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BREAKING NEWS

NY AG Referring Criminal Charges Against Trump to the Feds, Alleges He ‘Grossly Inflated’ Net Worth by ‘Billions’

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Donald Trump, Donald Trump Jr., Eric Trump, and Ivanka Trump are all being sued by New York Attorney General Letitia James in a massive civil lawsuit alleging they and others associated with his businesses “grossly inflated” his assets by “billions” of dollars. In a Wednesday news conference James says she is also referring criminal charges to federal authorities, including the Justice Department and the IRS, and her goal is to prohibit some of Trump’s businesses from operating in New York.

Trump falsely inflated the value of his assets to obtain favorable loan rates and other benefits, and deflated the value of his assets to pay lower taxes, James said Wednesday, after a years-long investigation. She alleges he inflated his net worth “by billions of dollars to unjustly enrich himself and to cheat the system, thereby cheating all of us.”

James repeatedly stressed Trump and others many times “pleaded the fifth,” which in civil cases can be seen as a possible sign of guilt, or, in legal terms, “adverse inference.”

James explained how Trump false inflated the value of his own New York home.

READ MORE: ‘Premeditated, Fraudulent, and Illegal’: Asylum Seekers Sue DeSantis After Being Sent to Martha’s Vineyard

“Mr Trump represented that his apartment spanned more than 30,000 sq ft, which was the basis for valuing the apartment,” at Trump Tower on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue, she said, as The Guardian reports. “In reality, the apartment had an area of less than 11,000 sq ft, something that Mr Trump was well aware of. And based on that inflated square footage the value of the apartment in 2015 and 2016 was $327m.”

“To this date, no apartment in New York City has ever sold for close to that amount,” James notes. “Tripling the size of the apartment for purposes of the valuation was intentional and deliberate fraud. Not an honest mistake.”

READ MORE: Trump Handpicked Special Master’s First Hearing ‘Not Going Well’ for Trump Attorneys: ‘That’s the End of It’

At one point James said, “we are attempting aspart of our relief to dissolve these corporations,”  but later corrected herself saying, “that was incorrect. We are not trying to dissolve them – he still has a financial interest in these businesses and corporations,” she noted.

“While James is not seeking to dissolve the organization altogether,” The New York Times’ Benjamin Protess writes, “she is seeking to permanently prohibit some of Trump’s companies from doing business in New York. It’s unclear how much of an impact this would ultimately have on Trump’s operations, but it could be a major blow.”

James called Trump’s actions “The Art of the Steal.”

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BREAKING NEWS

Treasury Dept. Finally Hands Over Six Years of Trump’s Tax Returns to Powerful House Committee

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The U.S. Dept. of the Treasury has finally handed over six years of Donald Trump’s tax returns, after the U.S, Supreme Court denied the ex-president’s request to block the document transfer. The powerful House Ways and Means Committee is now in receipt of all six years, according to a Wednesday afternoon report from CNN.

The returns are primarily from Trump’s time as president.

The Committee will need to work quickly, as Republicans will take over the House majority early next year, and the current Chairman, Richard Neal, will no longer serve in that role.

Republicans are expected to end any investigations into Donald Trump, including his tax returns, as they begin investigations into top GOP priorities: Hunter Biden’s laptop, the origin of the novel COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, and President Joe Biden’s withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan.

READ MORE: Trump Allies So Shaken by His White Supremacist Dinner a Top Campaign Aide Will Now ‘Be Present With Him at All Times’

This is a breaking news and developing story. 

Image via Shutterstock

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BREAKING NEWS

Republican Attempts to Create Special Religious Rights Fail as Bipartisan Historic Same-Sex Marriage Bill Passes Senate

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Far right activists and organizations for months have been falsely claiming legislation to protect same-sex marriages would destroy different-sex marriages and take away religious rights from ordinary Americans, but early Tuesday evening on a bipartisan basis the Senate passed the Respect for Marriage Act, 61-36.

The legislation itself is very simple. It essentially leaves in place the status quo on marriage from the Supreme Court’s 2015 Obergefell ruling. Should right wing Supreme Court justices strike that ruling down, the Respect for Marriage Act would require the federal government and states to recognize any marriages that were legal when they were entered, now and in the future.

35 states currently still have same-sex marriage bans on the books. If the Supreme Court overturns Obergefell, many of those could become law immediately.

READ MORE: Franklin Graham’s Ugly Lie Ahead of Senate Vote on Same-Sex Marriage Bill

In order to overcome a Republican-led filibuster Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer on Monday agreed to allow three GOP Senators to offer amendments to the legislation, amendments that would have created special religious rights to discriminate.

An amendment from Senator James Lankford (R-OK) failed, as did one from Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Mike Lee (R-UT). 60 votes were needed for each.

Sen. Lee’s was seen by some as the most extreme, and was strongly supported by the anti-LGBTQ hate group Family Research Council and former U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

READ MORE: 37 Senators Just Voted Against a Bill Protecting Same-Sex and Interracial Marriages. All Were Republicans.

Heritage Foundation president Kevin Roberts, in a false claim, had said: “The ‘Respect for Marriage Act’ contains so many infringements and encroachments on religious freedoms and on conscience that Republicans should unite solidly against it. Instead, it should be called the ‘Destruction of Marriage Act.'”

Far right evangelical activist Franklin Graham falsely claimed the “bill strikes a blow at religious freedom for individuals & ministries & is really the ‘Destruction of Marriage Act.'”

The Pennsylvania Family Council wrongly called it “a bill that would redefine marriage and attack religious freedom & Christian social services.”

But despite GOP fear-mongering, the legislation has religious protections built in, protections so strong 20 faith-based organizations including the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the Mormon Church, have supported its passage.

The bill now heads back to the House for a final vote, and then to President Joe Biden, who has said he will sign it into law.

 

 

 

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BREAKING NEWS

‘Denied’: Trump Just Lost Big at the Supreme Court Over His Tax Returns

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The U.S. Supreme Court Tuesday afternoon rejected a request from Donald Trump, asking that it block a lower court ruling ordering that six years of the former president’s tax returns be given to the powerful House Ways and Means Committee.

Trump has been battling the Committee for three years.

The order says Chief Justice John Roberts referred Trump’s request to the full Court. It does not say if any justices agreed with Trump.

“The application for stay of the mandate presented to The Chief Justice and by him referred to the Court is denied. The order heretofore entered by The Chief Justice is vacated,” the ruling reads.

But Democrats need to move quickly.

“The decision by the court in a brief order noting no dissenting votes means the committee can try to access the documents ahead of the Republican take-over of the House in January,” NBC News notes. “The committee, however, has not said how quickly it expects to get the documents. Upon taking control, Republicans are expected to withdraw the request.”

This is a breaking news and developing story. 

Image: Official White House Photo by Tia Dufour 

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