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What To Do When You're Stopped By Police - The ACLU & Elon James White

What To Do When You're Stopped By Police - The ACLU & Elon James White

Know Anyone Who Thinks Racial Profiling Is Exaggerated? Watch This, And Tell Me When Your Jaw Drops.

This video clearly demonstrates how racist America is as a country and how far we have to go to become a country that is civilized and actually values equal justice. We must not rest until this goal is achieved. I do not want my great grandchildren to live in a country like we have today. I wish for them to live in a country where differences of race and culture are not ignored but valued as a part of what makes America great.

Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Facts in the Trump courtroom v. ‘facts’ in the court of public opinion - The Washington Post

Facts in the Trump courtroom v. ‘facts’ in the court of public opinion

(Victor J. Blue for The Washington Post/ Pool)

"Former president Donald Trump is now on trial in a Manhattan courtroom, where facts are paramount, and a jury will assess the evidence and render a verdict. But as he enters and leaves that courtroom, Trump often stops before the cameras and blasts falsehoods to the court of public opinion, which can apply a different standard to Trump when it comes to facts. Here’s a quick assessment of several claims he made after the conclusion of the first day of testimony in his hush money trial, in the order in which he made them.

“This is a case where you pay a lawyer, he’s a lawyer, and they call it a legal expense. That’s the exact term they use, legal expenses, in the books. And another thing that wasn’t even said was, we never even deducted it as a tax deduction.”

Legal fees are often tax deductible. The fact that the Trump Organization did not take a tax deduction for the hush money payments is a possible red flag that these payments were handled improperly.

Trump generally has taken as many tax deductions as possible. For instance, the Donald J. Trump Foundation — which Trump shut down after allegations he used it for his personal and political benefit — recorded a $7 foundation gift to the Boy Scouts. That matched the amount required to enroll a boy in the Scouts the year his son Donald Trump Jr. was 11.

Michael “Cohen is a lawyer, represented a lot of people over the years. I’m not the only one, and he wasn’t very good in a lot of ways in terms of misrepresentation.”

Trump now knocks his former attorney, Michael Cohen, who is expected to testify that he arranged the hush money payments at Trump’s behest, as not “very good.” That raises the question of why Cohen ended up working for Trump for 12 years, including 10 as vice president of the Trump Organization and then as Trump’s personal attorney after Trump was elected president.

“He [Cohen] got in trouble for things that had nothing to do with me.”

This is false. Cohen pleaded guilty to eight criminal charges, including two — “causing an unlawful corporate contribution” and “making an excessive campaign contribution” — that directly relate to the hush money case now being litigated in Manhattan criminal court. The charges laid out how “Individual-1” (Trump) began a presidential campaign in 2016 and how Cohen worked with the National Enquirer to squelch potentially damaging stories about alleged affairs with adult-film star Stormy Daniels and former Playboy model Karen McDougal. His payoffs were reimbursed by the Trump Organization.

“Cohen caused and made the payments described herein in order to influence the 2016 presidential election,” the Justice Department said in a 2018 news release. “In so doing, he coordinated with one or more members of the campaign, including through meetings and phone calls, about the fact, nature, and timing of the payments. As a result of the payments solicited and made by Cohen, neither Woman-1 nor Woman-2 spoke to the press prior to the election.”

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Notably, this case was prosecuted when Trump was president. Geoffrey Berman, at the time the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, revealed in 2022 that senior DOJ officials tried to remove all references to Trump. In the end, a compromise was made to water down the language, specifically to remove references to the idea that Trump acted “in concert with” and “coordinated with” Cohen to make illegal campaign contributions.

“The other thing is: If this were such a great case, why didn’t the Southern District [of New York] bring it, who looked at it and turned it down?”

In his memoir, “Holding the Line,” Berman says the case ended under pressure from Attorney General William P. Barr. The office, with Cohen’s cooperation in hand, began to investigate whether others should be charged in the hush money case. After Barr became attorney general in 2019, he ordered a review of the Cohen case, suggesting that the campaign finance charges be reversed — even though Cohen had pleaded guilty six months before. Specifically, he asked the Office of Legal Counsel to review whether there was a legal basis for the campaign finance changes. That froze any further investigation: “Not a single investigative step could be taken, not a single document in our possession could be reviewed until the issue was resolved,” Berman wrote, saying Barr’s intervention so long after a guilty plea was “highly unusual, if not unprecedented.” Barr eventually was convinced not to seek dismissal of the Cohen charges. But no additional charges were brought.

“Very importantly, why didn’t the Federal Elections [Commission] do anything? Federal Elections took a total pass on it. They said essentially nothing was done wrong or they would have done something about it. They’re tough. … Actually, if you read their letter, they couldn’t even believe it. They were incredulous.”

This is false. The Federal Election Commission staff, in a December 2020 report by the general counsel, said it had found “reason to believe” violations of campaign finance law were made “knowingly and willfully” by the Trump campaign. The report said that Cohen’s $130,000 payment to Daniels was far in excess of the legal limit for individual contributions of $2,700. “The available information indicates that Michael Cohen paid Stephanie Clifford [Daniels’s real name] $130,000 at the direction of 2016 presidential candidate Donald J. Trump, with Trump’s express promise of repayment, for the purpose of influencing the 2016 election,” the report said.

The FEC by law is made up of six commissioners split evenly between Republicans and Democrats. In 2021, the FEC on a party-line vote of 2-2 dropped the case; there was one vacancy and one Republican recusal. Democrats wanted to pursue the case, but Republicans said the public record was complete, given Cohen’s punishment."

Facts in the Trump courtroom v. ‘facts’ in the court of public opinion - The Washington Post

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