The federal judge selected a special master to sort through documents seized by the FBI at Mar-a-Lago, but Palm Beach state attorney Dave Aronberg told “Morning Joe” that he was astonished by her reasoning to withhold top-secret government materials from the Department of Justice.
“Judge Cannon didn’t even accept that the documents, which have classified markings, and some of them have those red covers that blaze out ‘top-secret SCI,’ and she didn’t even accept that they were classified documents, and despite there was an unchallenged affidavit included by DOJ from the head of the FBI’s counterintelligence division that these were classified documents,” Aronberg said. “She ignored that and bought Trump’s argument of, ‘Who are you going to believe, me or your lying eyes?'”
Scarborough agreed, and said the ruling was problematic and hard to understand for a number of reasons.
“You’re exactly right, and it’s really one of the most troubling parts of the ruling for me,” Scarborough said. “The fact that you have a judge, a district court judge who just got appointed after Trump lost, on the bench for a year or so, going, you know what, we can’t really trust the intel agencies to properly mark what is top secret — we don’t know that — and then on top of that, she’s talking about leaks. Did Donald Trump actually write this opinion?”
“Legally, it’s bizarre,” Scarborough added, “and I’m sure she’s sitting here thinking that this — maybe she’s thinking because nothing else seems to be make sense — this is her pathway, if Trump gets re-elected, to a higher court. All she’s doing is make herself radioactive, because she’s going to be reversed, and she’s done things that intel experts are saying puts America’s national security at risk. I wouldn’t want that hanging over me as a new judge.”
Analyst John Heilemann said the entire process was corrupt, because Trump’s attorneys had specifically targeted the federal courthouse where Cannon is the only judge.
“That thing that Dave pointed to that you, just talked about where she basically saying, ‘OK, so I’m this new judge, appointed here by Trump, Trump came to my court in one of the most naked examples of forum shopping I’ve ever seen, they came here looking for something, I don’t care what this looks like, I’m not just going to rule in his favor, I’m not just going to give him more than he asked for, I’m going to write my opinion that these documents that have been stamped classified, that have been reviewed by the intel community and identified as classified, that the basis of the warrant is that they are classified, they are brought back on the basis of the search and they found them to be classified,'” Heilemann said. “She in her courtroom says, ‘You know what, all of that, and the big bright red letters, classified stamped on the documents,’ she’s like, ‘I’m not sure those documents are classified.'”
“That is literally the Trumpiest thing that a Trump judge has ever written,” Heilemann said. “It’s the pure essence of the kind of judicial corruption that Trump has brought on the court system, and you know, the reason you wouldn’t do it, and the reason we’re stunned by it, you’re a country lawyer and I’m a poor country pumpkin, we used to say, that’s the thing about judges, they often depart from the person who appointed them. You can never count on it. You know, that day has passed now. A lot of these judges, and this one first and foremost, are political hacks. She doesn’t care about the stuff that any other judge would care about.”
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‘Fire Sale Prices’: Biographer Predicts Trump ‘May Soon Be Personally Bankrupt’ and Could See His Assets ‘Liquidated’
Donald Trump, the one-term, twice-impeached ex-president who is running for the White House while facing four criminal indictments that include 91 felony counts across three jurisdictions, “may soon be personally bankrupt,” according to a journalist who has written two books on the man he calls a “self-proclaimed multibillionaire.”
Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist David Cay Johnston, author of “The Making of Donald Trump,” and “The Big Cheat: How Donald Trump Fleeced America and Enriched Himself and His Family,” reported on Tuesday’s decision by Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron. The judge ruled Trump had committed fraud for years, by massively inflating the value of his assets. He ordered Trump’s business certificates revoked and his assets dissolved.
“Donald Trump is no longer in business,” Johnston writes at DC Report. “Worse, the self-proclaimed multibillionaire may soon be personally bankrupt as a result, stripped of just about everything because for years he engaged in calculated bank fraud and insurance fraud by inflating the value of his properties, a judge ruled Tuesday.”
The ex-president’s “gaudy Trump Tower apartment, his golf courses, his Boeing 757 jet and even Mar-a-Lago could all be disposed of by a court-appointed monitor, leaving Trump with not much more than his pensions as a one term president and a television performer,” Johnston wrote.
Trump will likely appeal any ruling, but Johnston, who has chronicled Trump for years, says it’s “highly unlikely” an appeals court will reverse Justice Engoron’s decision.
“Barring a highly unlikely reversal by an appeals court, Trump’s business assets eventually will be liquidated since he cannot operate them without a business license. Retired Judge Barbara Jones was appointed to monitor the assets, an arrangement not unlike the court-supervised liquidation of a bankrupt company or the assets of a drug lord,” Johnston writes. “The various properties are likely to be sold at fire sale prices and certainly not for top dollar when liquidation begins, probably after all appeals are exhausted.”
Johnston last year said “that the former president ‘knowingly’ committed dozens of tax crimes over the past several years,” according to Newsweek. Johnston’s comments in December came “shortly after Democratic-led House Ways and Means Committee held a vote to publicly release Trump’s tax return documents,” and “published a report showing that Trump was not properly audited by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) while he was president. The IRS has a policy requiring that a sitting president is audited each year while in office.”
Trump Goes on Wild Rant Targeting Judge and Attorney General After Being Found Liable for Fraud
Donald Trump unleashed a wild rant Wednesday morning, targeting the New York attorney general and the Manhattan Supreme Court judge in the State of New York’s $250 million civil case against him. The judge on Tuesday declared the ex-president had committed fraud for years in building his real estate empire and ordered his business certificates revoked and holdings dissolved.
Trump has been warned to not make public attacks against or attempts to intimidate witnesses or officers of the court, or prejudice jurors in one of the criminal cases he is currently facing. Two weeks ago, after appearing to not heed those warnings, the Special Counsel prosecuting the ex-president for his alleged efforts to overturn the 2020 election asked the judge presiding over that case to limit his speech.
Wednesday morning, Trump called New York Attorney General Letitia James “Racist.” He called Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron “Deranged,” and “Trump Hating,” alleging he had “made up this crazy ‘KILL TRUMP’ decision, assigning insanely low values to properties.” Trump wrote the judge valued his Mar-a-Lago resort and residence at $18 million, and claimed (in all-caps) “it is worth possibly 100 times that amount.”
The judge, however, according to The Hill, “found Trump consistently overvalued Mar-a-Lago, inflating its value on one financial statement by at least 2,300 percent. The ruling pointed to a Palm Beach County Assessor’s appraisal from 2011-2021, which estimated Mar-a-Lago’s value between $18 million and $27.6 million.”
“In his order,” The New York Times reported Tuesday, “Justice Engoron wrote scathingly about Mr. Trump’s defenses, saying that the former president and the other defendants, including his two adult sons and his company, ignored reality when it suited their business needs. ‘In defendants’ world,’ he wrote, ‘rent-regulated apartments are worth the same as unregulated apartments; restricted land is worth the same as unrestricted land; restrictions can evaporate into thin air.'”
“That is a fantasy world, not the real world,” the judge concluded.
At the end of his diatribe Wednesday, Trump declared: “There is also an IRONCLAD DISCLAIMER CLAUSE!”
Trump Organization Given ‘Corporate Death Penalty’ and Ordered Dissolved by Judge After ‘Persistent Fraud’: Legal Experts
A New York judge has ordered Donald Trump’s business entities in the state of New York, including The Trump Organization, dissolved, and his business certificates canceled, according to legal experts, after ruling that the ex-president for years committed fraud and deceived banks and insurers by inflating the value of his assets.
Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron “has ordered cancellation of all [NYS] business [certificates] of ‘any entity controlled or beneficially owned by Donald J. Trump, Donald Trump, Jr, Eric Trump, Alan Weisselberg, & Jeffrey McConney. An independent receiver will manage the dissolutions,” writes former federal prosecutor Elizabeth de la Vega.
Correct, @AndrewFeinberg. The judge has ordered cancellation of all [NYS] business certs of “any entity controlled or beneficially owned by Donald J. Trump, Donald Trump, Jr, Eric Trump, Alan Weisselberg, & Jeffrey McConney. An independent receiver will manage the dissolutions. https://t.co/mK0vkzQXon
— Elizabeth de la Vega (@Delavegalaw) September 26, 2023
The Messenger reports Judge Engoron’s “blockbuster ruling found that the former president and his business leaders failed to correct course after warned of a ‘propensity to engage in persistent fraud,'” and ordered “a quick timeline to dissolve the Trump Organization and other corporate entities.”
MSNBC legal analyst Lisa Rubin explains that the “New York trial court judge has found that Trump, his adult sons, and Allen Weisselberg engaged in a persistent, years-long fraud through ‘fantasy world’ valuations of core Trump assets, including his own residence and various golf courses and office buildings.”
“His decision not only eliminates the need for trial on that claim, but also orders fairly dramatic relief: the cancellation of New York business certificates for all of the entities named as defendants, ‘as well as any other entity controlled or beneficially owned by the individual defendants found liable,'” she adds.
“In addition to finding that Trump committed fraud, the judge canceled the certificates of various Trump businesses, appointed a former judge as an independent monitor of the Trump Organization, and will appoint receivers to manage the canceled LLCs,” writes former federal prosecutor Renato Mariotti.
“This is a pretty big deal,” he adds.
Professor of law Ryan Goodman, the former Dept. of Defense Special Counsel says Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron ordered the “corporate death penalty” for the Trump organization. Former U.S. Attorney Joyce Vance also used the term “corporate death penalty.”
“The leading Republican candidate has been found liable for sexual assault and fraud, his companies found guilty of fraud, and he’s charged with 91 OTHER felony counts. That he is not dismissed politically out of hand says much more about us, than about him,” observes MSNBC’s Andrew Weissmann, the well-known former lead prosecutor in Robert S. Mueller’s Special Counsel’s Office and former FBI General Counsel.
Attorney, retired U.S. Air Force colonel, and former administrative law judge Moe Davis responding to the news, writes: “Trump is the eponymous fraudster. The name Trump is to fraud what Campell’s is to soup, Kleenex is to tissue, and ping is to pong.”
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