Trump Tower in financial danger, supported mainly by Trump’s own PAC
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Stealing an election
A key figure on Trump’s legal team wrote a memo laying out a basis for Vice President Mike Pence to overturn the results of the 2020 election during the Jan. 6 electoral count. Claremont Institute senior fellow John Eastman—a former clerk for Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and a current leader of the Federalist Society—tried to persuade Pence to follow a six-point plan invalidating the electors of seven states and declaring Trump the winner of the election.
At the end, [Pence] announces that because of the ongoing disputes in the 7 States, there are no electors that can be deemed validly appointed in those States. That means the total number of “electors appointed” – the language of the 12th Amendment — is 454… A “majority of the electors appointed” would therefore be 228. There are at this point 232 votes for Trump, 222 votes for Biden. Pence then gavels President Trump as re-elected.
Howls, of course, from the Democrats, who now claim, contrary to Tribe’s prior position, that 270 is required. So Pence says, fine. Pursuant to the 12th Amendment, no candidate has achieved the necessary majority. That sends the matter to the House, where the “the votes shall be taken by states, the representation from each state having one vote . . . .” Republicans currently control 26 of the state delegations, the bare majority needed to win that vote. President Trump is re-elected there as well.
Trump’s legal team also tried to get top Republican senators on board with their scheme to steal the election. On Jan. 2, Rudy Giuliani met with Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) at the White House to convince him that Biden’s win was illegitimate and the election was rife with fraud. Graham was reportedly not convinced, though he did assign staff to investigate the claims (and made an earlier call to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to suggest he throw out ballots from counties with high Democratic turnout).
The same day, the White House sent Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) the Eastman memo:
The authors [of “Peril”] suggest the senator, a former law clerk for Supreme Court Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr., was surprised this theory had been circulated by Eastman, a professor at the Chapman University School of Law and former law clerk to Justice Clarence Thomas. Document in hand, and bewildered that theories about dueling electors were still coming from Trump’s legal team, Lee made “phone call after phone call” to officials in some of the relevant states, such as Georgia, Pennsylvania and Arizona…
No one seemed poised to certify a new slate of electors. “At that point, I believed that we had reached the end of the process, as indeed we had,” Lee said during the town hall. The senator also explained his interpretation of the limited role the Constitution gave to Congress and the vice president in counting electoral votes — an interpretation in conflict with the one outlined by Eastman, who argued Pence could be the “ultimate arbiter” and either name Trump the president-elect or send the matter to the House.
Reminder: Eastman spoke at the “Save America” rally that preceded the Jan. 6 insurrection, saying “we know there was fraud” and “dead people voted” in the 2020 presidential election.
The Georgia investigation into Trump’s interference in the state’s election recount is moving forward, albeit slowly. Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis has interviewed numerous staff members from Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger’s office regarding both Trump’s and Sen. Graham’s involvement.
According to two sources, DA investigators interviewed a number of people around May who could have been influenced by the former president’s plea to find votes, including [Secy. of State attorney Ryan] Germany, agency communications director Ari Schaffer, chief operating officer Gabriel Sterling, and the external affairs director who oversees the agency’s outreach programs, Sam Teasley…
DA investigators asked general questions “about the Graham call, about the Trump call, about how things work at the office,” recalled one person who was present during an interview.
Meanwhile, Trump continues to meddle in Georgia’s election affairs by releasing a public letter to Raffensperger calling on his office to decertify the election a year later. The letter reads a follows (weird capitalization included):
Large scale Voter Fraud continues to be reported in Georgia. Enclosed is a report of 43,000 Absentee Ballot Votes Counted in DeKalb County that violated the Chain of Custody rules, making them invalid. I would respectfully request that your department check this and, if true, along with many other claims of voter fraud and voter irregularities, start the process of decertifying the Election, or whatever the correct legal remedy is, and announce the true winner. As stated to you previously, the number of false and/or irregular votes is far greater than needed to change the Georgia election result. People do not understand why you and Governor Brian Kemp adamantly refuse to acknowledge the now proven facts, and fight so hard that the election truth not be told. You and Governor Kemp are doing a tremendous disservice to the Great State of Georgia, and to our Nation—which is systematically being destroyed by an illegitimate president and his administration. The truth must be allowed to come out.
Court filings made by a former Dominion employee revealed that Trump’s campaign knew that their claims about the company’s election fraud were false, yet continued to publicly espouse the lies as fact. Eric Coomer, the former employee, sued (pdf) the Trump campaign, Rudy Giuliani, Sidney Powell, Newsmax, and One America News Network, among others, for defamation after falsely being accused of “rigging” the election for Biden.
For its part, the Trump Campaign produced only one substantive document during the limited discovery process. This document , however, turned out to be an internal “ smoking gun memo prepared by the Trump Campaign’s research staff shortly after the election on November 14, 2020. This memo completely contradicts the Trump Campaign’s representations about Dr. Coomer, Dominion, Hugo Chavez, George Soros, vote-counting in Spain, and Smartmatic, among other things. As to Dr. Coomer, the internal memorandum specifically states.” However, There Is No Evidence That Eric Coomer Is A Supporter of Antifa In Any Way.” And yet, the Trump Campaign allowed Rudolph Giuliani and Powell to publicly state the opposite on multiple occasions while spreading the lie about Dr. Coomer’s alleged role in rigging the election.
The grift never ends
US taxpayers paid $1.7 million to protect Trump’s four adult children and three administration officials during his first six months out of office. At the end of his term, Trump issued an unprecedented order providing Secret Service protection to his daughter Ivanka Trump and her husband, Jared Kushner; son Donald Trump Jr.; son Eric Trump and his wife, Lara Trump; daughter Tiffany Trump; former Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin; former Chief of Staff Mark Meadows; and former national security adviser Robert C. O’Brien.
As agents followed Mnuchin across the Middle East, the U.S. government paid up to $3,000 each for their plane tickets, and $11,000 for rooms at Qatar’s luxe St. Regis Doha, according to government spending records. In all, the records show U.S. taxpayers spent more than $52,000 to guard a multimillionaire on a business trip…
The Secret Service spent about $347,000 on airfare, hotels and rental cars while protecting Ivanka Trump and her husband, former White House adviser Jared Kushner, the records show. The receipts showed the pair visiting resort destinations: Hawaii, Utah ski country, an upscale Wyoming ranch and Kiawah Island, S.C.
Trump Tower residents are falling behind on rent payments; Trump’s Make America Great Again PAC has picked up the slack. According to records reviewed by WaPo, the MAGA Pac has paid $37,541.67 per month to rent office space and $3,000 per month to rent a retail kiosk in the tower’s lobby. Staffers rarely use the office and the lobby is closed due to the coronavirus.
“He’s running a con,” said Paul S. Ryan, a campaign finance expert at the watchdog group Common Cause. “Talking about political expenses — but, in reality, raising money for self-enrichment.”
The provider of a $100 million loan on Trump Tower, Wells Fargo, has placed the building on a watch list due to “lower average occupancy.” However, key renters like the company that made Ivanka Trump’s footwear line is $1.4 million behind on its bills and Kris Jenner’s “business school” owed nearly $200,000 in back rent.
The debt, sponsored by the former president himself, is secured by the 244,482 square feet (22,700 square meters) of office and retail space in Trump Tower. Occupancy has dipped to 78.9% from 85.9% at the end of 2020, according to Wells Fargo, the master servicer of the loan. Revenue from the property was $33.7 million in 2020, according to the loan documents. In the first quarter of 2021, it was $7.5 million.
Jared Kushner’s family real estate company is pushing to evict hundreds of tenants following the Supreme Court’s ruling against the Biden administration’s federal eviction moratorium. Kushner Companies owns over 23,000 apartment units across 5 states, controlled through a subsidiary called Westminster Management. An analysis by government watchdog group Accountable.us found that the Kushners have filed at least 590 eviction cases since the beginning of the pandemic. Jared reported making $1.65 million from Westminster Management in 2020 alone.
“Nonprofit That Benefits Navy SEALs Supported Trump’s Wallet With $80,000 Mar-A-Lago Rental,” Forbes
“Remember Michael Flynn? He’s coming to Salt Lake next month. Organizers expect 10,000 people to pay $139 each for the October event at Salt Palace.” Salt Lake Tribune
“Trump is in advanced talks to sell rights to his Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C.,” Axios
“Trump-appointed ambassador directed government business to his hotel, emails show,” WaPo