in January 2020, alleges that the Trump Inaugural Committee — a tax-exempt nonprofit — wasted $1 million of donors’ money on an overpriced, little used ballroom at the president’s D.C. hotel, and then paid a $49,000 hotel bill that should have gone to the Trump Organization.”

A recent court filing from Racine’s office makes it very clear exactly how the alleged scam involving Don Jr. worked:

“Racine’s office said that Trump Jr.’s assistant and close friend had reserved the hotel rooms at the Loews Madison Hotel that led to the $49,000 bill. After the bill went to a collections agency, the Trump Inaugural Committee paid the charge, Racine’s office said.”

However, a non-profit such as an inaugural committee isn’t allowed to pay for things such as hotel rooms when that money is going directly to the Trump Organization. That’s blatantly illegal and makes you wonder how anyone inside the Trump inaugural committee thought they could get away with such blatant grifting, especially since they’re required by law to account for every dime spent on the inauguration.

Ivanka Trump is also caught up in the ongoing investigation of the 2017 inaugural committee, and was deposed last last year, leading the president’s daughter to later complain that Racine’s suit was “politically motivated” and “a waste of taxpayer dollars.”

As we’ve long suspected, the Trumps are little more than a criminal enterprise masquerading under the cover of a real estate/marketing business but devoted to ripping off anyone to satisfy their own greed.

The law is finally starting to catch up with the Trump crime family. It was a long time coming, but it certainly appears it’s about to be well worth the wait.

 

Categories
Crime Donald Trump

Ivanka Trump Forced To Give Deposition In Lawsuit Alleging Misuse Of Inaugural Funds

In the surest sign yet that the Trump family is on the verge of being in very serious legal trouble, Ivanka Trump gave a deposition to investigators working for the attorney general of the District of Columbia on Tuesday, according to CNN:

“Ivanka Trump, the President’s daughter and adviser, sat for a deposition Tuesday with investigators from the Washington, DC, attorney general’s office as part of its lawsuit alleging the misuse of inaugural funds, according to a court filing.

“In January, the DC attorney general’s office sued the Trump Organization and Presidential Inaugural Committee alleging they abused more than $1 million raised by the nonprofit by ‘grossly overpaying’ for use of event space at the Trump hotel in Washington for the 2017 inauguration.”

Who set the rate for the use of that event space at the Trump hotel? None other than Ivanka Trump:

“During the planning, Ivanka Trump, the president-elect’s eldest daughter and a senior executive with the Trump Organization, was involved in negotiating the price the hotel charged the 58th Presidential Inaugural Committee for venue rentals.”

Such an activity is referred to as “skimming,” and it also happens to be illegal, according to Bruce Kappel, an attorney with Akerman LLP, who advises nonprofits:

“It could become a criminal violation, Kappel said, if investigators uncover evidence that people knew that charging above-market rates to enrich the Trump Organization was illegal and did it anyway.”

Just this week, we learned that President Trump is considering preemptive pardons for members of his family, including Ivanka, her husband Jared Kushner, Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump. But a presidential pardon would only cover federal crimes and would not apply to states or the District of Columbia.

And it turns out that Ivanka isn’t the only member of the Trump inner circle that have been asked for records related to the 2016 inaugural:

“The attorney general’s office has also subpoenaed records from Barrack, Ivanka Trump, first lady Melania Trump, and Rick Gates, the former inaugural committee deputy chairman, the filing said.”

What a mess! And Ivanka is right in the middle of it, along with her daddy and her stepmother. Each of them is facing serious criminal penalties if it can be proven they skimmed money from the inaugural committee’s coffers.

It’s starting to look like the only way any of the Trumps will ever get out of going to prison is if he or she agrees to testify against the others. Could Ivanka be the little bird that sings?

 

Categories
Corruption Crime Elections Money

Prosecutors In New York Believe Ivanka Trump Skimmed Millions From The 2016 Inaugural Fund

In 2019, prosecutors with the Southern District of New York (SDNY) opened up a new front in the investigation of criminal acts by the Trump 2016 campaign and the president himself, sending a sweeping subpoena to the Trump inaugural committee that includes charges of money laundering and fraud. The subpoena reads like something that would normally be served on a mafia boss.

But there was especially bad news in that subpoena for Ivanka Trump, who currently works as a White House adviser and is reportedly her daddy’s favorite child.


ProPublica has learned that one of the main points of interest for prosecutors is the rate charged by Trump properties that rented space for the inaugural:

“A spokesman confirmed that the nonprofit 58th Presidential Inaugural Committee paid the Trump International Hotel a rate of $175,000 per day for event space — in spite of internal objections at the time that the rate was far too high. If the committee is deemed by auditors or prosecutors to have paid an above-market rate, that could violate tax laws prohibiting self-dealing, according to experts.”


Who negotiated the contracts and set the rates with the inaugural committee? None other than Ivanka Trump, as ProPublica first reported back in December:

“During the planning, Ivanka Trump, the president-elect’s eldest daughter and a senior executive with the Trump Organization, was involved in negotiating the price the hotel charged the 58th Presidential Inaugural Committee for venue rentals.”

That kind of inside dealing is also referred to as skimming.


Brett Kappel, an attorney at Akerman LLP who advises nonprofits, noted that it appears tax laws were violated by Ivanka Trump and others inside the inaugural committee:

“Tax law bars nonprofits such as the inaugural committee from insider deals that would unduly benefit people — in this case the Trump family — that have influence over the nonprofit, Kappel said. In legal parlance, these are known as excess benefit transactions. A key question would be whether the Trump hotel charged the inaugural committee above-market rates, which could violate tax rules, Kappel said. If an IRS audit found such a civil violation, the inaugural committee would have to pay taxes on the amount of money it overpaid.

“It could become a criminal violation, Kappel said, if investigators uncover evidence that people knew that charging above-market rates to enrich the Trump Organization was illegal and did it anyway.”

There are also reports that the attorneys general for both New York and Washington, D.C., are also looking at possible financial crimes committed by Ivanka as part of the 2016 inaugural.

It appears that Ivanka’s willingness to help her father engage in grifting on a massive scale now has her at the center of a scandal that could well lead to her being charged with tax violations and financial fraud.

No wonder Ivanka’s always been daddy’s favorite — She’s just as crooked as he is.