Max Ernst The Angel of the home or the Triumph of Surrealism 1937
Poster seen in Amsterdam
“There is no such thing as a heartbeat at six weeks. It is a manufactured sound designed to convince people that men have the right to take control of a woman’s body.”
WATCH: Federalist Staff Writer Evita Duffy breaks down Stacey Abrams’s heartbeat denialism. pic.twitter.com/zBYpEQ8AGW
— The Federalist (@FDRLST) September 23, 2022
.@MattWalshBlog talks to @TuckerCarlson about Vanderbilt's transgender clinic: "We know for a fact…that [at] Vanderbilt they perform double mastectomies on minor girls…They give [children] irreversible hormone drugs that change their bodies permanently." pic.twitter.com/rJ6usEHfB6
— Daily Wire (@realDailyWire) September 22, 2022
MIT climate scientist Dr. Richard Lindzen laughs at the sheer lunacy of declaring trace CO2 to be a pollutant: "What kind pollutant is it? You get rid of it and you die". pic.twitter.com/8meYfWPgeO
— Tom Nelson (@tan123) September 22, 2022
“..the Kremlin would “without a doubt use all available means to protect Russia and our people..”
• Nuclear War Is Possible – US Commander (RT)
Navy Admiral Charles Richard, commander of US Strategic Command, declared on Wednesday that for the first time since the end of the Cold War, the US faces the possibility of nuclear war with a peer-level opponent. Speaking at an Air Force-organized conference in Maryland, Richard claimed that the US would have to prepare to escalate quickly against possible opponents, including to defend the United States itself. “All of us in this room are back in the business of contemplating…direct armed conflict with a nuclear-capable peer,” he said, according to a Pentagon summary of his comments. “We have not had to do that in over 30 years.”
“Russia and China can escalate to any level of violence that they choose in any domain with any instrument of power worldwide,” he continued. “We just haven’t faced competitors and opponents like that in a long time.” In the eyes of Moscow, the US is currently locked in a proxy conflict with Russia in Ukraine, and has steadily escalated its commitment of weapons, intelligence and financial assistance to Kiev since Russian troops entered Ukraine in February. Russia’s current nuclear doctrine allows for the use of nuclear weapons in the event of a first nuclear strike on its territory or infrastructure, or if the existence of the Russian state is threatened by either nuclear or conventional weapons. American doctrine allows for a nuclear first strike in “extreme circumstances to defend the vital interests of the United States or its allies and partners.”
Russian President Vladimir Putin reiterated this position on Wednesday, declaring that the Kremlin would “without a doubt use all available means to protect Russia and our people,” should Russian territory be threatened. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov also warned that the US was “teetering on the brink” of becoming a direct party in the Ukraine conflict, with Washington risking “a direct collision between nuclear powers.” Similar warnings have come from within the US too, most notably from former President Donald Trump, who declared on Wednesday that the conflict, which he said “should have never happened,” could “end up being World War III.”
These people appear to think they live in the 1960’s.
• Ex-US General Warns Russia Of ‘Devastating Strike’ (RT)
The US could destroy Russia’s Crimea-based Black Sea Fleet or its bases on the peninsula if Moscow resorts to using nuclear weapons in Ukraine, the former commander of the US Army in Europe, Ben Hodges, has said. In an interview with the Daily Mail on Wednesday, Hodges described the possibility of Russian President Vladimir Putin ordering the deployment of nukes as “very unlikely.” Putin will not do so because “he knows the US will have to respond if Russia uses a nuclear weapon,” he claimed. “The US response may not be nuclear… but could very well be a devastating strike that could, for example, destroy the Black Sea Fleet or destroy Russian bases in Crimea,” Hodges, who was in charge of the US forces in Europe between 2014 and 2018, said.
“So, I think President Putin and those around him will be reluctant to draw the US into the conflict directly.” The comments were made in response to Putin’s address earlier that day, in which he said Russia is fighting “the entire Western military machine” in Ukraine, citing the lavish assistance in lethal aid and intelligence provided to Kiev by the US, UK, EU and others. “If the territorial integrity of our nation is threatened, we will certainly use all the means that we have to defend Russia and our people,”he warned. White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said the Biden administration took Putin’s words “seriously,”but insisted that it was “irresponsible rhetoric for a nuclear power to talk that way.”
“..nuclear war between the United States and Russia would cause two-thirds of the planet to starve to death within two years..”
• Serbian President Warns of “Great World Conflict” Within Two Months (SN)
The President of Serbia has warned that the planet is entering into a “great world conflict” that could take place within the next two months. Aleksandar Vucic made the alarming comments during the first day of the UN General Assembly session in New York. “You see a crisis in every part of the world,” Vucic told the Serbian state broadcaster RTS. “I think realistic predictions ought to be even darker,” he added. “Our position is even worse, since the UN has been weakened and the great powers have taken over and practically destroyed the UN order over the past several decades.” The Serbian leader cautioned that the war between Russia and Ukraine had moved on to a far deadlier phase.
“I assume that we’re leaving the phase of the special military operation and approaching a major armed conflict, and now the question becomes where is the line, and whether after a certain time – maybe a month or two, even – we will enter a great world conflict not seen since the Second World War,” he said. Vucic’s remarks were made on the same day that Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an immediate “partial mobilization” of troops amounting to 300,000 soldiers. In a public address to the nation, Putin warned that he wasn’t bluffing and that he was prepared to use “all the means at our disposal” to protect Moscow’s territorial integrity. “Now they (the West) are talking about nuclear blackmail,” said Putin. “The Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant was shelled and also some high positions – representatives of NATO states – who are saying there might be possibility and permissibility to use nuclear weapons against Russia,” he added.
Putin ominously asserted that western powers should “be reminded that our country also has various weapons of destruction, and with regard to certain components they’re even more modern than NATO ones.” As we highlighted last month, a study conducted by Rutgers University found that nuclear war between the United States and Russia would cause two-thirds of the planet to starve to death within two years. 5 billion people would perish, primarily as a result of nuclear detonations causing huge infernos that inject soot into the atmosphere which blocks out the sun and devastates crops. One wonders how a generation that thinks words are “violence” and misgendering someone is stochastic terrorism will react to an intercontinental nuclear war. The mind truly boggles.
“retired idiots with generals’ stripes” should not attempt to intimidate Moscow..”
• Medvedev Responds To Military Threat From Ex-US General (RT)
Moscow may use nuclear weapons to defend its territory, including the Donbass republics and Zaporozhye and Kherson Regions, should they decide to join Russia, former president, Dmitry Medvedev said on Thursday. He also warned that “retired idiots” in the Western military should not contemplate strikes on Moscow’s naval bases in the Black Sea. Writing on Telegram on Thursday, Medvedev stressed that the referendums, planned for between September 23 and 27, would definitely take place, and “the Donbass republics and other territories would be admitted to Russia.” The former president went on to say that the Russian military would “significantly reinforce” the defenses of all incorporated territories.
He added that to defend its territories, Russia may use “not only its mobilization capabilities, but also any Russian weapons, including strategic nuclear weapons.” Without naming names, Medvedev cautioned that “retired idiots with generals’ stripes” should not attempt to intimidate Moscow by claiming that NATO could attack Crimea, a peninsula that overwhelmingly voted to unite with Russia in 2014 following a coup in Kiev. “Hypersonic [missiles] are sure to hit targets in Europe and the US much faster,” he warned, adding that “the Western establishment and NATO citizens need to understand that Russia has chosen its own path” and there is “no way back.”
On Wednesday, Ben Hodges, the former commander of the US Army in Europe, said that Washington could destroy Russia’s Black Sea Fleet, that’s based in Crimea, or its bases on the peninsula if Moscow resorts to using nuclear weapons in Ukraine. He noted that it’s “very unlikely” that Russian President Vladimir Putin would order to deploy nukes. Last week, Medvedev accused Western “half-wits” from “stupid think tanks” of leading their countries down the road of nuclear Armageddon with their hybrid war against Moscow. He also warned that the “unrestrained pumping of the Kiev regime with the most dangerous types of weapons,” could prompt Russia to move its military campaign to the next level.
Ivan Timofeev, Valdai Club Programme Director & one of Russia’s leading foreign policy experts.
• Von der Leyen Is Completely Wrong About anti-Russia Sanctions (Timofeev)
European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen has, as could be expected, called for new sanctions against Russia in connection with the forthcomingreferendums in Donbass and two regions of Ukraine. These concern the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics – which have been de-facto self-governing since 2014 – and the Kherson and Zaporozhye regions. In her opinion, the penalties already imposed on Russia are having an impact.”The sanctions have been very successful. If you look at the Russian economy, its industry is in tatters,” the politician asserted. Let’s allow ourselves to argue a little with Ms. von der Leyen. The key measure of the effectiveness of sanctions is whether they change the political course of the target country.
This criterion has been well researched in both academic and applied literature and few people have any doubts about its veracity. However, Russia has not changed its political course in Ukraine under the influence of the large-scale sanctions of the EU, US and other initiators. Moreover, its position is hardening, as evidenced by this week’s announcements of both a partial mobilization and the referendums. Thus, we can say that the measures are actually having a negative effect in terms of what they are supposed to be doing. Apparently, Ms. von der Leyen links effectiveness to the amount of pain inflicted. In other words, she believes that the greater it is, the better. There are problems here, too. The damage is indeed large. But we are not just sitting still and feeling sorry for ourselves. We are adapting very energetically.
Now, you can criticize Russia’s domestic financial policy and question import substitution as much as you like. And they will not, of course, make ‘everything as it was.’ But it is clear that the economy is shrinking much less than expected, that inflation has, at least so far, been brought under control, and that adaptations in sourcing, helped by domestic production, are mitigating the effects of the sanctions. The economy is simply becoming different. It is changing in terms of focus and quality. In a number of sectors it will “run slower” or limp along. But Russiawill continue to live. Of course, we have already heard the words “the Russian economy is in tatters,” from US President Barack Obama. That was in 2015. Seven years ago.
10,000 sanctions. A silly game.
• EU To Impose New Sanctions On Moscow – Borrell (RT)
The EU has agreed to slap new sanctions on Russia “as soon as possible” over plans to hold referendums in the Donbass republics and Russian-controlled regions in Ukraine on whether to unite with Russia, the bloc’s foreign policy chief said on Wednesday. Speaking after an emergency meeting of EU foreign ministers, Josep Borrell said that the bloc had made a “political” decision to impose new sectoral and individual sanctions on Russia. “These restrictive measures would be brought forward as soon as possible against Russia in coordination with partners,” he said. While he did not clarify the details of the new sanctions, he hinted that they would hit the Russian economy, especially the technology sector, while the EU would also blacklist a number of individuals.
He also noted that the bloc would provide Ukraine with security assistance for “as long as it takes.” “Today it’s clear that we will continue to increase our military support and continue to provide arms to Ukraine,” he added. Borrell also commented on recent developments in the Ukraine conflict, accusing Russian President Vladimir Putin of “trying to destroy Ukraine” and organizing partial mobilization to support what he called “illegal referenda.” On Wednesday, Vladimir Putin announced a partial mobilization which calls on 300,000 reservists to take part in the conflict with Ukraine. The move comes a day after the two Donbass republics and Russian-controlled Zaporozhye and Kherson Regions decided to hold referendums from September 23 to 27, on whether to unite with Russia.
Waiting for the first threats to throw him out.
• Brussels’ Sanctions Caused Crisis – Orban (RT)
The EU leadership caused a continent-wide crisis by imposing sanctions on Russian energy, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has said. The Eurosceptic politician criticized Brussels on his Facebook page on Wednesday evening as he announced a meeting with members of the ruling coalition in the parliament. According to local media, during the closed-door gathering, he blamed EU bureaucrats for the hardships that member states, including Hungary, currently face. Orban told MPs from his Fidesz party and the allied Christian Democrats (KDNP) that if the EU’s sanctions on Russia were dropped, gas prices would go down by one-half, and as a result, inflation would also decline, Magyar Nemzet daily reported.
The Hungarian PM said the EU leadership promised in early summer that the sanctions would hurt Russia’s economy, not people in the EU, but the opposite has occurred, according to the report. Orban predicted that dropping the sanctions would allow the EU to avoid a recession. In November, there will be a meaningful opportunity for the EU to reconsider the restrictions on trading with Russia, Orban reportedly said, and the ruling Hungarian coalition should work hard to have them lifted by the end of the year. The prime minister also lashed out at the Hungarian opposition, accusing them of backing Brussels’ policies without giving a second thought to the damage they are causing to the country, Magyar Nemzet said.
He also outlined a number of measures, such as energy subsidies, which the Fidesz–KDNP government is taking to alleviate the effects of the skyrocketing prices, the newspaper reported. Orban, who was re-elected in a landslide victory in April, is an outspoken critic of the EU leadership. He has called the bloc the main loser in the Russia-Ukraine conflict, in which it sided with Kiev. The sanctions were imposed by Brussels in retaliation for Russia’s decision to send troops into Ukraine in late February.
Hungary, Serbia, Austria. Next!
“in case of further steps, primarily in the energy sector, with regard to gas, there will be a clear ‘no’ from Austria.”
• Austria To Reject Russian Gas Ban – FM (RT)
Vienna will say an emphatic ‘no’ to proposals of a ban on Russian natural gas imports, Austrian Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg said on Thursday, noting that the already adopted EU sanctions packages are comprehensive and may require clarification. “I have said in the past that we should discuss this [possible tightening of sanctions] in an appropriate way, namely behind closed doors, but yes – we have already adopted six large-scale sanctions packages, and now we can think about closing the loopholes,” the FM told ORF while answering a question on whether Vienna’s position has changed regarding the possible strengthening of sanctions against Russia. Schallenberg added that “in case of further steps, primarily in the energy sector, with regard to gas, there will be a clear ‘no’ from Austria.”
Austria, which is heavily dependent on Russian energy and sources around 80% of natural gas from Russia, has been opposing the EU’s plan to restrict imports from Moscow. The Federation of Austrian Industries earlier warned that the suspension of Russian gas supplies would be “a serious blow” to the welfare of the Austrian people as it threatens some 300,000 jobs. According to the president of the federation, Georg Knill, almost the entire food industry depends on the supply of the “blue fuel.” He stated in May that he saw danger not so much in the fact that Russia could “turn off the taps,”but in the decision of the European Union to stop importing Russian gas. In March, the EU rolled out a plan to reduce dependence on Russian gas by two thirds before the end of the year. The proposal is part of a wider plan to become independent from all Russian fossil fuels “well before 2030.”
Voting Sep 23-27. Percentages predicted run from 80% to 95%, depending on the region. Russia will annex them.
• Ukraine: 5-Year Prison Sentence For Anyone Voting In “Sham Referendums” (ZH)
Starting last month Ukrainian lawmakers began seeking to implement severe consequences for those participating in Russia-sponsored referendums in occupied territories of Ukraine. For example, a law is being pushed through parliament which criminalizes obtaining a Russian passport in temporarily occupied territories, Ukrainian sources reported last week, according to Yahoo News. Proposed possible punishments have included losing Ukrainian citizenship, or even lengthy jail sentences. But other officials have argued for a more compromising approach given the necessity of survival in occupied areas. But now the Ukrainian government has reiterated its willingness to impose steep penalties for even participating in any Kremlin-sponsored vote to join the Russian Federation.
Russian President Putin’s Wednesday morning address announcing partial mobilization also affirmed plans to move forward with referendums in the LPR, DPR, Kherson and Zaporozhye regions. Ukraine has responded by warning its citizens that any official who promotes or organizes the voting faces a “prison term of five to ten years” – as well as possible asset seizure by the state, and being barred from employment in select positions for up to 15 years. Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Irina Vereshchuk announced this week that a five year prison term is currently being considered for anyone caught participating in “sham referenda” by government authorities:
“Some lawyers believe that those actions fall under Article 110 part 1 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine, ‘Infringement on Ukraine’s territorial integrity,’ punishable with a prison term of up to five years,” she told the Strana portal on Tuesday. She further called on citizens currently in occupied to territories to “leave, if possible.” Vereshchuk was cited further as follows according to a Russian media translation of her words: “This [may] mean imprisonment for up to five years. So, once again I strongly advise residents of the temporarily occupied territories: do not take a [Russian] passport, do not go to referendums, do not cooperate with the occupiers and leave, if it’s possible,” the official stated.
Come test them on my country!
• Ukraine Perfect Testing Ground For New US Weapons – Kiev (RT)
US defense companies should send their new weapons to Ukraine so they can be tested in actual combat against Russian forces, Kiev’s deputy defense minister, Vladimir Gavrilov, has said. Gavrilov made the suggestion during a speech before hundreds of American defense industry representatives and military acquisitions personnel at the Future Force Capabilities Conference and Exhibition in Austin, Texas on Wednesday. “If you have some ideas, or some pilot projects to be tested before mass manufacturing, you can send it to us and we will explain how to do it. And in the end you will get the stamp, proved by the war in Ukraine. You will sell it easy,” he said, as cited by the Military Times.
According to the deputy defense minister, startup companies, including those involved in anti-drone and anti-jamming equipment, have already brought new technologies to the Ukrainian battlefield. “And they come back with a product that is competitive in the market now because it was tested in a combat zone,” Gavrilov said, without revealing the companies that have worked with Ukraine in this capacity. His comments were made on the day Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a partial mobilization, which he said is necessary because Russia has been fighting “the entire Western military machine” in Ukraine. Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu later stated that around 300,000 reservists are planned to be called up.
In view of this shift in Russia’s tactics, Kiev will require more counter-drone and electronic warfare technologies, armored vehicles, and long-range anti-tank and precision fire weapons, Gavrilov said. Ukraine is now almost entirely dependent on weapons supplied by the US, UK, EU, and other nations, according to Shoigu, as most of the Soviet-made hardware it had before the fighting began in late February has been destroyed by Russian forces.
8 years, not 6 months.
“..he may be a son of a b*tch, but he is our son of a b*tch,”
• Lavrov Puts Spotlight On ‘Impunity’ In Ukraine (RT)
The current crisis in Ukraine was brought about by the West systematically covering up the crimes of the Kiev government since the 2014 coup, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told the UN Security Council on Thursday. Lavrov noted that “impunity” is a good term for what has been happening in Ukraine, not since February but since 2014, when US-backed nationalists and neo-Nazis seized power by force. No one has ever been held responsible for the murders on the Maidan, the burning of peaceful protesters in Odessa, or the assassinations of dissidents, he pointed out. Civilians of Donbass have been bombed mercilessly for years and dubbed terrorists and even subhuman, simply for refusing to accept the results of the coup and insisting on their basic human right to speak Russian, Lavrov said.
The Russian foreign minister presented a long list of human rights violations by Kiev that went ignored by various European and global human rights groups, from “burning books, just like in Nazi Germany” to using banned ‘petal’ land mines against civilians this summer. “Such outrages became possible and remain unpunished due to the fact that the US and its allies, with the connivance of international human rights institutions, have been systematically covering up the crimes of the Kiev regime for eight years, basing their policy towards [Ukrainian President Vladimir] Zelensky based on the well-known American principle: he may be a son of a b*tch, but he is our son of a b*tch,” said Lavrov.
This was a reference to an apocryphal quote attributed to President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and thought to apply either to Anastasio Somoza of Nicaragua or Rafael Trujillo of the Dominican Republic – both US-backed dictators. Lavrov also accused the Ukrainian armed forces of using civilians as human shields and said that Russia and the Donbass republics are fighting against the “Western military machine” in Ukraine, with the US and its allies perilously close to being overt participants in the conflict. Moscow has shared evidence demonstrating that the West has sought to turn Ukraine into a forward outpost that could threaten Russia’s security, Lavrov told the UN. “I can assure you, we will not let that happen.”
Tlaib literally has no idea what she’s talking about. You can’t “save the climate” by bankrupting your economy.
• Jamie Dimon: Stopping Oil And Gas Production ‘Road To Hell’ For US (NYP)
JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon said slamming the brakes on new oil and gas production “would be the road to hell for America” after Rep. Rashida Tlaib asked him to divest in oil. Dimon’s comments came during a House hearing where the far-left Michigan Democrat asked him and other top bank execs if they would commit to no longer investing funds into oil and gas companies to slow down climate change. “Please answer with a simple yes or no, does your bank have a policy against funding new oil and gas products,” Tlaib asked, with Dimon up first. “Absolutely not and that would be the road to hell for America,” Dimon shot back.
Tlaib then slammed JPMorgan-Chase and circled back to criticism Dimon leveled against President Joe Biden’s plan to forgive up to $20,000 in student debt during the hearing. She encouraged people to cancel their accounts with the major bank. “Sir, you know what, everybody that got relief from student loans — has a bank account with your bank — should probably take out their account and close their account,” an irritated Tlaib said. “The fact that you’re not even there to help relieve many of the folks that are in debt, extreme debt, because of student loan debt and you’re out there criticizing it,” Tlaib said before moving on to the next bank executive on the panel, Citi CEO Jane Fraser, who offered a more diplomatic response.
Note: this case would be non-existant if the politician who was tapped was not also a European parliament member.
• A Greek Watergate Threatens the West (Varoufakis)
The sequence of events leading to the exposure of Greece’s Watergate scandal began in July 2019, immediately after Mr Mitsotakis won the last general election on behalf of New Democracy, our conservative party. One of the very first decrees he issued, as incoming Prime Minister, was one that gave his office direct control over and responsibility for EYP. “Why on earth is the PM taking over the supervision of EYP?”, I remember a parliamentary colleague asking me that very day. It was, indeed, a curious move. Our trepidation only grew following two personnel choices. First, Mitsotakis appointed a nephew of his, Grigoris Dimitriadis, to oversee EYP on his behalf. Secondly, he chose as EYP’s new head Panagiotis Kontoleon, the CEO of the Greek franchise of the private security firm G4 — a man with no record of public service, and whose appointment Mitsotakis could only complete after amending the relevant law to remove the prerequisite that the EYP chief holds a postgraduate degree.
Given his concerted and very public efforts to take complete control of the state intelligence agency, something no other PM had ever done, it became impossible to shift blame to some other minister once the faeces hit the proverbial fan. Of the more than 17,000 wiretaps that EYP admits it has placed during the last year alone, two cases are at the heart of the current scandal. The first is that of Thanasis Koukakis, an investigative journalist who dared look into Greek shipowners’ loans that had been illegally written off by the Bank of Piraeus (one of the banks that Greek taxpayers have had to repeatedly bailout). It turns out that Koukakis was one of EYP’s “subjects of interest”, an outrage that would have probably gone unnoticed without the second, higher profile, case.
It was this case that broke the camel’s back: an investigation begun by the European Parliament’s IT department accidentally revealed that Nikos Androulakis, an MEP belonging to PASOK (the formerly dominant party in Greek politics), was being phone-tapped by EYP. It was explosive news because, at the time his phone was tapped, Androulakis was contesting the leadership of PASOK — a contest that he, eventually, won. The significance of that contest cannot be understated, since its outcome mattered a great deal to Mitsotakis and his governing New Democracy party. Since the middle of the pandemic, opinion polls have persistently suggested that the next election, which must take place by July 2023, will result in a hung parliament. While Mitsotakis’ New Democracy seemed likely to remain the largest party, it was not even close to an absolute majority. PASOK, in third place, was therefore positioned as kingmaker: whoever the party chose to side with would end up in government.
The stakes of PASOK’s leadership race suddenly seemed very high. Of the three main candidates, the one that would almost certainly choose to back New Democracy and Mitsotakis to form a government was Andreas Loverdos — an MP and former minister who had served gladly in New Democracy-PASOK coalition governments between 2011 and 2015. Every newspaper, radio and television station supporting Mitsotakis was rooting for Loverdos to beat Androulakis in the PASOK leadership primary. Is it any wonder that the revelation of EYP’s surveillance of Androulakis was big news? In a period during which the ruling party was rooting for Androulakis’s opponent, the nation’s spy agency — which ruling party’s leader and his nephew controlled and supervised to the full — was tapping Androulakis’ phone!
Let’s turn to the Guardian for the real news.
Letitia James ran on “get Trump” and then spent her entire tenure as NY AG trying to “get Trump”, already the most investigated and prosecuted person in the history of the US. She will fail just like the others.
Meanwhile: why did James make this a civil, not a criminal case?
And: if Trump defrauded banks and pension funds, why did none of them ever file a case?
• ‘He’s Done’: How Donald Trump’s Legal Woes Have Just Gotten A Lot Worse (G.)
Donald Trump’s legal perils have become insurmountable and could snuff out the former US president’s hopes of an election-winning comeback, according to political analysts and legal experts. On Wednesday, Trump and three of his adult children were accused of lying to tax collectors, lenders and insurers in a “staggering” fraud scheme that routinely misstated the value of his properties to enrich themselves. The civil lawsuit, filed by New York’s attorney general, came as the FBI investigates Trump’s holding of sensitive government documents at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida and a special grand jury in Georgia considers whether he and others attempted to influence state election officials after his defeat there by Joe Biden.
The former US president has repeatedly hinted that he intends to run for the White House again in 2024. But the cascade of criminal, civil and congressional investigations could yet derail that bid. “He’s done,” said Allan Lichtman, a history professor at American University, in Washington, who has accurately predicted every presidential election since 1984. “He’s got too many burdens, too much baggage to be able to run again even presuming he escapes jail, he escapes bankruptcy. I’m not sure he’s going to escape jail.” After a three-year investigation, Letitia James, the New York attorney general, alleged that Trump provided fraudulent statements of his net worth and false asset valuations to obtain and satisfy loans, get insurance benefits and pay lower taxes. Offspring Don Jr, Ivanka and Eric were also named as defendants.
At a press conference, James riffed on the title of Trump’s 1987 memoir and business how-to book, The Art of the Deal. “This investigation revealed that Donald Trump engaged in years of illegal conduct to inflate his net worth, to deceive banks and the people of the great state of New York. Claiming you have money that you do not have does not amount to ‘the art of the deal’. It’s the art of the steal,” she said. Her office requested that the former president pay at least $250m in penalties and that his family be banned from running businesses in the state. James cannot bring criminal charges against Trump in this civil investigation but she said she was referring allegations of criminal fraud to federal prosecutors in Manhattan as well as the Internal Revenue Service.
Phone vs life
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