Tax records show 200 entities funneled money to Trump properties while reaping benefits from White House: NYT

A New York Times analysis of tax records showed that more than 200 companies, special-interest groups and foreign governments have funneled millions of dollars to President TrumpDonald John TrumpNorth Korea unveils large intercontinental ballistic missile at military parade Trump no longer considered a risk to transmit COVID-19, doctor says New ad from Trump campaign features Fauci MORE’s properties while reaping benefits from the president and his administration. 

Nearly a nearly a quarter of the entities have not been previously reported.

Sixty patrons, who promoted specific interests to the Trump administration, spent almost $12 million on expenses associated with the Trump Organization during the first two years of Trump’s presidency. The Times reported nearly all of these customers saw their interests move forward. 

In interviews with almost 250 business executives, club members, lobbyists, Trump property employees and current administration officials, sources detailed to Times how Trump conducted business and interacted with customers who were seeking help from the administration.

The newspaper also used Trump’s tax-return data, lobbying disclosures, Freedom of Information Act requests and other public records to construct a database of groups, companies and governments that had business before the administration and spent money on Trump properties.

The Trump Organization’s customers included foreign politicians, Florida barons, a Chinese billionaire, a Serbian prince, clean-energy advocates, petroleum industry leaders, small government advocates and contractors. The newspaper noted that some of the president’s customers did not see their interests fully fulfilled but noted “whether they won or lost, Mr. Trump benefited financially.”

More than 70 advocacy groups, businesses and foreign governments held events at Trump Organization properties that previously were at different locations or developed new events to be hosted at the properties. Religious organizations also participated by throwing prayer meetings, banquets and tours on Trump properties.

At least two dozen patrons who reserved events for 2017 and 2018 at Trump properties had interests involving the administration. The analysis also found that more than 100 companies that sought action from the federal government spent money at Trump properties.

The Times noted that the tax records do not include all payments to Trump properties, but additional data is tracked by the Town of Palm Beach where Trump’s Mar-a-Lago club is located. Organizations that had special interests reported spending $3.3 million on events at the club from 2017 to now. 

The records and membership rosters for Mar-a-Lago and Trump’s golf club in Bedminster, N.J., also show how much money his business was making once he sat in the White House.

Being a member of his clubs also allowed leaders to get time with the president and sometimes his support, as he offered ambassadorships to five members and chose others for advisory roles in his administration.

White House spokesperson Judd Deere told The Hill in a statement that the Times report was “Just more fake news.”

“This is yet another politically-motivated hit piece inaccurately smearing a standard business deal,” he said. “During his years as a successful businessman, Donald Trump was long-time partners with

Read more

House report: Medical neglect, falsified records harmed detained immigrants

In addition to obtaining thousands of pages of internal staff complaints, assessments and whistleblower accounts, congressional staff conducted on-site inspections at 20 facilities in Arizona, California, Georgia, Louisiana and Texas. 

The report cites, for instance, falsification of records involving Jean Carlos Jimenez-Joseph, a 27-year-old Panamanian migrant who committed suicide in May 2017 at ICE’s Stewart Detention Center in Georgia after reporting hallucinations and suicidal thoughts. 

Jimenez-Joseph was a recipient of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, an Obama-era program that allows undocumented immigrants who came to the country as children the ability to live and work in the United States. He was detained 69 days at the Georgia facility, which is run by private prison company CoreCivic, after being arrested for a misdemeanor in 2017.  

“In addition to leaving the unit unsupervised on seven occasions the night of Jimenez’s suicide, Officer [Redacted] falsely logged that he completed security rounds at 12:00 a.m. and 12:28 a.m., neither of which were corroborated by video surveillance footage,” according to an internal ICE review cited in the report.  

The House Oversight reports also cites a review by Homeland Security’s Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties of the Adelanto detention center, a California facility run by the company GEO Group. That review reported that a “failure to hire an effective and qualified clinical leader contributed to the inadequate detainee medical care that resulted in medical injuries, including bone deformities and detainee deaths.”  

Source Article

Read more

State Rep. Dave Greenspan is unnamed representative who spoke with the FBI about House Bill 6, records show

COLUMBUS, Ohio – State Rep. Dave Greenspan is the unnamed Ohio lawmaker who federal charging documents dramatically depict as meeting with agents in the FBI’s public-corruption unit while he received a text from former House Speaker Larry Householder pressuring him to vote for House Bill 6, according to newly released public records.

The records show Greenspan, a Westlake Republican, received a text from Householder on May 28, 2019, matching the one depicted in the 82-page criminal complaint that was unsealed following Householder’s arrest in July. In the text, Householder tells Greenspan, “I really need you to vote yes on HB6, it means a lot to me. Can I count on you?”

At that moment, Greenspan was sitting in a meeting with FBI agents. Meanwhile, the House was debating whether to pass House Bill 6, which will send more than $1 billion to two nuclear plants formerly owned by FirstEnergy. Prosecutors allege Householder and his allies passed the bill in exchange for $60 million in bribes from FirstEnergy and others, given in the form of political spending that helped elect Householder to his legislative leadership position and that helped force the bill through the legislature and defend it against a repeal effort.

After Greenspan responded no, Householder replied: “I just want you to remember – when I needed you – you weren’t there. twice.” An unnamed intermediary later approached Greenspan, identified in the complaint only as “Representative 7,” asking him to delete the texts on behalf of Jeff Longstreth, a top Householder political aide who also was arrested and charged in connection with HB6.

Greenspan showed the text message to FBI agents immediately after he received it, according to the federal charging document. He later provided screen shots to the FBI.

The House passed the bill on May 29, the day after Greenspan met with the FBI.

Greenspan Householder texts

A screenshot of the text message exchange between former House Speaker Larry Householder and state Rep. Dave Greenspan that recently appeared in a federal corruption indictment following Householder’s arrest.

The charging document also says that Neil Clark, a prominent Columbus lobbyist who was arrested the same day Householder was, told Greenspan separate legislation he was sponsoring would not advance unless he voted for House Bill 6. When Greenspan tried to explain to Clark why he couldn’t support the bill, Clark responded: “No one cares about your opinion.”

Householder has pleaded not guilty to a federal racketeering charge, which carries a penalty of up to 20 years in prison, and denied wrongdoing. He was removed as speaker following his arrest, but remains in the state legislature. Clark and Longstreth also have pleaded not guilty, as have two others arrested in connection to the probe, lobbyists Matt Borges and Juan Cespedes.

In a statement, U.S. Attorney David M. DeVillers, who’s overseeing the case, said: “When confronted with wrongdoing, those who come forward and assist law enforcement demonstrate bravery and courage. We owe such individuals our deepest admiration and gratitude.”

The identity of “Representative 7” was a

Read more

Virginia bill to open police investigation records passes House of Delegates

A bill that would open past police investigative files to the public sailed through the Virginia House of Delegates on Thursday.

a car parked in a parking lot: A bill that could open past police investigative files to the public would further allow relatives to learn more about what happened in particular cases, such as the families of those killed in the May 2019 shooting at the Virginia Beach Municipal Center.

© Kristen Zeis/The Daily Press/TNS
A bill that could open past police investigative files to the public would further allow relatives to learn more about what happened in particular cases, such as the families of those killed in the May 2019 shooting at the Virginia Beach Municipal Center.

Sponsored by Del. Chris Hurst, D-Blacksburg and other lawmakers, the legislation to amend the state’s open records law passed on a 59-37 vote.


Load Error

Though it was mostly a party line vote carried by Democrats, five Republicans crossed over to support the bill. It could come up for Senate hearings next week.

If it becomes law, the measure could begin to end state law enforcement agencies’ longstanding practice of shielding nearly all their files from the public — whether they are incident reports from last week or files that haven’t been looked at in decades.

Though the Virginia Freedom of Information Act currently allows police, prosecutors and sheriff’s offices statewide to release such files if they want to, the departments typically say no to all such requests.

The bill says that “criminal investigative files” become public in Virginia when a court case is over. In cases that haven’t been prosecuted, the bill says, the files would become public three years after the incident occurred.

The legislation separately increases what police departments and sheriff’s agencies must release about more recent criminal incidents.

Proponents contend the changes will allow outside organizations to examine past cases independently, and allow families to get closure in death cases.

“We can’t do our basic work, we can’t investigate, without these files,” said Michelle Feldman, an official with the Innocence Project, a nonprofit group that works to overturn wrongful convictions.

“These files contain the critical information used to follow up on leads,” added Feldman, who’s been working to support the legislation. “After an investigation is completed, it really doesn’t make sense to withhold them.”

She said the bill would also allow the public to better examine police shootings, which she pointed out are typically investigated by the officers’ own agencies.

“If the public can’t get those records about what the investigation found, how are they ever going to have comfort that officers were justified in using force?” Feldman asked.

The bill would further allow relatives to learn more about what happened in particular cases, such as the families of those killed in the May 2019 shooting at the Virginia Beach Municipal Center.

“They can’t get closure because they are not getting the full truth and the full picture,” Feldman said.

But those against the legislation say the police investigative files contain lots of sensitive information — including evidence from witnesses and information about other crimes — that must be protected.

“We oppose efforts to make criminal investigative files public without law enforcement’s discretion,” Dana G. Schrad, the executive director of the Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police,

Read more