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Texas Consumer Protection Chief Was Ordered to Drop Trump University Investigation

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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.

 

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NOT HOW THIS WORKS

Busted: White House Counsel Worked to Keep Whistleblower Report From Congress – WaPo

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President Donald Trump’s White House counsel has reportedly been personally involved in keeping Congress from reviewing a whistleblowing report involving Ukraine.

“The revelation that Trump pushed Zelensky to pursue the Biden probe, which was first reported by The Wall Street Journal, represents the most detailed account so far of the president’s conduct that prompted a U.S. intelligence official to file a whistleblower action against the president,” The Washington Post reported Friday. “The disclosure comes amid new details about the White House’s role in preventing Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire from complying with Congressional demands for the material in the complaint.”

In addition to confirming the WSJ report, The Post also furthered the story with new reporting on the role of the White House in the scandal.

“White House Counsel Pat Cipollone has been engaged in the matter since shortly after the whistleblower action surfaced, officials said, helping to identify legal obstacles to the sharing of information that could be politically damaging to Trump,” The Post reported. “Cipollone’s involvement reveals a more direct White House role in the dispute than has previously been reported.”

Read the full report.

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IMPEACHABLE OFFENSES

Trump Urged Ukraine President ‘About Eight Times’ to Work With Giuliani to Get Dirt on Biden’s Son: WSJ

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The Wall Street Journal is reporting that President Donald Trump “repeatedly pressured” the president of Ukraine to work with his personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, to get dirt on the son of his top political opponent, former Vice President Joe Biden.

In a July phone call Trump urged President Volodymyr Zelensky “about eight times to work with Rudy Giuliani,” the Wall Street Journal says.

But the Journal’s reporting in the second paragraph offers details that appear to minimize what experts have been suggesting actually happened. The Journal’s report also does not name sources or even suggest if they are White House or intelligence community officials.

“Mr. Trump didn’t mention a provision of foreign aid to Ukraine on the call, said this person, who didn’t believe Mr. Trump offered the Ukrainian president any quid-pro-quo for his cooperation on an investigation,” the Journal says.

That would lessen the magnitude of the allegations against President Trump, although they would still be impeachable offenses.

Related: Trump to Meet With Ukrainian President Amid Bombshell Whistleblower Allegations

The Trump team has become expert at controlling the national conversation and forging a narrative that bends most elements of truth, then getting the conservative base to believe them.

This is a breaking news and developing story. Details may change. This story will be updated, and NCRM will likely publish follow-up stories on this news. Stay tuned and refresh for updates.

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IMPEACH

Some Among Democratic Base Grow Increasingly Frustrated as Pelosi Issues Statement Chastising Trump Over Whistleblower

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Statement  Does Not  Say ‘Impeachment’

Some among the Democratic base appear frustrated with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi who has not been supportive of the majority of House Democrats who want to impeach President Donald Trump. Friday afternoon the Speaker quietly issued a lengthy statement responding to the bombshell news that a whistleblower has filed a “credible” and “urgent” complaint with the intelligence community.

Pelosi’s statement, which was not posted to her social media accounts as of this writing, made its way through Twitter via a handful of reporters.

“If the President has done what has been alleged, then he is stepping into a dangerous minefield with serious repercussions for his Administration and our democracy,” Pelosi said, as a Politico congressional reporter pointed out:

Nearly two-thirds of House Democrats support impeaching Trump, or beginning a formal impeachment inquiry at the very least, according to Politico. But the majority of the nation does not, nor do a majority of Democratic voters, according to recent polls.

“Only 37 percent support beginning impeachment proceedings, while half oppose it,” Politco reports, citing its own polls.

Speaker Pelosi’s statement concludes with this:

“We will continue to follow the facts and explore every possible option to ensure the American people get the truth. We would hope that Republicans would join us in supporting the Constitution.”

Some online are calling her statement “weak,” while others are disappointed with the lack of specific threats of action, and others are expressing exasperation with the Speaker not supporting impeachment:

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