New York Attorney General Letitia James’ Office was forced to request the state Supreme Court judge overseeing her $250 million fraud case against Donald Trump help resolve the failure of the ex-president, his three eldest adult children, and the Trump Organization to hand over documents required for discovery.
James’ Office (OAG) notably “singled out ‘an unexplained drop-off in emails for Ivanka Trump’ as one of the more significant issues,” reports Forbes.
The Attorney General also asked Judge Arthur Engoron to require the Trumps complete a “compliance affidavit.”
“OAG believes this proposed order is necessary given Defendants’ failure to preserve, collect and produce documents and materials in a timely and transparent fashion,” the letter reads. “While we have recently begun receiving documents responsive to our discovery demands, Defendants have provided no timeline for the completion of their production, and more concerningly have not answered questions about the custodians, sources and means used to undertake their production.”
“For months,” the letter continues, her office “has been seeking an explanation for gaps in the productions made by the Trump Organization. Many of these issues date back to the underlying investigation that preceded this action and involved the collection and search of devices and databases.”
The letter also claims the Trumps have “either ignored the inquiries, provided non-substantive responses, or passed the buck to counsel no longer engaged in the case.” She is asking “for Defendants to provide sworn certifications detailing the process they followed for preserving, searching and producing documents in response to OAG discovery notices.”
James’ Office also points to a letter from September of last year in which she expressed concern over Ivanka Trump’s drop in production of documents.
“In the first nine months of 2014, Ms. Trump is on an average of 1,218 emails per month. That drops to just 299 emails in October 2014 with an average of 242 emails through December 2015. In 2016 she averages just 37 emails per month.”
As CNBC explains, the New York Attorney General’s suit “accuses Trump of repeatedly overstating the values of his assets in statements to banks, insurance companies and the IRS in order to obtain better loan and tax terms.”
Separately, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg last month charged Donald Trump with 34 felony violations related to his alleged hush money payoff to a porn star. The charges, Bragg’s office announced last month, are “for falsifying New York business records in order to conceal damaging information and unlawful activity from American voters before and after the 2016 election.”
Trump is also being investigated by a Georgia District Attorney for his efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election. He is being investigated by the U.S. Dept. of Justice’s Special Counsel for his efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election, and for his retention and refusal to return, even after being subpoenaed, hundreds of documents with classified markings removed from the White House and stored at his Mar-a-Lago residence and resort.
Trump’s attorneys are also currently in court fighting a civil lawsuit brought by journalist E. Jean Carroll, who alleges the ex-president raped her in the 1990s, then defamed her when he denied her claims.
Image: Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead
Enjoy this piece?
… then let us make a small request. The New Civil Rights Movement depends on readers like you to meet our ongoing expenses and continue producing quality progressive journalism. Three Silicon Valley giants consume 70 percent of all online advertising dollars, so we need your help to continue doing what we do.
NCRM is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. From unflinching coverage of religious extremism, to spotlighting efforts to roll back our rights, NCRM continues to speak truth to power. America needs independent voices like NCRM to be sure no one is forgotten.
Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure NCRM remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to NCRM, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.
On World AIDS Day, DOJ Says Tennessee Law Discriminates Against Those With HIV
The Department of Justice celebrated World AIDS Day by calling out a Tennessee law that discriminates against people with HIV.
The DOJ released a report Friday that the state’s aggravated prostitution law violated the Americans with Disabilities Act. A person arrested under the aggravated prostitution law is normally changed with a misdemeanor, and faces up to six months in prison and a $500 fine. However, if the person arrested has HIV, the crime becomes a felony, and if they’re convicted, they would face between three and 15 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
“Tennessee’s aggravated prostitution law is outdated, has no basis in science, discourages testing and further marginalizes people living with HIV,” Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division said in a statement. “People living with HIV should not be treated as violent sex offenders for the rest of their lives solely because of their HIV status. The Justice Department is committed to ensuring that people with disabilities are protected from discrimination.”
The law was originally passed in 1991. It classifies HIV-positive sex workers as violent sex offenders, according to WKRN-TV. This means that in addition to the sentence, those convicted are put on the Tennessee Sex Offender Registry, usually for the rest of their lives.
The DOJ advised the state—and particularly, the Shelby County District Attorney’s Office, which enforces the statute most frequently, the department says—to stop enforcing the law. It also calls on the state to repeal the law and remove anyone from the registry when aggravated prostitution is the only offense. If this doesn’t happen, Tennessee could face a lawsuit.
Tennessee isn’t the only state to have laws applying to only those living with HIV. In 1988, Michigan passed a law requiring those with HIV to disclose their status before sex, according to WLNS-TV. The law is still on the books, but was updated in 2019 to lift the requirement if the HIV-positive person has an undetectable viral load. The law now also requires proof that the person set out to transmit HIV.
Laws like these can work against public health efforts, according to the National Institutes of Health. The NIH says these types of laws can make people less likely to be tested for HIV, as people cannot be punished if they didn’t know their status. In addition, critics say, the laws can be used to further discriminate. A Canadian study found a disproportionate number of Black men had been charged under HIV exposure laws.
World AIDS Day was first launched in 1988 by the World Health Organization and the United Nations to highlight awareness of the then-relatively new disease. The theme of the 2023 World AIDS Day is “Let Communities Lead,” calling on community leaders to end the AIDS epidemic.
Featured image by UNIS Vienna/Flickr via Creative Commons License.
John Fetterman Says Bob Menendez ‘Senator for Egypt,’ Should Be Expelled Next
Senator John Fetterman (D-PA) called Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) a “senator for Egypt,” and said he needed to be expelled from Congress, much like the now-former Representative George Santos.
Fetterman appeared on The View on Friday. The live broadcast aired as Santos had been kicked out of the House. When host Joy Behar asked what he thought of the vote, Fetterman immediately replied, “I’m not surprised.”
“If you are going to expel Santos, how can you allow somebody like Menendez to remain in the Senate? And, you know, Santos’ kind of lies were almost, you know, funny,” Fetterman said. “Menendez, I think is really a senator for Egypt, you know, not New Jersey. So I really think he needs to go.”
Host Sunny Hostin then asked if Fetterman was uncomfortable with expelling Menendez, as, like with Santos, he had only been indicted, not convicted.
“He has the right for his day in court and all of it, but he doesn’t have the right to to have those kinds of votes and things. That’s not a right,” he said. “I think we need to make that kind of decision to send him out.”
This September, Menendez was indicted on corruption charges. He is accused of accepting bribes of cash, gold and a car, as well as giving “highly sensitive” information about U.S. Embassy staffers in Cairo to the Egyptian government, according to USA Today. Menendez was forced to step down as chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. He was replaced by Ben Cardin, Maryland’s Democratic senator.
Menendez denied wrongdoing, and has refused to resign, despite many calls to do so from both Democrats and Republicans.
“For years, forces behind the scenes have repeatedly attempted to silence my voice and dig my political grave,” Menendez said in a statement following his indictment. “Since this investigation was leaked nearly a year ago, there has been an active smear campaign of anonymous sources and innuendos to create an air of impropriety where none exists.”
This is not Menendez’s first brush with the law. Menendez was indicted in 2015 on federal corruption charges. He was accused of helping Salomon Melgen, one of Menendez’s campaign contributors, by intervening in a dispute with federal regulators and helping Melgen get a port security contract in the Dominican Republic.
In 2017, Menendez’s trial ended with a hung jury, and the Department of Justice declined to retry the case, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer. Menendez denied all wrongdoing.
House Votes to Boot George Santos 311-114
Representative George Santos (R-NY) has been expelled from Congress following a 311-114 vote; two House members voted “present.”
The expulsion of Santos follows a debate on his fate on Thursday. The vote required a two-thirds majority, or 290 of the 435-seat chamber. This is Santos’ third vote of expulsion; last month, a vote failed with 31 Democrats voting against, according to The Hill.
While the vote was decisive, some notable Republicans voted to save Santos, including House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) and House Majority Whip Tom Emmer (R-MN).
“We’ve not whipped the vote and we wouldn’t,” Johnson told CNN Wednesday. “I trust that people will make that decision thoughtfully and in good faith. I personally have real reservations about doing this, I’m concerned about a precedent that may be set for that.”
Santos himself had harsh words for the House following the vote. Leaving the capitol building, he briefly spoke with reporters.
“The House spoke that’s their vote. They just set new dangerous precedent for themselves,” he told CNN. “Why would I want to stay here? To hell with this place.”
He then cut his time short, telling reporters, “You know what? As unofficially no longer a member of Congress, I no longer have to answer your questions.”
Santos also faces 23 federal charges, which include fraud, money laundering and misuse of campaign funds, according to CNN. He has pleaded not guilty. An Ethics Committee report found evidence that Santos used campaign funds for Botox and even an OnlyFans account.
On Thursday, Santos said he refused to resign because otherwise, “they win.”
“If I leave the bullies take place. This is bullying,” Santos said. “The reality of it is it’s all theater, theater for the cameras and theater for the microphones. Theater for the American people at the expense of the American people because no real work’s getting done.”
Santos also threatened to file a resolution to expel Representative Jamaal Bowman (D-NY). Bowman pulled a fire alarm in September. Bowman pleaded guilty to the misdemeanor charge, and said it was an accident. He said he thought the fire alarm would open a locked door as he rushed to a vote. Bowman paid a $1,000 fine.
There have only been six total expulsions from the House, including Santos. Santos is the only Republican to ever be expelled from the House.
The previous expulsion was in 2002, when Representative James Traficant (D-OH) was expelled after a 420-1 vote. Traficant had been convicted on 10 counts of corruption-related crimes.
Before Traficant, Representative Michael “Ozzie” Myers (D-PA) was the first representative of the modern era to be expelled. Myers got the boot following his conviction for accepting bribes. Myers couldn’t keep out of trouble; in 2022, he was convicted and sentenced to 30 months in prison on charges of election fraud.
Prior to Myers, the only expulsions from the House were in 1861, at the start of the Civil War. Henry Cornelius Burnett (D-KY), John William Reid (D-MO) and John Bullock Clark (Whig-MO) were all expelled for joining the Confederacy.
- OPINION2 days ago
How Mike Johnson Spent the Day Protecting Mike Johnson
- News2 days ago
‘How Fascists Act’: Trump Slammed for Demanding Biden Weaponize Government to Help Him
- News3 days ago
Tuberville Tells Republicans He’s ‘Gonna Get You Out’ of His Military Blockade ‘Mess’
- News2 days ago
‘Running for the Hills!’: Comer’s Hunter Biden Blunder Draws Laughs From Morning Joe
- News2 days ago
‘Chutzpah’: Biden Blasts Johnson ‘Taking Credit’ for $30 Million Project He Voted Against
- News2 days ago
Speaker Mike Johnson to Be Keynote Speaker at Hardline Christian Nationalist Lawmakers’ Gala
- News1 day ago
‘Outrage’: MSNBC Slammed for Canceling ‘Vital Voice’ Mehdi Hasan
- News1 day ago
‘If I Leave They Win’: Santos Claims ‘Bullying’ at Off the Rails Press Conference