Connect with us

Texas Consumer Protection Chief Was Ordered to Drop Trump University Investigation

Published

on

Another Trump Pay-to-Play Story of Donation Squashing Prosecution?

Did Donald Trump pay off then Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott for ordering the head of a consumer protection agency to drop a damaging investigation that was ready for prosecution against Donald Trump and his real estate scam, Trump University? And is current Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton now trying to hide the facts?

Paxton, best-known for his war against LGBT people – especially transgender people – in the Lone Star state, and for being indicted on three felony fraud counts, has issued a cease and desist letter to a former state regulator who recently released documents showing he was forced to drop a case against Trump University.

Former Deputy Chief of Consumer Protection John Owens says for political reasons in 2010 he was ordered to drop his investigation of Trump University. CBS News reports that Owens “told The Associated Press on Friday that decision was highly unusual and left the bilked students on their own to attempt to recover their tuition money from the celebrity businessman.”

In 2010, when he was conducting the investigation into Trump University, Owens’ boss was the Texas Attorney General, now Governor Greg Abbott. Trump in 2013 reportedly made donations totaling $35,000 to Abbott’s election campaign.

Now retired, Owens “said his team had built a solid case against the now-presumptive Republican presidential nominee, but was told to drop it after Trump’s company agreed to cease operations in Texas.”

According to the documents provided by Owens, his team sought to sue Trump, his company and several business associates to help recover more than $2.6 million students spent on seminars and materials, plus another $2.8 million in penalties and fees.

Owens said he was so surprised at the order to stand down he made a copy of the case file and took it home.

“It had to be political in my mind because Donald Trump was treated differently than any other similarly situated scam artist in the 16 years I was at the consumer protection office,” said Owens, who lives in Houston.

Trump is under fire for his $25,000 donation to Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi’s re-election campaign, made while she was deliberating on joining a multi-state lawsuit against Trump and Trump University. After the payment, Bondi declined to join the lawsuit.

 

Continue Reading
Click to comment
 
 

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. The New Civil Rights Movement depends on readers like you to meet our ongoing expenses and continue producing quality progressive journalism. Three Silicon Valley giants consume 70 percent of all online advertising dollars, so we need your help to continue doing what we do.

NCRM is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. From unflinching coverage of religious extremism, to spotlighting efforts to roll back our rights, NCRM continues to speak truth to power. America needs independent voices like NCRM to be sure no one is forgotten.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure NCRM remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to NCRM, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

News

‘Handmaid’s Tale’: Biden Campaign Blasts Trump Christian Nationalism Plans

Published

on

The Biden campaign is responding to a report from Politico detailing how Christian nationalism is intentionally being injected into the plans a right-wing think tank, part of a “conservative consortium,” is drafting for a potential second Trump presidential term.

“Spearheading the effort is Russell Vought, who served as Trump’s director of the Office of Management and Budget during his first term and has remained close to him. Vought, who is frequently cited as a potential chief of staff in a second Trump White House, is president of The Center for Renewing America think tank, a leading group in a conservative consortium preparing for a second Trump term,” Politico reported Tuesday. “Vought has a close affiliation with Christian nationalist William Wolfe, a former Trump administration official who has advocated for overturning same-sex marriage, ending abortion and reducing access to contraceptives.”

“Vought,” Politico adds, “is advising Project 2025, a governing agenda that would usher in one of the most conservative executive branches in modern American history. The effort is made up of a constellation of conservative groups run by Trump allies who’ve constructed a detailed plan to dismantle or overhaul key agencies in a second term. Among other principles, the project’s ‘Mandate for Leadership’ states that ‘freedom is defined by God, not man.'”

READ MORE: Alito Fears ‘Bigot’ Label for Americans With ‘Traditional Religious Views’ of LGBTQ People

There are other far-right Christian nationalists in play.

“Trump is also talking about bringing his former national security adviser Michael Flynn, a vocal proponent of Christian nationalism, back into office,” the Politico piece notes. “Flynn is currently focused on recruiting what he calls an ‘Army of God’ — as he barnstorms the country promoting his vision of putting Christianity at the center of American life.”

In 2022 PBS NewHour described Flynn as being “‘at the center’ of [a] new movement based on conspiracies and Christian nationalism.”

“He has drawn together election deniers, mask and vaccine opponents, insurrectionists, Proud Boys, and elected officials and leaders in state and local Republican parties.”

READ MORE: McEnany Meltdown: Biden Beats Reagan, Trump Dead Last in New Scholars’ Survey

The Biden campaign’s senior spokesperson Lauren Hitt responded to the Politico report, saying in a statement, “This is straight out of the Handmaid’s Tale. Nationwide abortion bans, attacks on same-sex marriage, and restrictions on contraception – this is the horrifying reality being openly discussed by Team Trump and the likely architects of his second term agenda.”

“Every day Donald Trump openly supports an agenda of restricting Americans’ freedoms, dividing our country, and attacking our rights. That’s what he will do as president. It’s not who we are as Americans. Like they’ve done election after election,
Americans will reject Donald Trump and his out-of-touch extremism again this November.”

The Hill adds the Biden “campaign also pointed to a New York Times report that said Trump told advisers and allies that he favors a 16-week ban on abortion, a story that the Trump campaign pushed back on but didn’t contradict.”

USA TODAY’s White House correspondent Joey Garrison first reported Hitt’s statement.

Continue Reading

News

‘BS’: Top Dem Senator Goes on Offense Against Republicans

Published

on

U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) is calling “BS” on Senate Republicans – and calling them out by name – over their continued failure to pass the Senate’s massive border and military funding for Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan bill that he helped craft.

Sen. Murphy’s first target: top Trump MAGA surrogate Senator Tim Scott (R-SC), who told Fox News, “The left want an open, insecure border. The conservatives and common sense independents, we want a secure America. That means you have to control your back door.”

Murphy did not hold back.

“Bullshit,” the Connecticut Democrat wrote on social media Tuesday. “We reached a bipartisan compromise to give the President enormous new powers to control the border. Almost every single Republican – including Sen. Scott – voted against it because Trump told them to keep the border a mess because it might help him politically.”

READ MORE: Alito Fears ‘Bigot’ Label for Americans With ‘Traditional Religious Views’ of LGBTQ People

Senator Murphy’s second target was U.S. Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI), who claimed, “The recent bill would have been worse than doing nothing by codifying [Biden’s] open border policies into law.”

“Bullshit,” Sen. Murphy again responded. “The bipartisan border bill that Sen. Johnson’s party asked for and then voted against because Trump said so would have

ALLOWED
THE
PRESIDENT
TO
SECURE
THE
BORDER.”

Next, the Connecticut Democrat called out U.S. Senator Marsha Blackburn  (R-TN). writing, “also bullshit.”

Sen. Blackburn had claimed, “Even Secretary Mayorkas has said what’s happening at the southern border ‘certainly is a crisis.’ It’s past time the Biden administration put a stop to this madness. CLOSE the border.”

Sen. Murphy added, “Senator Blackburn knows the bill would have actually allowed the President to close parts of the border when crossings get too high. But who would book Republicans on cable news if the border was actually under control? That’s why they killed it.”

Watch the videos above or at this link.

RELATED: ‘We Aren’t Monsters’: Top Senate Dem Slams Josh Hawley for Not Wanting to Help Kids

Continue Reading

News

Alito Fears ‘Bigot’ Label for Americans With ‘Traditional Religious Views’ of LGBTQ People

Published

on

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito is expressing concern that Americans who hold what he calls “traditional religious views” on homosexuality and refuse to hide them are being labeled as “bigots.” The Bush-appointed 73-year old jurist with a history of anti-LGBTQ opinions has been called the Court’s “staunchest opponent of LGBTQ rights.”

As The New Republic reports, “Alito is complaining that people who oppose homosexuality were being unfairly branded as bigots, despite that being a dictionary definition of bigotry.”

On Tuesday, agreeing the Court should not take a case, Alito wrote he is “concerned” that a lower court’s reasoning “may spread.”

He notes that the lower court “reasoned that a person who still holds traditional religious views on questions of sexual morality is presumptively unfit to serve on a jury in a case involving a party who is a lesbian.”

READ MORE: ‘Putin’s Puppet’: Critics Blast Trump for Comparing Navalny Death to His Own Legal Crisis

In that case, several jurors who acknowledged they held anti-LGBTQ views were released from serving on the trial.

“That holding exemplifies the danger that I anticipated in Obergefell v. Hodges … namely, that Americans who do not hide their adherence to traditional religious beliefs about homosexual conduct will be ‘labeled as bigots and treated as such’ by the government.'”

Slate’s Mark Joseph Stern writes, “Alito suggests that a trial court violates the free exercise and equal protection clauses when it allows an attorney who represents a gay client to strike potential jurors because they express overt bigotry against gay people.”

Veteran journalist John Harwood observes, “Justice Alito, even if he somehow gets Obergefell overturned, will be aggrieved forever more.”

He adds, “there will never be another time when his views about homosexuality will not be treated as bigotry by most people in our society.”

Attorney Max Kennerly posits, “If we followed Alito’s reasoning that religious beliefs can never serve as a basis to strike a juror, we’d instantly run into a collision with jurors who believe, on religious grounds, the death penalty is wrong. Any guesses how Alito would rule on that? Yeah, exactly.”

READ MORE: Fox News Liberal Explains Why Democrats Don’t Care About Charlamagne Tha God’s Biden Slam

Continue Reading

Trending

Copyright © 2020 AlterNet Media.