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‘Undisguised Corruption’: Critics Slam Trump for ‘Selling the White House’ to Big Oil

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Donald Trump is promising CEOs of oil and gas conglomerates he will dismantle the climate protections President Joe Biden has installed, and he will green light their policy wishlists including gutting support for electric vehicles if they donate $1 billion for his presidential campaign, according to reporting from Politico and The Washington Post.

“You all are wealthy enough, he said, that you should raise $1 billion to return me to the White House,” reports The Post, describing Trump’s conversation “with some of the country’s top oil executives at his Mar-a-Lago Club last month.”

“At the dinner, he vowed to immediately reverse dozens of President Biden’s environmental rules and policies and stop new ones from being enacted, according to people with knowledge of the meeting, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe a private conversation,” The Post added. “Giving $1 billion would be a ‘deal,’ Trump said, because of the taxation and regulation they would avoid thanks to him, according to the people.”

Meanwhile, Politico is reporting the “U.S. oil industry is drawing up ready-to-sign executive orders for Donald Trump aimed at pushing natural gas exports, cutting drilling costs and increasing offshore oil leases in case he wins a second term, according to energy executives with direct knowledge of the work.”

READ MORE: ‘Rejection of Trump’: 1 in 5 Indiana GOP Voters Just Cast Their Ballot for Nikki Haley

“The effort stems from the industry’s skepticism that the Trump campaign will be able to focus on energy issues as Election Day draws closer — and worries that the former president is too distracted to prepare a quick reversal of the Biden administration’s green policies. Oil executives also worry that a second Trump administration won’t attract staff skillful enough to roll back President Joe Biden’s regulations or craft new ones favoring the industry, these people added.”

But Trump is promising Big Oil that “on Day 1” of his second term, if he wins the White House in November, they will get at least some of their wishes fulfilled.

“You’ve been waiting on a permit for five years; you’ll get it on Day 1,” Trump told the energy company executives, according to The Post. “At the dinner, Trump also promised that he would scrap Biden’s ‘mandate’ on electric vehicles — mischaracterizing ambitious rules that the Environmental Protection Agency recently finalized, according to people who attended. The rules require automakers to reduce emissions from car tailpipes, but they don’t mandate a particular technology such as EVs. Trump called them ‘ridiculous’ in the meeting with donors.”

The oil industry “got a great return on their investment during Trump’s first term, and Trump is making it crystal clear that they’re in for an even bigger payout if he’s reelected,” Alex Witt, a senior adviser for oil and gas with Climate Power, told The Post.

“With Trump, Witt said, ‘everything has a price.'”

Politico reveals how special interests, including but not limited to Big Oil, see a second Trump administration as an opportunity to literally write their own policies, in part because they don’t believe an incoming Trump administration will attract experts.

“We’re going to have to write exactly what we want, actually spoon feeding the administration. There’s 27-page drafts moving around Washington,” one energy company lawyer said. “Supportive industries are going to have to prop up a second Trump administration with expertise.”

READ MORE: ‘Ghoulish and Repugnant’: Congressman Slammed for ‘Joke’ About JFK Assassination and RFK Jr.

In an interview with Politico, Matthew Davis, vice president of federal policy at the League of Conservation Voters and a former EPA scientist, “said it’s a fairly widespread norm for outside groups to write policy proposals and white papers to inform an incoming administration’s policies. But an industry writing exact language for an incoming president to sign is ‘beyond the pale.'”

“It is not shocking, but perhaps a little bold and gross that the oil industry is writing text for executive orders,” Davis said.

Biden campaign spokesperson James Singer via social media commented, “Donald Trump is selling out Americans and our planets future to big oil. They get huge tax breaks while screwing over consumers and making record profits.”

Critics with backgrounds in government, law, the environment, and communications appeared stunned at the reporting from Politico and The Washington Post.

“Just straight up, undisguised corruption,” Aaron Fritschner, deputy chief of staff for U.S. Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA), remarked, pointing to both articles.

“Trump is putting the power of the presidency up for sale to his rich buddies,” attorney Charles DeLoach remarked.

“The Republican Party is more than just funded by the fossil fuel industry to do its bidding. Increasingly it looks like the fossil fuel industry in the US IS the Republican Party – the most shocking global example of total political capture by the industry,” commented Ed Matthew, Campaigns Director at the independent climate think tank E3G.

“Donald Trump told top oil executives to raise $1 billion for his reelection and said he would immediately reverse environmental rules issued by President Biden. That’s a perfect example of our corrupt system and why campaign finance reform is needed now,” commented Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) President Noah Bookbinder.

Political commentator and former Obama spokesperson Tommy Vietor, pointing to The Post’s report, called it “one of the most overtly corrupt fundraising pitches I have ever heard and underscores the stakes in this election.”

“You won’t read a more important story today,” Philadelphia Inquirer national opinion columnist Will Bunch remarked on The Post’s report. “Trump is willing to literally destroy the planet for $1 billion.”

Strategist and communications director Josh Schwerin, who has worked for Democrats and Democratic groups, remarked: “Quid pro quo. Pay to play. Bribery. You decide the label, the result is the same. Trump is selling the White House to the highest bidders, in this case it’s oil CEOs.”

Climate Power, which calls itself a “strategic communications organization focused on winning the politics of climate,” responded to The Post’s report: “While Joe Biden has take more than 300 climate, conservation, public health, and clean energy actions, Donald Trump is selling our climate future for $1 billion. It’s not just climate champion vs. climate arsonist—it’s decency vs. evil.”

End Climate Silence’s founding director Dr. Genevieve Guenther, an expert in climate communication and fossil-fuel disinformation, remarked, “it’s nauseating on so many different levels, but I have to stay: remember the climate stakes of this election. Biden means we have a chance. Trump means full-bore fossil-fuel development and an incinerated adulthood for the kids in our homes today.”

Richard Stengel, the MSNBC political analyst, former U.S. Undersecretary of State, former TIME Magazine managing editor, and former chief executive of the National Constitution Center seemed to sum up The Post’s report on Trump: “He is the swamp.”

READ MORE: Johnson Demands All Trump Prosecutions Cease, Vows to Use Congress ‘In Every Possible Way’

 

 

 

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‘Giddily Bouncing Off the Walls’: Legal Experts Predict Trump Conviction

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With the jury dismissed for the day after more than four hours of deliberations and a series of notes to Judge Juan Merchan, legal experts are predicting Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg will win his case against Donald Trump, and see jurors convict the ex-president on 34 criminal counts. The ex-president is on trial for allegedly falsifying  business records as a means to cover-up a conspiracy scheme to promote his election to the Presidency by “unlawful means.”

“If I were in the DA’s office I’d be giddily bouncing off the walls right now,” attorney George Conway wrote on social media late Wednesday afternoon.

Minutes later attorney Tristan Snell, who helped secure the New York Attorney General’s $25 million settlement in the Trump University civil case, also predicted a likely Trump conviction:

“BREAKING: Trump jury asks for testimony transcripts, including 3 sections from David Pecker and 1 section from Michael Cohen. VERY bad sign for Trump that David Pecker’s testimony landed with the jury and is something they want to focus on. Jury is likely leaning toward GUILTY.”

READ MORE: ‘No Moral Compass’: Legal Experts Call for Intervention After Alito Refuses to Recuse

National security attorney Brad Moss, appearing on CNN Wednesday afternoon said, “I don’t expect a hung jury but if we get into Friday, or even next week Monday, it certainly would appear that would be more likely what’s going on. But if we have a decision tomorrow, my expectation is it will be a guilty verdict.”

Yale Law School professor of law and professor of philosophy Scott Shapiro offered this short statement:

If Donald Trump is convicted he may be the least surprised, as he appeared to predict a conviction Wednesday morning: “Mother Theresa could not beat these charges,” he told reporters.

The jury returns Thursday at 9:30 AM.

See the videos above or at this link.

READ MORE: ‘Biggest Felony in American History’: Prosecutor’s Closing Argument Against Trump Praised

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‘No Moral Compass’: Legal Experts Call for Intervention After Alito Refuses to Recuse

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U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito has formally refused to recuse from any and all cases involving indicted ex-president Donald Trump or the January 6, 2021 attack on the seat of the American government and American democracy itself. Legal experts and elected Democrats, including the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which has oversight responsibility of the nation’s highest court, have demanded the George W. Bush-appointed jurist’s recusal. Now, some legal experts sat either the Chief Justice or the Senate Judiciary Committee must intervene.

Justice Alito is standing by his now thoroughly debunked story about why a flag associated with the insurrection and the “Stop the Steal” conspiracy was flying at his home just three days before Joe Biden was inaugurated president, and a different, Christian nationalist flag also associated with those efforts to overthrow the government and disenfranchise 81 million Americans was flying at another of his homes.

Responding to a letter sent to Chief Justice John Roberts, Justice Alito in his own letter wrote he was “required” to reject Democrats’ request and not recuse himself, despite numerous legal experts citing both law and precedent, declaring he at least should, or must, recuse himself.

Slate’s Mark Joseph Stern, who writes about the courts and the law, pushed back on Justice Alito’s claim.

READ MORE: ‘Biggest Felony in American History’: Prosecutor’s Closing Argument Against Trump Praised

“Alito reads the Supreme Court’s totally voluntary, non-binding ethics guidelines to impose a seemingly mandatory ‘obligation’ that he sit on any case he’s not recused from.”

Professor of law Steve Vladeck, a CNN contributor, appeared to take that one strep further: “Justice Alito’s insistence in his letters to Congress that he has an ‘obligation to sit’ in the January 6 cases *because* the Code of Conduct says so is an interesting data point for those who have insisted that the Code doesn’t impose *any* requirements on the justices.”

Journalist, author, and foreign policy, national security and political affairs analyst and commentator David Rothkopf observed, “Alito, by saying he should not recuse, demonstrates clearly why he should not be on the court in the first place.”

The New York Times’ Michael Barbaro notes, “As with his statement to the NYT, Alito in his response to Congress never disavows the meaning of the upside down flag that flew over his house for days or its link to the Jan 6th riot/Stop The Steal movement that was at its height during this period. Notably, Alito does deny that link with the Appeal To Heaven flag, but not the upside down flag.”

Saying Alito is “really is a piece of work,” attorney and former FBI special agent Asha Rangappa suggested the justice is flipping the script: “Alito does a Reverse Uno, suggesting that people calling for his recusal are trying to influence the outcome of cases before the Court.”

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), a government watchdog, noted: “That Justice Alito responded *at all* to the demand that he recuse from these cases shows the gravity of his misconduct. But this response changes nothing about the ethical issue here. Since he will not recuse on his own, Chief Justice Roberts should intervene.”

READ MORE: Supreme Court ‘Puppetmaster’ Slammed Over Report He’s Flying Alito’s ‘Theocratic’ Flag Again

Constitutional law scholar and professor of law Eric Segall served up a scathing assessment: “To be clear, if we found a love letter written to Donald Trump from Sam Alito saying, ‘Can’t wait till you’re back in office,’ Alito still would not recuse. He has no moral compass at all.”

The Atlantic’s Ronald Brownstein suggests Democrats will need to take further action: “Alito’s dismissive response, which [Chief Justice John] Roberts is unlikely to challenge in any way, has placed the ball squarely in the court of @SenatorDurbin, @SenSchumer and Senate Democrats.”

CNN’s Edward-Isaac Dovere, posting a screenshot of Donald Trump’s response to the justice’s decision to not recuse, writes: “Trump thanks Alito for not recusing himself from cases pending about Trump after Alito’s being criticized for a flag flying at his house that has been interpreted as a sign of support for Trump.”

See the social media post above or at this link.

READ MORE: ‘Wildly Lawless’: Judge Cannon’s Removal Predicted by Top Legal Scholar

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‘Doesn’t Know Most Basic Rule’: Conway Blasts Cannon Over ‘Perplexed’ Reaction

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U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon suffered more strong criticism, this time from attorney George Conway who blasted the Trump-appointed jurist over a New York Times report in which, he said, she appeared to not understand the basics of a criminal rule.

Judge Cannon is already under fire after likely delaying until after the 2024 presidential election one of the most important cases in American jurisprudence – an ex-president, his party’s presumptive nominee, running again for the White House, charged under the Espionage Act with unlawful removal and retention of some of the nation’s top classified documents, including nuclear secrets.

On Tuesday, a top legal scholar declared a recent Cannon ruling against Special Counsel Jack Smith’s motion to expand the limits on the ex-president’s release, “wildly lawless.” He also predicted it would result in her removal from the Trump Espionage Act case, also known as the classified documents case.

On Wednesday, attorney Conway responded to a portion of that New York Times profile of Judge Cannon.

READ MORE: ‘Liar’: Critics Question Alito’s Integrity After His Insurrection Flag Story Disintegrates

“The portrait that has emerged so far,” The Times reported, “is that of an industrious but inexperienced and often insecure judge whose reluctance to rule decisively even on minor matters has permitted one of the country’s most important criminal cases to become bogged down in a logjam of unresolved issues.”

“Regardless of her motives, Judge Cannon has effectively imperiled the future of a criminal prosecution that once seemed the most straightforward of the four Mr. Trump is facing,” The Times continued. “She has largely accomplished this by granting a serious hearing to almost every issue — no matter how far-fetched — that Mr. Trump’s lawyers have raised, playing directly into the former president’s strategy of delaying the case from reaching trial.”

Conway was responding to an exchange “that occurred last week when Judge Cannon was debating with Jay Bratt, one of the prosecutors, about a common theory of legal liability called the Pinkerton rule. The rule holds that all members of a conspiracy can be held accountable for any crimes committed by their co-conspirators.”

“Mr. Bratt said the rule would likely apply to Mr. Trump’s dealings with his two co-defendants, Walt Nauta and Carlos De Oliveira, employees of Mar-a-Lago who have been accused of conspiring with the former president to obstruct the government’s repeated efforts to retrieve the classified materials,” The Times’ story stated. “Judge Cannon seemed a bit perplexed and asked Mr. Bratt what authority he intended to rely on in applying the Pinkerton rule. Mr. Bratt seemed almost sheepish in having to lay things out for her so simply.”

READ MORE: Supreme Court ‘Puppetmaster’ Slammed Over Report He’s Flying Alito’s ‘Theocratic’ Flag Again

“’So the authority is Pinkerton,’ he said, and launched into a quick explanation.”

Conway, appearing to express shock, wrote: “There are no words for this. Judge Cannon doesn’t know the most basic rule governing criminal conspiracies.”

See the social media post above or at this link.

 

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