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Bingo: Trump Admits Intent to “Induce Lending” With Financial Statements

This is the very crux of the New York attorney general’s case against the Trump Organization.

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Donald Trump got caught red-handed during his $250 million New York bank fraud trial on Monday when lawyers for the New York attorney general’s office revealed Trump had long ago signed financial documents with the clear intent that they would be used to curry favor with banks.

After being shown a loan agreement he had signed with Deutsche Bank in 2012, Trump agreed that his faulty financial statements were intended to induce banks to lend money.

While it might not sound like much, the admission is key to the New York attorney general’s case, which hopes to prove that Trump deceived banks and insurers by massively overvaluing his net worth. Trump essentially admitted on the stand that these financial documents were produced with the express intent to induce lending. The Trump Organization was likely able to secure loans at far lower interest rates due to all the overinflated valuations.

Hours before, Trump had thrown the responsibility of the financial statements onto his accountants while simultaneously claiming he could have conjured any number he desired for the net worth assessment.

“I’d like to go back to the statement of financial condition, it says Donald J. Trump was responsible for designing and implementing internal controls relative to the presentation of these statements. What did you do on this?” asked lawyers for the attorney general’s office.

“Accountants,” Trump said, according to Inner City Press. “They charged me a lot of money for this, a lot of money. I could have just put a number down. But I got expensive lawyers.”

Much of Trump’s chaotic and boisterous time on the stand was spent by lawyers highlighting incongruous deeds and assessments for the former president’s various international properties, including a development deed for Mar-a-Lago, which restricts the status of Trump’s primary residence to a club.

New York Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron already decided that New York Attorney General Letitia James had proved that Trump and his two sons, Donald Jr. and Eric, committed fraud. At stake is a sizable chunk of Trump’s real estate empire, which he has described as his greatest accomplishment, notwithstanding his family.

Trump Struggles to Explain Inflated Mar-a-Lago Valuation in Fraud Trial

This is one of the biggest points in the fraud trial against the Trump Organization.

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Trump minced words during a pivotal moment of his New York bank fraud trial on Monday, claiming that the language used in Mar-a-Lago’s deed from 2002 wasn’t binding.

The “deed of development rights” outlines that “the Club and Trump intend to forever extinguish their right to develop or use the Property for any purpose other than club use”—but according to Trump, that doesn’t mean the language is legally binding.

“‘Intend’ doesn’t mean we will do it,” he specified.

The trial, which has already determined that Trump and his two sons committed fraud, hinges on whether the former president defrauded banks by overestimating the value of Mar-a-Lago as well as a handful of other properties in New York and around the world.

According to New York Attorney General Letitia James, Trump’s valuation of the Florida property, which was at times as high as $739 million, violated deed restrictions as the overinflated estimate was on the basis that it could be sold as a private residence.

His continued residence at the estate, which he has listed as his official residence since decamping from the White House in 2021, also breaches the property contract, according to the attorney general office’s lawyers.

As it stands, the deed prevents the construction of new buildings and any renovations to the property that would make Mar-a-Lago habitable for a single family, MSNBC reported.

Trump insisted that nothing had been done to the property in that regard but did admit that he received tax benefits due to the estate’s status as a club rather than a residential property.

The National Trust for Historic Preservation, the counterparty to the deed easement, will likely have a different legal position as to whether Trump can just change his mind on the binding nature of the legal document, according to NBC News’s Lisa Rubin.

“I don’t mind leaving it as a club. In fact, if somebody wanted it, smartest thing to do, have a club and have one member and that would be the member that lives in the club. But it’s much more valuable—and we’ll show that in two weeks or five weeks or nine weeks or whenever this thing goes—that its biggest value is using it as a club,” Trump said.

Trump’s Fraud Trial Defense Falls Apart as He Claims He Was President in 2021

Donald Trump really will say anything to avoid blame.

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Donald Trump took the stand Monday in his New York business fraud trial and proceeded to say anything and everything to avoid shouldering responsibility.

Trump, who is accused of fraudulently inflating the value of his real estate assets, tried to use a defense that the presiding judge had already dismissed as “worthless.” Trump then decided that a solid option was to seemingly admit involvement in the fraud.

But the clearest demonstration of Trump’s (lack of) strategy came when Kevin Wallace, a lawyer from the New York attorney general’s office, asked him if he had received copies of the Trump Organization’s financial statements in 2021.

I was so busy in the White House with China, Russia, and keeping the country safe,” Trump said.

“You were not the president in 2021,” Wallace reminded him.

Trump left office in January 2021, despite efforts to stay in power. This is a basic fact that Trump should know.

Instead, he is grasping for any excuse to avoid being held accountable during the trial. Unfortunately for Trump, the trial is really just to set damages. Presiding Judge Arthur Engoron already determined in September that Trump committed fraud. Engoron ordered that all Trump’s New York business certificates be canceled, making it nearly impossible to do business in the state and effectively killing the Trump Organization.

The lawsuit, brought by New York Attorney General Letitia James, alleges that Trump claimed his Trump Tower apartment in Manhattan was three times its actual size and worth $327 million. No New York City apartment has ever sold for that much. He also valued Mar-a-Lago at $739 million, about 10 times its actual worth.

Judge Threatens to Throw Trump out of Court for Blabbering Too Much

New York Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron has had enough of Donald Trump using the witness stand to go on weird rants.

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Donald Trump’s rants and tangents might work on the campaign trail, but they aren’t doing him any favors in his New York bank fraud trial.

Moments after the former president took the stand for the first time in the $250 million trial, New York Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron was caught in a loop, imploring Trump’s legal counsel to “control” the unruly witness while becoming increasingly irate himself.

“I beseech you to control him, if you can,” Engoron said, warning Trump attorney Christopher Kise that if the lawyers can’t control Trump, he will. “I will excuse him and draw every negative inference that I can.”

Engoron also threatened that Trump’s lack of cooperation could be met with judgmental consequences.

“Mr. Kise, can you control your witness because I am considering drawing a negative inference on any question he might be asked?” Engoron said.

Kise refused.

Throughout his early morning testimony, Trump skirted and dodged direct questioning, at one point trying to bait the judge by misquoting Engoron’s cited appraisal of Mar-a-Lago and at another point throwing himself a little pity party, bemoaning that the judge will rule against him “because he always rules against me.”

Trump also took a moment to announce what his lawyers had in the works, exclaiming that “as this crazy trial goes along” they will call bankers to “explain what the process is.”

“In addition to the answers being nonresponsive, they’re repetitive. We don’t have time to waste. We have one day with this witness,” Engoron said.

Oops! Trump Appears to Dig His Own Grave in Fraud Trial Testimony

Donald Trump has admitted to being personally involved in key parts of the Trump Organization’s financials.

Donald Trump
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Donald Trump seemed unable Monday to stop exposing the extent of his involvement with his company’s business fraud.

Trump took the stand in the civil fraud trial, in which he and his associates are accused of gaining more than $100 million by fraudulently inflating the value of their real estate assets. Trump immediately revealed he was involved in the wrongdoing.

First, Trump admitted that he looked at the documents stating the value of his different properties.

“I would look at them, I would see them, and I would maybe on occasion have some suggestions,” he said.

He then admitted he had lowered the value of Seven Springs, a property in Westchester County, New York. “I thought it was high,” he explained, essentially again revealing his close involvement in financial statements.

When asked about an amount that was changed on a 2017 document, Trump said he had “probably” requested the change because he felt that value was too high.

Trump’s repeated admissions are not a good look for the former president, to put it mildly. They show he was aware of the Trump Organization’s fraudulent practices, and it’ll be much harder for him to pin all the fraud on someone else. New York Times reporter Jonah Bromwich suggested that Trump seemed not to realize that his statements are “damning.”

The trial is really just to set damages in the case. Presiding Judge Arthur Engoron determined in September that Trump committed fraud. Engoron ordered that all Trump’s New York business certificates be canceled, making it nearly impossible to do business in the state and effectively killing the Trump Organization.

Trump Desperately Tries to Use “Worthless” Defense in Fraud Trial

Donald Trump is trotting out an old defense that is guaranteed to fail.

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Donald Trump tried Monday to defend his business practices in New York with a so-called “worthless clause”—despite the judge having already deemed this argument exactly that.

The former president, who has been accused of business fraud by the New York attorney general, has previously tried to argue that the Trump Organization’s financial documents were not the least bit fraudulent. He insisted that even if they were, he couldn’t be held responsible because it was up to the lenders and insurers to fact-check that.

Trump doubled down on that claim when he took the stand Monday. When shown his company’s financial statements, Trump pointed to a disclaimer on the document.

“We would call it a worthless statement clause,” he said. “They were not really documents that banks paid much attention to.”

There’s a small flaw in Trump’s defense: Presiding Judge Arthur Engoron has already dismissed it.

“Defendants’ reliance on these ‘worthless’ disclaimers is worthless,” Engoron wrote in a pretrial ruling dated September 26.

“The ‘worthless clause’ does not say what defendants say it says, does not rise to the level of an enforceable disclaimer, and cannot be used to insulate fraud as to facts peculiarly within defendants’ knowledge, even vis-à-vis sophisticated recipients.”

The current trial is really to set damages in the case. Engoron has already determined that Trump committed fraud, and he has ordered the effective dissolution of the Trump Organization and other Trump businesses in New York.

Attorney General Letitia James is seeking $250 million in damages. She has accused  Trump and his associates of gaining more than $100 million by fraudulently inflating the value of their real estate assets.

James’s lawsuit alleges that Trump claimed his Trump Tower apartment in Manhattan was three times its actual size and worth $327 million. No New York City apartment has ever sold for that much. He also valued Mar-a-Lago at $739 million, about 10 times its actual worth.

Mike Johnson and His Son Monitoring Each Other’s Porn Intake Is Worse Than You Think

The House speaker admitted to a wild new detail about his personal life. And it’s a bigger deal than it seems.

Mike Johnson
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House Speaker Mike Johnson’s unusual porn habits could have ramifications for the entire country.

In a newly resurfaced video from 2022, the newly minted speaker admitted that he and his son monitor each other’s porn intake using a third-party subscription software called Covenant Eyes that watches all their electronic devices. For $16.99 a month, the app drafts a habit report and shares it with an “accountability partner,” which in Johnson’s case is his teenage son Jack.

“What it does, real simply, is it has an algorithm and a software—it’s way above my head how it works, but—it scans, you obviously opt into it, but it scans all the activity on your phone or your devices, your laptop, what have you. We do all of it. Then it sends a report to your accountability partner,” Johnson said.

“My accountability partner right now is Jack, my son. He’s 17. So he and I get a report about all the things that are on our phones, all of our devices, once a week. If anything objectionable comes up, your accountability partner gets an immediate notice,” Johnson explained.

“I’m proud to tell ya, my son has got a clean slate,” he added.

Aside from the weirdness of having your son watch your porn intake—and vice versa—the implications of having one of the most prominent leaders in government under the watchful eye of an intrusive software have not been lost on some, who believe the app could pose a national security risk.

“A US Congressman is allowing a 3rd Party tech company to scan ALL of his electronic devices daily and then uploading reports to his son about what he’s watching or not watching.... I mean, who else is accessing that data?” tweeted the user Receipt Maven, who first resurfaced the video.

Johnson held a low profile in the U.S. legislature until his unexpected rise to prominence on October 25, when his long-shot bid suddenly materialized under a historically divided Republican caucus that rejected senior leadership for the role, including House Majority Leader Steve Scalise and Representative Jim Jordan.

George Santos Offers Deranged New Explanation on “Jew-ish” Heritage

The New York representative known for his serial lies is offering up a new unbelievable one.

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Representative George Santos says he can prove he has Jewish heritage, but it will have to wait until the Ukraine war is over.

The New York Republican has been plagued by controversy since arriving on Capitol Hill, including over his apparent lie that he is Jewish. Santos claims that his grandparents were Jews who fled persecution in Ukraine and then again in Belgium before settling in Brazil.

Santos insisted in a Sunday night interview that everything he has said about his heritage is true and that he is trying to acquire documentation to prove it.

“That’s what I spent the last 10 months doing, putting together, but unfortunately Ukraine is in the middle of a frickin’ war, and my grandfather comes from Ukraine,” he told CNN’s Manu Raju.

“That’s something … I’m gonna prove before I die.”

Santos said he has done DNA testing and hired genealogy experts. Those results should be available regardless of whether there is a war in Ukraine or not.

He then doubled down on his claim that he is “Jew-ish,” meaning that he is Roman Catholic but has Jewish heritage. Santos told Raju on Sunday that his grandparents had Brazilian citizenship documents forged.

But the Jewish news outlet Forward reported in December that Santos’s maternal grandparents were born in Brazil, well before the Nazis came to power in Europe, citing genealogy websites, a 1958 local newspaper article, and church records from 1928.

In addition to his heritage, Santos fabricated the vast majority of his personal and professional background and has been federally indicted for financial fraud and identity theft.

Santos appears to have falsely claimed that his mother died in the 9/11 attacks and that four of his employees were killed in the Pulse nightclub shooting. He also lied about founding an animal rescue charity and producing the disastrous Broadway musical Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark.

But somehow, Santos managed to survive an expulsion vote last week. Even some Democrats voted to let him stay, saying he should be considered innocent until proven guilty.

That proof may come sooner rather than later: Santos has been federally charged with 23 counts of various types of financial fraud. He pleaded not guilty to the initial 13 in May, and he has denied the additional 10 that were filed Tuesday night in a superseding indictment. Earlier this year, he also agreed to a deal with Brazilian authorities investigating him for financial fraud so that he could avoid prosecution.

House Republicans Introduce Bill to Expel Palestinians From the Country

Republicans have a racist new idea amid the war on Gaza.

Alex Wong/Getty Images

House Republicans have come up with yet another plan to kick brown people out of the country. On Thursday, Representative Ryan Zinke introduced a bill that would revoke the visas and refugee status of a number of Palestinians.

The Safeguarding Americans From Extremism Act would require the Department of Homeland Security to refrain from issuing visas or granting refugee, asylum, or temporary protected status to anyone holding a passport issued by the Palestinian Authority. It would also revoke visas and refugee or asylum status for anyone who was granted it on or after October 1.

The bill also directly orders Immigration and Customs Enforcement to remove those who lose their lawful status in the country under the new criteria.

“This is the most anti-Hamas immigration legislation I have seen and it’s well deserved,” Zinke said in a statement that conflated all Palestinians with Hamas.

As justification for this racist immigration overhaul, Zinke in a press release quoted articles from as far back as 2019 that have nothing to do with Palestinians or even threats to America, as well as articles from conservative outlets The Daily Mail and Fox News.

The radical bill is co-sponsored by far-right members of Congress like Marjorie Taylor Greene, who this week led a failed attempt to censure the only Palestinian American member of Congress. Other co-sponsors include Republican Representatives Andy Biggs, Aaron Bean, Andy Harris, Scott DesJarlais, Clay Higgins, Ronny Jackson, Barry Moore, Ralph Norman, and Bill Posey.

For the last month, Republicans have been using Israel’s war on Gaza to try to deport people. Donald Trump has promised to revive the cruel Muslim ban, and to expel anyone who supports Hamas. Other 2024 candidates and members of Congress have promised similar deportations. But this is the first bill that could make that grave threat a reality.

Trump’s Idiot Lawyer Just Got Himself a Gag Order in Fraud Trial

Donald Trump’s legal team is really fumbling this case.

Lawyer Christopher Kise looks on as Donald Trump attends his civil fraud trial in New York.

New York Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron has had enough, apparently.

The gag order silencing Donald Trump in the $250 million bank fraud trial is now extended to Trump’s entire legal team, according to a judge’s order issued Friday.

In his written order, Engoron banned Trump’s attorneys from commenting on his courtroom staff.

“Since the commencement of this bench trial, my chambers have been inundated with hundreds of harassing and threatening phone calls, voicemails, emails, letters, and packages. The First Amendment right of defendants and their attorneys to comment on my staff is far and away outweighed by the need to protect them from threats and physical harm,” Engoron wrote in the supplemental gag order, noting that he has an “unfettered right” to consult with his staff throughout the trial.

Violating the new order would come with “serious sanctions,” he warned.

The expansion comes mere hours after Trump attorney Christopher Kise threatened to have the case declared a mistrial over note-passing between the judge and his top legal aide—an eyebrow-raising threat that came after Eric Trump effectively admitted to lying in his deposition.

Courtroom tensions have been strained since the very beginning of the trial, when Trump spread a false rumor online that Engoron’s principal law clerk, Allison Greenfield, was dating Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. Trump also shared Greenfield’s Instagram details on Truth Social, effectively ushering a scourge of far-right sympathizers onto her social media accounts. Since then, he has fussed that the judge’s clerk is “partisan” and “biased.”

So far, Trump has violated his gag order twice to the tune of a collective $15,000 in fines. Engoron has already ruled that Trump and his sons committed fraud and has stripped the Trump Organization of its business certificates.