In November, a Manhattan judge rejected Donald Trump’s attempt to get a lawsuit filed against his foundation thrown out of court.
In a 27-page ruling Friday, state Supreme Court Justice Saliann Scarpulla rejected [Trump’s] arguments. She noted that a judge in a different case had already ruled earlier this year that Trump is not immune to civil actions “related purely to unofficial conduct because he is President of the the United States.”
She also found that contrary to the foundation’s argument, the attorney general’s suit had made allegations of wrongdoing that were strong enough to let the case go forward.
On Tuesday, New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood released a statement saying that the Trump Foundation had agreed to dissolve under judicial supervision while the lawsuit continues to go forward. This language by the AG captures the fact that this president’s criminality involves a commingling of everything he touches.
Our petition detailed a shocking pattern of illegality involving the Trump Foundation – including unlawful coordination with the Trump presidential campaign, repeated and willful self-dealing, and much more. This amounted to the Trump Foundation functioning as little more than a checkbook to serve Mr. Trump’s business and political interests.
That isn’t the only lawsuit Trump faces in New York. Letitia James, the newly elected attorney general, has some plans.
New York Attorney Gen.-elect Letitia James says she plans to launch sweeping investigations into President Donald Trump, his family and “anyone” in his circle who may have violated the law once she settles into her new job next month…
James outlined some of the probes she intends to pursue with regard to the president, his businesses and his family members. They include:
* Any potential illegalities involving Trump’s real estate holdings in New York, highlighting a New York Times investigation published in October into the president’s finances.
* The June 2016 Trump Tower meeting with a Russian official.
* Examine government subsidies Trump received, which were also the subject of Times investigative work.
* Whether he is in violation of the emoluments clause in the U.S. Constitution through his New York businesses.
* Continue to probe the Trump Foundation.
When it comes to Trump investigations, most of the focus has been on what he did to become president (conspiracy with Russia) and what he’s done since taking office (emoluments clause violations). But some of those probes will reach back into Trump’s business operations and his personal finances in a way that could make him rue the day he decided to run for president.
While I don’t usually pay a lot of attention to what Donny Deutsch has to say, he is exactly the kind of person who knows the world Trump traveled in with his business dealings. So it might be worth hearing him out on this one:
"What is going to put him in jail eventually… destroy anything he's ever built, and his children, is a 30 year dishonest criminal enterprise. One thing will take him out of the presidency, the other will ruin him forever…"- @DonnyDeutsch w/ @NicolleDWallace pic.twitter.com/L7Hyh0nnG8
— Deadline White House (@DeadlineWH) December 12, 2018
Deutsch makes a powerful point about Trump being the bottom of the food chain when it comes to real estate developers. But it was his comments about what would motivate prosecutors that I found startling.
The political incentive for every U.S. Attorney in New York or Virginia to do this…this guy showed up and tried to undo what 250 years of people have been dying for in this country—who we are, what we stand for. So there is a moral imperative, rule of law, what our grandfathers died for—democracy—he single-handedly is the first guy in our lifetime to try to undo that. He’s going to pay for that for the rest of his life as they pick apart his criminal enterprise. This is the very, very beginning of the story.
That could be cast as a commingling of politics and the law. But the moral imperative I hear in those words is justice. Deutsch is eschewing political correctness and talking about what happens when a lifetime criminal attempts to undermine our democracy.