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‘Brazen’: Trump Used $258,000 in Donations to His Foundation as Slush Fund to Settle Legal Disputes

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Appears to Violate IRS Rules Against Self-Dealing

Donald Trump used over $250,000 of other people’s money, donated to the Trump Foundation, as a slush fund to settle legal disputes and even to buy portraits of himself. 

The Washington Post reports in one case Trump used $100,000 of his Foundation’s funds to settle a legal dispute with Palm Beach County over the size of a flag pole at his club, Mar-a-Lago. The funds should have come from the club, but they came in the form of a check from the Trump Foundation.

The Trump Foundation was founded in 1987 with Trump’s money, but after draining it all but dry, Trump between 2006 and 2009 stopped donating to it entirely and has since relied on other people’s money to fund it.

In another case, court papers say one of Trump’s golf courses in New York agreed to settle a lawsuit by making a donation to the plaintiff’s chosen charity. A $158,000 donation was made by the Trump Foundation, according to tax records,” the Post reports.

Other expenditures include $10,000 to buy a second portrait of Trump – he has also spent $20,000 of the Foundation’s money for a first, six-foot-tall portrait of himself.

If the Internal Revenue Service were to find that Trump violated self-dealing rules, the agency could require him to pay penalty taxes or to reimburse the foundation for all the money it spent on his behalf,” the Post says.

Jeffrey Tenenbaum, a charity advisor at the Venable law firm in Washington, tells the Post, “I represent 700 nonprofits a year, and I’ve never encountered anything so brazen.”

Calling the details in the Post story “really shocking,” Tenenbaum says: “If he’s using other people’s money — run through his foundation — to satisfy his personal obligations, then that’s about as blatant an example of self-dealing [as] I’ve seen in a while.” 

 

Image by Gage Skidmore via Flickr and a CC license

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BREAKING NEWS

Just 9 Republicans Joined Democrats to Uphold the Rule of Law and Vote to Hold Steve Bannon in Criminal Contempt

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Only nine House Republicans joined with every Democrat in voting to hold Trump ally Steve Bannon in criminal contempt of Congress. Thursday afternoon’s final vote was 229-202.

Bannon refused to obey a lawful congressional subpoena ordering him to hand over documents and to submit to congressional investigators for a deposition. His legal defense was mocked by experts after he tried to invoke executive privilege.

Minority Whip Steve Scalise had directed House Republicans to vote against the motion.

Top voting rights attorney Marc Elias warns against praising the nine Republicans for doing the right thing in this one instance: “all nine of them voted against voting rights legislation,” he tweeted.

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News

‘Act of War’: Trump Blasted for ‘Chilling’ Statement Calling Election an ‘Insurrection’

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Donald Trump, the twice-impeached former president, on Thursday issued what is being called a “chilling” statement on the election and the insurrection he incited.

“The insurrection took place on November 3, Election Day. January 6 was the Protest!” Trump said in a statement released Thursday afternoon.

Former Republican Congressman Joe Walsh simply and clearly calls it an “act of war.”

U.S. Rep. Jim McGovern (D-MA) during debate on the House floor has “repeatedly” been “calling on Republicans to denounce the Trump statement,” according to reporter Jamie Dupree.

“All my colleagues were elected on November 3,” McGovern said. “If you believe that Election Day was an insurrection, then your election results are illegitimate.”

McGovern is not the only one to blast the Trump statement:

Some journalists are also slamming the former president’s latest remarks.

S.V. Dáte, the White House correspondent at HuffPost weighed in, saying, “Donald Trump tried to overthrow American democracy after he lost his election by 7 million votes, but nearly a year later, he’s still lying. About all of it.”

Washington Post national political reporter Felicia Sonmez called it a “chilling statement … that makes clear his stance on peaceful democracy vs. violent insurrection.”

Washington Post White House bureau chief Ashley Parker pointed to the statement and said: “In which Trump’s shamelessness continues to be his political super power.”

ProPublica Senior Reporter Peter Elkind says: “This is the position of the widely embraced leader of the GOP. Republicans all behind that?”

More:

 

 

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

Watch: Garland Destroys GOP Congressman’s False Suggestion His School Board Memo Calls Parents Terrorists

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U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland Thursday morning was forced to respond to repeated Republican false claims about his memo directing the DOJ to hold “discussions” with local leaders about threats of violence made against school board members, and several times had to push back hard against false accusations made by GOP Congressmen.

Franklin Graham, Stephen Miller, and countless others on the right for weeks have been falsely claiming that Garland has ordered DOJ to investigate parents merely for opposing school board decisions, mostly on mask mandates and what they claim is “critical race theory.”

U.S. Rep. Steve Chabot (R-OH) on Wednesday during a Judiciary Committee hearing falsely suggested Garland was calling parents’ challenging school boards domestic terrorists.

“One example of a so-called terrorist incident was a parent, merely questioning whether school board members had earned their high school diplomas. Now that might have been rude, but does that seem like an act of domestic terrorism that you or your Justice Department ought to be investigating?” Chabot asked.

“Absolutely not,” Garland replied. “And I want to be clear the Justice Department supports and defends the First Amendment right of parents to complain as vociferously as they wish, about the education of their children, about the curriculum taught in the schools. That is not what the memorandum is about at all, nor does it use the words ‘domestic terrorism’ or ‘Patriot Act.’ Like you, I can’t imagine any circumstance in which the Patriot Act would be used in the circumstances of parents complaining about their children, nor can I imagine a circumstance where they would be labeled as domestic terrorism.”

As NCRM has previously reported, school board members and educators in at least nine states this year have been targeted with threats, death threats, and often racist death threats, including in Virginia, Arizona, Connecticut, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Louisiana, Wisconsin, Illinois, and Vermont, according to local news reports.

Ironically, it was Congressman Chabot who, a decade ago, was legitimately accused of violating the First Amendment when his staffers directed local police to confiscate video cameras at the Congressman’s town hall event, held in a public school.

Chabot, ruffled and rebuffed by Garland’s response, decided to end the inquiry there.

“Thank you I’m nearly out of time.”

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