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Don’t Rule It Out: Trump May Be Back on the Stand Soon in Fraud Trial

A prominent legal expert predicts Donald Trump will soon return as a witness in his New York fraud trial.

Donald Trump
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Donald Trump and his three oldest children have all testified in their New York business fraud trial, but most of them will probably be back on the stand soon enough.

Over the past two weeks, Trump, his sons Don Jr. and Eric, and his daughter Ivanka have testified in court about the Trump Organization’s business practices. The New York attorney general has accused them and their allies of fraudulently inflating the value of their real estate assets to get more favorable terms on bank loans. Ivanka is not a co-defendant, because an appeals court ruled that the statute of limitations on her alleged involvement had run out.

But the testimony for all four Trumps spelled disaster, and they may try to rectify it.

“I think on balance, it was bad for the Trump family,” legal expert Lisa Rubin told MSNBC Thursday, referring to the family’s testimonies. “But I will caveat that, saying, we expect three of those four Trumps to come back.”

Rubin explained that the questioning so far has been limited to the scope of Attorney General Letitia James’s lawsuit. Trump, Eric, and Don Jr. will likely testify again so that they can try to give more context to their previous testimony.

“[Trump’s] lawyers want to elicit testimony from all three of those male Trumps that goes beyond what the attorney general was interested in,” Rubin said. “And so they will bring them back to afford them … the latitude that they think the former president and maybe future president … should be afforded to explain himself.”

To say the Trumps’ testimonies went poorly is an understatement. They were repeatedly caught undermining their own defense. Trump, Eric, and Ivanka all had to admit they were involved in working with the organization’s financial statements.

Trump himself effectively admitted Monday that the organization’s financial statements were made with an eye to encourage favorable loans. The New York attorney general’s office revealed that Trump had signed financial documents intended to look good for banks.

The trial, which is only to set damages, has not been going well for Trump. He has been grasping at straws in an attempt to avoid accountability, using an argument the presiding judge has already deemed “worthless” and incorrectly insisting he was president in 2021.

Well, Well, Well: Hypocrite James Comer Did Exactly What Joe Biden Did

House Oversight Chair James Comer is mad about one particular detail in Joe Biden’s finances. Turns out he’s done the exact same thing.

James Comer
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James Comer has touted the fact that Joe Biden loaned his brother $200,000 as surefire evidence of the president’s criminal wrongdoing. But a new report reveals that the Kentucky Republican has done the same thing—and more.

Comer has for months accused Biden of corruption, although he has yet to produce any evidence. In late October, he dropped a so-called “bombshell”: Biden had given his brother James Biden a $200,000 check with the words “loan repayment” on the front.

Comer insisted the check was actually proof of “shady” business practices in the Biden family, despite the fact that multiple news outlets—including conservative-leaning ones—found evidence to the contrary. What’s more, the check was from 2018, when Biden was not in office or running for president.

But as The Daily Beast pointed out in a report published Thursday, “if Comer genuinely believes these transactions clear the ‘shady business practices’ bar, he might want to consider a parallel inquiry into his own family.”

Not only did Comer also lend his brother $200,000, he did it in the sketchiest way possible, according to the report.

Comer co-owns a farming business with his brother. Their late father was also a partner. With this business, Comer and his brother have engaged in multiple land swaps over the years. The Beast details one exchange after their father’s death in January 2019:

Chad Comer bought out his brother’s half of a piece of inherited Kentucky property, paying $100,000, according to deed records in Monroe County. Five months later, James and his wife, Tamara “TJ” Comer, bought the property out in full, this time paying Chad Comer $218,000. The buyout netted Chad Comer an unexplained $18,000 above the total value in July.

In another exchange, Comer gifted his brother his share of two inherited pieces of land, with a share value of $175,000. The cost of the transaction was only $1. Comer’s brother went on to apply for a hefty tax break and then gift Comer a more valuable piece of land in return.

And as Comer likes to say so often, it’s not just about the loan itself. While he was swapping the land from his family’s farming business, Comer held multiple important roles in agriculture oversight. Before coming to Congress, Comer was a member of Kentucky’s state legislature Agriculture Committee for eight years. He also served as the Kentucky agriculture commissioner.

When he was elected to Congress in 2016, Comer was a member of the House Agriculture Committee. Two years later, he negotiated the Farm Bill, which increased federal support for American farmers. But after Comer moved his business away from farming, he also shifted his work away from agriculture oversight.

The Beast also found that Comer supposedly runs multiple businesses that do not appear to exist on paper. The company he ran with his father and brother was called Comer Land & Cattle. There are no business filings for a company with that name anywhere in Kentucky.

Comer says he has a personal agriculture company called James Comer Jr. Farms, but the Beast couldn’t find any official records for a business with that name. And when Comer purchased the land from his brother, the deal listed a third party: a shell company called Farm Team Properties, LLC, owned by Comer and his wife.

Comer listed the company on his financial disclosure statement that year, describing it as a “land management and real estate speculation company” valued between $200,000 and $500,000. But when he listed the company on his 2021 financial statement, he valued it between $500,000 and $1 million. The Beast did not find a clear explanation for the massive increase in value.

Given this information, Comer’s accusations against Biden ring particularly hollow. It would seem the wrong politician is being investigated for “shady” business dealings.

“You’re Just Scum”: Nikki Haley Lashes Out After Swipe at Her Daughter

The Republican presidential debate is getting messy.

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Things got a little heated in Miami-Dade County Wednesday night as Republican presidential candidates began dropping bombs on one another.

During a segment of the debate focused on possible national security threats posed by TikTok, Vivek Ramaswamy thought it wise to dunk on former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley’s daughter.

“In the last debate, she made fun of me for joining TikTok while her own daughter was actually using the app for a long time, so you might want to take care of your own family first,” Ramaswamy said.

“Leave my daughter out of your voice,” Haley slapped back, leaning over her lectern to draw eye contact with the entrepreneur.

The crowd booed the rest of Ramaswamy’s answer, though they weren’t loud enough to cut out Haley’s last jab at the biotech millionaire.

“You’re just scum,” she said, rolling her eyes.

“Smoke Those Terrorists”: GOP Candidates Compete to Be Biggest Israel Hawk

None of the Republican presidential candidates care about reining in Israel.

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Not a single Republican presidential candidate thinks Benjamin Netanyahu has gone far enough in his assault on Gaza.

During the Republican presidential debate on Wednesday, each candidate was asked what advice they would give the Israeli prime minister if they were president right now.

“I would tell Bibi finish the job once and for all with these butchers Hamas,” said Ron DeSantis. “I’m sick of hearing the media, I’m sick of hearing other people blame Israel just for defending itself. We will stand with Israel, in word and in deed, in private and in public.”

“Would you consider humanitarian pause?” NBC moderator Lester Holt then asked Nikki Haley.

“The first thing I said to [Netanyahu] when it happened was I said, ‘Finish them. Finish them,’” she replied, before stressing that we need to “support Israel with whatever they need whenever they need it.”

Vivek Ramaswamy went even further: “What I would tell Bibi is that Israel has the right and the responsibility to defend itself. I would tell him to smoke those terrorists on the southern border. And I would tell him as president of the United States I’ll be smoking the terrorists on our southern border.”

“You have the responsibility and right to wipe Hamas off the map and we will be with you,” added Tim Scott. “I would say to Biden diplomacy only is a weak strategy. Appeasement leads to war.”

The South Carolina senator went on to blame the conflict on Joe Biden and Barack Obama’s diplomacy with Iran—and argue for strikes on the country.

“There is blood dripping from the hands of President Obama and President Biden, he said. “You actually have to cut off the head of the snake, and the head of the snake is Iran and not simply their proxies.… You cannot negotiate with evil. You have to destroy it.”

Christie, for his part, at least noted that it is essential to work with both sides to resolve the conflict, but he too called for supporting Israel. “The first thing I would say to Prime Minister Netanyahu is pretty simple: America is here no matter what it is you need at any time to preserve the state of Israel.”

Vivek Ramaswamy Kicks Off Debate in the Most Insane Way Possible

There is so much going on with Vivek.

Vivek Ramaswamy
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Vivek Ramaswamy kicked off the GOP’s third presidential debate with a flurry of insane back-to-back comments Wednesday night.

“We’ve become a party of losers,” Ramaswamy lamented, referring to conservatives’ sweeping loss during Tuesday’s off-year elections in Virginia, Kentucky, and Ohio.

In the same breath, Ramaswamy demanded someone take responsibility for the failure, calling for the resignation of the party’s chairman, Ronna McDaniel.

The entrepreneur then continued to attack the NBC moderators, proposing that they should be replaced by Tucker Carlson, Joe Rogan, and Elon Musk—for ratings’ sake.

Ramaswamy also lobbed an accusation at NBC News anchor Kristen Welker, calling her a member of the “corrupt media establishment,” before throwing one last bomb into his two-minute answer by insisting the 2020 presidential election was rigged.

Trump Floats Worst Person You Know as Potential Vice President Pick

This is a nightmare.

Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire/Getty Images

Donald Trump said Wednesday that he would consider picking Tucker Carlson as his running mate, revealing a potential ticket of your worst nightmares.

During an interview on the conservative podcast The Clay Travis & Buck Sexton Show, the eponymous hosts asked Trump if he would consider Carlson for vice president.

“I like Tucker a lot! I guess I would, I think I say I would,” Trump said. “He’s got great common sense.”

Trump, the Republican front-runner, does seem to genuinely like Carlson. Trump has refused to participate in the primary debates, and during the first one, he chose to air an interview with Carlson instead. Trump apparently also decided to take the Covid-19 pandemic seriously after Carlson urged him to do so.

But it’s unclear how the pair’s dynamic would work in the long run. When Fox was sued by Dominion Voting Systems, the electronic voting machine maker released troves of personal messages sent by the network’s on-screen talent. Among them were messages from Carlson proclaiming just how much he hates Trump.

Just two days before January 6, 2021, the erstwhile Fox host texted someone about Trump’s time in office. “We’re all pretending we’ve got a lot to show for it, because admitting what a disaster it’s been is too tough to digest,” Carlson said. “But come on. There really isn’t an upside to Trump.”

Carlson also said that Trump was only good at “destroying things.”

“We are very, very close to being able to ignore Trump most nights. I truly can’t wait,” he texted, adding, “I hate him passionately.”

A List of Times Republicans Said Things Worse Than Rashida Tlaib—but Weren’t Censured

Here are some of the extremist things Republicans have said about Palestinians, with zero repercussions.

Lindsey Graham
Sam Wolfe/Bloomberg/Getty Images
Senator Lindsey Graham last month called on Israel to “level the place.”

Republicans—and 22 Democrats—voted to censure Representative Rashida Tlaib on Tuesday, formally reprimanding the Michigan Democrat for her vocal support of a cease-fire in the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict. But was what she said any more inflammatory than the GOP’s own rhetoric around the war?

Tlaib, the only Palestinian American in Congress, drew the ire of the Republican caucus for attending an October 17 Jewish-led sit-in on Capitol Hill calling for peace between Israel and Palestine. Since then, Republicans have called Tlaib a terrorist and claimed she promotes the destruction of Israel. They’ve also lambasted her for describing the chant “from the river to the sea” as an “aspirational call for freedom, human rights, and peaceful coexistence.”

Here are some of the things her Republican colleagues have said:

Max Miller: “We’re going to turn that into a parking lot.”

In an October interview with The Ingraham Angle, Ohio Representative Max Miller attacked the presence of a Palestinian flag outside Tlaib’s office while glibly suggesting that the nation would be “eviscerated.”

“I don’t even want to call it the Palestinian flag because they’re not a state, they’re a territory, that’s about to probably get eviscerated and go away here shortly, as we’re going to turn that into a parking lot,” Miller said.

“For once, can people say they condemn calls to completely wipe out Palestinians? It shouldn’t be hard to condemn genocidal rhetoric,” slapped back Representative Ilhan Omar, retweeting Miller’s comments.

Brian Mast compared Palestinians to “Nazi civilians.”

Last week, Florida Representative Brian Mast compared “Palestinian civilians” to “Nazi civilians.”

“There is not this far stretch to say there are very few innocent Palestinian civilians,” Mast said on the House floor last Wednesday.

A Democratic resolution to censure Mast has been put on hold.

Lindsey Graham: “Level the place.”

Republicans on the other side of Congress have proved equally incendiary in their analysis of the conflict. In an appearance on Fox News’s Hannity, Senator Lindsey Graham said that Israel should “level the place.”

“We’re in a religious war here. I am with Israel,” Graham said. “Do whatever the hell you have to do to defend yourself. Level the place.”

During a segment on CNN’s NewsNight earlier this month, Graham said there’s “no limit” to the amount of civilian deaths that would lead him to question Israel’s military directive.

Tom Cotton: Israel can “bounce the rubble in Gaza.”

In an interview with Shannon Beam on Fox News Sunday, Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton argued that the mass-bombing of Palestinian women and children is a justified counterattack since Hamas militants attacked women and children in the October 7 massacre in southern Israel.

“As far as I’m concerned, Israel can bounce the rubble in Gaza,” Cotton said, voicing his support should the U.S. ally choose to assault already devastated areas.

This is nowhere near a comprehensive list—and none of these members have been censured. Republicans have also taken their opinions a step further, rallying behind a bill introduced last week by Representative Ryan Zinke that would revoke the visas and refugee status of a number of Palestinians living in the U.S.

In the month since Hamas militants killed 1,400 Israeli civilians in the October 7 massacre, more than 10,000 Palestinian lives have been lost in the conflict, according to the Gaza Health Ministry.

Chants of “Crime Family” Greet Ivanka Trump at Courthouse

Ivanka Trump is testifying in the New York fraud trial against her family—and things got off to a rocky start.

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Ivanka Trump testified Wednesday in her family’s New York business fraud trial. But before she took the stand, protesters outside the courthouse made their feelings about her clear.

Ivanka was initially listed as a co-defendant in the lawsuit alongside her father and brothers when New York Attorney General Letitia James filed the suit in September 2022. But an appeals court dismissed the claims against her in June, ruling that the statute of limitations on her alleged involvement had run out.

The oldest Trump daughter was still called to testify about the Trump Organization’s business practices, though. As she walked up to the courthouse, a crowd of protesters began to chant, “Crime family!”

Trump did not acknowledge the protesters, who continued to chant as she entered the building. Once she took the stand, she promptly had to explain an email exchange that undermined her family’s entire defense.

James accused Donald Trump and his allies of fraudulently inflating the value of their real estate assets to get more favorable terms on bank loans. She 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 far more than its actual worth. Presiding Judge Arthur Engoron noted in October that Trump’s estimates went as high as 2,300 percent more than the Palm Beach County tax appraiser’s valuation.

The trial is only to set damages, because 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.

This Ivanka Trump Email Could Undo Her Family’s Entire Defense

Ivanka Trump took the stand in the New York fraud trial—and was reminded about an old email she sent.

Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

Ivanka Trump was forced Wednesday, during her family’s New York business fraud trial, to explain an email exchange that could undo their entire defense.

Donald Trump’s oldest daughter took the stand to testify about the Trump Organization’s business practices. Ivanka Trump was presented with an email conversation she had with one of the company’s lawyers.

The lawyer, Jason Greenblatt, was worried about a 2012 deal with Deutsche Bank for the purchase of the Doral golf club in Miami, which required Donald Trump to maintain a minimum net worth of $3 billion. This requirement “would seem to me to be a problem?” he asked Ivanka.

Ivanka replied this was something they “have known from day one. We wanted to get a great rate and the only way to get the proceeds/term and principle where we want them is to guarantee the deal.”

Another email related to the Doral deal makes clear that her father’s financials were a big part of securing the purchase. “My father will also send you his most recent financial statement by hard mail,” she wrote in an email with the subject line “Doral.”

This exchange speaks directly to New York Attorney General Letitia James’s main accusation that Trump and his allies fraudulently inflated the value of their real estate assets to get more favorable terms on bank loans. Greenblatt was concerned that Trump would struggle to prove and maintain a net worth of at least $3 billion. But Ivanka didn’t seem worried.

In the Doral deal, Ivanka eventually got the requirement for Trump’s net worth lowered to $2.5 billion, but that’s still far higher than what James estimates Trump’s net worth actually was at the time of the purchase in 2012.

Trump himself effectively admitted Monday that the organization’s financial statements were made with an eye to encourage favorable loans. The New York attorney general’s office revealed that Trump had signed financial documents intended to look good for banks.

The trial, which is only to set damages, has not been going well for Trump. He has been grasping at straws in an attempt to avoid accountability, using an argument the presiding judge has already deemed “worthless” and incorrectly insisting he was president in 2021.

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 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.

Democrats Drop Resolution to Censure Rep. Who Compared Palestinians to Nazis

The move comes one day after House Democrats helped Republicans pass a bill to censure Representative Rashida Tlaib.

Brian Mast wears an Israeli Defense Force uniform
Joe Raedle/Getty Images
Representative Brian Mast wearing an Israeli Defense Force uniform at a House Republican caucus meeting, on October 13

One day after 22 House Democrats voted alongside Republicans to censure Representative Rashida Tlaib for voicing support for a cease-fire in Gaza, the blue party also decided to pull its own censure resolution against Florida Representative Brian Mast, who compared “Palestinian civilians” to “Nazi civilians.”

Mast received blowback for comments he made on the House floor last Wednesday, saying he would “encourage the other side to not so lightly throw around the idea of ‘innocent Palestinian civilians,’ as is frequently said. I don’t think we would so lightly throw around the term ‘innocent Nazi civilians’ during World War II.”

“There is not this far stretch to say there are very few innocent Palestinian civilians,” Mast said.

That was enough for Representative Sara Jacobs to put Mast in the hot seat, drafting her own censure resolution against the Florida congressman on Monday.

Two days later, however, a Democratic aide familiar with the legislation told The Hill that the legislation has been dropped for now. The source added that Jacobs is still working with Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries on what the timing on the bill should be.

Meanwhile, nearly two dozen Democrats voted with Republicans to censure Rashida Tlaib in a late-night vote on Tuesday.

In the month since Hamas militants killed 1,400 Israeli civilians in the October 7 massacre, more than 10,000 Palestinian lives have been lost in the conflict, according to the Gaza Health Ministry.

The Biden administration has urged the Israeli government to avoid civilian casualties but has so far rejected calls for a cease-fire in the region. Meanwhile, the White House has also called for emergency aid to Israel as part of a $105 billion national security package that includes military and humanitarian assistance to U.S. allies around the world, including Ukraine and Taiwan.

Those decisions have decimated Biden’s popularity among Arab American voters, with support plummeting from 59 percent to 17 percent since the presidential election, according to a poll by the Arab American Institute.

“Something horrible is happening to these people, and this administration is turning a blind eye to it,” James Zogby, the group’s president, told Democracy Now! “There are going to be electoral consequences.”