Trump wages coast-to-coast legal battle to keep tax returns hidden : NBC News

The effort to obtain President Donald Trump’s tax returns is heating up as the president and his administration battle coast to coast to prevent them from falling into hostile hands and potentially being made public.

In New York, the president seeks to prevent Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance from obtaining his tax information as part of an investigation into the pre-election payoffs to women who alleged affairs with Trump. In Washington, D.C., the president is trying to prevent the House Oversight Committee from obtaining his financial records while also seeking to block the House Ways and Means Committee from utilizing a new New York law designed to give the panel access to Trump’s state tax returns should the Treasury Department refuse to turn them over (another battle that is playing out in court.)

And in California, he’s battling a new state law aimed at having him make public the returns in order to appear on a primary ballot. Those cases don’t include the various Emoluments Clause-related suits currently going through the federal system, which could lead to the president’s returns being disclosed through discovery.

Trump’s employing a wide range of legal arguments to prevent his returns from being disclosed. Among them is the argument that authorities can’t investigate a sitting president for anything — even if he shoots someone in the middle of 5th Avenue in New York City, and that immunity provides blanket cover for his business, his family members and his business associates. Then, there is the argument that Congress can’t investigate a sitting president unless it has a legitimate legislative purpose — even then, if that probe is not part of an impeachment, it is not legitimate.

And should a state force Trump to release his taxes in order to appear on a primary ballot, or provide Congress with his state returns, they would be violating his First Amendment rights. Additionally, providing the returns would be an undue burden on the president, significantly hampering his ability to do his job, he’s argued.

“Underlying the president’s defense in most of the information-seeking cases is an argument that a president is immune from being investigated while in office,” Walter Dellinger, a Duke University law professor who served as acting solicitor general under former President Bill Clinton, told NBC News. “That argument permeates most of the cases as a linchpin. I expect that argument to be thoroughly rejected by the courts, including by justices appointed by President Trump.”


Source: Trump wages coast-to-coast legal battle to keep tax returns hidden : NBC News

Trump asserts executive privilege over census citizenship question info as Dems prepare contempt vote : NBC News


Source: Trump asserts executive privilege over census citizenship question info as Dems prepare contempt vote : NBC News

Michael Cohen sues Trump Organization over unpaid legal bills : NBC News

Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump’s former lawyer and fixer, filed a lawsuit Thursday in New York City against his one-time boss’s real estate business over unpaid legal bills.

In a civil complaint filed in Manhattan Supreme Court, Cohen accused the Trump Organization of breaking a promise made in July 2017 to pay his legal bills while he was still employed by Trump.

Cohen claims he’s owed $1.9 million to cover attorneys’ fees and other related costs.

“As a result of the Trump Organization’s unfounded refusal to meet its indemnification obligations under the indemnification agreement, Mr. Cohen has incurred millions of dollars in unreimbursed attorneys’ fees and costs,” according to Cohen’s lawsuit.

Last week, Cohen testified before the House Oversight Committee and accused the president of a slew of misdeeds, including a hush-money payoff to porn actress Stormy Daniels.

In the lawsuit, Cohen calls himself Trump’s “fixer” and repeated claims that he took care of the Daniels payment and a similar one to former Playboy model Karen McDougal, who has claimed she had an affair with Trump, and negotiated for a Trump property in Moscow as late as summer 2016.

Cohen claimed that the Trump Organization initially made good on its commitment and paid $137,460 to his lawyers on Oct. 25, 2017, according to the lawsuit.

But by December 2017, the Trump Organization stopped making additional attorney payments, all while Cohen was facing multiple overdue invoices for his legal representation, the lawsuit claimed.


Source: Michael Cohen sues Trump Organization over unpaid legal bills : NBC News

After Cohen’s testimony, how much longer can Ivanka Trump play dumb? |

After Michael Cohen’s incendiary congressional hearing, is it finally time to start asking hard questions about Ivanka Trump’s role in the sprawling corruption in Donald Trump’s empire?

So far, the “first daughter” has mainly been the subject of negative press for her clueless princess persona, and the way she holds herself out as a model businesswoman and a mother while her father wreaks havoc on the lives of working women and families. But during his day-long testimony before the House Oversight Committee on Wednesday, Cohen — who worked closely with Donald Trump for 10 years as his personal attorney and professional fixer — implicated Ivanka in the sprawling story of her father’s seedy and hidden Russian dealings, which may also be tied to the criminal conspiracy to steal emails from Democratic officials and influence the 2016 election.

Midway through the hearing, Rep. Stephen Lynch, D-Mass., asked Cohen, “Who were the family members that you briefed on the Trump Tower Moscow project?” referring to Trump’s efforts to get a favorable real estate deal from Russia’s oligarch class at the same time that Russian intelligence was orchestrating a criminal conspiracy to manipulate the presidential election.

“Don Trump Jr. and Ivanka Trump,” Cohen replied, adding that he had spoken with both of them “approximately 10 times” about it.


Source: After Cohen’s testimony, how much longer can Ivanka Trump play dumb? |

If Trump is worried about the end of Mueller’s investigation, he’s worrying about the wrong thing |

After more than 20 months of digging, issuing subpoenas, interviewing witnesses, getting indictments, making plea deals, and achieving felony convictions in federal court, Special Counsel Robert Mueller is reportedly nearing the end of his investigation into Donald Trump and his campaign for their connections to Russians during the 2016 election. Whether one week away or one month away, the Trump White House is said to be steeling itself for Mueller’s report. The end is near.

If neither Trump nor his henchmen have done anything wrong, he won’t have anything to worry about. But six men who worked for Trump in various capacities have pled guilty and have been sentenced to federal prison, or are awaiting sentencing, or have already served time. That’s not to mention the 26 Russian nationals, including 12 agents for the Russian intelligence service the GRU, who have also been indicted, along with several other individuals. There has been speculation for weeks that Mueller has more indictments to bring, and he has moved to delay sentencing for several Trump associates whom he is still interviewing or taking before his grand jury in Washington D.C., which recently received an extension of its term upon a request by Mueller.

But it’s not the report of the Special Counsel to the Attorney General that Trump should be worried about. The charter of Mueller’s investigation is narrow, limited to crimes arising out of Russian interference in the campaign of 2016 and the connections of Trump and his campaign to the Russians. Many have pointed out that the indictments Mueller has brought read like a complex narrative of the connections between the Trump campaign and Russians. We already know who stole the Democrats’ emails, how they were distributed, and who among Trump’s associates actually met with Russians during the campaign. What we don’t yet know is what took place during those meetings and whether Trump himself directed, participated in, or knew about these encounters, such as the infamous Trump Tower meeting between six Russians with connections to Kremlin intelligence and Donald Trump Jr, Jared Kushner, and Paul Manafort, then Trump’s campaign chairman.


Source: If Trump is worried about the end of Mueller’s investigation, he’s worrying about the wrong thing |

Congressional phones jammed by calls for Trump conflict-of-interest investigation – The Washington Post

Posts circulating on Facebook said the House Oversight Committee must probe the president-elect’s finances.

Source: Congressional phones jammed by calls for Trump conflict-of-interest investigation – The Washington Post

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