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House Democrats Urge IRS Investigation Into Supreme Court ‘Bribes’



Three House Democrats are requesting the IRS “confirm” if gift taxes were paid by billionaire benefactors to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito after reports show both jurists received luxury vacations and other items of worth.

“Today my colleagues and I are calling on the IRS to probe all the free gifts republican judges clarence thomas and sam alito have gotten and whether taxes were ever paid on all these bribes,” U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ) wrote via social media. Congressman Pascrell is the Ranking Member on the Subcommittee on Oversight.

“In light of recent reports, we respectfully request that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) examine whether gifts to Supreme Court Justices have been appropriately reported for tax purposes,” wrote Pascrell, along with Rep. Mike Thompson (D-CA), and Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), in a letter addressed to IRS Commissioner Daniel Werfel. They add: “we urge the IRS to confirm that appropriate filing requirements were made – and appropriate taxes paid – on these gifts.”

READ MORE: ‘Crisis’: Expert Calls SCOTUS ‘Illegitimate’ and Warns Its ‘Judicial Terrorists’ Are a ‘Threat to Democracy’

“Numerous media reports indicate that Justice Clarence Thomas has frequently accepted luxury travel and other gifts from wealthy acquaintances,: the letter continues.

“Among other things, these reports allege that that Justice Thomas sold his mother’s house (and other properties) to Harlan Crow, a billionaire who has also financed several luxury vacations for the Justice and has given Justice Thomas numerous valuable gifts over the past three decades. Reports also state that Justice Thomas’ purchase of a recreational vehicle was partially underwritten by a wealthy friend; that Mr. Crow paid for Justice Thomas’ grandnephew to attend private boarding school; and that Justice Thomas has consistently failed to disclose these arrangements,” the three Democrats say.

“A separate report, published in June of this year, found that Justice Samuel Alito accepted a free vacation from billionaire
political megadonor Paul Singer – and then never reported the trip.”

Pointing to “alarming concerns,” they add, “most prominently, that billionaires with business before the Court are regularly plying Justices with extravagant gifts.”

READ MORE: ‘That Was a Lie’: Another Important Fact in the Anti-LGBTQ Supreme Court Wedding Website Case Was Also False

“But they also raise questions about whether appropriate gift taxes were paid by benefactors to the Justices,” the three Democrats say.

“Given that many of the gifts received by Mr. Thomas clearly exceed the limits, Mr. Crow and other benefactors presumably had an obligation to file IRS Form 709, a United States Gift (And Generation-Skipping Transfer) Tax Return, so as to report any changes to his lifetime gift tax exclusion (and, to the extent that such exclusion had been exhausted, pay any taxes owed on those gifts).”

Nearly every Republican-appointed justice currently sitting on the U.S. Supreme Court has been tinged by alleged ethics scandals or possible perceptions of conflict of interest. Chief Justice John Roberts’ wife has made millions of dollars recruiting attorneys into high-powered law firms, some of which do business before the Supreme Court. Justices Thomas and Alito have received luxury vacations. Justice Alito’s wife leased land to an oil and gas firm while he wrote an opinion restricting the EPA’s work. Justice Neil Gorsuch sold land, just nine days after being confirmed, to the head of a law firm that does business before the court, without disclosing the buyer. The sale of Justice Amy Coney Barrett’s home set off alarms by a watchdog group.

Image via Shutterstock

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Trump Appears to Think Jeb Bush Was President: ‘He Got Us Into the Middle East’



During a rally in South Carolina on Monday, Donald Trump appeared to confuse former Florida GOP Governor Jeb Bush with his brother, former President George W. Bush, while bragging to supporters how he beat him.

Jeb Bush, who was largely considered to be the default Republican Party nominee for the 2016 presidential election when he launched his campaign, dropped out in February of 2016 after the South Carolina primary.

“When I come here, everyone thought Bush was going to win,” Trump said, before claiming he was “up by about 50 points” over Bush. “They thought Bush because Bush was supposedly a military person.”

“You know what he was…He got us into the Middle East,” Trump claimed, wrongly. “How did that work out?”

READ MORE: ‘Isn’t Glock a Good Gun?’ Trump Asks Before Saying He Is Buying One – Campaign Forced to Deny He Did

“But they also thought that Bush might win. Jeb. Remember Jeb? He used the word ‘Jeb,’ he didn’t use the word ‘Bush,’ I said, ‘You mean he’s ashamed of the last name?’ and then they immediately started using the name Bush,” Trump claimed.

The ex-president went on to continue denigrating Jeb Bush, accusing him of bringing his mother to campaign with him.

“Remember,” Trump said, “he brought his mother, his wonderful mother who’s 94 years old and it was pouring and they’re wheeling her around and it’s raining and horrible. I said, ‘Who would do that your mother, 94 years old. How desperate are you to win?”

Media Matters’ Craig Harrington, commenting on Trump’s latest gaffe, observed: “In the past two weeks, Donald Trump has:

– Warned that Joe Biden might start ‘World War 2’
– Confused his 2016 election opponent (Hillary Clinton) with former President Barack Obama
– Confused his 2016 primary opponent (Jeb Bush) with former President George W. Bush.”

Watch the video below or at this link.

READ MORE: ‘Careening’ Toward ‘Risk of Political Violence’: Experts Sound Alarm After Trump Floats Executing His Former General

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Fulton County Judge in Trump Case Orders Jurors’ Identities and Images Must Be Protected



The Fulton County Superior Court judge presiding over Georgia’s RICO, conspiracy, and election interference case against Donald Trump on Monday afternoon ordered the identities and images of all jurors and prospective jurors to remain secret, ordering they may only be referred to by a number.

“No person shall videotape, photograph, draw in a realistic or otherwise identifiable manner, or otherwise record images, statements, or conversations of jurors/prospective jurors in any manner” that would violate a Superior Court rule, Judge Scott McAfee ordered, “except that the jury foreperson’s announcement of the verdict or questions to the judge may be audio recorded.”

“Jurors or prospective jurors shall be identified by number only in court filings or in open court,” he added.

READ MORE: ‘Careening’ Toward ‘Risk of Political Violence’: Experts Sound Alarm After Trump Floats Executing His Former General

Judge McAfee also ordered no juror’s or prospective juror’s identity, “including names, addresses, telephone numbers, or identifying employment information” may be revealed.

MSNBC’s Katie Phang posted the order, and added: “Another important part of the Order: no responses from juror questionnaires or notes about jury selection shall be disclosed, unless permitted by the Court.”

Judge McAfee’s order comes after Donald Trump’s weekend of attacks on his former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark Milley. Trump strongly suggested he should be executed for treason. Trump also strongly suggested he would target Comcast, NBC News, and MSNBC if he wins the 2024 presidential election.

Responding to the news, MSNBC’s Medhi Hasan observed, “We have just normalized the fact that the former president, and GOP presidential frontrunner, is basically a mob boss.”


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‘Isn’t Glock a Good Gun?’ Trump Asks Before Saying He Is Buying One – Campaign Forced to Deny He Did



During a photo shoot at a South Carolina gun shop, Donald Trump posed with and then said he wanted to buy a Glock, asking if it is “a good gun.”

Some say it might be illegal to sell a gun to anyone under criminal indictment, and if he took the gun with him that too might be illegal. It was not clear if, despite saying he would, he actually bought the firearm. The Trump campaign initially said he had, although later backtracked on its claim, and deleted the social media post saying he had.

In the photo op (video below,) Trump posed with several people, including the Republican Attorney General of South Carolina, Alan Wilson, who has held that elected position since 2011.

“Trump’s spokesman announced that Trump bought a Glock today in South Carolina. He even posted video,” wrote former Chicago Tribune editor Mark Jacob. “If Trump took the gun with him, that’s a federal crime since he’s under indictment. There’s also a law against selling a gun to someone under federal indictment like Trump.”

READ MORE: ‘Poof’: White House Mocks Stunned Fox News Host as GOP’s Impeachment Case Evaporates on Live Air

Reuters’ crime and justice reporter Brad Heath posted the federal laws that might apply, as well as Trump’s campaign spokesperson’s clip of the ex-president’s remarks, and his spokesperson saying, “President Trump purchases a @GLOCKInc in South Carolina!”

CNN analyst Stephen Gutowski, who writes about gun policy, added, “It would be a crime for him to actually buy this gun because he’s under felony indictment. Did he actually go through with this purchase?”

“People under felony indictments can’t ‘receive’ new firearms. That also means you can’t buy them,” he also wrote.

MSNBC anchor and legal contributor Katie Phang wrote, “I don’t know if he actually bought the gun. At least it didn’t happen in this video. Also, the Attorney General of South Carolina is in this video. Is he watching Trump commit a crime?”

But some pointed to a federal judge in Texas’ ruling from last year. Reuters reported, a “federal law prohibiting people under felony indictment from buying firearms is unconstitutional.”

Watch the video below or at this link.



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