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  # 2216750 14-Apr-2019 08:39
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The Washington Post - House Democrats give IRS hard deadline of April 23 to turn over Trump tax returns

 

April 13

 


House Democrats are giving the Trump administration a hard deadline of April 23 to turn over the president’s tax returns, pushing back against Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin’s skepticism over their request for the private records.

 

Rep. Richard E. Neal (D-Mass.), chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, on Saturday sent a two-page letter to IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig rebuffing Mnuchin’s statement earlier this week that Treasury would miss House Democrats’ initial April 10 deadline for the returns.

 

Neal’s latest letter sets the stage for further escalation in the conflict between Congress and the White House, as legal experts have suggested that an outright denial of their request by Mnuchin could be followed by subpoenas or a lawsuit in federal court. ...

 





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  # 2216884 14-Apr-2019 11:11
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By 2016, Trump has been the defendant in over 1,400 lawsuits.

That doesn't even count the last three years, which involve over 50 major lawsuits.

Seriously does anyone believe Trump gives a flying truck?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_lawsuits_involving_Donald_Trump

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/elections/2016/06/01/donald-trump-lawsuits-legal-battles/84995854/

 
 
 
 


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  # 2217035 14-Apr-2019 17:42
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https://www.palmbeachpost.com/news/20190412/undisclosed-cash-flowed-at-trump-inaugural-ball-with-ties-to-china-embattled-saipan-casino

Undisclosed cash flowed at Trump inaugural ball with ties to China, embattled Saipan casino
by Lulu Ramadan

Thousands of dollars in donations flowed to an undisclosed source at a Trump inaugural ball with links to China and dubious donors, but no financial records.

In the decked-out ballroom of a ritzy Washington hotel the night before Donald Trump took office, thousands of dollars flowed from political donors and a questionable casino company to an undisclosed bank account.

The lavish Asian Pacific American Presidential Inaugural Gala — the first of its kind, with a buffet-style dinner, cocktail tables draped in white cloth and live entertainment — drew more than 900 people who paid at least $75 per ticket and a handful of sponsors who shelled out much more.

But there’s no trace of the money raised that night, as required by law, The Palm Beach Post has found.

That includes donations by their biggest listed sponsors. Among them: an embattled Saipan-based casino later raided by the FBI, a Guam-based shipyard and a handful of Pacific Island hotel operators, all of which benefited from a foreign labor bill signed into law by Trump a year later.

Raising the political stakes further, one of the event's four chief organizers, onetime Trump campaign aide Jason Osborne, followed up the event by lobbying for the labor bill to help the Northern Mariana Islands, home to the Saipan casino.

One man in charge of raising money for the event told The Post that the host, the National Committee of Asian American Republicans, collected between $5,000 and $15,000 each from up to 20 listed sponsors. It also took in hundreds of smaller contributions.

As a registered political committee, such contributions must, by law, be reported to the Federal Election Commission. But none were.

The committee’s executive director, Boca Raton tech entrepreneur Zhonggang “Cliff” Li, told The Post that he knows where the money went, “but I don’t want to tell you.”

“That almost sounds like an admission of a reporting violation,” said Erin Chlopak, a former Federal Election Commission attorney. “Political committees have to disclose all of their receipts and disbursements. There’s no ‘I don’t want to’ exception.”

Li has drawn international attention as an associate of Cindy Yang, the one-time head of fundraising for the committee that hosted the gala. Her access to Trump through his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach and involvement in groups linked to the Chinese Communist Party prompted top congressional Democrats to seek a federal investigation.

As the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York investigates allegations of financial abuse by the Trump inaugural committee, which raised a record $107 million, no public investigation has targeted the Asian American Republican inaugural ball, which has links to China and dubious donors but no financial records.

Political operatives often find creative ways to circumvent reporting requirements particularly for inaugural committees, said Chlopak, who now works for watchdog nonprofit Campaign Legal Center.

“This is one of the areas in which the dark money phenomenon is really clear,” she said.

Money ‘had to go into some box’

Some committees, including the Trump inaugural, set up nonprofits, which must be registered with the IRS. But in the case of the organizers of the Asian-American gala, no nonprofit appears in federal records.

And the guests included several Chinese nationals, said Washington lobbyist Puneet Ahluwalia, who headed the fundraising subcommittee for the event. Foreign nationals are barred from donating to American political committees.

Without public receipts, there’s no way to know who gave money and if any laws were broken.

Ahluwalia told The Post that checks were made out to the National Committee of Asian American Republicans. He said he reached out to potential donors to encourage sponsorship, as did several other organizers, but he didn’t personally see or collect checks.

“I wasn’t privy to who took the money or who wrote the checks,” Ahluwalia said. “All of the money that was pledged by the big donors, by the tickets, had to go into some box. That box was the National Committee of Asian American Republicans.”

The event and ticket-sale websites for the gala offer a clear legal disclaimer telling donors the committee must report, under federal election law, the name, address, occupation and employer of all those who give more than $200.

The disclaimer notes that “contributions to the National Committee of Asian American Republicans” are not tax deductible. It points out that contributions from foreign nationals are prohibited.

Chlopak said the disclaimer, though generically worded, “certainly suggests they are aware of their reporting obligations. And if they collected donations, they have to report them, which further raises the question of why they didn't do that.”

“Sometimes there are inadvertent oversights, which isn't uncommon, but that doesn’t seem to be the case here,” Chlopak said. “Sometimes people don't want certain information exposed.”

The group collected money, organizer Li said, but it didn’t go to the registered committee.

When asked to explain, he wouldn’t.

“The money went to the right account legally, but I just don’t have to tell you where that is,” Li told The Post.

Just two people were in charge of donations during the gala, Ahluwalia said: Li and Osborne, the Trump aide-turned-lobbyist.

Osborne, a senior adviser to the Trump campaign in 2016, is listed on the gala website as one of four people on the event’s organizing committee.

Three months after the gala, Osborne, who did not respond to a phone call or email seeking comment, registered as a lobbyist for the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, which includes Saipan, the Pacific island that U.S. Marines took during World War II and where the casino that backed the gala has grown to be among the most profitable in the world.

He lobbied for a bill, later signed by Trump, that opened avenues for several gala sponsors to employ Chinese and Filipino laborers for hotel and casino construction jobs.

One of those sponsors, Imperial Pacific International, at the time ran one of the most lucrative gaming operations in the world even before completing construction of a luxurious megacasino, Bloomberg Businessweek reported in February 2018. The volume of money generated by Imperial Pacific’s small Saipan operation, nearly 6,000 miles from California, prompted several experts to suggest money laundering might be involved, Bloomberg reported.

Two months after the January 2017 inaugural gala, FBI agents raided Imperial Pacific offices in Saipan, Bloomberg reported. Federal prosecutors charged contractors employed by Imperial Pacific with hiring and harboring workers brought in illegally on tourist visas.

The probe started after several foreign workers were hurt and at least one was killed at the Imperial Pacific construction site in Saipan.

The law signed by Trump in July 2018 offered businesses an avenue to avoid illegally bringing in cheap foreign labor.
...

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  # 2217037 14-Apr-2019 17:43
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kingdragonfly: ....Seriously does anyone believe Trump gives a flying truck?

 

I think Trump would love a flying truck.

 

He could zoom all over the Useless States of America, tooting his horn, showering pee and megaphoning his election slogans, like a GOP Santa Claus on meths.





TRexit - Vote him out, drag him out, take him out: either way, he's gotta go.


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  # 2217356 15-Apr-2019 12:47
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The Washington Post - William Barr’s testimony was a terrible self-inflicted wound

 

April 12

 


One of the most frequently used words to describe William P. Barr when he was nominated for attorney general was “institutionalist.”

 

Barr himself explained at his confirmation hearing that his goal in accepting the nomination was to “provide the leadership necessary to protect the independence and the reputation of the department. ... "

 


Rather than “protect the independence” of the department, Barr dragged it into the middle of a political minefield Wednesday when he testified before the Senate that he believed the department had engaged in “spying” on Donald Trump’s campaign and that he had decided to reexamine it personally. ...

 


Barr’s testimony was a terrible self-inflicted wound.

 

It let Trump and Trump loyalists at once trumpet the president’s innocence and smear the Justice Department and FBI with unsubstantiated charges.

 

That is the opposite of his pledge to protect the independence and the reputation of the department.

 

We can now expect a reinvigorated campaign from Trump partisans to respond to every damning detail in the Mueller report with broadsides against the probe and the department itself.

 

That can only distract from - or worse, undermine - the critical evaluation in Congress and the public of the conduct laid out in the soon-to-issued Mueller report.

 



 

The Barr-code guide:

 





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  # 2217616 15-Apr-2019 19:31
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I have merged an old topic to this one - don't worry if there are another 100+ pages now.





Lock him up!
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  # 2217631 15-Apr-2019 20:18
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That's not fair. Now it will never be exceeded by another.

 

 





I don't think there is ever a bad time to talk about how absurd war is, how old men make decisions and young people die. - George Clooney
 


 
 
 
 


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  # 2217724 15-Apr-2019 22:33
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Rikkitic:

 

That's not fair. Now it will never be exceeded by another.

 

 

That's how the Electoral College works.  🙂





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  # 2217854 16-Apr-2019 08:20
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From Trump tweet this morning

So horrible to watch the massive fire at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. Perhaps flying water tankers could be used to put it out. Must act quickly!




There was a character on SouthPark called "Captain Hindsight" S14E11

Here's a partial script of an episode

Policeman: Captain Hindsight, thank God you've come.

Captain Hindsight: What is the skinny?

Policeman: There's people trapped in that burning building, Captain Hindsight. The fire is so massive, we can't get to them.

Captain Hindsight: See the windows on the right side? They should have built fire escapes there for the higher floors so the people could have gotten down.

The roof should have been reinforced so a helicopter could have landed on it.

Policeman: Of course!

Captain Hindsight: And the building to the left, they shouldn't have built it there.

Now you can't park fire trucks where you need to.

Looks like my job is done. Good-bye, everyone!

Policeman: Thank you, Captain Hindsight. Thank you!

All right, everyone. I guess that's it. Let's pack it up.

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  # 2217943 16-Apr-2019 09:06
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The Washington Post - Mueller report’s release is expected Thursday

 

April 15

 

 

The Justice Department expects to release on Thursday a redacted version of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s report on President Trump, his associates and Russia’s interference in the 2016 election, setting the stage for further battles in Congress over the politically explosive inquiry.

 

Kerri Kupec, a spokeswoman for the department, said Monday that officials plan to issue the report to Congress and the public on Thursday morning.

 

The report, which runs nearly 400 pages without exhibits, has been the subject of heated debate since Attorney General William P. Barr notified lawmakers last month that Mueller had completed his 22-month investigation. ...

 


... Congressional Democrats have been sharply critical of Barr’s handling of the Mueller report, accusing the attorney general of soft-pedaling the findings to protect the president.

 

The House Judiciary Committee is poised to issue a subpoena for the report’s redacted portions. ...

 

 





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  # 2219433 16-Apr-2019 20:35
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American Cellist Yo Yo Ma plays Bach and quotes the statue of liberty at the Mexican border.


BDFL - Memuneh
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  # 2219489 16-Apr-2019 22:56
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