"The number of grossly inflated asset values is staggering."
September 21, 2022 9:01 AM   Subscribe

 
The suit seeks $250 million in damages plus barring Trump, Donald Trump Jr., Eric Trump, and Ivanka Trump from serving as an officer of a company in New York. The latter might be the bigger existential threat to the organization.

The real turning point will come when the combined weight of all of these suits and investigations leads to there not being a single bank of any size left that will lend to him or the Trump Organization. The house of cards won't collapse until the revolving door of credit stops.
posted by jedicus at 9:08 AM on September 21 [41 favorites]


Surely this?
posted by bcd at 9:09 AM on September 21 [37 favorites]


The latter might be the bigger existential threat to the organization.

The bigger one is the proposed ban on acquiring commercial real estate or receiving loans from NY-registered financial institutions.
posted by praemunire at 9:10 AM on September 21 [31 favorites]


there not being a single bank of any size left that will lend to him or the Trump Organization

Deutsche will not stop money laundering and similar activities until their executives start going to jail. Probably more than one of them.
posted by praemunire at 9:12 AM on September 21 [40 favorites]


I am an unapologetic Tish James fangirl and when I heard this news I went up and down the hallway here at work telling people and cackling with glee. Literally the only thing that stopped me from immediately blurting it out when I went into one office was that at the moment I walked in, one of the guys in the room was in the process of shotgunning a can of Red Bull. (Why, yes, I work in a tech company, how did you know?)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:13 AM on September 21 [27 favorites]


Finally! Let this break the mysterious logjam preventing indictments in the Justice Department! (I know this isn't a proper indictment)
posted by Bee'sWing at 9:14 AM on September 21 [1 favorite]


Good news and I welcome it, but I'm too tired and jaded to let myself get excited just yet. I want to believe.
posted by Capt. Renault at 9:14 AM on September 21 [41 favorites]


I absolutely love that they're going after his garbage pail kids too.
posted by seanmpuckett at 9:17 AM on September 21 [24 favorites]


Deutsche will not stop money laundering and similar activities until their executives start going to jail. Probably more than one of them.

Deutsche Bank announced in 2021 that it wouldn't do future business with Trump. Their current lender of last resort is Axos Bank; I'm not sure if it's registered with the New York Department of Financial Services or not.
posted by jedicus at 9:20 AM on September 21 [14 favorites]


I'm reading the complaint now - and holy crap, she's going after EVERYTHING. The list of defendants is as follows:
Donald J. Trump
Donald Trump, Jr.
Eric Trump
Ivanka Trump
Allen Weisselberg
Jefferey McConney
The Donald J. Trump Revocable Trust
The Trump Organization, Inc.
Trump Organization LLC
DJT Holdings LLC
DJT Holdings Managing Member
Trump Endeavor 12 LLC
401 North Wabash Venture LLC
Trump Old Post Office LLC
40 Wall Street LLC
Seven Springs LLC
All of them.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:22 AM on September 21 [65 favorites]


YES… HA HA HA… YES!
posted by Going To Maine at 9:27 AM on September 21 [56 favorites]


The house of cards won't collapse until the revolving door of credit stops.

The Russian mafia have had deep pockets, so far. Not just for him and his famiglia.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 9:27 AM on September 21 [4 favorites]


The Russian business and criminal (but I repeat myself) is pretty engaged right now, so this is the worst time for them to go out on a limb for an American accomplice.
posted by Lord Chancellor at 9:29 AM on September 21 [14 favorites]


Who knows if any of this will stick - I figure they wouldn’t go ahead with it if they didn’t have the goods to win, so I’ll risk some optimism.

BUT one thing it’s guaranteed to do is make that whole crew, already unhappy, even unhappier. As miserable people who take delight in making others miserable, too, they deserve every grain of stress, anxiety, anger, and misery their actions bring upon them by way of the law.
posted by Caxton1476 at 9:34 AM on September 21 [24 favorites]


I'm reading the complaint now - and holy crap, she's going after EVERYTHING. The list of defendants is as follows:

It's Tiffany's time to shine!
posted by jedicus at 9:35 AM on September 21 [53 favorites]


The 220-page complaint suggests that Attorney General Letitia James has the goods.
posted by Gelatin at 9:37 AM on September 21 [14 favorites]


There's also this juicy tidbit: "While the lawsuit itself is not a criminal prosecution, James (D) said she has referred possible violations of federal law to the Justice Department and the IRS."
posted by Gelatin at 9:38 AM on September 21 [28 favorites]


Couldn't have happened to a nicer.
posted by gentlyepigrams at 9:40 AM on September 21 [5 favorites]


The 220-page complaint suggests that Attorney General Letitia James has the goods.

There's a reason that before Biden announced his pick for the Supreme Court, there were a lot of people on Twitter saying "Hey Biden, pick Tish!"

There's also a reason that a lot of other people on Twitter responded by saying "NO YOU DON'T YOU LEAVE TISH RIGHT WHERE SHE IS SHE'S WORKING ON SOMETHING AND SHE'S NOT FINISHED YET."
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:45 AM on September 21 [57 favorites]


- The list of defendants is as follows [...] Allen Weisselberg

- [...] complaint suggests that Attorney General Letitia James has the goods

A month ago, Weisselberg (former Trump Org. CFO) pleaded guilty to tax fraud (all 15 charges) and agreed to testify against the company. Weisselberg, who is seen as one of Mr Trump's most loyal business associates, worked for the former president for almost 50 years. He left his job as chief financial officer which he had held since 2005 when he was arrested last year. (BBC)
posted by Iris Gambol at 9:49 AM on September 21 [19 favorites]


Reminder that when/if he announces his candidacy, he won’t be able to use his pilfer his Super PAC to pay his lawyers.
posted by General Malaise at 9:51 AM on September 21 [5 favorites]


I watched the press conference and it was so great to hear her say that white collar crime is not victimless crime. At the end she did something I’ve never seen before. She listed the names of many many people had worked on the investigation. That was so great and so inspiring and I’m ready to have her children. As it happens, I’m infertile but I’m a total fan girl now. I kind of was before but I just had never actually heard her speak. I loved how people would ask her leading questions and she was super matter-of-fact and did not go for the bait. We have needed some good news for so so long. I am going to enjoy this moment for now, even though I do not know exactly where it will lead. If you get a win, even a temporary, partial, or interim win, you get to celebrate.
posted by Bella Donna at 9:53 AM on September 21 [36 favorites]




I'd guess that another longer-term factor at play here as this litigation unfolds is that when your reputation includes being highly notorious for refusing to pay suppliers, contractors, and employees, it reduces the number of top-tier civil litigators banging on your door to take your case.

No sense in racking up billable hours that can't be billed for.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 9:58 AM on September 21 [5 favorites]


Looks like that Saudi golf money came in at just the right time.
posted by JoeZydeco at 9:59 AM on September 21 [8 favorites]


I will allow myself to be cautiously optimistic. Should this fall through, I will forgive myself for the cautious optimism. Yes, I have developed this as mantra to use when hearing news of Trump’s legal troubles.
posted by vorpal bunny at 10:00 AM on September 21 [11 favorites]


Oh my goodness, do NOT play a drinking game where you read this and take a drink every time you see the words fraud or misleading. You'll be passed out by page 20.
posted by Catblack at 10:01 AM on September 21 [14 favorites]


She listed the names of many many people had worked on the investigation.

All the actual lawyering in these kinds of scenarios is done by those people; James provides resources (in this case, what must have been an enormous amount relative to the office's overall resources), makes the very highest-level strategic decisions, and runs political interference, which is of course its own challenging work. Her own experience as an actual litigator doing actual litigation is fairly limited and dated.

The NYAG's lost some of her most ambitious cases, which is not necessarily a knock against the office's lawyering--you have to take some cases you won't win, and she at least picked cases worth fighting over--but it will be interesting to see how this plays out. The former guy & co. will have worse representation than, say, Exxon did (*), but a greater willingness to be openly seen to flout norms and break the laws.

(*) Even with the feds, on any significant case the government brings against a big corporation, the corporation will have at least three times the lawyers and five times the resources. The disparity is even greater even with a relatively large and well-funded state AG's office.
posted by praemunire at 10:14 AM on September 21 [13 favorites]


The former guy & co. will have worse representation than, say, Exxon did (*), but a greater willingness to be openly seen to flout norms and break the laws.

Oh, even there that's starting to bite him in the ass....!

The judge hired as the "Special Master" in the Mar-A-Lago files review situation is already calling bullshit on Trump's lawyers statements regarding whether given documents were declassified, and is indicating he will have NO patience with them trying to draw out the proceedings.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:19 AM on September 21 [11 favorites]


The judge hired as the "Special Master" in the Mar-A-Lago files review situation is already calling bullshit on Trump's lawyers statements regarding whether given documents were declassified, and is indicating he will have NO patience with them trying to draw out the proceedings.

Yes, but so much of the day-to-day proceedings of a litigation depend on at least a modest degree of good faith by the lawyers doing the work and some fear of the judge's opinion. If you lack both of these, you have a solid advantage. Dearie is an extremely experienced senior federal judge in the EDNY (NYC minus Manhattan) and the most likely kind of judge to run a tight ship. But most judges (outside of DE Chancery, which is its own world) prefer not to be seen to be policing litigation behavior too closely, especially as it's time-consuming and difficult to do. So...we'll see.
posted by praemunire at 10:24 AM on September 21 [3 favorites]


After skimming through that document, where the hell is Jared Kushner in all this bullshit?
posted by njohnson23 at 10:33 AM on September 21 [25 favorites]


I, for one, am happy to imagine Steve Bannon's infamous quote about flooding the zone with shit play itself out with Trump in the role of "the media" and various Democratic attorneys and court officials doling out the shit for once. I get that the end may not be as satisfying as I would like. But most anything that hampers That Fucking Guy's ability to continue his criming (also known as his particular brand of business as usual) is alright by me.
posted by Bella Donna at 10:34 AM on September 21 [7 favorites]


(Okay, that simile doesn't really make sense but try to roll with it. Thank you.)
posted by Bella Donna at 10:35 AM on September 21 [9 favorites]


Can someone explain why this is "civil lawsuit" and not a criminal prosecution? Fraud is still illegal, I hope.
posted by meowzilla at 10:37 AM on September 21 [3 favorites]


In discussing this with others, someone tipped me off to a fancy-pants candle company called That Gay Guy candle company. They have a list of candle scents they offer - but they also specialize in candles with sassy and/or political punditry sayings, and you can customize the scent of the candle within.

I just ordered this particular candle, with the "bonfire" scent.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:39 AM on September 21 [9 favorites]


Can someone explain why this is "civil lawsuit" and not a criminal prosecution?

Tish James is not able to file a criminal suit, I have heard. However, she did also mention she turned over some info to both the IRS and the DOJ, so we may be hearing things from them soon.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:40 AM on September 21 [3 favorites]


It's hard to get excited about this. The crimes were committed years before Trump ran, and appear to be common in real estate development. If we had robust enforcement of white collar crime it's possible Trump never would have been able to run or be elected. I hope a conviction is achieved and it energizes prosecutors to go after enough criminals to reduce the amount of white collar crime committed in the future.
posted by hermanubis at 10:40 AM on September 21 [19 favorites]


Can someone explain why this is "civil lawsuit" and not a criminal prosecution? Fraud is still illegal, I hope.

The New York AG has criminal jurisdiction in only a limited number of areas. But Executive Law 63(12) is a robust tool for enforcing against any manner of civil fraud (e.g., unlike at the federal level, 63(12) is used in both securities and consumer fraud enforcement).
posted by praemunire at 10:46 AM on September 21 [12 favorites]


As much as I want to believe that this will be the thing that brings those ******** down, I've been gradually losing hope in a lot of things over the past year and I am half convinced that this is just another thing that will end up failing.

I just ordered this particular candle, with the "bonfire" scent.

OH MY, they have a Wegner's Groceries candle. Shut up and take ALL my money, That Gay Guy cancel company.
posted by theBigRedKittyPurrs at 10:50 AM on September 21 [1 favorite]


FTFineComplaint:
746. Finally, Defendants sought to conceal their fraud through repeated failures to provide documents in response to subpoenas from OAG.

Turns out, OAG needed TWO subpoenas to get Trump to properly certify his response to the subpoena, that he's provided all responsive records he has..

And now, one of the things seized by the FBI at Mar-a-lago?
"the seized materials include . . . correspondence related to taxes and accounting information." Trump v. United States, 22 Civ. 81294, Order, Docket 64 (S.D. Fla. Sept. 5, 2022)
So, there's that
posted by mikelieman at 11:01 AM on September 21 [10 favorites]


After skimming through that document, where the hell is Jared Kushner in all this bullshit?

I think I read she's still working on a separate case against him that's pending.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:19 AM on September 21 [17 favorites]


Ah! Well. Nevertheless,
posted by babelfish at 11:20 AM on September 21 [2 favorites]


We need a popcorn emoji on MF.
posted by Artful Codger at 11:23 AM on September 21 [3 favorites]


Oh my goodness, do NOT play a drinking game where you read this and take a drink every time you see the words fraud or misleading. You'll be passed out by page 20.

Ask you how you know? ;)
posted by jenfullmoon at 11:27 AM on September 21 [1 favorite]


Artful Codger: We need a popcorn emoji on MF.

🍿
posted by Too-Ticky at 11:28 AM on September 21 [5 favorites]


Also this:
VI. PRAYER FOR RELIEF

WHEREFORE, Plaintiff respectfully requests that the Court enter an order and judgement granting the following relief [...]

A. Cancelling any certificate filed under and by virtue of provisions of section one hundred thirty of the General Business Law for the corporate entities name as defendants and any other entity controlled by or beneficially owned by Donald J. Trump which participated in or benefited from the foregoing fraudulent scheme;
to me -- who isn't a law-talking-person -- appears to mean that they're putting the corporate entities down like a cattle herd with hoof-and-mouth disease....
posted by mikelieman at 11:29 AM on September 21 [3 favorites]


I keep thinking that if Trump had just been content to not run for president, we'd all be better off and he'd presumably be happier as a mid-range grifter. However that timeline isn't available.
posted by Nancy Lebovitz at 11:34 AM on September 21 [41 favorites]


...leads to there not being a single bank of any size left that will lend to him or the Trump Organization.

Cryptobros to the rescue? I mean, the Venn diagram of scams, between crypto and Trump, is as such a perfect circle as atoms have ever had to be arranged. So, a match made in one of those levels of hell.
posted by Thorzdad at 11:36 AM on September 21 [3 favorites]


Honestly, the litigation will probably outlive The Donald. This won’t be a quick trial, by any means., and I doubt any of the Trumps will see the inside of a jail cell, no matter how much they deserve to.

I would happily be proven wrong, though.
posted by JustSayNoDawg at 11:40 AM on September 21 [3 favorites]


@TristanSnell:
"Trump has already obliterated any defense he could bring against the NY AG case -- by pleading the Fifth, he effectively admitted liability on *ALL* 440 questions the AG's office asked when they deposed Trump last month."
posted by JoeZydeco at 11:42 AM on September 21 [13 favorites]


"Trump has already obliterated any defense he could bring against the NY AG case -- by pleading the Fifth, he effectively admitted liability on *ALL* 440 questions the AG's office asked when they deposed Trump last month."
I am not a lawyer but that seems like a kind of a novel take on the Fifth Amendment.

If there's any meat to the claim, could someone knowledgeable explain further? (Or even, for that matter, explain further how the Fifth Amendment, which protects against self-incrimination in criminal trials, applies at all to civil actions..)
posted by Nerd of the North at 11:45 AM on September 21 [6 favorites]


Cryptobros to the rescue?

Well, maybe, but the top-flight law firms Trump is going to need probably won't accept crypto, and the only ones who will will be incompetents, grifters, and incompetent grifters, so Trump's situation will not change.
posted by Gelatin at 11:45 AM on September 21


If I rob a bank, and get caught, I’m indicted, arraigned, and if I can’t make bail, I go to jail. Clearly this long document outlines bank robbery, etc. via fraud. So why no perp walk, mug shots? Oh… white male crime… It’s the least they could do to give us some satisfaction.
posted by njohnson23 at 11:45 AM on September 21 [5 favorites]


Honestly, the litigation will probably outlive The Donald. This won’t be a quick trial, by any means., and I doubt any of the Trumps will see the inside of a jail cell, no matter how much they deserve to.

As the suit is civil, even a finding 100% against the Trumps in this action won't send them to jail. (Information discovered during this investigation just might, though.)

I am sure the suit potentially outliving Trump is a feature, not a bug. It is going after not just Trump but the Trump organization and crooked offspring.
posted by Gelatin at 11:47 AM on September 21 [9 favorites]


So why no perp walk, mug shots?
Perp walks are not a thing in civil suits (unless you piss off an oil company or something..)
posted by Nerd of the North at 11:48 AM on September 21 [9 favorites]


If there's any meat to the claim, could someone knowledgeable explain further? (Or even, for that matter, explain further how the Fifth Amendment, which protects against self-incrimination in criminal trials, applies at all to civil actions

I am not a lawyer, but my understanding is that juries in criminal trials are instructed not to attach an inference of guilt to pleading the Fifth, but juries in civil trials are allowed to.
posted by Gelatin at 11:49 AM on September 21 [22 favorites]


I'm still holding out hope, however faint, that we might yet get to see Donald Trump dragged out of the cheap motel he fled to, in his underwear, bellowing in wordless panic and impotent rage, like Jerry Lundegaard from the end of Fargo.

I know it'll never happen, but the image warms me on cold nights.
posted by sotonohito at 11:50 AM on September 21 [34 favorites]


...but the top-flight law firms Trump is going to need probably won't accept crypto...

For the life of me, I cannot understand why a top-flight lawfirm would go anywhere near representing Trump. Dude infamously does not pay his bills, and, well, it’s Trump and everything that entails.
posted by Thorzdad at 11:52 AM on September 21 [2 favorites]


I look forward to the period following the November election, when (I hope) the Federal indictments are announced. The best option is that during the run-up to the elections, when a "quiet period" is traditional, there is furious work happening in the background to then deliver a raft of charges against Trump and those in the Trump orbit.
posted by Midnight Skulker at 12:05 PM on September 21 [3 favorites]


The house of cards won't collapse until the revolving door of credit stops.

The Russian mafia have had deep pockets, so far. Not just for him and his famiglia.


But what's the payoff for the Russian mafia if they continue lending the Trumps money? Besides being insolvent, Trump is no longer in office, is unlikely ever to retake the White House, no longer has a stash of classified information, and the temperature of the various pots of legal hot water he is in is rapidly increasing. He's incompetent and insolvent businessman who will never repay their money and isn't even a useful political tool anymore. I suspect even the Russians are going to cut him off.
posted by orange swan at 12:07 PM on September 21 [11 favorites]


is unlikely ever to retake the White House,

Please oh please
posted by Melismata at 12:10 PM on September 21 [8 favorites]


But what's the payoff for the Russian mafia if they continue lending the Trumps money?

Keep him out of jail long enough to continue destroying America. Keep paying the Republicans to rig our elections, so that Trump gets installed again and Putin/mafia can keep destroying democracies and setting up local kleptocracies everywhere.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 12:13 PM on September 21 [8 favorites]


The total number of various high level investigations and serious lawsuits against this dude is just astounding. It boggles the mind.
posted by Liquidwolf at 12:15 PM on September 21 [1 favorite]


I am not a lawyer, but my understanding is that juries in criminal trials are instructed not to attach an inference of guilt to pleading the Fifth, but juries in civil trials are allowed to.

Correct. You are also constrained in terms of your ability to offer evidence related to the subject of the question.
posted by praemunire at 12:24 PM on September 21 [6 favorites]


...no longer has a stash of classified information...

I think it would be naive for anyone to assume TrumpCo hadn’t made oodles of copies of those documents and stashed them all over the place. I can also very easily imaging that some of those copies would have made their way into Russian hands already. So, maybe further bankrolling Trump would be payment for a job well done?
posted by Thorzdad at 12:25 PM on September 21 [3 favorites]


For the life of me, I cannot understand why a top-flight lawfirm would go anywhere near representing Trump. Dude infamously does not pay his bills, and, well, it’s Trump and everything that entails.

They could require a very large retainer deposit greater than or equal to their projected billings for the initial phase, invoice monthly and pay those invoices out of the retainer, require an additional deposit prior to commencing work on the next phase, etc. And they could withdraw as counsel if an additional deposit for the next phase wasn't made timely. I'm not saying they would do this, or that Trump would agree to doing this, but it is certainly possible.
posted by slkinsey at 12:25 PM on September 21 [2 favorites]


Trump (actually, Save America PAC) pre-paid one his new attorneys, Chris Kise, $3 million for him to come on board. Kise also left his firm to take Trump as a client, because basically no Big Law firm will touch him, not even Jones Day.
posted by General Malaise at 12:35 PM on September 21 [10 favorites]



Can someone explain why this is "civil lawsuit" and not a criminal prosecution? Fraud is still illegal, I hope.


You are not alone. The answer to your question lies with Alvin Bragg, who decided not to pursue criminal charges. Remember when the prosecutors resigned in protest? This is why the case is proceeding as a civil case.
posted by Chuffy at 12:39 PM on September 21 [16 favorites]


You are also constrained in terms of your ability to offer evidence related to the subject of the question.

As a defendant, do you mean? In other words, of one pleads the Fifth, they are restricted from offering evidence to counter the plaintiff's contentions?
posted by Gelatin at 12:40 PM on September 21 [1 favorite]


Steve Bannon's infamous quote about flooding the zone with shit
(Okay, that simile doesn't really make sense but try to roll with it. Thank you.)


I will not be rolling in a shit-flooded zone. Thank you.
posted by Greg_Ace at 12:52 PM on September 21 [2 favorites]


As a defendant, do you mean? In other words, of one pleads the Fifth, they are restricted from offering evidence to counter the plaintiff's contentions?

The rules tend to be complicated and vary by jurisdiction, but the restrictions will generally be on the narrow topic of the exact question(s) not answered, not on the whole claim.
posted by praemunire at 12:55 PM on September 21 [3 favorites]


I will not be rolling in a shit-flooded zone.

Official confirmation that greg_ace is not a dog.
posted by praemunire at 12:56 PM on September 21 [17 favorites]


For the life of me, I cannot understand why a top-flight lawfirm would go anywhere near representing Trump.

To give meaning to the idea that all are presumed innocent until proven guilty. a principle more important than any single case.

Or, as Bolt put it:

ROPER So now you'd give the Devil benefit of law!
MORE Yes. What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil?
ROPER I'd cut down every law in England to do that!
MORE Oh? And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned round on you-where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat? This country's planted thick with laws from coast to coast-man's laws, not God's-and if you cut them down - and you're just the man to do it - d'you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then? Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake.
posted by BWA at 12:59 PM on September 21 [23 favorites]


So they finally found the good stuff on Hunter Biden's laptop...
posted by chavenet at 1:04 PM on September 21 [1 favorite]


Official confirmation that greg_ace is not a dog.

Dammit, I had to go and open my big mouth...
posted by Greg_Ace at 1:04 PM on September 21 [3 favorites]


To give meaning to the idea that all are presumed innocent until proven guilty. a principle more important than any single case.

And yet there's such a long line of people in need of good lawyers willing to apply that principle. I don't think we'd see these hypothetical high-minded defenders skipping that line and going straight to the guy who would happily tear up the rule of law and eat it gratuitously in front of a mob if principle were really the reason.
posted by trig at 1:08 PM on September 21 [8 favorites]


The total number of various high level investigations and serious lawsuits against this dude is just astounding. It boggles the mind.

And yet still absolutely no consequences. It's almost as if the rich and powerful are above the law.
posted by thoughtful_jester at 1:21 PM on September 21 [5 favorites]


While a belief in the principle of innocent-until-proven-guilty might lead an attorney to consider representing Trump in court, and even his notorious unwillingness to pay his bills might not be an obstacle to providing him with legal service for a sufficiently prosperous law firm...even then, I think that as an attorney, you'd have to think long and hard about the odds of Trump being willing to lie low, and stay quiet, to take and follow your instructions. And about how many of Trump's lawyers have ended up needing to find legal representation themselves in the wake of working for him.
posted by Ipsifendus at 1:22 PM on September 21 [5 favorites]


Is there a succinct web page/site listing all of the pending suits against Trump & Etc?
posted by user92371 at 1:23 PM on September 21


The best and most fun reason to take on Trump’s defense is as an excuse to do a dramatic flame-out speech à la Al Pacino, in And Justice For All
… and ladies and gentlemen of the jury, the prosecution is NOT going to get this man today.
No.
Cuz I’M GONNA GET HIM!!!
My client, President Donald J. Trump, should go RIGHT TO FUCKING JAIL….
posted by wabbittwax at 1:25 PM on September 21 [2 favorites]


user92371, this seems like a good starting point: Tracking Trump’s ongoing investigations, civil suits and countersuits (Zachary B. Wolf, CNN)
posted by kristi at 1:27 PM on September 21 [4 favorites]


I'm shocked that anyone believes this is going to cause Trump any problems.
posted by chaz at 1:49 PM on September 21 [5 favorites]


It's almost as if the rich and powerful are above the law.

Ah, but per the suit, the word “rich” is doing a lot of heavy lifting here.
posted by armeowda at 1:57 PM on September 21 [5 favorites]


armeowda Well, I keep hearing people say Trump is really double top secret broke. But I keep SEENG Trump flying all over the world, staying in first class hotels (and eating fucking McDonalds), making business deals that involve more money than I will make in a dozen lifetimes, and so on.

If that's being not-rich, sign me up for being not-rich. Minus the McDonalds of course.
posted by sotonohito at 2:01 PM on September 21 [4 favorites]


this seems like a good starting point: Tracking Trump’s ongoing investigations, civil suits and countersuits

Ironically, it was out of date as of yesterday. Under the "pending individual lawsuits", they refer to E. Jean Carroll's defamation suit; that's actually over a he-said she-said situation. She claimed in a book that he assaulted her in a Macy's changing room or somewhere similar; he denies it and called her a liar. The assault happened in the 1990s and it was already too late to file charges for the assault itself, so she sued for defamation when he said she lied because at least it was something.

However - NY Governor Kathy Hochul recently passed a law called the "Adult Survivors Act". The practical upshot of that is: for one year, the statute of limitations is going to be waived on sexual assault charges. So if you were raped in 1986, and you wanna try to file charges today, now you can. And - Carroll has said that she plans to file a suit for the sexual assault itself.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 2:03 PM on September 21 [28 favorites]


Allen Weisselberg is giving them the goods.
posted by ShakeyJake at 2:15 PM on September 21 [5 favorites]


I keep hearing people say Trump is really double top secret broke. But I keep SEENG Trump flying all over the world, staying in first class hotels (and eating fucking McDonalds), making business deals that involve more money than I will make in a dozen lifetimes, and so on.

When you owe the bank $10,000, it’s your problem. When you owe the bank $10,000,000, it’s the bank’s problem.
posted by Thorzdad at 2:16 PM on September 21 [13 favorites]


Well, I keep hearing people say Trump is really double top secret broke. But I keep SEENG Trump flying all over the world, staying in first class hotels (and eating fucking McDonalds), making business deals that involve more money than I will make in a dozen lifetimes, and so on.

I refer you again to the lawsuit, the whole point of which is that he unjustly enriches himself by lying about already having billions of dollars. He gets the big business deals by pretending he can afford the loans.

“Conspicuous consumption” certainly impressed the low-information, high-greed voter base in 2016, but it does not in fact equate to “net worth.”
posted by armeowda at 2:17 PM on September 21 [5 favorites]


Litigation Tracker: Pending Criminal and Civil Cases Against Donald Trump at Just Security is also out of date, but has case details through last month

Involvement in 4,095 lawsuits over the past three decades, at this USA Today interactive tracker. You've viewed all of Trump's 4,095 lawsuits we've found so far! Reporters continue to review state and federal court files. Catch: for "presumptive Republican presidential nominee and his businesses," charting 1976 - 2016
posted by Iris Gambol at 2:25 PM on September 21 [4 favorites]


Well, if you're in a criminal trial and you wish to use your fifth amendment rights to prevent you from self-incriminating, the jury can't hold that against you. You're not offering a defense—you're just declining to help the prosecutor make their case.

During a civil trial, it's the preponderance of evidence (51%) that determines liability, not the beyond the reasonable doubt that criminal trials use. In addition, since both of you are trying to make your case, taking the fifth means you're not countering the plaintiff's argument.

"This man hit my car and owes me money."
"I plead the fifth."

They're going to find you liable because you didn't present an argument that convinced them you weren't liable. You probably fear going to prison more than paying a lot of money, but thems the breaks.
posted by Lord Chancellor at 2:25 PM on September 21 [25 favorites]


The suit seeks $250 million in damages plus barring Trump, Donald Trump Jr., Eric Trump, and Ivanka Trump from serving as an officer of a company in New York.
Somewhere in the back of Trump's brain, neurons spring into action: "Wait, aren't there a couple others I could use? Symphony, or something? And... Duke?"
posted by Flunkie at 2:29 PM on September 21 [5 favorites]


"and the only ones who will will be incompetents, grifters, and incompetent grifters, so Trump's situation will not change." - Gelatin
I have to admit, I wondered if part of the NHYAG strategy was to holdoff until TFG had burned through all the competent reps....

"Somewhere in the back of Trump's brain, neurons spring into action" - Flunkie
Would this be "Citation needed" or "Assumes facts not in evidence"?

May justice be done...
posted by Mutant Lobsters from Riverhead at 2:46 PM on September 21 [1 favorite]


However that timeline isn't available.

The Peripheral is scheduled to premiere on October 21, 2022 on Amazon Prime Video.
posted by neuron at 2:47 PM on September 21 [6 favorites]


From jedicus's link to an article about Axos Financial, the company that has stepped up to the plate to lend money to Trump now that he's too toxic even for Deutsche Bank ("Brinker" here being an ex-employee of Axos who had been hired "to review the bank’s loan portfolios for its Governance, Risk Management and Compliance Department"):
Brinker accused the bank of intentionally understaffing its compliance department “in an effort to conceal its failure to comply with federal banking regulations” and contends she was terminated in January 2021 while completing a report highlighting deficiencies at Axos including “significant issues in the bank’s anti-money laundering practices.”
Go figure.

Also:
A spokesman for Axos, who asked not to be identified, said the bank disputes Brinker’s allegations
Always a good sign that a company is on the up-and-up when its spokesman asks not to be identified.
posted by Flunkie at 3:10 PM on September 21 [19 favorites]


And yet there's such a long line of people in need of good lawyers willing to apply that principle. I don't think we'd see these hypothetical high-minded defenders skipping that line and going straight to the guy who would happily tear up the rule of law and eat it gratuitously in front of a mob if principle were really the reason.

You never know. A Jewish lawyer for the ACLU defended the Nazis of Skokie.
posted by BWA at 3:22 PM on September 21


Can we get all the kids and dad to turn on each other and start having public spiteful tit-for-tat tell-all meltdowns? They should shut their mouths and let the lawyers handle it, but they are Trumps.
posted by ctmf at 3:31 PM on September 21 [5 favorites]


Oh, God. TFG and his family are going to turn this into a reality show, aren't they.
posted by RakDaddy at 3:39 PM on September 21 [2 favorites]


Ironically, it was out of date as of yesterday. Under the "pending individual lawsuits", they refer to E. Jean Carroll's defamation suit; that's actually over a he-said she-said situation. She claimed in a book that he assaulted her in a Macy's changing room or somewhere similar; he denies it and called her a liar. The assault happened in the 1990s and it was already too late to file charges for the assault itself, so she sued for defamation when he said she lied because at least it was something.

FWIW, IIRC E. Jean Carroll KEPT THE DRESS with Donald Trump's spooge on it, and a significant part of the litigation is getting him to provide a sample to test.

It appears to be still proceeding, with a new deadline coming up.

"The parties' deadline for making their expert disclosures under Rule 26(a)(2) is extended until October 14, 2022"

Docket of Carroll v. Trump (1:20-cv-07311) District Court, S.D. New York
posted by mikelieman at 3:45 PM on September 21 [8 favorites]


Oh, God. TFG and his family are going to turn this into a reality show, aren't they.
Coming this fall on CBS: "The Defendant"

(made up, as far as I know. but would you really rule it out?)
posted by Nerd of the North at 3:45 PM on September 21 [1 favorite]


Trump would probably insist that it be called something more like "President Donald J. Trump Presents: The Defendant, President Donald J. Trump, Who By The Way Is Totally Innocent, A President Donald J. Trump Production"
posted by Flunkie at 4:15 PM on September 21 [9 favorites]


At some point, I'd really like one of these investigations to get the traction to actually create consequences. So far, it seems mostly it's former lawyers going under the bus and losing their licenses, which is more of a funny side show compared to what I want to see happening.
posted by Dip Flash at 4:37 PM on September 21 [2 favorites]


A Jewish lawyer for the ACLU defended the Nazis of Skokie.

"I hate Illinois Nazis."
posted by kirkaracha at 4:57 PM on September 21 [9 favorites]


I love it when these corrupt, evil, incompetent clowns have a bad day. And, boy howdy, Trump's day just got a whole lot worse!
posted by revmitcz at 5:12 PM on September 21 [21 favorites]


I love it when these corrupt, evil, incompetent clowns have a bad day. And, boy howdy, Trump's day just got a whole lot worse!

It's triply bad good when it's per curiam!
posted by mikelieman at 5:35 PM on September 21


It’s not clear to me why Trump would need top-flight lawyers. He’s been employing bozos for years and nothing has stuck.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 5:41 PM on September 21 [6 favorites]


For those who might not have clicked through to revmitcz's link:

The 11th Circuit is allowing the DOJ to resume their probe of the classified documents.

The ruling is online. As far as I can tell, the three judges were unanimous.

I believe those judges are Robin Rosenbaum, appointed by Barack Obama, Britt Grant, appointed by Donald Trump, and Andrew Brasher, appointed by Donald Trump.
posted by kristi at 6:03 PM on September 21 [6 favorites]


Trump's day just got a whole lot worse!

That's sick. We take care to note that this is just for the stay, not for the merits [proceeds to demolish all the merits arguments, even after saying it's already enough]
posted by ctmf at 6:03 PM on September 21 [2 favorites]


That's sick. We take care to note that this is just for the stay, not for the merits [proceeds to demolish all the merits arguments, even after saying it's already enough]

p. 22
Consequently, the United States is sub-
stantially likely to succeed in showing that the district court abused
its discretion in exercising jurisdiction over Plaintiff’s motion as it
concerns the classified documents.
Yes, they're not talking about anything other but the classified documents. But everything they said applies to everything else.

Here's what I want to know. How long is the rest of the District Court's order going to stand assuming the DOJ already opened up an investigation into the criminal charges stemming from NY OAG's complaint which we learned about earlier today. FPOTUS seems to be so very, very invested in them not being used in any criminal investigation, and AFAICT the District Court's order to not use them in a criminal investigation still stands.
posted by mikelieman at 6:17 PM on September 21 [2 favorites]


It’s not clear to me why Trump would need top-flight lawyers. He’s been employing bozos for years and nothing has stuck.

Well the fail son went and got himself elected president and suddenly all the shady shit got put under a magnifying glass. See for example the ban on operating a charity.
posted by Mitheral at 6:23 PM on September 21 [3 favorites]


So, the thread on the Mar A Lago document odyssey is over here, this is about the NYC civil lawsuit.

I know they all kind of blend together at this point.
posted by hippybear at 6:25 PM on September 21 [9 favorites]


It's also a big neon sign for Cannon: not going to back you up in this "wink wink we're just going to make Trump win, right?" nonsense.
posted by ctmf at 6:25 PM on September 21 [8 favorites]


I know they all kind of blend together at this point.

Oops, yeah.
posted by ctmf at 6:29 PM on September 21


(sorry if my link derailed the thread, just figured if you're interested / excited about this, you'd also be about that)
posted by revmitcz at 6:31 PM on September 21 [3 favorites]


Whoops! Thanks, hippybear - I'll go post my comment over there. [ / abashed ]
posted by kristi at 6:36 PM on September 21 [1 favorite]


It’s not clear to me why Trump would need top-flight lawyers. He’s been employing bozos for years and nothing has stuck.

I think this is a bit like saying "Well, why wouldn't Putin win easily in Ukraine? The Russian military hasn't failed yet under his watch." I think (and yeah, hope) that Trump's much cited former ability to roll out from under was largely because he hasn't had faced this level of determination and resourcefulness in his opponents before.
posted by AdamCSnider at 7:17 PM on September 21 [4 favorites]


I'm pretty sure any opponent who hasn't been someone he could schmooze on a golf course onto his side was an unpaid contractor who didn't have the money to face down T's lawyers in court. He's really never been held in check before to any level, and there is so much happening to him right now, I'm amazed he isn't on some kind of watch.

Who am I kidding? Nobody cares enough to put him on a watch like that.
posted by hippybear at 7:29 PM on September 21


Do you know how many times we've heard: "He's really gonna get it this time!"
posted by ovvl at 7:31 PM on September 21 [8 favorites]


To give meaning to the idea that all are presumed innocent until proven guilty. a principle more important than any single case.

This is not a criminal case.
posted by praemunire at 7:36 PM on September 21 [7 favorites]


This sparks joy. I hope there's a net tightening, I hope lots of government lawyers are building tight cases. Corruption just rots countries and if he is busted, it will be so good.
posted by theora55 at 7:41 PM on September 21 [5 favorites]


True, and it's not a case that is decided beyond a reasonable doubt. It's just preponderance of the evidence, which is a 51% threshold.
posted by hippybear at 7:42 PM on September 21 [3 favorites]


So I just reviewed the seven causes of action, and although I see insurance fraud (and conspiracy to commit insurance fraud), I don't see tax fraud.

Assuming there was tax fraud (and it sure looks to me like there was), I wonder whether there are other entities who may file their own actions regarding tax fraud. I know I've read that James made a referral to the IRS, but it seems like the Clark County and State of Nevada taxing authorities might have reason to bring charges, just to name two.

I also wonder whether any of the lenders or insurance companies might be thinking about bringing their own actions.
posted by kristi at 8:43 PM on September 21 [1 favorite]


Regarding pleading the Fifth in a civil case, the relevant Supreme Court precedent is Baxter v. Palmigiano, which actually has to do with people in prison, but the Supreme Court discusses the ability to make inferences against a defendant in a civil case who pleads the Fifth, while that is forbidden in a criminal case.

It's helpful to remember that Trump pled the Fifth repeatedly during a sworn deposition, which is generally part of the fact-finding process, during which you are required to turn over relevant documents, produce witnesses you intend to call at trial, and so forth. Without getting into the specific procedural weeds around depositions and their use, especially since I don't know the rules in New York, the general principle that's at work here is that during the fact finding process things that you hide, refuse to answer, or refuse to turn over to the court you are typically precluded from introducing during the court case. So if you told the court that you had turned over all available evidence about the secret signing ceremony where you signed a fraudulent check, let's say, but you actually had a video showing someone else doing it that you intentionally refuse to produce, you would then be precluded from introducing that evidence during the trial because you failed to produce it during the fact finding process. (If you didn't know about the video at the time, and discovered it later, then you have to follow all the rules for late breaking evidence.) This is partially intended to encourage parties to a lawsuit to comply with the discovery and fact finding processes, since if they fail to do so, they cannot then introduce that evidence in their defense.

What Trump did here is actually substantially similar to what Alex Jones did, by dicking around so much with discovery that the court eventually ruled that he automatically lost the case, because his repeated refusal to comply with court ordered discovery processes meant that it was not possible for the opposing attorney to mount a complete case. Rather than rewarding Jones for that by letting him off the hook, the court ruled that as a matter of law, he lost the case, because the assumption was that by not providing the documents, the documents clearly proved his fault.

Trump sat in a civil deposition as part of a fact finding process for a case that James was building. He proceeded to plead the Fifth to every single question she asked, which means that not only can she encourage the jury to make the assumption that he did so because he committed bad acts he wanted to hide (because it is a civil case), he is also now precluded from introducing testimony saying that he didn't do the things he pled the Fifth about. If he had testimony or evidence suggesting he didn't do those things, he was obligated to provide it to the plaintiff during the discovery phase of the process. By refusing to provide it, he has absolutely knee-capped his own defense, and given his lawyers very little room to maneuver. I also expect that the questions in the deposition were tailored for that outcome, and constructed to preclude Trump from introducing exculpatory evidence or affirmative defenses along as many avenues as possible.

This is also why, you'll note, that his lawyers flatly refuse to go on the record about when and how Trump declassified the documents at Mar-A-Lago, or make a specific claim about it in court filings, because as soon as they stop letting it be Schroedinger's declassification process, they're nailed to a particular interpretation, and they are fucked. (Because basically all possible answers involve admitting to at least one crime.)

This is also why Fortune 500 executives who have to give depositions in big civil cases are much more likely to say, "I don't recall." Judges will generally let you walk back "I don't recall" in court (as long as you don't do it too many times on too many points). If you say, "After reviewing the discovery documents with my lawyers in preparation for testifying today, I'm now able to recall blah blah blah ..." you can probably get away with that. But when you plead the Fifth, it's such a technical specific sort of thing. You don't really get to walk it back in a civil case, because you're not saying, I don't remember exactly what happened; you're saying that you do remember and you're affirmatively refusing to provide testimony.

And I'm kind of curious what exactly the strategy was when Trump decided to plead the Fifth in that deposition. Like, did he decide to do it because he seen it on TV shows? Or because he thought it would play better to the base? It's hard to imagine that someone actually chose it is a legal strategy, rather than a media strategy. But I don't know, maybe New York is different on the technicalities, and it does make sense as a strategy, it's just hard for me to think of how.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 8:50 PM on September 21 [84 favorites]


When I say don't celebrate prematurely, I mean bouncy castle first, then champagne.
posted by adept256 at 9:18 PM on September 21 [10 favorites]


For the life of me, I cannot understand why a top-flight lawfirm would go anywhere near representing Trump.

There is a certain amount of prestige in representing a former president. Imagine how impressed your cellmate will be with that on your resume.
posted by adept256 at 9:39 PM on September 21 [18 favorites]


I'm kind of curious what exactly the strategy was when Trump decided to plead the Fifth in that deposition.

I'll bet you $100 he thought he was being clever and owning the libs. Oh, you can make me answer questions, can you? I'll show you you can't. Probably had a smug look on his face the whole time.

Not knowing he was shooting his feet off.
posted by ctmf at 9:58 PM on September 21 [13 favorites]


I had some small contact with her, when she was on the NYC City Council. At that time, I was unhappy about what appeared to be prejudicial influence by a city agency administrative judge, biased towards a client of the judge's former colleague, and I made appointments to complain at every entity with influence over that agency.

When I went to James' office it was like a crowded doctor's waiting room -- take a number and wait to be called. When your number was called, you were summoned into one of several small offices and interviewed by one of her staffers to determine if your complaint had any merit on the face of it.

Mine seemed to, so I was told to wait there and Ms. James would speak to me shortly. She came in, asked a few questions, and said, "keep on pursuing the avenues that you have been, if that doesn't go anywhere, then come back to me." The impressive part was that her office called me back a few times to ask for any updates, and reiterated that I should keep them informed.

(I got some traction in judicial venues more specifically designated for my purposes, so I never did call back, but the follow-up was impressive.)
posted by StickyCarpet at 10:07 PM on September 21 [37 favorites]


”How common is it for this type of lawsuit to happen?

”It is very unusual. There would have had to be evidence of an egregious pattern of fraud for any attorney general, of any political party, to file a complaint of this sort. In fact, the whole investigation, from the length of time it has taken to the amount of money involved, makes this a very uncommon case.”

From an interview with a tax attorney in The Conversation.
posted by Bella Donna at 2:22 AM on September 22 [5 favorites]


For the life of me, I cannot understand why a top-flight lawfirm would go anywhere near representing Trump. Dude infamously does not pay his bills, and, well, it’s Trump and everything that entails.

Because there are an awful lot of Trumpy americans who do pay their bills. Defending Donald Trump could be a viewed as a loss leader that attracts a lot of other unsavory wealthy clients who do pay bills and have lots of them like say the Kochs, Mercers, Adelsons of the world etc.. who could even view the defense of Trump as an ideological favor to the cause of unrestrained wealth that deserves future rewards independent of the particular merits of the Donald's transgressions.
posted by srboisvert at 3:22 AM on September 22 [8 favorites]


And I'm kind of curious what exactly the strategy was when Trump decided to plead the Fifth in that deposition. Like, did he decide to do it because he seen it on TV shows? Or because he thought it would play better to the base?

My money's on "he's seen it on TV". He certainly watches enough of it.

He's been on record telling his base that "only people who are guilty plead the Fifth," but then emerged from the deposition and crowed that he only pleaded the Fifth "because it was my only option when I saw what a corrupt and biased court this was" or something like that. So if he wanted to play to his base he would have made some kind of Statement For The Record rather than coming up with some bullshit reason for why he did the thing he said only guilty people did.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:00 AM on September 22 [3 favorites]


You never know. A Jewish lawyer for the ACLU defended the Nazis of Skokie.

Which doesn't change the fact that the arguments used by the ACLU to defend the choice don't hold up, something that we're much more aware of today. It comes back to the contradiction at the heart of free speech "absolutism": speech must be protected because of it's power - but we must ignore the power of speech to cause harm. Or to put it another way, "a peaceful assembly of Nazis" is fundamentally an oxymoron because the whole point of the ideology is to cause harm and violence against their targets, and a threat said "politely" doesn't stop being a threat. As I said in another thread, "sticks and stones" is a contemptible lie on a number of levels, and as more people understand that, the willingness to treat hate and bigotry as just "another opinion" has diminished.

But to come back to the original statement that kicked things off, I'd buy that the legal community (and the top flight firms in particular) believe in "innocent until proven guilty" if they would treat the "not guilty on account of the victim being a slut" "defense" as the massive ethical breech it is. Since the community instead fights doing so, the rhetoric comes across as exactly that - rhetoric meant to cover up that for these firms, their actual job is to protect the wealthy from the consequences of their actions, ethics be damned.
posted by NoxAeternum at 4:10 AM on September 22 [20 favorites]


And I'm kind of curious what exactly the strategy was when Trump decided to plead the Fifth in that deposition.

I’ll bet it was his insistence. “I don’t recall” implies memory loss. An accusation he’s leveled against Biden and therefore almost certainly something he’s insecure about (“Person, woman, man, camera, TV”). It’s all about optics, and I don’t think he’s able to see performing the lack of ability to recall something as different from actually being unable to recall it.
posted by Mchelly at 4:52 AM on September 22 [6 favorites]


>>I'm kind of curious what exactly the strategy was when Trump decided to plead the Fifth in that deposition.

I'll bet you $100 he thought he was being clever and owning the libs. Oh, you can make me answer questions, can you? I'll show you you can't. Probably had a smug look on his face the whole time.


Deponents who think they're smarter/better than the attorney deposing them completely fuck themselves on the regular by ignoring the advice of counsel and going their own way. This is especially true of deponents who are attorneys themselves, and even more especially true of men who imagine themselves to be "alphas."
posted by slkinsey at 7:27 AM on September 22 [16 favorites]


And we know that TFG believes himself to be the alphiest alpha that ever alphed.
posted by Faint of Butt at 7:35 AM on September 22 [3 favorites]


And I'm kind of curious what exactly the strategy was when Trump decided to plead the Fifth in that deposition

I'm not a lawyerin' type either but I do recall the idea that if you're faced with parallel civil and criminal lawsuits you don't want offer up anything in the civil trial that will bite you in the ass on the criminal side. Is that correct?

I could totally see Trump thinking that he could take the hit on this civil suit and pay out some small amount of money like he did on the Trump University shit. What was it, $25 million? All in order to stay out of jail on the tax evasion part. Hell, the Saudis can hand him that much out of the petty cash drawer.

Except now the NYAG is looking for ~10 times that amount AND the revocation of his business licenses. Ooops.
posted by JoeZydeco at 7:44 AM on September 22 [7 favorites]


I'd bet Trump's lawyers know what a loose cannon braggart he is and they are afraid if he gets on a roll he'll cop to everything up to and including kidnapping the Lindbergh baby so the drove home pleading the fifth no matter what as the least bad option. At least that way he won't volunteer something.
posted by Mitheral at 8:00 AM on September 22


We need a popcorn emoji on MF.

\/
posted by flabdablet at 8:08 AM on September 22 [32 favorites]


So I just reviewed the seven causes of action, and although I see insurance fraud (and conspiracy to commit insurance fraud), I don't see tax fraud.

As much as you don’t want to upset the tax people, you really, really, really, really, really, don’t want to fuck with insurance companies’ money. Really.
posted by Thorzdad at 8:23 AM on September 22 [6 favorites]


From David A. Graham in The Atlantic
... The complaint is damning because what James alleges is not especially complex and does not require much imagination or financial numeracy. The figures are all right there in filings and documents, rather than lost in the miasma of vagueness and mob-boss talk Trump often uses in other venues. Either the documents say what James says they do and Trump was juking the stats, or they don’t and he’s been unfairly maligned.

... The schemes alleged are so remarkable because they don’t involve tricks like filing false documents. Trump wasn’t doctoring the numbers on forms; he was just brazenly telling different things to different people and assuming that he wouldn’t get caught, and that if he did, he could settle (as he tried to do with James this month) or bluff his way through or make it go away with a countersuit. For a long time, he was right. Any prosecutor with the will and the manpower could have connected the dots on parts of this alleged fraud long ago.

posted by Bella Donna at 9:28 AM on September 22 [9 favorites]


And a lot of this was reported publicly by WNYC, and The New Yorker, and a variety of outlets over the last five years. It's not new news. Anyone who listened to "Trump, Inc." knew all of this.
posted by suelac at 9:48 AM on September 22 [6 favorites]


Anyone who listened to "Trump, Inc." knew all of this.
Yeah, but it‘s gratifying as hell to finally see legal action being take.

Also James‘ speech was exceptional, refreshing - „You‘re not allowed to break the law. Period.“
posted by From Bklyn at 10:10 AM on September 22 [1 favorite]


Much as I love seeing people go after Trump, I will be extremely disappointed if after this the US just goes back to ignoring white collar crime.
posted by sotonohito at 10:42 AM on September 22 [4 favorites]


I'm kind of curious what exactly the strategy was when Trump decided to plead the Fifth in that deposition.

I'll bet you $100 he thought he was being clever and owning the libs. Oh, you can make me answer questions, can you? I'll show you you can't. Probably had a smug look on his face the whole time.


Damned if you do, damned if you don't, right?

Trump had three options: (1) Tell the truth (and have it used against him in a criminal indictment), (2) Lie through his teeth (and prompt a perjury case when the lies are easily debunked using documents), or (3) Plead the Fifth. It may actually have been his safest option.

My guess is that his instinct was to bullshit his way through it and create an unusable record, but I think his lawyers directed him to take the Fifth.
posted by Ben Trismegistus at 10:55 AM on September 22 [3 favorites]


It's not new news. Anyone who listened to "Trump, Inc." knew all of this.

It strikes me that there is a difference between the evidence one needs for a news article and the evidence one needs for a lawsuit. To my knowledge, no judge would accept "Your honor, I submit this transcript of Leonard Lopate's program as evidence".
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:55 AM on September 22 [6 favorites]


(Although now I really want to see that turn up as a plot point on the next season of Only Murders In the Building or something.)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:56 AM on September 22 [8 favorites]


So I just reviewed the seven causes of action, and although I see insurance fraud (and conspiracy to commit insurance fraud), I don't see tax fraud.

Tax fraud would be alleged in the referral to the IRS, not this complaint.
posted by Ben Trismegistus at 10:58 AM on September 22 [4 favorites]


Washington Post headline: "Trump says presidents can declassify docs 'even by thinking about it'."

Okay then, Biden is currently "thinking about" re-classifying them, so nyaah!
posted by Greg_Ace at 10:59 AM on September 22 [9 favorites]


Tax fraud would be alleged in the referral to the IRS, not this complaint.

Sure, for federal income tax, but isn't there a state income tax, and/or local taxes that would be payable?
posted by kristi at 11:19 AM on September 22 [2 favorites]


Sure, for federal income tax, but isn't there a state income tax, and/or local taxes that would be payable?

Yes but that would also be beyond James' authority. It would be a matter for the NY revenue services. In any event, I think the federal tax issues are the big fish.
posted by Ben Trismegistus at 11:23 AM on September 22 [1 favorite]


Sounds like this Trump fella is in some pretty hot water!
posted by kirkaracha at 11:41 AM on September 22 [2 favorites]


Inshallah.
posted by kirkaracha at 11:41 AM on September 22 [10 favorites]


From your mouth to the Universe's ears.
posted by Too-Ticky at 11:46 AM on September 22 [1 favorite]


Much as I love seeing people go after Trump, I will be extremely disappointed if after this the US just goes back to ignoring white collar crime.

Well, sure, but the US can't go after white-collar crime without going after Trump, given that he's basically a living embodiment of it; like if you put on some magic They Live-type glasses and looked at him, all you'd see is a shambling golem made from New Jersey Superfund-site mud animated by the power of fraud.

I think it's a bit awkward for the US DoJ to be prosecuting literally anyone else for real estate fraud when he's just out there, sitting around and enjoying the spoils.

So, first steps. But yes, we can certainly hope it continues.
posted by Kadin2048 at 12:00 PM on September 22 [30 favorites]


Sounds like this Trump fella is in some pretty hot water!

I'm beginning to think maybe not everything he's involved with is strictly on the up-and-up.
posted by nickmark at 12:01 PM on September 22 [8 favorites]


if you put on some magic They Live-type glasses and looked at him, all you'd see is a shambling golem made from New Jersey Superfund-site mud animated by the power of fraud.

This may be my all-time favourite description of TFG ever.
posted by Bella Donna at 12:31 PM on September 22 [22 favorites]


Part of the New York A.G.'s lawsuit against Donald Trump and his family includes some of the financial shenanigans Trump allegedly pulled during his effort to outbid Jon Bon Jovi for ownership of the Buffalo Bills back in 2014.
posted by 1970s Antihero at 12:57 PM on September 22 [2 favorites]



ovvl wrote:
Do you know how many times we've heard: "He's really gonna get it this time!"

‘Trump Is Finally Done, Trump Is Finally Done,’ Says Strait-Jacketed Opinion Columnist Babbling To Cup Of Applesauce
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 1:02 PM on September 22 [13 favorites]


This is also why Fortune 500 executives who have to give depositions in big civil cases are much more likely to say, "I don't recall." Judges will generally let you walk back "I don't recall" in court (as long as you don't do it too many times on too many points)...

And I'm kind of curious what exactly the strategy was when Trump decided to plead the Fifth in that deposition.


FWIW, back in 2015, in deposition for the Trump University lawsuit, he seemed to understand that the strategy should be "I don't recall". During the 2016 campaign we all had a big laugh about how that didn't square with his boast of having the world's best memory (video). So who knows, but maybe the big baby is still feeling the sting from that episode.
posted by polecat at 1:28 PM on September 22 [4 favorites]


From Elie Mystal, The Nation’s justice correspondent:
... for most normal people, the idea that Trump is a fraud who lies about how wealthy he is has been obvious for some time. We don’t want to know more about the crimes he committed; we want to know when he’ll be held accountable for any of them. Trump’s apartment might be a third of the space he claims, but it seemingly exists above the law. The story people want to read is Crime and Punishment, not If I Did It.

... James’s lawsuit is a serious, meticulous, legally compelling case that Trump and his cronies committed major financial crimes, but I for one am so desperate to see Trump in the prison he so richly deserves that all attempts at civil liability feel flat to me. If Trump is found guilty and punished appropriately, these charges will devastate Trump’s businesses and basically turn his misuse of campaign contributions into his only viable source of income. And that should be enough for me, but it’s not because I want this man behind bars for the crimes he’s committed and the atrocities done in his name. I want him in prison, and I want his 2024 campaign ads to be done during his hour of yard time each day. It’s all well and good to “get Al Capone for tax evasion,” so long as tax evasion puts Capone in jail. With Trump, mere fines, even really big fines, do not feel like justice.

posted by Bella Donna at 1:30 PM on September 22 [35 favorites]


Mod note: A few deleted. I deleted the comment that was meant for another thread and all subsequent replies to this comment have also been removed.
posted by travelingthyme (staff) at 4:55 PM on September 22 [5 favorites]


With Trump, mere fines, even really big fines, do not feel like justice.

The "take away all the licenses and never let him do business in New York ever again" is a bit of a deal, but yes, I personally would like to see them all institutionally renamed from "Trump" to "Prisoner #######". And since Melania is also reportedly having some legal issues, I wonder if Tiffany the Forgotten will have the savvy to either pick up the pieces or change her last name.
posted by mephron at 5:12 PM on September 22


Tiffany and Bannon are going to have an interesting later life.
posted by hippybear at 5:14 PM on September 22


[2020 Georgetown Law graduate] Tiffany Trump was working as a research assistant to bank-robber-turned-lawyer Shon Hopwood, a professor at Georgetown He is pro-prison reform. From The Seattle Times, 2017: His clients are prisoners trying to get a state conviction overturned in appellate court, and they don’t trust lawyers, Hopwood said. But, “I have instant credibility with them.” In November, T. Trump's marrying businessman Michael Boulos. "Boulos is of Lebanese and French descent and was born in Houston, Texas. When he was young, Boulos’s family moved to Nigeria, where his family owns a multibillion-dollar conglomerate and a large portfolio of companies active in various sectors in more than 10 West African countries." Today's Slate: The Brutal Campaign Against Tiffany Trump’s Existence Continues Apace
posted by Iris Gambol at 6:22 PM on September 22 [3 favorites]


Tiffany and Bannon are going to have an interesting later life.

Steve already has ;)
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 6:25 PM on September 22


Presumably that was meant to read "Barron", not "Bannon". But it would be OK with me if all the Council of Steves got their just deserts as well. Steve B is a good start but there are many Steves left walking free.
posted by Nerd of the North at 6:29 PM on September 22 [2 favorites]


Just put a couple of spots of Blue-Out over the ends of those "n"s and it'll be correct.
posted by hippybear at 6:34 PM on September 22 [7 favorites]


Barror?
posted by Flunkie at 6:41 PM on September 22 [2 favorites]


Tiffary and Barror.
posted by hippybear at 6:52 PM on September 22 [7 favorites]


I'm not a lawyerin' type either but I do recall the idea that if you're faced with parallel civil and criminal lawsuits you don't want offer up anything in the civil trial that will bite you in the ass on the criminal side. Is that correct?

This is correct, which is why taking the Fifth is common under such circumstances (though often it will be on a handful of subject matters rather than for 7.5 hours straight). I'm sure it was, at the least, not a strategy his counsel was opposed to, and I don't think any lawyers following the case were all that surprised. I wasn't.

FWIW, back in 2015, in deposition for the Trump University lawsuit, he seemed to understand that the strategy should be "I don't recall".

Back then he had no concerns about criminal liability.

It strikes me that there is a difference between the evidence one needs for a news article and the evidence one needs for a lawsuit. To my knowledge, no judge would accept "Your honor, I submit this transcript of Leonard Lopate's program as evidence".

If there wasn't a big difference, I would be unemployed.
posted by praemunire at 8:51 PM on September 22 [6 favorites]


With Trump, mere fines, even really big fines, do not feel like justice.

I'm sympathetic to Elie's position (he is one of the best commentators on the legal aspects of the current mess), but...even meaningful civil penalties would be a blow against the culture of elite impunity.

Don't get me wrong, though, I wouldn't mind seeing him currying favor with the local Aryan Nation leader in Leavenworth.
posted by praemunire at 8:58 PM on September 22 [1 favorite]


Oh, God. TFG and his family are going to turn this into a reality show, aren't they.

HBO's Avenue Five was basically the Trump famiglia writ large in outer space-sized 9,000,000,000 pt sans serif.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 10:34 PM on September 22 [1 favorite]


If you squint, the Trumps are somewhere between Succession and The Righteous Gemstones.
posted by box at 4:21 AM on September 23 [6 favorites]


The AP has an article addressing the question of why Trump hasn't been arrested yet and it isn't good news.

The AP says prosecutors are worried both about juries reusing to convict since Trump is old and also that he is a former President and no one has ever prosecuted a former President.

The article says that many experts think civil cases like James is bringing are more likely to succeed, but also notes that civil cases can be dragged out for years (the NRA suit is in its 3rd year and not even really started yet) it's extremely unlikely that the lawsuit against Trump will be resolved befit the 2024 elections.

Apparently the two tier system of justice is so entrenched that prosecutors aren't even pretending that the law applies equally to everyone and will say so openly.
posted by sotonohito at 8:01 AM on September 23 [15 favorites]


it's extremely unlikely that the lawsuit against Trump will be resolved befit the 2024 elections.

Frankly, considering his health and age, I don't find it all that likely that the lawsuit will be resolved before he dies of old age. He's probably scot free, it's the kids who're going to get the brunt of all this.
posted by mrgoat at 8:28 AM on September 23 [2 favorites]


The AP has an article addressing the question of why Trump hasn't been arrested yet

I think the most interesting part of that article is this:
In an interview Wednesday night with Fox News Channel’s Sean Hannity, Trump suggested that his company had protected itself against possible fraud allegations by warning banks and potential business partners not to trust the information in its financial disclosures.
“We have a disclaimer right on the front,” Trump said. ”‘You’re at your own risk.’ ... ‘Be careful because it may not be accurate. It may be way off.’ ... ‘Get your own people. Use your own appraisers. Use your own lawyers. Don’t rely on us.’”
So he is basically saying out loud on TV that yes, they lied to the banks. And that is cool. It's depressing.
posted by mumimor at 8:33 AM on September 23 [19 favorites]


Also ineffectual in some/most cases I'm guessing. You can't disclaimer your way out of legal requirements.
posted by Mitheral at 9:20 AM on September 23 [6 favorites]


Au contraire. As you can clearly see in section 85 of our contract, there is a disclaimer that I can, in fact, disclaimer my way out of legal requirements.
posted by Flunkie at 2:43 PM on September 23 [5 favorites]


Tiffary and Barror.

Those sound like minor characters in Game of Thrones, around for a scene or two before meeting a sorry end.
posted by Dip Flash at 4:42 PM on September 23 [4 favorites]


Those sound like minor characters in Game of Thrones, around for a scene or two before meeting a sorry end.

Bar the door! Bar the door! Barror! Barror!
posted by notoriety public at 7:09 PM on September 23 [6 favorites]


So so very dark. Lone applause from the back of the room.
posted by hippybear at 7:31 PM on September 23 [1 favorite]


Yeah I was listening to Hannity radio the other day and he was full-on pushing the "you fucked up, you trusted us" line.
posted by rhizome at 4:04 PM on September 24 [1 favorite]


(The Atlantic has an excerpt from Trump whisperer Maggie Haberman's book, Confidence Man.)
posted by box at 9:26 AM on September 25 [2 favorites]


(The Atlantic has an excerpt from Trump whisperer Maggie Haberman's book, Confidence Man.)

In that excerpt:

I spotted Lindsey Graham outside, in golf pants; it was the second time I had encountered him in Trump’s vicinity that year. Trump eventually entered the room, having lost a noticeable amount of weight since I had seen him last. Graham followed a minute later and gestured toward Trump. “The greatest comeback in American history!” Graham declared. Trump looked at me. “You know why Lindsey kisses my ass?” he asked. “So I’ll endorse his friends.” Graham laughed uproariously.
What must it feel like for someone to debase himself to the level Graham has sunk to?
posted by Dip Flash at 10:49 AM on September 25 [7 favorites]


He seems fine with it.
posted by Flunkie at 2:10 PM on September 25 [4 favorites]


No, still stuck on Maggie Haberman, 2018 Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting (shared with NYT colleagues and WaPo staff) for covering the Trump Administration, "most-cited journalist in the Mueller Report," having enough un-disclosed material for a 600-page doorstop. "I love being with her, she's like my psychiatrist," Trump told his aides during one of their interviews while he gestured to Haberman, according to an excerpt of the book published in The Atlantic. (Yahoo News)
posted by Iris Gambol at 3:23 PM on September 25 [5 favorites]


CNN: Haberman identifies moment in new Trump interview that could hurt him, "Haberman says former President Trump admitted taking boxes of documents to Mar-a-Lago in an interview with Sean Hannity," oh GTFO with this nonsense
posted by Iris Gambol at 3:26 PM on September 25 [2 favorites]


QZ: How Donald Trump got his Deutsche Bank loans. Deutsche Bank has emerged as the star witness in New York attorney general Letitia James’ case against Donald Trump and the Trump Organization.

(Try Incognito Mode if you have trouble seeing the article)
posted by 1970s Antihero at 12:14 PM on September 26


QZ: How Donald Trump got his Deutsche Bank loans.
LOL. If Deutsche Bank is an innocent victim here, I have a bridge, etc. There are actually only two options: they are really stupid or they had really corrupt employees. Wait, that is still option one: they are really stupid, because corrupt employees don't earn any money for the bank, only for themselves.
OK I'm thinking out loud, there is also the money laundering option. I think that was discussed once, but as usual, there is so much chaos around Trump that one forgets half.
posted by mumimor at 1:39 PM on September 26 [4 favorites]


The article mentions two specific known-to-be-corrupt ex-employees (currently barred from acting as brokers), one of whom was known as "Trump's broker", and is named in the lawsuit.

I doubt that that's the extent of the corruption, but it is there.
posted by Flunkie at 1:47 PM on September 26 [1 favorite]


There are actually only two options: they are really stupid or they had really corrupt employees. Wait, that is still option one: they are really stupid, because corrupt employees don't earn any money for the bank, only for themselves.

Deutsche Bank itself is rather famously and repeatedly corrupt. Trump loans are just a part of their extensively diversified perfidy portfolio.
posted by srboisvert at 10:52 AM on September 27 [6 favorites]


I was getting my papers organized in preparation for my will and discovered that I had an old, forgotten account with Deutsche Bank. It wasn't a lot, about $15,000. But discovering it now was like finding out I used to do business with Tony Soprano. Ick.
posted by SPrintF at 10:57 AM on September 27 [1 favorite]


Oh hey, you’re right it’s not much and that bank *is* icky. So just as a favor, I can send you my PayPal deets and you can transfer that pocket change to me. You’re welcome!
posted by Bella Donna at 1:18 PM on September 28 [15 favorites]


> What must it feel like for someone to debase himself to the level Graham has sunk to?

Finally - a recognizable and deserving example to go with this definition.
posted by Artful Codger at 7:15 AM on September 29 [1 favorite]


What must it feel like for someone to debase himself to the level Graham has sunk to?

I don't mean this as a kink-shame at all but holy cow is Graham's masochist streak a thousand miles wide or what? Like, dude, not all of us want to witness your constant and abject debasement. Seriously. Boundaries old man, boundaries.
posted by From Bklyn at 7:45 AM on September 29 [2 favorites]


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