Friday, July 16, 2021

Last Call For Trump's Taxing Explanation, Con't

As I keep saying, they got Al Capone on tax fraud, too.

A witness in the New York investigation against the Trump Organization has told prosecutors that Donald Trump personally guaranteed he would cover school costs for the family members of two employees in lieu of a raise—directly implicating the former president in an ongoing criminal tax fraud case.

The explosive claims come from Jennifer Weisselberg, the ex-wife of a longtime company employee, during a teleconference call with investigators on Friday, June 25, according to two sources who agreed to speak on the condition of anonymity.

On that afternoon's Zoom call, those sources said, investigators with the Manhattan district attorney and New York state attorney general asked Jennifer Weisselberg whether Trump himself was involved in the company’s alleged tax-dodging scheme of making corporate gifts instead of increasing salary that would be taxed.

He was, she answered.

Weisselberg then provided key details for investigators. In January 2012, inside Trump’s office at Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue, Jennifer Weisselberg watched as Trump discussed compensation with her husband and her father-in-law, both company employees. Her husband wouldn’t be getting a raise, but their children would get their tuition paid for at a top-rated private academy instead.

Weisselberg allegedly relayed to prosecutors that Trump turned to her and said: "Don’t worry, I’ve got it covered.”

Prosecutors were astonished, according to one source.

The Daily Beast received descriptions of the call from two people familiar with the details of the call.

According to two sources, among the prosecutors on the call were Carey Dunne, the Manhattan DA’s general counsel; Mark F. Pomerantz, a white collar crime specialist brought on for this investigation; and Gary Fishman, an assistant attorney general deputized to work on this joint investigation.

If true, Jennifer Weisselberg’s claims would directly tie Trump to what a New York criminal indictment described as a corporate scheme to pay executives “in a matter that was ‘off the books.’”

“The scheme allowed the Trump Organization to evade the payment of payroll taxes that [it] was required to pay,” an indictment for the Trump Organization claims. On the flip side, it also alleges that executives avoided having to pay income taxes on a huge chunk of their pay.

Neither the Manhattan DA nor the state AG would comment on this story. Jennifer Weisselberg declined as well.

The question remains if Trump himself will be indicted.

My fear remains that the moment he is, the country burns.

The Big Lie, Con't

Trump cultists are running on The Big Lie openly now in Georgia, and they will in contests across the country in 2021 and beyond. Every journalist needs to ask every Republican candidate or elected if they acknowledge Biden's win. Increasingly, the answer is "no."

The organizers at the door handed out soft-pink “Trump Won” signs to each attendee. An out-of-state radio host spouted far-right conspiracies. Speaker after speaker insisted that Joe Biden couldn’t have won the November election and that Georgia couldn’t be a blue state.

The gathering this week in Rome might seem like a pro-Donald Trump fantasy convention. But this was no fringe group. Some of the biggest stars in the Georgia GOP were in attendance.

State Sen. Burt Jones, a wealthy executive who is expected to run for lieutenant governor, was given a hero’s welcome. A fellow Republican, state Sen. Brandon Beach, regaled the group with stories about standing up to the party establishment. Two other congressional candidates worked the room.

And U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene opened by telling the crowd, “I do not think Joe Biden won the election.”

Across the state, candidates for public office are repeating Trump’s false claims that the 2020 election was rigged and the contest was stolen from him. Many are running for local office and state legislative seats, while some are seeking the most powerful posts in the state.

The conspiracy theories are already complicating GOP primaries in Georgia, as Republicans try to fend off ascendant Democrats fresh off a string of victories in November’s presidential election and January’s U.S. Senate runoffs.

The leading candidates competing to challenge Democratic U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock have raised questions about the election results and echoed the phony narrative of widespread voting fraud in Georgia.

And the early maneuvering in races for statewide posts, including governor and secretary of state, have focused on debunked claims that voter fraud was rampant in Georgia last year.

The evidence is clear. Three separate tallies of the roughly 5 million ballots upheld Biden’s narrow victory, court challenges by Trump allies were squashed, and state and federal election officials have vouched for the results.

An audit of absentee ballot signatures in Cobb County found no cases of fraud. While investigators are still probing more than 100 complaints from November, they would not change the election result even if every allegation is substantiated. Neither would a lawsuit pushing for a deeper review of Fulton County ballots.

But Trump’s unsubstantiated claims of a “rigged” election have seeped deeply into the Georgia GOP and left his critics marginalized.

An Atlanta Journal-Constitution poll showed a broad majority of conservatives support a Republican-backed election overhaul that includes new restrictions on voting. A spate of national polls, including from CNN, indicate most Republicans don’t believe Biden won.

The few Georgia Republicans who have spoken in defense of the results have faced ridicule from their own.

Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, who oversaw the election and rejected Trump’s demand that he overturn its results, is the underdog in his race against a formidable GOP challenger endorsed by Trump. Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan opted against a reelection bid to focus on his vision for a post-Trump era.

In an interview, Duncan said every time Republicans falsely assert the election was stolen it “makes the pathway for Democrats even easier.”

“Our job, as Republicans, is to walk into every GOP meeting whether it’s comfortable or uncomfortable and convince them there’s no fraud,” he said.
The apostates like Raffensperger and Duncan will be purged from the ranks entirely in a few years. Understand that the purpose of The Big Lie is for it to be used as justification for everything the cult does for the rest of the decade, and longer.

Our Little White Supremacist Domestic Terrorism Problem, Con't

A Kentucky man charged with threatening Jefferson County Public Schools Superintendent Marty Pollio over the district’s mask mandate told WAVE-TV his comments were taken out of context.

Bradley Linzy went inside the district’s central office in Louisville on Monday and began arguing with staff about the mask requirement for unvaccinated students and staff, according to court documents. After leaving the building, school security officers found Linzy outside in his car, where he admitted to having a gun.

Linzy is accused of confronting Pollio as the superintendent was leaving the building, telling him, “Your life is f(asterisk)(asterisk)(asterisk)(asterisk)(asterisk)(asterisk) over and career as you know it," and, “You don’t know what I’m capable of doing.”

He told the television station that he was not threatening Pollio's life.

"I said, ‘Your life is over as it pertains to your career, sir.’ I said, ‘I have enough of a following that I could make this very difficult for you,’ etc. etc. kinda thing. I didn’t, I wasn’t threatening the man’s life or anything like that.”

Linzy has a YouTube channel with videos about guitars and other instruments, with more than 120,000 followers.

As for his other comment, “You don’t know what I am capable of," Linzy said he made it to the security officer when he was asked if he had any weapons.

“I was agreeing with him,” Linzy said. “He was like, ‘I have to ask. I’m just doing my job.’ And I was like, ‘I understand that.’ I said, ‘You don’t know what I’m capable of. I get it.’ That’s what that was about.”

Linzy said he went to the district office after calling multiple times to try to speak to someone about the schools' mask mandate. He said he is concerned for his 10-year-old daughter who is on the autism spectrum.

“With these mask mandates, and her being in a mask, and all of her peers being in a mask, it makes it doubly hard for her to understand people’s emotions,” he said.
Using his own child's autism as an excuse for this behavior and hiding behind it makes Brad Linzy a coward and a fool. He's not the person I'm worried about.
I'm worried about one of his 120,000 YouTube followers who decides that the next Jefferson County school board meeting or Louisville City Council meeting needs to be "disrupted" by an AR-15. Odds a really good the security at those meetings will deal with anything like that.
But if it's, say, a dozen "like-minded" individuals?  Well, that gets dicey, fast.
Maybe nothing even approaching that happens here in Kentucky.
But maybe it does. And frankly, it wouldn't be difficult at all to start.
Where, when, and how it ends, well...
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