According to experts, Trump’s conduct has potential criminal exposure:At least 12 Republican senators plan to challenge Biden’s Electoral College win on Jan. 6, when Congress is set to officially count the votes. The effort is being led by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) and includes Sens. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), James Lankford (R-Okla.), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), John Kennedy (R-La.), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), and Mike Braun (R-Ind.), as well as new Senators Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.), Roger Marshall (R-Kan.), Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.), and Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.). Separately, Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Missouri) is pursuing a similar plan.
A federal statute makes it a crime when one “knowingly and willfully … attempts to deprive or defraud the residents of a State of a fair and impartially conducted election process, by … the procurement, casting, or tabulation of ballots that are known by the person to be materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent under the laws of the State in which the election is held.”
A Georgia statute similarly provides that a “person commits the offense of criminal solicitation to commit election fraud in the first degree when, with intent that another person engage in conduct constituting a felony under this article, he or she solicits, requests, commands, importunes, or otherwise attempts to cause the other person to engage in such conduct.”
…The hard part for prosecutors would be proving Trump’s state of mind, because the statutes require proof of knowledge and intent. Prosecutors would have to show that Trump knew that Biden fairly won the election, and Trump was asking for Georgia officials to commit election fraud. And it’s not clear prosecutors could make that case.
"Congress should immediately appoint an Electoral Commission, with full investigatory and fact-finding authority, to conduct an emergency 10-day audit of the election returns in the disputed states. Once completed, individual states would evaluate the Commission’s findings and could convene a special legislative session to certify a change in their vote, if needed," the senators said in a joint statement. “Accordingly, we intend to vote on Jan. 6 to reject the electors from disputed states as not ‘regularly given’ and ‘lawfully certified’ (the statutory requisite), unless and until that emergency 10-day audit is completed."Their plan is not going to succeed in preventing Biden from taking office, as majorities in both the House and the Senate would need to support a challenge against a state’s electoral votes. For an objection to be made, at least one member of both the House and Senate would need to submit it in writing. Then, the House and Senate separately convene to consider the issue. Debate is limited to two hours for each objection. After debate concludes, the House and Senate vote to uphold the objection and throw out the state’s votes. If the majority of the House AND the majority of the Senate does not uphold the objection, the state’s electoral votes are counted as cast.
Enrique Tarrio: "The ProudBoys will turn out in record numbers on Jan 6th but this time with a twist...We will not be wearing our traditional Black and Yellow. We will be incognito and we will spread across downtown DC in smaller teams."Rep. Louie Gohmert has more explicitly tried to incite violence, saying the failure of his legal challenge to the election means “you gotta go the streets and be as violent as Antifa and BLM.” (clip)
“OMB leadership’s refusal to fully cooperate impairs our ability to identify opportunities to maximize the relief going out to Americans during the pandemic, and it leaves us in the dark as it relates to Covid-related expenditures and critical gaps,” [Biden transition Exec. Dir. Yohannes] Abraham said.Earlier last week, Biden himself said Trump officials are not cooperating with his team, singling out the Defense Department for obstructing information on crucial national security issues. “Right now, we just aren’t getting all the information that we need from the outgoing administration in key national security areas. It’s nothing short, in my view, of irresponsibility,” Biden said. The Defense Dept. finally scheduled meetings with the incoming team this week, after not briefing the transition for weeks.
In other words, although President-elect Joe Biden has already signaled he intends to replace Pack as CEO of the parent agency soon after taking office in January, Pack would maintain a significant degree of control over the networks.The State Department is likely to designate Cuba as a state sponsor of terrorism “as an 11th hour effort to create hurdles for the incoming Biden administration.” The label, which requires the approval of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, would undo a major accomplishment of the Obama administration. To take Cuba back off the list, the Biden team would need to conduct a formal review, a process that might take several months.
Such a designation would impose restrictions on US foreign assistance, a ban on defense exports and sales, certain controls over exports and various financial restrictions. It would also result in penalization against any persons and countries engaging in certain trade activities with Cuba.The Trump administration has been rushing to finalize a myriad of rules before Biden’s inauguration. Since Election Day, the Trump administration has issued about three to four times as many new regulations as it did during other periods of Trump’s presidency. Rules that haven’t been finalized or taken effect can be suspended by an incoming president, which Biden has said he intends to do. By contrast, rules that are finalized can take months, or even years, to undo.
“As a general rule, it takes at least as much process to undo or modify a rule as it does to put the rule in place,” said Jonathan H. Adler, a professor and an administrative law expert at Case Western Reserve University School of Law. “The Trump administration is magnifying that challenge for the Biden administration.”Trump loyalists are urging the president to stymie Biden’s efforts to rejoin the Paris climate agreement and the Iran nuclear deal. Sens. Ted Cruz and Lindsey Graham are working to get the agreements submitted to the Senate for ratification, requiring a two-thirds vote, with the goal of failure. While such an outcome wouldn’t prevent Biden from rejoining the accords, Cruz and Graham hope it would make their resurrection more problematic.
A vote against them would signal GOP opposition to the world and, they hope, undermine any unilateral action by Biden to rejoin the agreements. One senior congressional aide told RCP that sending them to die in the Senate “would be the final nail in the coffin.”Further reading: “Biden To Be Saddled With Trump’s Payroll Tax Deferral Mess,” Forbes.
The analysts hired by Vance probably have already reviewed various bank and mortgage records obtained from Trump’s company as part of the ongoing grand jury investigation, and they could be called on to testify about their findings should the district attorney eventually bring criminal chargesIn yet another shady business deal connected to Trump, the United States sold the ambassador’s residence in Israel for more than $67 million. The person who bought the residence is none other than Trump mega-donor Sheldon Adelson. The property only became available due to Trump's controversial decision to relocate the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to contested Jerusalem. Furthermore, State Dept. representatives reportedly lied to Congress about the sale, perhaps to hide that Adelson purposefully overbid.
For now, there is no alternative residence for the ambassador, David Friedman, Trump’s former lawyer, who currently uses a suite at Jerusalem’s King David Hotel or rooms at the former Jerusalem Consulate General when he spends nights in Jerusalem… As a result, the United States appears likely to end up leasing the residence it has owned since 1964 from the GOP-affiliated casino mogul.Trump’s businesses have taken in $10.5 million of donor money over the course of his presidency. $8.5 million came from the Trump campaign and related entities that Trump controls directly; $2 million came from other Republican candidates and committees. The biggest beneficiary was Trump’s NYC hotel, taking in $3,039,979 over the four years of his presidency, with $891,003 of that in just the final four months of the campaign.
“It is very strange that we are now paying Sheldon Adelson,” a congressional aide told The Daily Beast. “It is not above board. We have a number of questions. Did they get two independent appraisals? Was it a sweetheart deal? Was Adelson the highest donor? Was there a reason to sell it now?”
The fact Turnberry remains in the red comes in spite of significant tranches of payments it has received from the US government during Mr Trump’s single term in office… the US Secret Service spent nearly £25,000 to accommodate its agents at the resort during business trips by Mr Trump’s son, Eric, an executive vice-president of the family firm. Since Mr Trump’s election, the property has received close to £300,000 from the Secret Service, US State Department, and US Defence DepartmentA Florida state lawmaker is calling for Mar-a-Lago to be penalized - and possibly shut down - for flouting coronavirus restrictions during a New Years Eve party. While Trump and the first lady did not attend, son Don Jr., attorney Rudy Giuliani, Rep. Matt Gaetz, and Fox News personality Jeanine Piro were captured on video among the maskless crowd. Guests paid as much as $1,000 for access to the ballroom to be entertained by Vanilla Ice.
State Rep. Omari Hardy: “My constituents are not snowbirds like @DonaldJTrumpJr & @kimguilfoyle. My constituents live here. This is their home, and they're going to have to deal w/ the consequences of a potential super-spreader party at Mar-a-Lago long after Junior & wife leave here on their private jet.”Are you ready for a Donald J. Trump Airport? According to the Daily Beast, Trump has been asking aides about the process of naming airports after former U.S. presidents.
The final timing of the 2020 census results' release could undermine President Trump's efforts to make an unprecedented change to who is counted in key census numbers before leaving office… If the first census results are not ready until after Trump's term ends on Jan. 20, it would be President-elect Joe Biden, not Trump, who would get control of the numbers, which are ultimately handed off to Congress for certification.
"As most of you already know, I only use real "Jerry's Nugget" cards to work with and have been doing so for many years. As these cards happen to be extremely rare to find on the market (I am obviously talking about the original Jerry's Nugget cards and not the recently reprinted ones) and they excite the magical world a lot, I am therefore constantly asked how many I own, how long have I owned them, what deal I made to get them and with whom, why do I have so many cards, why did I choose these specifically, why don't I want to sell them, why, why, eh?! And I hear such amazing stories about myself on these famous "Jerry's Nugget" cards that I decided to speak on the subject myself today."This sounds very promising! Duvivier then goes on to tell the story about how the Jerry's Nuggets gained their legendary reputation, and the unique qualities they have. In France in the 1970s, American playing cards were quite rarely seen, and Duvivier knew a French pilot commandant called Reyno who loved magic, who would occasionally bring back cards from the US to a small circle of French magicians. At this time even standard Bicycle and Tally Ho decks were prized by these French conjurers, so besides them a Jerry's Nugget deck was considered a real crown jewel.
"In 1999 (if I'm not mistaken) my daughter Alexandra and I were hired to perform for a whole week at Magic Castle and then for a few contracts in Las Vegas. You may think that I had only one idea in mind at the time: a trip to the original casino where my favourite cards were from, Jerry's Nugget! Michael Weber had told me that there were still a few decks for sale there, so as soon as we arrived I immediately asked Philip Varricchio, who had come to pick us up in a limousine, to take us there. He was rather surprised, as we hadn't even put our bags down at the hotel (yes, I'm a fool) and the old Jerry's casino wasn't really known for being a must-see place! So I told him that I wanted to go there to buy Jerry's Nugget cards. According to him it was impossible to get them for the simple reason that they hadn't been around for a long time, but I was so insistent that he finally complied (hey, hey, hey!). When we arrived there, we went to the gift shop of the casino and I asked the salesman if he was selling their decks.Probably the key sentence in that account is this, and the best translation seems to be something like this:
- Yes," he told me, "I have a few.
He shows me a small piece of wall in the back of the store where a hundred decks were on display. I ask about the price. Not even expensive!
- Well, I'll take them," I say (laughs).
And of course I ask if he has more in reserve! Yes, there were about a hundred boxes left (each box containing a large number of cards, 144 decks!). After a little negotiation, the unit price was even lowered to less than $1.
That's it, that's how it happened and that's it. In fact, in all this story, the most difficult, the longest and the most expensive was to get the stock back to France.
Since then, I've been seeing, little by little, the bids going up on these cards in a rather hallucinating way, whereas, of course, that wasn't my initial motivation at all. From the moment I bought the remaining stock, it's as if everyone wanted to own even more! But I just wanted to have enough stock of Jerry's Nugget decks because I'm a card fanatic and these in particular. I use these cards because they're the best cards I know and I've fought like a big man to own enough of them for me (I should mention that I never had a middleman or a partner to buy these cards). Anyone could have done as I did and I don't understand why no one did: you just had to take the trouble to go to this casino, because the cards were available! In any case, now they are all warm and cosy in different safes, which I won't tell you about. They say I'm the person with the most cards in the world, but I have to say I don't care. I know Chris Kenner is the one who planned it, he has a lot of them too. I've been offered golden bridges to sell a few packages, or even my entire stock. I've had some incredible offers over the years. I never intended to create a buzz with these cards: I just use them for my own personal consumption, that's all...because they're my favorite cards."
"The Franklin child prostitution ring allegations began in June 1988 in Omaha, Nebraska and attracted significant public and political interest until late 1990, when separate state and federal grand juries concluded that the allegations were unfounded and the ring was a "carefully crafted hoax.".From the NYT:
In the Executive Board's public session Monday, Mr. Chambers said the activities of Lawrence E. King Jr., the credit union's manager for the last 18 years and the central figure in its collapse, were ''just the tip of an iceberg, and he's not in it by himself.'' But Mr. Chambers added nothing that would shed light on his cryptic assertion....Mr. King is a 44-year-old Omaha resident who wholly or partly owns several small businesses here and lives with his wife and school-age son in a large house in one of the city's better neighborhoods. He is a tall, expansive figure well known for his costly style of dressing, lavish celebrations and extensive travel, sometimes in chartered jets and often with an entourage of young men.In 1972 he headed a national political organization, Black Democrats for George McGovern. But he gained greater prominence after he had switched parties a while later, serving for a time as vice chairman of the National Black Republican Council, an official affiliate of the Republican Party, and becoming a familiar figure on the Republican social scene.Mr. King has maintained a $5,000-a-month residence off Embassy Row in Washington and has also entertained generously at Republican National Conventions. At the 1984 gathering, in Dallas, where he sang the national anthem on the convention floor, he rented the ranch where the television series ''Dallas'' is filmed and organized a party there for black Republicans....Mr. King's trouble with the authorities came to the surface early last month when officials of the Government's National Credit Union Administration, acting on information from the F.B.I. and the Internal Revenue Service, arrived at the offices of the Franklin Community Federal Credit Union and shut it down. Then, on Nov. 14, the agency, which oversees the nation's federally chartered credit unions and insures their deposits, filed the Government suit against Mr. King, whose salary as Franklin Community's manager had been less than $17,000 a year.(1989) Washington Call Boy Scandal
Craig J. Spence (1941 – November 10, 1989) was a Republican) lobbyist who was found dead in a Ritz-Carlton hotel room in 1989. ...Spence was implicated in a gay call-boy ring scandal, that arranged after-hours visits to the White House, the Washington Times and other papers reported in June 1989. Afterward, Spence committed suicide in a Boston hotel....Spence's name came to national prominence in the aftermath of a June 28, 1989 article in the Washington Timesidentifying Spence as a customer of a homosexual escort service being investigated by the Secret Service, the District of Columbia Police and the United States Attorney's Office for suspected credit card fraud. The newspaper said he spent as much as $20,000 a month on the service. He had also been linked to a White House guard who has said he accepted an expensive watch from Mr. Spence and allowed him and friends to take late-night White House tours.Spence entered a downward spiral in the wake of the Washington Times exposé, increasingly involving himself with call boys and crack, and culminating in his July 31, 1989 arrest at the Barbizon Hotel on East 63rd St in Manhattan for criminal possession of a firearm and criminal possession of cocaine.Months after the scandal had died down, and a few weeks before Spence was found in a room of the Boston Ritz-Carlton Hotel, he was asked who had given him the "key" to the White House. Michael Hedges and Jerry Seper of The Washington Times reported that "Mr. Spence hinted the tours were arranged by 'top level' persons", including Donald Gregg, national security adviser to Vice President George H. W. Bush at the time the tours were given.When pressed to identify who it was who got him inside the White House, Spence asked "Who was it who got [long-term CIA operative] Félix Rodríguez) in to see Bush?", agreeing that he was alluding to Mr. Gregg.Gregg himself dismissed the allegation as "absolute bull", according to Hedges and Seper. "It disturbs me that he can reach a slimy hand out of the sewer to grab me by the ankle like this," he told the reporters. "The allegations are totally false."I'll let you decide how credible you find any of this so far. It should be noted that many of the people implicated in these affairs -- Wilson, Singlaub, Moon, Casey, Rodriguez, Bush, Stone, and Gregg -- were also involved to varying degrees in the Iran Contra Affair, which illegally raised money for anti-communist terrorists in Central America through the use of death squads, rape, and drug sales. One does not necessarily equal the other, but sexual blackmail and human trafficking don't seem like much of a stretch.
In summer 1987, Donald and Ivana Trump visited Moscow and Leningrad, following a personal invitation from the Soviet ambassador in Washington, Yuri Dubinin. The trip was arranged by Intourist, a travel agency that was also an undercover KGB outfit. Soon after returning from Moscow, Trump announced he was thinking of running for president. That presidential bid failed to materialise.In October 1988, on the eve of the US election, Ivana Trump visited her parents in Zlín, known at the time as Gottwaldov. According to the files she “confidently” predicted Bush’s victory to her father, who in turn passed the tip to local StB officers.“The outcome of the election confirmed the veracity of this information,” StB field agent Lt Peter Surý wrote, in a document dated 23 January 1989 and marked “secret”.The prediction came “from the highest echelons of power in the US”. Ivana was “not only a well-heeled US citizen” but moved in “very top political circles”, Surý stated....It is unclear when the KGB began a file on the future president. In Prague about 60,000 StB documents were declassified in the mid-1990s, after the collapse of communism. The StB destroyed most records.However, secret memos written by the KGB chief, Vladimir Kryuchkov, in the mid-1980s reveal that he berated his officers for their failure to cultivate top-level Americans. Kryuchkov circulated a confidential personality questionnaire to KGB heads of station abroad, setting out the qualities wanted from a potential asset.According to instructions leaked to British intelligence by the KGB defector Oleg Gordievsky, they included corruption, vanity, narcissism, marital infidelity and poor analytical skills. The KGB should focus on personalities who were upwardly mobile in business and politics, especially Americans, the document said.Another article in the Chicago Tribune notes:
A year before the 1989 collapse of communism in many parts of Europe, details about Ivana Trump's 1988 visit back to her homeland were recorded in a classified police report. The Oct. 22, 1988 report claimed that Trump refused to run for president in 1988 — despite alleged pressure to do so — because he felt, at 42, he was too young. But the secret report said he intended to run in the 1996 U.S. presidential race as an independent, when he would be 50."Even though it looks like a utopia, D. TRUMP is confident he will succeed," the police report said, based on information from an unspecified source who talked to Ivana Trump's father, Milos Zelnicek, about her visit.It was unclear where the alleged "pressure" was coming from. [Note: In "Get Me Roger Stone", Stone claims he was the one who convinced Trump to run.]...Trump's first wife was born Ivana Zelnickova in 1949 in the Czechoslovak city of Gottwaldov, the former city of Zlin that just had been renamed by the Communists, who took over the country in 1948. She married Trump, her second husband, in 1977. As she kept traveling home across the Iron Curtain on a regular basis, Ivana became a tempting target for the powerful, deeply feared Czechoslovak secret police agency known as the StB.And by at least 1989, Trump himself was in the social circle of both Iran Contra figures and the father of Epstein's alleged "madame", Ghislaine Maxwell:
“Everybody, but everybody at the party aboard British media mogul Robert Maxwell’s yacht Wednesday night had to doff their shoes before boarding the plush-carpeted “Lady Ghislaine.” Maxwell insisted, and his guests cooperated, including Donald Trump (minus Ivana), who has a much bigger yacht and was happy to compare notes with Maxwell. [Note: This is in reference to the Kingdom 5KR, originally owned by Adnan Khashoggi, international arms dealer and uncle of slain journalist Jamal Khashoggi.] There were John Tower [Republican Senator in charge of the Tower Commission, which investigated Iran Contra]; ex-Navy secretary John Lehman [Reagan appointee 1981-1987], now with Paine Webber; lawyer Tom Bolan [law partner of Roy Cohn]; literary agent Mort Janklow [clients include both Nancy and Ronald Reagan for their memoirs]; UN envoy Thomas Pickering [currently a board member at the world’s biggest pipe company, OAO TMK, in Moscow and Chairman of the Rostropovich-Vishnevskaya Foundation, “a non-profit organization based in Washington, DC that supports programs to improve the health of children worldwide”]; and Peter Kalikow, owner of the New York Post [awarded the Israel Peace Medal in 1982; created a super PAC for Herman Cain that was later revealed to be entirely financed by his donations]; Maxwell’s daughter, Ghislaine, and his niece, Helene Atkin of Macmillan, the publishing house Maxwell recently took over."[Note: This sentence wasn't in the Daily News article but shows up in a St Louis Dispatch piece a week later]: “Maxwell, who weighs about 300 pounds, went over the guest list personally.""No one could tell who didn’t make the final list, but we do know that Martha Smilgis of Time was disinvited by David Adler, public relations chief at Macmillan. She wrote the profile of Maxwell which he apparently did not like.”Who was Ghislaine’s father?
Ian Robert Maxwell "MC (10 June 1923 – 5 November 1991), born Ján Ludvík Hyman Binyamin Hoch, was a British media proprietor and Member of Parliament (MP). Originally from Czechoslovakia, Maxwell rose from poverty to build an extensive publishing empire….Maxwell had a flamboyant lifestyle, living in Headington Hill Hall in Oxford, from which he often flew in his helicopter, and sailing in his luxury yacht, the Lady Ghislaine. He was notably litigious and often embroiled in controversy, including about his support for Israel at the time of the 1948 Palestine war. In 1989, he had to sell successful businesses, including Pergamon Press, to cover some of his debts. In 1991, his body was discovered floating in the Atlantic Ocean, having fallen overboard from his yacht. He was buried in Jerusalem. Maxwell's death triggered the collapse of his publishing empire as banks called in loans. His sons briefly attempted to keep the business together, but failed as the news emerged that the elder Maxwell had stolen hundreds of millions of pounds from his own companies' pension funds. The Maxwell companies applied for bankruptcy protection in 1992....Shortly before Maxwell's death, a former employee of Israel's Military Intelligence Directorate, Ari Ben-Menashe, approached a number of news organisations in Britain and the U.S. with the allegation that Maxwell and the Daily Mirror's foreign editor, Nicholas Davies, were both long-time agents for Mossad. Ben-Menashe also claimed that in 1986, Maxwell had told the Israeli Embassy in London that Mordechai Vanunu had given information about Israel's nuclear capability to The Sunday Times, then to the Daily Mirror. Vanunu was subsequently kidnapped by Mossad and smuggled to Israel, convicted of treason and imprisoned for eighteen years.Ben-Menashe's story was ignored at first, but eventually The New Yorker journalist Seymour Hersh repeated some of the allegations during a press conference in London held to publicise The Samson Option, Hersh's book about Israel's nuclear weapons. On 21 October 1991, two MPs, Labour's George Galloway and the Conservative's Rupert Allason (also known as espionage author Nigel West), agreed to raise the issue in the House of Commons under Parliamentary Privilege protection, which in turn allowed British newspapers to report events without fear of libel suits. Maxwell called the claims "ludicrous, a total invention" and sacked Davies. A year later, in Galloway's libel settlement against Mirror Group Newspapers (in which he received "substantial" damages), Galloway's counsel announced that the MP accepted that the group's staff had not been involved in Vanunu's abduction. Galloway himself, however, referred to Maxwell as "one of the worst criminals of the century....The Maxwell companies filed for bankruptcy protection in 1992. Kevin Maxwell was declared bankrupt with debts of £400 million. In 1995, Kevin and Ian and two other former directors went on trial for conspiracy to defraud, but were unanimously acquitted by a twelve-man jury in 1996.”Epstein's own weird history has been spoken of to some degree, and I'm not sure I have much to add at this point, but perhaps it's important in context.
He taught calculus and physics at the prestigious Dalton School, a prep school in Manhattan, from 1973 to 1975, despite not having a college degree. Attorney General William Barr's father, Donald Barr, was headmaster at the time...Epstein left Dalton in the mid-1970s for a job at Bear Stearns at the urging of a student's father who arranged a meeting with the chairman of the investment bank, according to published reports. He later began his own money-management business, J. Epstein & Co....Epstein has long obscured the source of his wealth. Even after his arrest, he refused to provide authorities with even basic information about his income and assets. His attorney said Epstein's lawyers intend to provide the information but want to make sure it is correct first.This much is clear: "He is a man of nearly infinite means," federal prosecutor Alex Rossmiller said in court....Epstein also forged a relationship with Leslie Wexner, the retail titan behind Victoria's Secret, The Limited and other store chains. He started managing Wexner's money in the late 1980s and helped straighten out the finances for a real estate development Wexner was backing in a wealthy Columbus, Ohio, suburb.It was through Wexner that [in1996] Epstein acquired his Manhattan mansion, a seven-story, 21,000-square-foot former prep school less than a block from Central Park. It has been valued at about $77 million.Around the same time, Trump started dating Marla Maples, who was working at his Atlantic City Taj Mahal Casino:
Donald Trump, for his part, was becoming increasingly restless, and reckless. Despite fathering 3 children and having a devoted wife, by all accounts he didn’t spend much time with any of them, preferring work and play to the routines of domestic life. In the 80’s he made at least two life changing decisions-to step out on his wife publicly, and to expand his negligible empire into Atlantic City casinos. He built Harrah’s at Trump Plaza in 1984, and a partially completed building that became Trump Castle in 1985-a property that would be managed by his first wife, Ivana. He also scooped up the Taj Mahal in 1988, which at a cost of $1.1 billion made it the most expensive casino ever built at the time.Some weirdness starts to pop up here, at least allegedly. According to the Philadelphia Inquirer:
Resorts International, which opened the city's first gambling hall 5 1/2 years ago, broke ground yesterday for a second casino-hotel that will cost $250 million to build and will contain 1,000 hotel rooms and the world's second-largest casino.According to Wikipedia:
Resorts International was a hotel and casino company. From its origins as a paint company, it moved into the resort business in the 1960s with the development of Paradise Island in the Bahamas, and then expanded to Atlantic City, New Jersey with the opening of Resorts Casino Hotel in 1978.So how did a paint company morph into a multimillion dollar casino company? We're going to have to go to conspiracy theorists again. Make of it what you will:
Resorts International was largely a family affair that grew out of a company called the Mary Carter Paint Company."Mary Carter (she never existed) was pretty much a family affair controlled by Jim Crosby, two of his brothers, and his in-laws. Based in Tampa, Florida, the firm included in its directorate James Crosby, John Crosby (a plastic surgeon in Mobile, Alabama), William Crosby (a Tampa realtor), and the Murphy brothers, Henry and Tom, who'd married the Crosby daughters. Henry owned a funeral home in Trenton, New Jersey, while Tom was board chairman of Capital Cities Communications, a successful broadcasting business founded by explorer Lowell Thomas. The explorer too was an early shareholder in Mary Carter Paint, as was Republican Thomas Dewey." (Spooks, Jim Hougan, pg. 381)Acclaimed researchers Sally Denton and Roger Morris note: "... the Mary Carter Paint Company, which was widely considered to be a CIA front that laundered payments to the Cuban exile army in the early sixties..." (The Money and the Power, pg. 284).This is certainly quite plausible considering Mary Carter was then based out of Tampa, a hub for joint CIA-Syndicate efforts to assassinate Castro. As was noted before here, Tampa don Santo Trafficante, Jr. was one of the gangsters initially tapped by the CIA's notorious Office of Security to arrange for Castro's untimely demise. Trafficante, a close associate of Meyer Lansky (whom we shall return to again), had been deeply involved in Cuba's gambling operations prior to the revolution and would later become even more deeply immersed in the world heroin trade. As was noted before here, he was very close to the emerging Cuban Mafia, which provided ample recruits to the CIA during the early 1960s despite much suspicion that Trafficante was a double agent for Castro.Certainly the Mary Carter Paint Company would have been well positioned to assist Trafficante in these endeavors in Tampa. And such a connection would also explain why the corporation, in the mid-1960s (as CIA Cuban operations were winding down), abruptly sold off its paint business and boldly delved into gambling. By the end of the decade it was managing one of the most profitable casinos in the world on the Bahama's Paradise Island.What it amounts to is that by the late period James Crosby emerged as not only the CEO of Mary CarteResorts International, but as an extremely well connected figure within the GOP and beyond."... Crosby was himself uniquely situated in Republican circles: a sometime guest at the White House, he'd donated $100,000 to Nixon's 1968 campaign. He was also a friend of, and frequent host two, Bebe Rebozo (with whom he banked). Moreover, Crosby's private intelligence agency, Intertel, was even then working with White House aides and ITT executives to discredit Jack Anderson's revelations anent ITT and Chile. At the same time, Intertel was the de factocustodian of the demented billionaire Howard Hughes (his own $100,000 donation would later result in two volumes of Senate testimony in the Watergate affair). Indeed, the ties between Paradise Island and Richard Nixon's administration were of the sort that bind: Allan Butler, owner of the failing bank that was his namesake, claims the Nixon was a silent partner of Crosby's in his Bahamian ventures, sharing a healthy chunk of Paradise Island bridge revenues with yet another secret partner, Bebe Rebozo. And by by no means finally, James O. Golden, Resorts' vice-president and one of Intertel's founding spooks, had formerly served as Nixon's Secret Service shield, later taking charge of security for the Nixon forces at the GOP's 1968 convention in Miami Beach. That Paradise Island is a special place, and had a special place in the heart (or what passed for a heart) of the Nixon regime, is abundantly clear... (Spooks, Jim Hougan, pg. 180) ...And that brings us to possibly the most curious aspects of Resorts, namely its ownership of its own vast private intelligence network.It was known as Intertel, short for International Intelligence, Inc. Intertel was incorporated in 1970 as an almost wholly-owned subsidiary of Resorts International and hit the ground running. During its heyday, Intertel had an impressive roster and an international reach. It would turn up in host of intrigues throughout the 1970s and 1980s. Curiously, it had its origins with Robert Kennedy's "Get Hoffa" squad."... Intertel, known especially and remarkably for its composition of former organized crime strike force attorneys from Robert Kennedy's Justice Department... The IRS considered Intertel... 'an organized crime enterprise of some type aimed at the Bahamas,' as one account summed up the agency's view. Roberts Peloquin and William Hundley, Kennedy's top crime fighters, had joined the firm and recruited operatives from the CIA, FBI, IRS, Secret Service, and other intelligence agencies. Staffed exclusively by what one author called 'Get Hoffa agents,' it was likened into a corporate CIA.' (The Money and the Power, Sally Denton & Roger Morris, pg. 284)...Intertel's other ventures include spying of muckraker Jack Anderson) for ITT, investigating the Chicago Tylenol murders and the Bhopal disaster. Even more ominous, however, were its dealings with a shady Belgium-based private detective agency known as Agence de Recherche et d'Information (ARI). As was noted before here, ARI was linked to members of the neo-fascist terror organization known as the Westland New Post, a few of whom had also been implicated in drug trafficking and pedophile rings. Intertel reportedly hired ARI to do some work for them during the 1980s....What is of great interest to us here is Trump's third Atlantic City casino: the Taj Mahal. While now widely associated with Trump, thanks in no small part to it leading to his first bankruptcy, it was not in fact Trump who started the casino. That dubious distinction lies with Resorts International.The company had begun construction on the Taj Mahal in 1983, but had run into persistent difficulties in finishing construction in the following years. Then, in April 1986, James Crosby died suddenly. This left Resorts in turmoil (allegedly) and Trump stepped in. Trump bought a controlling stake in the company in 1987 and was promptly named its chairman of the board.Let that sink in for a moment: Donald J. Trump, the current President of the United States, was briefly the chairman of a corporation long suspected of being a CIA front, that had decades-spanning involvement with the Syndicate, numerous "rogue" financiers, various drug and arms traffickers and which owned a vast private intelligence network...."According to the Philadelphia Inquirer:
Developer Donald Trump took control of Resorts International Inc. yesterday in a $79 million deal that gives him his third Atlantic City casino, including what will be the largest gaming hall in the city.Trump sealed the deal in New York with those connected to the estate of the late founder of Resorts International, James M. Crosby.Trump paid a cash price of $135 a share for 585,068 shares of Class B stock, which has 100 times the voting power of Class A stock.He is expected to make a formal tender offer for the remaining 167,230 shares of Class B stock within the next several weeks at the same $135-a-share price. Owning all the Class B stock would give him 93 percent of the company's voting power.At a board meeting immediately after the transaction with the Crosby estate, Trump was elected chairman of the board of Resorts International, replacing Henry B. Murphy, Crosby's brother-in-law, who resigned.And his relationship with Ivana was falling apart:
After a painful scalp reduction surgery to remove a bald spot, Donald Trump confronted his then-wife, who had previously used the same plastic surgeon.“Your fucking doctor has ruined me!” Trump cried.What followed was a “violent assault,” according to Lost Tycoon. Donald held back Ivana’s arms and began to pull out fistfuls of hair from her scalp, as if to mirror the pain he felt from his own operation. He tore off her clothes and unzipped his pants.“Then he jams his penis inside her for the first time in more than sixteen months. Ivana is terrified… It is a violent assault,” Hurt writes. “According to versions she repeats to some of her closest confidantes, ‘he raped me.’”Following the incident, Ivana ran upstairs, hid behind a locked door, and remained there “crying for the rest of night.” When she returned to the master bedroom in the morning, he was there.“As she looks in horror at the ripped-out hair scattered all over the bed, he glares at her and asks with menacing casualness: ‘Does it hurt?’” Hurt writes.In 1992, Trump would divorce Ivana. It's this same year that we find him arranging a party of 30 for himself, Jeffrey Epstein, and 28 young aspiring calendar girls:
Part of a “calendar girl” competition organized at Trump’s request, the party was put together by a businessman named George Houraney, who spoke with the New York Times for a story published Tuesday.Houraney was also one of many to accuse Trump of sexual harassment, this time toward his former girlfriend and business partner, Jill Harth, who described an incident in 1997 as an attempted rape by Trump.“I arranged to have some contestants fly in,” Houraney told the Times. “At the very first party, I said, ‘Who’s coming tonight? I have 28 girls coming.’ It was him and Epstein.”...Before the “calendar girl” event, Houraney warned Trump about Epstein once again.“Look, Donald, I know Jeff really well, I can’t have him going after younger girls,” Houraney recalled telling Trump in the Times interview. “He said: ‘Look I’m putting my name on this. I wouldn’t put my name on it and have a scandal.’”[EDIT: MSNBC reports on 07/17/2019 on newly discovered footage of Trump and Epstein discussing women at a party in November of 1992.]
It was a snowy night in Manhattan, December 1992, and the festive group was embarking on a circuit of exclusive clubs after a sumptuous dinner at the Plaza Hotel’s Oak Room.As the limo wove through the city, Trump discussed his views on dating, according to one of the women riding along. The billionaire casino mogul declared that “all women are bimbos” and said most were “gold diggers” who would be smart to go after men with money. Like him.Rhonda Noggle, the model who relayed the story to the Globe in an interview, said that, at that point, she had had enough. Speaking sharply to Trump, she said, she asked him to stop the limo. The car grew silent.(1989-1995) The Untold Story of Trump Model Management (Part 1):
1989-1995 just so happens to be the same time period in which Donald Trumps world and empire was falling apart at the seams. In the beginning of the decade he was facing the end of his first marriage and a looming court battle. Despite his purportedly active dating life, by many accounts Trump was being rejected by many, if not most, of the women he pursued-including Carla Bruni and Jill Hearth. Marla Maples, after years of being the secret mistress and repeated rounds of being dumped and publicly humiliated by Trump, was starting to lose her patience. And the big gamble he took in Atlantic City was, by all accounts, failing miserably-a direct result of his jaw droppingly awful business practices and general incompetence. In 1991, his Taj Mahal Casino filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy. In 1992, he again filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy again, this time on his Trump Plaza Hotel (also in Atlantic City), at the time owing $550 million dollars. Recall that he would report an almost 1 billion dollar loss on his 1995 tax returns, according to the copies obtained by the New York Times. Indeed, the early 90’s were not a very good era for Donald Trump. In light of this fact, it’s worth noting that the sexual assault allegations against him are all clustered within this very time frame. [Note: This article was written in 2016, prior to more allegations]...By the time “New York Magazine” did a front page profile of him in 1988, Casablancas reputation for bedding young models was established and begrudgingly accepted (a price to pay in exchange for his “genius”) within the New York social scene, but the expose came as a shock to many outside the bubble. John Casablancas would soon find out that he was not as untouchable as he thought he was. In the article-which ran under the title “Girl Crazy”-Casablancas was portrayed as a champagne guzzling pervert, singularly dedicated to the “new look” department of Elite where he spent his days ogling the scantily clad, sometimes naked bodies of teenage girls. In light of Donald Trump’s more alarming comments and decisions around his daughter Ivanka, this quote stands out:"Casablancas talked about his seventeen year old daughter, Cecile. He said Cecile had been solicited by a photographer last summer on a beach in Ibiza. The photographer asked her to pose in a bikini, and Casablancas raced over to try to get a $2,000 fee for the shot. “She’s got a great little body” he told his models."Another quote that brings a chuckle and a nod of recognition in this story is Casablancas’s bizarre pride over never having changed a diaper. Donald Trump would make similar boasts in a Howard Stern interview a few years later. Compelling proof this is not, but I do believe it’s a hint at the kind of Don Juan persona that Don, far from a Juan, actually a dejected, balding husband with a crumbling empire....But the scandal did not end there, nor did it begin. Less than a month earlier 60 minutes aired a prime-time special on the abuses of underage girls in the modeling industry. Investigative reporter Craig Pyes portrayed the modeling industry as infested with agents who were notorious hustlers and playboys. His report revealed that both Claude Haddad- the head of European scouting for Ford- and Ford’s Paris-based agent Jean-Luc Brunel had been accused of horrific sexual misconduct by many models. [Note: Brunel's name appears multiple times on Epstein's flight manifests.] The special aired the interviews of dozens of women who accused both Brunel and Haddad of a litany of crimes, ranging from racist invective towards black models to violent rape. And in fact the hidden camera footage captured in filming the special caught it all- from Xavier lamenting about n**er models, to Haddad chuckling about drugging and raping 13 year old girls. According to Model At a retreat soon after the one-two punch delivered by the coverage, Haddad, Jean Luc Brunel and Casablancas were once again overheard (albeit not taped this time around) laughing about their crimes. Alternatively they were angry when confronted by interim scouting manager Trudi Tapscott - ”I’m a man and I have needs, I will not apologize for that!” Casablancas is said to have declared....Over time Donald Trump would emerge from the ruins of his empire with a new approach to business, and a new source of income-in 1996 he bought the rights to the Miss Universe franchise, and became the central figure in the running of these pageants. And in 1999 he started a modeling agency - T models, later changed to Trump Model Management. The correlation of interests is quite clear-for a man awkward around women but dependent on his public image saying otherwise, a stable of women under his employ was a way to boost his image-and even better, he was able to lock all of these women into non disclosure agreements, ensuring that his behavior with them had little chance of becoming public knowledge. It also appeared to have served as a useful tool regarding his business transactions-which, in the aftermath of his bankruptcy, were increasingly dependent on some less than savory characters. How he did this, and the breadth of this activity, will be explored in the next installment. But for the time being, there is one final aspect of this story that is breathtaking, and speaks more to the character of Donald Trump than anything else.More in Part 3.
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