10,000 on ignore, Book 167: The Days of Reckoning, Part 26.....

Ten Thousan Marbles

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Grand jury already seated and hearing evidence in criminal case against Donald Trump
Mark Sumner

One week ago, both New York State Attorney General Letitia James and Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance sent out a statement that their look into the Trump organization now included a criminal investigation. As a further sign of how quickly things are moving—and how far along the case is at this point—prosecutors in Vance’s office have now empaneled a grand jury to hear evidence in the case. It’s a clear signal that someone in this case is likely to be indicted.

As The Washington Post notes, Vance’s investigation is now been underway for over two years. The same applies to James, who announced her investigation in March 2019. Both investigations have been described as “expansive” and are looking into many different aspects of the Trump Organization. The recent announcement appears to signal that both investigations are sharing information, and that both have reached a point where the consequences may go beyond fines.

Add in the fact that these announcements are coming just a short time after Trump left office, and it seems as if there might be a connection to another legal development in the news—the details of the Department of Justice Office of Legal Counsel claiming Donald Trump could not be indicted while in the White House. The Trump Organization, for all its purported wealth, is really a fairly small place. Of the over 500 interconnected companies, almost all belong 100% to Trump alone. If there are criminal charges to be laid, there is one very likely target.
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Of course, there are no guarantees. Charges might come down against the corporation, or against someone such as longtime CFO Allen Weisellberg. Or the grand jury might hear the case and determine that no charges are warranted. Though it may seem unlikely prosecutors would seat such a jury unless they thought the chance of an indictment was good, complex and long-running cases such as this are often overseen by a grand jury. According to the Post, the jury has already begun hearing evidence in the Trump case.

Exactly what is being investigated isn’t clear. However, there have been some indications that at least one of the investigations is concerned with the scheme in which Trump has inflated the apparent value of his property when seeking bank loans, and drastically undervalued those same properties at tax time. The scheme could easily generate charges of bank fraud, tax fraud, and conspiracy.

As MSNBC reports, the news that a grand jury has been seated didn’t go over well with the man most likely to be subject to charges. Speaking from Mar-a-Lago, Trump fumed that this was a “continuation of the witch hunt.” In the past, Donald Trump has survived probes into the fraudulent “Trump University” and even more fraudulent Trump family charity and made it out by paying fines, but without facing charges.

That could still happen in this case. But the idea of seeing Donald Trump in front of a New York jury facing charges for manipulating real estate prices is certainly enticing. This isn’t Trump’s only chance at a near-term indictment. Another grand jury is currently hearing evidence in Georgia to determine if Trump will be charged for his interference in the election and attempts to intimidate officials.

As for who will defend Trump if an indictment is handed down, he might want to remember that Rudy Giuliani is kind of busy these days dealing with the investigation into his criminal actions in Ukraine.
 
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Ten Thousan Marbles

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Feb 6, 2014
80,053
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Ten Thousan Marbles

Well-Known Member
Feb 6, 2014
80,053
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Infrastructure talks rendered a joke by GOP bad faith and whatever Joe Manchin thinks he's doing
Laura Clawson

Negotiations between the White House and Senate Republicans over an infrastructure and jobs package are a predictable mess of Republican obstruction and dishonesty, but Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer claimed Tuesday that the legislation, whatever it looks like, will move on the planned timeline.

“It has always been our plan—regardless of the vehicle—to work on an infrastructure bill in July,” Schumer said. “That’s our plan, to move forward in July.”

But key Democratic swing vote Sen. Joe Manchin sounded an ominous note, saying, “There’s no magic date and there’s no magic time.” Since delay is a key Republican tactic for killing Democratic plans, Manchin’s apparent willingness to drag things out could be a death knell. “We have to find something reasonable, and I’m always looking for that moderate, reasonable middle, if you can,” he added, as if “reasonable” can be found in the middle between Republicans categorically opposed to anything Democrats want to do and President Joe Biden, a longtime moderate.
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The question—aside from whether Schumer is accurate or Manchin helps Republicans delay an infrastructure plan to death—is what will move forward. The baseline here is Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s pledge that “100% of my focus is on stopping this new administration.” Against that backdrop, various Republican senators have been negotiating, or pretending to do so, but mysteriously that hasn’t gone much of anywhere.

Biden has dropped his ask from $2.3 trillion to $1.7 trillion, while Republicans haven’t moved nearly as much. They’re playing games with numbers, claiming to be offering $600 billion or $1 trillion deals without admitting that much of their proposed spending is basically fictional. In some cases, Republicans are offering funding that already exists for those purposes while trying to make it look like new spending. Most recently, though, Republicans are trying to shift COVID-19 relief funds passed in the American Rescue Plan into their infrastructure proposal, stripping hundreds of billions of dollars from aid to state and local governments and payments to rural hospitals and other providers.

And even with all that trick accounting and plans to rob one priority to pay for another, Republicans are only claiming to offer $1 trillion. They’re also steadfastly clinging to a 20th-century vision of U.S. infrastructure needs, in which roads and bridges count but a national charging network for electric vehicles does not, and care for the elderly and people with disabilities does not either.


These people can’t be negotiated with because they are not operating in good faith. Will Manchin be willing to see that as Biden tries and tries and gets nowhere, or does he believe that if he helps Republicans block the infrastructure and jobs spending the U.S. so desperately needs, they will give him a break in his reelection? If so, does he also believe in unicorns, Santa Claus, and the tooth fairy?
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Joe Manchin is letting Mitch McConnell play him for a chump. It's embarrassing to even watch
Laura Clawson
 
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Ten Thousan Marbles

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How many Republican senators will have the nerve to meet with fallen Capitol officer's mother?
Laura Clawson

The fate of the bipartisan plan for a commission investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol is still up in the air thanks to Republican opposition. With a Senate vote likely on Friday after Majority Leader Chuck Schumer filed cloture on it Tuesday and 10 Republicans needed to break the filibuster, Gladys Sicknick, the mother of fallen Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick, is asking every single Republican holding Senate office to meet with her Thursday ahead of the vote.

“Not having a January 6 Commission to look into exactly what occurred is a slap in the faces of all the officers who did their jobs that day,” Sicknick said in a statement obtained by Politico. “I suggest that all Congressmen and Senators who are against this Bill visit my son’s grave in Arlington National Cemetery and, while there, think about what their hurtful decisions will do to those officers who will be there for them going forward.”
She added, “Putting politics aside, wouldn’t they want to know the truth of what happened on January 6? If not, they do not deserve to have the jobs they were elected to do.”
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The thing is, Republicans never put politics aside, and it’s bad for their partisan interests for the public to know the truth of what happened. For that reason among others, she’s right that they don’t deserve to have the jobs they do.

That starts with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who is opposed to an independent bipartisan investigation into what he called a “disgrace” and “terrorism,” acknowledging that Donald Trump was “practically and morally responsible for provoking the events of the day.” But what’s more important to McConnell is that, as he told Republicans at a closed-door meeting on Tuesday, a commission could hurt Republicans in the 2022 elections. Truth does not enter in. It’s just a question of what helps or hurts Republicans.

Republicans have repeatedly changed their arguments against a Jan. 6 commission, which means it’s not worth looking at any of those arguments in any detail at this point. Whatever they’re saying at any given moment isn’t true, and we know it isn’t true both because of how they keep moving the goalposts and because of what McConnell is saying in private. And because, exactly in line with what McConnell is saying in private, Republicans have very good reasons for wanting to block an investigation into something that will make not just Donald Trump but the entire Republican Party look very, very bad.

The commission needs 10 Republican votes in the Senate, and it’s not looking likely to get them. So far, just two Republicans, Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Mitt Romney, have said they support a commission, while Sen. Susan Collins is claiming to support the idea of one, using that claim to try to water down a bill that already represents a massive compromise by Democrats even as she lays the groundwork to vote no.

There’s no guarantee Republicans will even talk to Gladys Sicknick. When D.C. Metro Police officer Michael Fanone asked to meet with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy to talk about his experience fighting the Capitol insurrection and show McCarthy his body camera footage, he was rejected. In fact, McCarthy’s staff hung up on him. Will the mother of a fallen officer get a more welcoming reception from Republicans than a traumatized and injured officer did?