Knock Knock, Donny! It's ALLLLLL The Lawyers
Corrected and updated below!
President Snifflesnort will never get his stupid WALL. But he's definitely getting walls upon walls closing in on him, tighter every day. So ... winning! Yesterday's big story was about the eleventy different investigations into Trump's griftapalooza inauguration -- come for the Ukrainian oligarchs, stay for the Qataris rubbing shoulders with Devin Nunes over the breakfast buffet. But the afternoon brought news of two other inquiries breaching the firewall of Trump's business interests. Because SLOW NEWS DAY, WHAT EVEN IS THAT?
CNN reports that SDNY's attack dogs have started banging on doors at the Trump Organization, which is a thing that happens when you launder a payment made to silence a porn star during a presidential campaign through your business's books and call it a legal retainer.
Trump and his legal team have long harbored concerns that investigations by New York federal prosecutors -- which could last throughout his presidency -- may ultimately pose more danger to him, his family and his allies than the inquiry by special counsel Robert Mueller, according to people close to Trump. Prosecutors' recent interest in executives at Trump's family company may intensify those fears.
YEAH, NO SHIT. It doesn't take Chris Christie to work out that lawyers with guns are a lot scarier than the craven whores of the GOP, who wouldn't vote to impeach if they were holding a canceled check from Vladimir Putin to Donald Trump with "services rendered" in the memo line. Federal prosecutors in New York have already LOCK HER UPPED Michael Cohen, so Don Jr., or whichever Trump executive greenlighted reimbursing Cohen through the president's trust, should enjoy every minute on the outside. Not for nothing, but Trump's CFO Allen Weisselberg flipped last year and has been spilling all the company shit for six months. So, tick fucking tock!
Update and correction! A spokeswoman for DC AG Karl Racine points out via email that Donald Trump's Scottish golf courses were not subpoenaed in Racine's investigation into Trump's DC hotel. We relied on the reporting of Business Insider, which seems to have taken a post from the Times of London -- that the corporate owner of the golf course, which is the same corporate owner of the DC hotel, had been subpoenaed -- as evidence that the golf courses themselves had been subpoenaed. We regret the error, and leave the rest of the post below, because we don't memoryhole our mistakes after the fact, COUGH BUSINESS INSIDER COUGH.
Meanwhile, the emoluments lawsuit has jumped the pond [nope]. Business Insider reports [incorrectly] that Trump's golf course in Scotland has been subpoenaed by Maryland and DC's badass Attorneys General Brian Frosh and Karl Racine for any evidence relating to their case against Trump's hotel in DC. In his testimony, former British spy and "Dodgy Dossier" supervisor Glenn Simpson told the House Intelligence Committee:
But because the Irish courses and the Scottish courses are under U.K., you know, Anglo corporate law, they have -- they file financial statements. So we were able to get the financial statements. And they don't, on their face, show Russian involvement, but what they do show is enormous amounts of capital flowing into these projects from unknown sources and -- or at least on paper it says it's from The Trump Organization, but it's hundreds of millions of dollars. And these golf course are just, you know, they're sinks. They don't actually make any money. So, you know, if you're familiar with Donald Trump's finances and the litigation over whether he's really a billionaire, you know, there's good reason to believe he doesn't have enough money to do this and that he would have had to have outside financial support for these things.
Somehow, Donald Trump came up with $200 million in cash in between 2015 and 2016 to renovate the Turnberry golf course, even though his primary lender Deutsche Banke refused to underwrite the project. The course consistently operates at a loss, bottoming out at $23 million in the red during 2016, and $4.5 million the following year. At this rate, Trump can look forward to recouping his investment ... NEVER. So where did the money come from, if no "real" bank would touch the deal? The Washington Post reports:
"He had incredible cash flow and built incredible wealth," Eric Trump said. "He didn't need to think about borrowing for every transaction. We invested in ourselves."
He added: "It's a very nice luxury to have."
LOL, remember that funny time in 2013 when Eric told golf journalist James Dodson that the Trump Organization had access to infinity capital to rehab golf courses because, "We have all the funding we need out of Russia?" NO COLLUSION!
Now before we get too excited about this emoluments lawsuit, just remember that the subpoena isn't for all the documents. It's a pretty boring request for any information pertaining to the Trump Hotel in DC, and there's no indication that the Scotland property's managers know anything about the finances of their sister property across the Atlantic. But once Johnny Law starts looking at a company's books, there's no telling what he might find. Especially when the company's finances are so ... ummm, interesting. So, have fun storming the castle, boys!
[CNN / Business Insider / HPSCI / WaPo]
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Liz Dye lives in Baltimore with her wonderful husband and a houseful of teenagers. When she isn't being mad about a thing on the internet, she's hiding in plain sight in the carpool line. She's the one wearing yoga pants glaring at her phone.