You Win Some, You Lose Some--Unless You're Donald Trump, Apparently
Will Donald Trump eventually pay the price for (some of) the misdeeds attributed to him? Time will tell,
but we know one thing for certain: He's had (yet another) bad week in court.
Let's run through the various setbacks quickly, so we can move on to more interesting stuff:
- Yesterday, the Supreme Court
it will not get involved in the question of whether or not House Ways and Means Chair Richard Neal (D-MA) can have
Trump's tax returns. SCOTUS' majority is committed to a conservative agenda, but they don't have much use for Trump. The
former president is out of appeal options here, so his attempt to run out the clock until Jan. 3, when Neal will be
getting a demotion, has failed. We presume that the returns will eventually become public, one way or another.
- Yesterday, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) bowed to reality and
before the Georgia grand jury that is looking into election interference on the part of the Senator, Trump, et al. It's not known what
Graham said, as yet. However, Graham's #1 concern has always been protecting Lindsey Graham's rear end. So, it is not likely that
what he said yesterday was helpful to Trump.
- Also in Georgia yesterday, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta
arguments about whether or not a special master should have been appointed to look through the documents seized from
Mar-a-Lago. People who were in the room said that the judges' questions suggest that they are inclined to get rid of the
- If there is one skill where Donald Trump is way above average, perhaps even savant-level, it's finding people
willing to do unethical and illegal things on his behalf, while giving him plausible deniability. In his ongoing
testimony in New York, former Trump Organization CFO, and still Trump Organization employee Allen Weisselberg
has been bending over backwards
to fulfill the terms of his plea deal without incriminating his Trump family bosses. The basic summary is that
Weisselberg admits that tax fraud took place, and he admits that the Trumps signed checks as part of that, and he admits
that the fraud magically stopped once Donald Sr. was elected president. However, Weisselberg insists that the Trumps did
not know about the fraud, and that while it did profit them, it was undertaken solely by him (Weisselberg) for his own
benefit. We may see, one day, how persuasive a jury finds that version of events. That said, for some crimes, it doesn't
necessarily matter if the higher ups knew what was going on; it's enough that they were negligent in allowing it to
- Last week, Republican strategist Jesse Benton was
of illegally funneling Russian money to the Trump campaign. Like Weisselberg, Benton insists that the former president
was ignorant of what was going on. It's not clear whether this might eventually implicate Trump, though we will note
that he pardoned Benton previously for a different crime, and now Benton has six new convictions to deal with. So, if he
has dirt to dish, he has new motivation to dish it.
That's the latest from the Trump legal blotter. He gets a breather for a couple of days, thanks to the holiday. But
next week will undoubtedly bring more adverse legal news. (Z)
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