Crooked Media - What A Day: Sic Semper Trumpannis

Wednesday, September 21, 2022
BY JULIA CLAIRE & CROOKED MEDIA

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) going full Florida.

They say you can’t keep a good man down, but you also can’t keep Donald Trump out of the news cycle for criminal wrongdoing. 
 

  • Attorney General Letitia James (D-NY) filed a lawsuit today accusing the disgraced former president, three of his grown children (you know which ones), and executives at his company of flagrantly manipulating property valuations to deceive lenders, insurance brokers, and tax authorities into giving them better rates on bank loans and insurance policies and to reduce their tax liabilities. 
     

  • The 222-page civil complaint (go off!) asks the New York Supreme Court to bar Trump, Don Jr., Ivanka, and Eric from serving as executives at any company in New York, and to bar the Trump Organization from acquiring any commercial real estate or receiving additional loans from New York financial institutions for five years. It also seeks to recover more than $250 million in what James’s office describes as fraudulently received profits through the aforementioned deceptive practices.
     

  • Trump’s lawyer Alina Habba, in typical fashion, immediately dismissed the allegations as politically motivated, but this might be harder for Trump to shake off than usual, perhaps due to the sheer volume of documentation. The lawsuit is the result of an investigation spanning over two years, and names 23 Trump Organization properties, including his Mar-a-Lago Club in Florida, Trump Tower in New York City, his Seven Springs estate in Westchester County, NY, and the Washington, DC, hotel he leased from the federal government before selling it in May. Apart from the four Trumps themselves, the suit names the Trump Organization and its longtime chief financial officer, Allen Weisselberg, who recently pleaded guilty to tax crimes, and the company’s controller Jeffrey McConney. 

There’s healthy skepticism anytime Trump is alleged to have broken the law, because the man is constantly getting caught red handed, and nothing ever seems to stick. But this one might.
 

  • James concluded in her lawsuit that Trump, his family, and their business “plausibly” broke federal criminal laws as well, on top of definitely violating New York state criminal laws, and referred them for investigation to relevant law-enforcement authorities. Don Jr. and Eric, of course, immediately portrayed the Trump family as victims. And definitely-not-sympathetic-to-Trump-he-swears former Attorney General Bill Barr called it a “gross overreach” to “drag the children into it” when he claims the three are not "expected in the real world to do their own due diligence." Continually referring to them as “the children” as if little kids are being sued is very funny, because Eric is the youngest of the three, and he is 38 years old. But again, politically-motivated stunts (the ones we’ve seen, at least) usually don’t have such staggering, specific evidentiary support. The lawsuit shows that 11 of Trump’s annual financial statements included more than 200 false and misleading asset valuations.
     

  • Despite reams of evidence, James’s case against Trump could be difficult to prove. The very nature of property valuations is often subjective. Even though the Trump Organization shunned outside audits and assessments of its properties, all of the associated financial statements include a disclaimer indicating that they have not been audited. To add to the difficulties, Trump famously does not use email (something I repeatedly forget because it’s too unbelievable to stick in my brain) so any instructions he may have given his employees about these financial statements very well may not be documented.
     

Attorney General James’s lawsuit is so damning, and so offensive to the entire Trump family, because it seeks to prove what millions of people already know about Trump: that his success was not the result of financial savvy or business acumen, “The Art of the Deal,” but good old-fashioned fraud. 

A whole new batch of progressive merch just dropped at the Crooked Store. With tees, hats, and a bumper sticker that are all about demanding reproductive justice, canceling student debt, and making our democracy work, you can show where you stand even while you sit in traffic. Head to the Crooked Store and pick out something to wear to the voting booth. Or just on your morning coffee run. You guys know how t-shirts work.

Check it out at Crooked.com/store!

The Fed hiked interest rates .75 percentage points again on Wednesday, the fifth increase this year, redoubling its most aggressive economic tightening campaign in three decades. Borrowing costs are now at the highest level since the Great Recession. And although the United States is not currently in a recession, many experts note that the continued interest rate hikes could drive the economy into one. At a press conference today, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said that inflation hasn’t fallen as much as the central bank expected it would have by this point. The central bank is in full inflation-fighting mode, but the question is, at what cost? They forecast that rates will end the year at around 4.4 percent, another huge increase, and could rise to 4.6 percent next year. What follows with rising interest rates is almost always rising unemployment, and with historically low unemployment at present, many Americans feel like the Fed is cutting off its nose to spite its face. No statutes mandate that the Fed has to whip inflation so hard that they induce a recession, especially when there are multiple indications that the main drivers of inflation aren’t responsive to interest rate increases (and may actually be exacerbated by interest rate increases). On the other hand, the agency is sort of a one-trick pony, so it’s hard to say that they’re knowingly committing economic sabotage when they only have one tool to use—it just happens to be a bad tool. Another great day at the office, everybody!

A three-judge panel on the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta granted the Justice Department's motion for a partial stay, allowing investigators to continue reviewing classified materials seized from Mar-a-Lago in the August 8th FBI search. The panel included two Trump appointees.

 

About 100 people have been arrested protesting across Russia after President Vladimir Putin announced a partial mobilization of the country’s 25 million reservists to increase the availability of troops for his war in Ukraine yesterday. 

 

Relatedly, the Kremlin has instructed Russian airlines to stop selling tickets to Russian men between the ages of 18-65 unless they can provide evidence of approval to travel from the Ministry of Defense. Positively Orwellian!

 

Newly released audio shows Michigan GOP attorney general nominee Matt DePerno saying that the emergency contraceptive pill Plan B is “no different than fentanyl” and should be banned. I would argue it's at least a little different.

 

President Biden spoke at the U.N. General Assembly today and vowed to continue standing with Ukraine against Russian aggression. He said in his address that Russia’s actions are in “significant violation of the UN charter.”

 

The House January 6 Committee announced plans to hold what could be its final public hearing on September 28 at 1 p.m. eastern time, as they continue assembling their comprehensive report due to be released before the year’s end. We hope Ginni Thomas is ready for her closeup

 

A Trump-endorsed Michigan candidate for the House of Representatives, John Gibbs, once said that men are smarter than women, women are not qualified to govern, and that America has “suffered” since women were granted the right to vote. Love these guys! Keep ‘em coming!

 

Over 200 whales have been found stranded on a remote beach on the coast of Tasmania, Australia. Half of the pod are thought to be still alive, and rescuers are being sent to the area, the same remote location where Australia’s worst stranding happened two years ago.

 

The owner of NBA and WNBA teams in Phoenix, Robert Sarver, said he plans to sell both teams after an investigation found that he created an egregiously hostile workplace for years, including using racist slurs, treating women with disproportionate unfairness, and demeaning his employees. Yep, that’ll do it!

Crooked x Cariuma: Double the brands, double the impact.


A limited-edition collab with our favorite shoe brand is here.

You know we’re all about voting: doing it, registering people to do it, and of course giving a portion of the proceeds from the Crooked Store to VoteRiders to help inform citizens of their state’s voter ID requirements and secure them the documents they may need to vote. 
 

Why not add wearing shoes that support voting to that list?
 

Just in time for canvassing season, we’re excited to announce that Crooked and Cariuma have collaborated to launch our own co-branded OCA low-tops, in two designs that we think you’ll really love.

Choose from a clean white sneaker with the words “No Steps Back,” or our patented “I voted” sticker print. They’re both perfect for peaceful protests, voter registration drives, and/or grabbing bagels (heroes have to eat, too).

These shoes don’t just support VoteRiders (and your arches). Like all Cariuma shoes, they’re ethically and sustainably made from organic cotton canvas, natural rubber, cork, and recycled plastics, and your pair plants two trees in the Brazilian rainforest through Cariuma’s in-house Ecological Restoration program.

Be sure to snag your pair now before they sell out!

Republicans in Wisconsin are recruiting scores of new poll watchers to monitor voting in November as part of a revamped response to allegations of election fraud. Poll watching has never been a particularly sexy duty, but it has emerged as a hot-button role in the fight over American election rules stemming from Donald Trump’s Big Lie. The Republican National Committee said it has launched a multimillion-dollar effort to recruit tens of thousands of poll watchers and poll workers and hire dozens of staff to monitor voting. It’s plausible that state and national Republican parties are going out of their way to recruit full-on 2020 election deniers for these volunteer positions, which immediately raises the concern that on election day, they will intimidate voters and election officials. Such harassment would surely be aimed principally at minority voters, who have historically faced discrimination. Wisconsin is something of a bellwether state, known for its close elections, and it has multiple high-profile races this year. This November, we’ll be watching with bated breath. 

By now, you’ve probably heard of ESG investing: the hot trend on Wall Street making lots of headlines. 
 

Generally speaking, ESG funds are intended to allow you to invest in a group of companies with high Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) ratings. The idea is that when you invest in ESG funds, you’re investing with your values. 
 

But as the New York Times and other major media publications have pointed out, ESG funds are far from perfect because there is not a standard methodology to assign ESG ratings to a company – or to verify them.
 

In fact, if you look at the companies that are included in many of the largest ESG funds (AT&T, Home Depot, Pfizer, Waste Management, and many others), many of them overwhelmingly support Republican politicians and PACs. The same Republican politicians and PACs who are trying to fight ESG ideals by blocking climate change legislation and undermining women’s rights. 


At DEMZ, we believe that measuring political contributions is a better way to ensure that the companies you invest in also share your values. 
 

That’s why the DEMZ fund includes only those S&P 500 companies that have made over 75% of their political contributions to Democratic politicians and causes.
 

Oh, and by the way, DEMZ was awarded a maximum five-globe sustainability rating by Morningstar and declared to be fossil-fuel-free. And DEMZ outperformed the S&P 500 index in 2021 by 2.5 percent, net of fees. So, that’s a win-win. 
 

Search for the DEMZ ticker wherever you invest or visit demz.fund to learn more. 
 

Investing Involves Risk. Principal loss is possible. Carefully consider the fund’s investment objectives, risk factors, charges, and expenses before investing. This and additional information can be found in the fund’s prospectus, which may be obtained by visiting demz.fund. Please read the prospectus carefully before investing.

Sen. Mark Kelly (D-AZ) has taken a double-digit lead in the polls over his Republican opponent Blake Masters in the vital upcoming Senate race. 

 

For the first time, a panel of medical experts recommended that doctors screen all adult patients under 65 for anxiety, a sweeping acknowledgment from the medical community of the extraordinary stress levels Americans are under since the start of the pandemic. 

 

NASA released stunning new images of Neptune captured by the Webb Space Telescope, if you’re into that sort of thing! 


The House has taken a key step towards preventing another January 6 by amending the 135-year-old Electoral Count Act which Trump tried to exploit that day in order to overturn his loss. All but nine Republicans voted to make the next presidential election as stealable as possible.

. . . . . .


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