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Manhattan Prosecutors File Brief Suggesting Trump Is Facing a ‘Criminal Tax Fraud’ Investigation

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Whatever happens on Election Day 2020 — whether President Donald Trump wins a second term or Vice President Joe Biden is elected president — Trump will no doubt continue to be the subject of multiple investigations. Some of those investigations are likely to come from Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr., who has been aggressively probing Trump’s financial history. And in an appellate brief filed on Monday, September 21, Vance stressed that his office should have access to Trump’s tax returns because reports from major publications indicate that a “criminal tax fraud” investigation is needed.

Vance, reporter Matt Naham notes in Law & Crime, filed the brief in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. According to Naham, the brief “cited reports from the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times to provide a ‘snapshot’ for the Court of the Trump Organization’s ‘financial improprieties’ that ‘could potentially violate New York law.’ These articles addressed anything from Trump’s role in the hush money payments Michael Cohen paid out before the 2016 election to allegations that Trump has inflated his net worth to lenders and investors.”

In the appellate brief, Vance’s office argued, “These reports have identified transactions spanning more than a decade, involving individual and corporate actors who were based in New York County.”

Trump and his attorneys have been arguing that Vance’s investigation lacks substance and that he has nothing concrete to go on. Vance’s office, Trump and his allies claim, is harassing the president for no good reason. But in the brief, Vance got into specific reasons why he believes an investigation is needed.

The brief reads, “In particular, if misstatements about business properties, wherever located, were conveyed from that business’ headquarters in New York to New York-based business partners, insurers, potential lenders or tax authorities, those misstatements could establish New York crimes such as Scheme to Defraud (Penal Law § 190.65), Falsification of Business Records (Penal Law § 175.10), Insurance Fraud (Penal Law §§ 176.15-176.30), and Criminal Tax Fraud (Tax Law §§ 1803-1806), among others.”

Naham points out that Vance’s investigation of Trump goes beyond hush money payments made by Cohen, the president’s former personal attorney. Vance’s office, Naham notes, has also been well-aware of a “series of bombshell reports from the Washington Post about the 45th president’s alleged wealth-inflation and the Trump Organization’s alleged tax-dodging strategies — encompassing possible insurance fraud and bank fraud. On Monday, Vance argued, for the first time, that you can add criminal tax fraud to the pile.”

 

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CRIME

‘QAnon Shaman’ Found Competent and Guilty of Felony During Jan. 6 Insurrection – Could Face Years in Jail

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Jacob Chansley, also known as Jake Angeli, but best known as the bare chested, horned fur hat wearing, spear and bullhorn carrying man with the red, white and blue face paint whose image was plastered on the front pages of numerous media outlets, has pleaded guilty to a single felony count of obstructing an official proceeding for his actions during the January 6 insurrection. He initially had faced six charges.

He had been ordered to undergo a competency assessment, and was found able to stand trial, a judge announced Friday, revealing he had signed a plea deal late Wednesday.

Chansely, 33, no longer wants to be known as the Qanon Shaman, and has also allegedly decided to “repudiate” QAnon – or, at least the “Q” in his moniker, HuffPost reports.

“Mr. Chansley, a long avowed and practicing Shaman, has repudiated the ‘Q’ previously assigned to him and requests future references to him be devoid of use of the letter ‘Q’,” his attorney, Albert Watkins, said in a statement.

Late Friday morning Watkins asked for Chansley to be released before sentencing, but the federal prosecutor wants him to remain detained.

Buzzfeed’s Zoe Tillman reports Chansley could be facing 41-51 months in jail, according to the prosecutor. That would be more than three years, possibly even more than four, but likely less.

Judge Royce Lamberth has ordered Chansley to remain in jail until sentencing November 17.

 

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Jan. 6 Committee Is Targeting ‘Certain Individuals’ – Directs Dozens of Companies to Preserve Records

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The U.S. House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack is now targeting “specific individuals,” sending letters to the heads of nearly three dozen companies ordering them to preserve records of those people who may have participated in the insurrection or the rallies preceding it.

The level of detail this early in the investigation shows how serious the Committee is on investigating who was behind the insurrection.

Bloomberg News reports the 35 companies include: “1&1 Mail4chan8kunAmazonAOL MailAppleAT&TDiscordFacebookGabGoogleLogMeInMeWeMicrosoftParlerProton TechnologiesRedditRocket.ChatRumbleSignalSlackSnapSprintTelegramtheDonald.winTiktokT-MobileTwitchTwitterU.S. CellularVerizon WirelessYahoo! MailYouTubeZello and Zoho.”

Links are to specific letters each CEO was sent.

The letters says the Committee “seeks the preservation of these records as part of its examination of the violent attack on the Capitol and the broader context of efforts to delay or interfere with the peaceful transfer of power following the 2020 election.”

It adds that the Committee “specifically requests that you preserve information you may possess about individuals whom the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and/or the District of Columbia has charged with crimes associated with the attack; individuals who were listed on permit applications or were otherwise involved in organizing, funding, or speaking at the January 5, 2021, or January 6, 2021, rallies in the District of Columbia relating to objecting to the certification of the electoral college votes; and individuals potentially involved with discussions of plans to challenge, delay, or interfere with the January 6, 2021, certification or otherwise attempt to overturn election results, in the days preceding and up through the attack.”

The Committee did not release the list of names it included with each letter, and asked each company to not notify the individuals who appear on the list prior to preserving the records.

RELATED:

‘Crystal Clear’: House Jan. 6 Committee Is ‘Going After Trump’ Says Attorney Who Prosecuted Trump University Case

Jan. 6 Committee Dramatically Expands Investigation to Include 15 Social Media Companies

‘Huff and Puff’: Legal Experts Pan Trump’s ‘Desperation’ Executive Privilege Attempt to Block Jan. 6 Committee

 

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‘Crystal Clear’: House Jan. 6 Committee Is ‘Going After Trump’ Says Attorney Who Prosecuted Trump University Case

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A former New York state prosecutor says the bipartisan U.S. House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack is definitely targeting Donald Trump, the disgraced former U.S. president.

Tristan Snell, who served as assistant attorney general for New York state and helped lead the prosecution against Trump University that resulted in a $25 million settlement says the Select Committee’s work this week makes “crystal clear” what its objectives are.

Snell says the “House Select Committee on January 6 is about to get real — and this week proves it.”

On Wednesday the Select Committee, headed by Chairman Bennie Thompson (D-MS) demanded a massive trove of records from the federal government, including from the Dept. of Justice, the Dept. of Defense, and the White House. A small portion of that order included information about any discussions on invoking the Insurrection Act, martial law, and “All documents and communications concerning possible attempts by President Donald Trump to remain in office after January 20, 2021.”

On Friday the Committee expanded its investigation by ordering 15 social media companies, including tech giants from Google to Facebook to Twitter, to hand off items from a huge 14-point list that included data on misinformation and “foreign malign influence.”

“A robust, comprehensive, no-stone-unturned subpoena effort is the foundation of any real investigation,” Snell explains. “And they’re going after Trump himself. That is crystal clear now.”

 

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