Trump appointees at federal consumer watchdog agency manipulated data to benefit the very rich and powerful payday lending industry, a former staffer who worked at the agency for seven years as an economist says. Payday lending is a $40 – $90 billion industry that has donated heavily to Donald Trump. Multiple reports detail the millions of dollars the industry has showered on President Trump and the GOP.
“Last summer, on his final day of work at the nation’s consumer finance watchdog agency, a career economist sent colleagues a blunt memo” The New York Times reports. “He claimed that President Trump’s appointees at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau had manipulated the agency’s research process to justify altering a 2017 rule that would have sharply curtailed high-interest payday loans.”
In his 14-page memo the economist, Jonathan Lanning, accused Trump loyalists installed in the agency of engaging in maneuvers, The Times says, “that he considered legally risky and scientifically indefensible, including pressuring staff economists to water down their findings on payday loans and use statistical gimmicks to downplay the harm consumers would suffer if the payday restrictions were repealed.”
The Times notes Trump’s efforts “to dismantle the payday regulation began with the arrival of Mick Mulvaney, the Trump administration budget chief, who was appointed the C.F.P.B.’s acting director in late 2017. Among his priorities was to delay, and eventually undo, the Obama-era payday lending restrictions, which were scheduled to take effect in summer 2019, according to two former senior bureau officials who discussed the issue with him.”
A 2018 International Business Times article, “Trump And Lawmakers Got Cash From Payday Lenders, Then Weakened Lending Rules,” explained what some might say sounds like a quid pro quo process.
“Less than two months after President Donald Trump tapped his budget director to run the independent federal agency tasked with protecting U.S. consumers from harmful and predatory financial practices, the agency has moved to undo a rule intended to prevent payday lenders from preying on low-income Americans,” IBT reported.
Since 2015, “payday lenders have given $1.5 million to congressional lawmakers and another $300,000 to the Republican National Committee and the National Republican Congressional Committee. The industry also spent another $6.2 million on politics at the state level to combat regulation over the same time period,” IBT added.
“The industry’s shrewdest investment may have been the money it delivered to Trump after he won the 2016 election. While payday lenders weren’t lining up to support Trump during the presidential election, in January after Trump’s win, Advance America, the nation’s biggest payday lender, donated $250,000 to Trump’s inauguration. Title loan magnate Rod Aycox and his wife each donated $500,000 for the event; payday lender Checks into Cash chipped in another $25,000. In November, the Community Financial Services Association of America, the industry’s trade group, announced its annual conference and expo would be held at the Trump National Doral resort in Miami.”
An in a damning observation, IBT added: “As that money flowed to Trump and his business empire, the Trump administration has made moves to help the industry — in particular, it took decisive action to undermine the CFPB’s previous efforts to regulate lenders.”
The New York Times notes, “This week, the agency is expected to release the revised payday rule, which will no longer require lenders to assess whether customers can afford their fees before offering a loan.”
Read the full New York Times article here.
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Feds Preparing to Charge an Ex-RNC Finance Chair With Ties to Trump Over ‘Back-Channel Lobbying Campaign’: WaPo
The U.S. Dept. of Justice is preparing to charge Elliott Broidy, a former finance chairman for the Republican National Committee who has ties to President Donald Trump, “in connection with efforts to influence the U.S. government on behalf of foreign interests,” The Washington Post reports.
Broidy, who has raised millions for Trump, made headlines in recent years and was forced to resign his GOP leadership role when it was revealed he had paid a former Playboy playmate $1.6 million to keep silent about their affair. President Donald Trump’s then-personal attorney, Michael Cohen, brokered the deal. When the news broke both Broidy and Cohen were serving as RNC deputy finance chairmen.
He has also served as a vice chairman of the Trump Victory Committee, a joint Trump campaign-RNC fundraising organization.
“Broidy is under scrutiny for his alleged role in a campaign to persuade high-level Trump administration officials to drop an investigation of Malaysian government corruption, as well as for his attempt to push for the extradition of an outspoken Chinese dissident back to his home country,” The Post reveals.
But Broidy appears to have been a huge international wheeler and dealer, using his influence with the President Trump as a bargaining chip to do the bidding of foreign governments.
“A cooperating witness in the special counsel investigation worked for more than a year to turn a top Trump fund-raiser into an instrument of influence at the White House for the rulers of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates,” The New York Times reported in March of 2018. That “top Trump fund-raiser” was Broidy, the cooperating witness was now-convicted pedophile George Nader.
“High on the agenda of the two men,” the Times reported, “was pushing the White House to remove Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson, backing confrontational approaches to Iran and Qatar and repeatedly pressing the president to meet privately outside the White House with the leader of the U.A.E.”
Tillerson was fired the week before, the Times reported, “and the president has adopted tough approaches toward both Iran and Qatar.”
While those events are not part of the charges reportedly being prepared, they highlight the extreme influence Broidy wielded.
Meanwhile, the Post adds, the case against Broidy “has intensified in recent weeks, with prosecutors securing a guilty plea Monday from one of Broidy’s business associates, Nickie Mali Lum Davis, who admitted to taking part in what prosecutors have described in charging documents as a ‘back-channel lobbying campaign’ to end the Malaysian corruption investigation and to return Chinese exile Guo Wengui to his home country.”
Read the Post’s full report here.
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New Leaked Documents Expose Plans to ‘Slow Mail Processing’ Ahead of 2020 Election
New documents obtained by Vice News show that the United States Postal Service is taking steps that officials say will “slow mail processing” ahead of the 2020 presidential election.
Specifically, the documents show that “the United States Postal Service proposed removing 20 percent of letter sorting machines it uses around the country before revising the plan weeks later to closer to 15 percent of all machines.”
In total, this means that more than 500 sorting machines will be taken offline ahead of this year’s election, which is expected to see a record number of votes sent in by mail.
Interestingly, the documents about reducing the sorting machines date back to May 2020, which was a month before Trump-appointed postmaster general Louis DeJoy took over.
Although USPS leadership is claiming that these machines are simply being moved around in the name of efficiency, the documents show that one union official representing USPS workers saw the plans and bluntly replied that “this will slow mail processing.”
So far, Vice News’ sources say that machine removals are right now occurring in Michigan, West Virginia, Massachusetts, Maryland, and Texas, and that “more machine removals are planned in the months ahead.”
Trump’s New Postmaster General Exposed for Massive Conflicts of Interest in New Viral Video: #TrumpKillsUSPS
President Donald Trump’s new Postmaster General Louis DeJoy has quickly destroyed the basic working’s of America’s 245-year old postal system, an institution the Founders knew was so vital to democracy they included it in the U.S. Constitution.
As it turns out, DeJoy – a “longtime Republican donor” – has massive conflicts of interest, as the video from the anti-Trump PAC Really American exposes.
“DeJoy and his wife have between $30 and $75 million in assets of direct competitors to the United States Postal Service,” the video, “#TrumpKillsUSPS,” reveals. “The man Trump put in charge of our Post Office has the most to gain from its destruction.”
The video has gone viral, being viewed over 2 million times in just 15 hours.
“The next 10 weeks will come down to how well the Democratic Party can hone in on the damage that Trump has done over the last four years,” says Justin Horwitz, Founder and Executive Director of Really American. “One of the most destructive things he has done is appoint Louis Dejoy to head the USPS. This is the fox in the hen house. We need to immediately demand transparency and accountability so this election isn’t stolen. The President and his friends have business interests in dismantling our government. That’s simply unacceptable.”
— Really American 🇺🇸 (@ReallyAmerican1) August 12, 2020
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