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Trump Jr. Whines for 13 Minutes About 15 Felony Count Indictment Against Family Company: ‘This Is What Russia Does’

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“We run a clean company – no one questioned that prior to politics”

Donald Trump Jr. for 13 minutes rambled and whined on a Facebook video Thursday about the 15-count federal criminal felony indictment handed up by a grand jury against The Trump Organization and its CFO Allen Weisselberg. The former president’s son falsely compared it to how Russian President Vladimir Putin punishes his political enemies, along with Iran and China, while falsely characterizing the depth and breath of the criminal indictment.

“How is this any different, how is this any different than what the mullahs in Iran do to their political enemies?” he asked.

(Some experts say the indictment could mean the end of The Trump Organization.)

Trump Jr. praised Weisselberg as The Trump Organization’s loyal “accountant,” yet laid the blame on him, while barely acknowledging the indictments also name the family company, except when he called it a “witch hunt” and an extension of the Mueller investigation. He also ignored that Weisselberg has been the Chief Financial Officer of the family business for more than two decades.

(Weisselberg began by working for Fred Trump, Donald Trump’s father, in 1973 as an accountant. He became the company’s controller in the 1980’s, and ultimately CFO who co-ran The Trump Organization while Donald Trump was president.)

Trying to minimize the charges, which include a 15-year tax scheme “including a scheme to defraud, conspiracy, grand larceny and falsifying business records,” CNN reports.

Instead he claimed it essentially was about Weisselberg not paying taxes on a company car, and about the Donald Trump paying tuition for one of Weisselberg’s “grandkids,” because “he’s a good guy.”

“My dad did that cuz he’s a good guy, takes care of his employees. And, it was the nice thing to do.”

Trump Jr. told supporters the charges were “essentially amounting to fringe benefits, you know, like a corporate car, you got a corporate car after 48 years of service, you got a corporate car, didn’t pay tax on it.”

“This is what they got,” he added, “they’re able to tie in the Trump organization because he’s the CFO right” So they try to do that for the flowery headlines because this is what they’ve been promising you, right?”

“How is this, anything but a political persecution? How is this anything other than a government abuse of power. Let’s break it down for you,” Trump Jr. continued, weaving a web of falsehoods. “They’ve been doing this for about five years, hundreds of witnesses presumably countless hours of grand jury testimony 3 million documents reviewed by the AG and the DA, right? 3 million documents, what they’ve got someone on his, he didn’t pay taxes on fringe benefits.”

At one point Jr. claimed the amount of unpaid taxes was a mere $5000 per year, which is false.

“Yeah, that’s all it is, man. It’s a game, and it sucks, because this isn’t what America is about. This is what Russia does. This is what Iran does. This is what China does, but it’s happening right here right now. And so many people are totally silent about it, which also sucks, but we’re gonna keep fighting, because we have to, because it’s worth fighting for,” Trump Jr. promised. “And we can’t let this crap take over America, or we won’t have an America that any of us recognize for our kids. You guys have a good one.”

It appeared that many of the more than 1000 comments on the post were supportive of Trump and the former president, and the social media users “bought” the lies Trump was telling.

Here’s the video:

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CRIME

‘I Hope Your Car Explodes’: Newly Revealed Text Messages Show GOP Rep. ‘Threatening’ Democrat He Used to Date

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In newly revealed text messages, Michigan state GOP Rep. Steve Marino vowed to destroy Democratic state Rep. Mari Manoogian’s life, even saying he hoped her car exploded on her way to work, the Detroit Free Press reports.

“I’m making it my life mission to destroy you,” Marino said to Manoogian in an undated text message, according to Ingham County court records. As the Detroit Free Press points out, the the messages and statements from Marino to Manoogian were used to secure a personal protection order against Marino.

In one text message, Marino tells Manoogian to “hide on the House floor” because “I’m going to park right next to your desk and ream you a new a–hole each session day until I leave that place.”

Court filings show Manoogian said she dated Marino for about four months in 2019, but things changed after their relationship ended. Manoogian said she believed Marino to be mentally unstable.

“Face to face and over text, Steve began threatening me and harassing me. It has escalated to a point where I fear for my safety and for Steve’s own safety,” she said in a statement filed with the court. “I am afraid of Steve. He repeatedly tells me that he hopes I get in a car crash on my commute to Lansing, and that he hopes my car will blow up…He constantly berated me with obscenities, calling me a c—, a b—-, and telling me to go f— myself.”

Manoogian also describes an encounter where Marino allegedly became physically abusive.

“Steve has emotionally and verbally abused me relentlessly. He also physically abused me. I do not like hugs, I am not a touchy-feely person. Steve knows this. He chased me around his apartment and held me against my will in a ‘hug’ until I cried,” she stated.

Read the full report over at the Detroit Free Press.

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CRIME

NY Prosecutors ‘Aggressively’ Pursuing Trump Tax-Fraud Probe as Weisselberg Returns to Court: Report

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New York prosecutors appear to be “aggressively” pursuing their tax fraud-related investigation of the Trump Organization, which led in criminal charges being filed against the former president’s company and its chief financial officer, Allen Weisselberg, in July.

The Trump Organization’s lawyers and Weisselberg are set to appear in court Monday for the first time since they were arraigned three months ago, on charges that they participated in a 15-year scheme to defraud taxpayers by paying company executives with untaxed benefits.

NPR reported Monday that there are “plenty of signs” that New York State Attorney General Letitia James and Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. are “aggessively working the case, including an unannounced court appearance in August by attorneys for both Weisselberg and the Trump Organization.”

“The fact that they are having sealed proceedings is consistent with an ongoing grand jury investigation and suggests the district attorney may be considering further charges or defendants,” said Adam Kaufmann, a former investigations division chief at the Manhattan district attorney’s office.

The Wall Street Journal reported Monday that the New York investigation has recently focused on Matthew Calamari, Trump’s one-time bodyguard who later became the Trump Organization’s chief operating officer.

“Mr. Calamari and his son, Matthew Calamari Jr., have lived in Trump Organization apartments, and the elder Mr. Calamari has driven a company car. Earlier this month, the younger Mr. Calamari testified before a grand jury that continues to investigate Mr. Trump’s business affairs, according to people familiar with the matter,” the newspaper reported, adding that Jeff McConney, a senior finance executive who prepared the elder Calamari’s tax returns, also recently testified to the grand jury.

One major question hanging over the investigation is whether Weisselberg will turn on the company and his former boss, reaching a deal with prosecutors to testify against them. Bloomberg News reported Friday that it’s unlikely Weisselberg will “flip” because he’s not facing a lengthy prison sentence if convicted.

“Allen Weisselberg has made the calculation that he can escape, or if he gets a jail sentence, he can get through it,” said New York defense lawyer and former federal prosecutor Adam Frisch, who is not involved in the case.

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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.

 

Image via Shutterstock

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