Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Retired Emperor Has Complaints


"The antipope of Mar-a-Lago": illustration by Jason Seiler for Politico. Can't really tell from the setting whether he's meant to be one of the historical antipopes or the Holy Father of Sherwood Forest, Pope Tuck I, but whatevs.

Retired emperor seems to be upset about something, at great length, on his antisocial medium website:

I have just learned, through leaks in the mainstream media, that after being under investigation from the time I came down the escalator 5 ½ years ago, including the fake Russia Russia Russia Hoax, the 2 year, $48M, No Collusion Mueller Witch Hunt, Impeachment Hoax #1, Impeachment Hoax #2, and others, that the Democrat New York Attorney General has “informed” my organization that their “investigation” is no longer just a civil matter but also potentially a “criminal” investigation working with the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office.

AG James "informed" his organization but he learned about it through media leaks? Why didn't his organization tell him? Or are the scare quotes supposed to suggest that they didn't really inform his organization at all, and it's not really an "investigation", and "criminal" is an exaggeration of some kind? Or is the author just signaling subtly that we're dealing with an unreliable narrator here?

The Attorney General of New York literally campaigned on prosecuting Donald Trump even before she knew anything about me. She said that if elected, she would use her office to look into “every aspect” of my real estate dealings. She swore that she would “definitely sue” me. She boasted on video that she would be, and I quote, “a real pain in the ass.” She declared, “just wait until I’m in the Attorney General’s office,” and, ”I’ve got my eyes on Trump Tower.” She also promised that, if elected, she would “join with law enforcement and other Attorney Generals across this nation in removing this President from office,” and, “It’s important that everyone understand that the days of Donald Trump are coming to an end.”

Letitia James knew a good deal about Donald Trump by the time she was campaigning for attorney general in 2018, as indicated by the formal promises included in her campaign website, to

●  Vigorously investigate Trump businesses that appear to be engaged in illegal conduct;

●  Continue to litigate against Trump charities; and

●  Fight to close the State’s double jeopardy loophole that could result in Presidential pardons rendering members of the Trump Administration immune from prosecution in New York State.

And the New York Attorney General's office knew more than she did. Litigating against Trump charities got the quickest results, as you know, with the dissolution of the Trump Foundation taking place in December 2018, before James even took office, followed a year later by orders charging Trump with $3.8 million in fines and restitution, and requiring him

to agree to 19 admissions, acknowledging his personal misuse of funds at the Trump Foundation, and agreed to restrictions on future charitable service and ongoing reporting to the Office of the Attorney General, in the event he creates a new charity. The settlement also included mandatory training requirements for Donald Trump Jr., Ivanka Trump, and Eric Trump, which the three children have already undergone.

Governor Cuomo signed the double jeopardy reform law in October 2019, ensuring that Trump could still be prosecuted even if he successfully pardoned himself. Incidentally (I didn't remember this, if I ever knew), District Attorney Vance was at the time investigating Paul Manafort for crimes committed under New York State law; but the new law didn't apply retroactively to Manafort's case, and the New York Court of Appeals did rule in February, after Trump pardoned him, that Vance could not prosecute him for the offenses with which he was charged (I think mostly mortgage fraud), but Vance's investigation of the also pardoned Stephen Bannon continues.

The Attorney General made each of these statements, not after having had an opportunity to actually look at the facts, but BEFORE she was even elected, BEFORE she had seen even a shred of evidence.  This is something that happens in failed third world countries, not the United States. If you can run for a prosecutor’s office pledging to take out your enemies, and be elected to that job by partisan voters who wish to enact political retribution, then we are no longer a free constitutional democracy.

She also had the opportunity BEFORE she was even elected to acquaint herself with the details of Trump family finances uncovered by The New York Times in the massive investigation published in October 2018, and there's no doubt that she did, which led her to add some new plans to her agenda.

After an investigation by The New York Times showed that Mr. Trump received hundreds of millions of dollars from his parents, most of it by helping them dodge taxes, Ms. James issued a statement calling for “a full examination of these claims” by the state, including the attorney general’s office.

That is not something that happens in a "failed third world country", by the way, that a newspaper is able to carry out an investigation of a head of state's or government's family and publish the results and an independent judiciary can begin the process of taking it to court. It happens in France and Israel. In a "failed third world country" everyone involved in such projects goes to jail or, in Russia, gets thrown out of windows or shot in the street. Just to be clear. Also, James did not campaign "pledging to take out her enemies" but rather pledging to stomp out corruption wherever she found it. She has been criticized in some quarters (by Daniel Goldman, actually) for creating the appearance of "an individualized political vendetta" against Trump, but for intemperate language, not for bringing the case. (And what' political about it is that voters love it, that being how New Yorkers feel about Trump.)

Likewise, the District Attorney’s office has been going after me for years based on a lying, discredited low life, who was not listened to or given credibility by other prosecutorial offices, and sentenced to 3 years in prison for lying and other events unrelated to me.

If that's Michael Cohen (it is), he was certainly given credibility by the federal prosecutors of the Southern District of New York and the investigators of the Mueller team, with both of which he cooperated, particularly in regard to the illegally structured and illegally unreported payments to Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal, for which he did prison time while the unindicted coconspirator, Donald J. Trump, did not, though we've all heard the audio in which Trump orders Cohen to do it. Not "unrelated to me" at all.

These Democrat offices are consumed with this political and partisan Witch Hunt at a time when crime is up big in New York City, shootings are up 97%, murders are up 45%, a rate not seen in 40 years, drugs and criminals are pouring into our Country in record numbers from our now unprotected Southern Border, and people are fleeing New York for other much safer locations to live.

Hi Stephen Miller (the information-free alliteration of "political and partisan" carries his mark). The numbers on shootings and murders in New York City in April are year-over-year comparisons with April 2020, at the beginning of the Covid crisis, and don't mean what you seem to think they mean, though they are not good. Controlling city violence isn't really one of the state attorney general's duties, in any case; that is supposed to be taken care of by New York's Finest, the police force,  while the AG's Criminal Enforcement and Financial Crimes Bureau is supposed to focus on people like Donald Trump:

The Bureau focuses primarily on cases involving securities and investment schemes, tax crimes and insurance fraud.... In addition to complex financial schemes, the Bureau investigates and prosecutes a wide variety of white-collar criminal cases, including consumer fraud schemes, public benefits fraud, embezzlement, unlicensed practice of a profession and environmental crimes, based on referrals from New York State agencies.

The attorney general is probably doing exactly what she is supposed to be doing (hopefully also fulfilling her main responsibility with respect to the NYPD, which is working to ensure they comply with state civil rights law and don't abuse anybody, where the cops definitely have a lot of progress they need to make) in putting the Criminal Enforcement and financial Crimes Bureau together with that of the Manhattan DA, posting two assistant AGs to Vance's office to help with its own findings in Vance's criminal inquiry. It's hard to imagine that it will really go somewhere significant, still less prison for The Former Guy, but it's some real movement at last. Don't let him bullshit you.

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