Link: Donald Trump’s Companies Destroyed Emails in Defiance of Court Orders

Donald Trump’s Companies Destroyed Emails in Defiance of Court Orders

Over the course of decades, Donald Trump’s companies have systematically destroyed or hidden thousands of emails, digital records and paper documents demanded in official proceedings, often in defiance of court orders. These tactics—exposed by a Newsweek review of thousands of pages of court filings, judicial orders and affidavits from an array of court cases—have enraged judges, prosecutors, opposing lawyers and the many ordinary citizens entangled in litigation with Trump. In each instance, Trump and entities he controlled also erected numerous hurdles that made lawsuits drag on for years, forcing courtroom opponents to spend huge sums of money in legal fees as they struggled—sometimes in vain—to obtain records.

Expert on wall construction explains why the wall is a bad idea

Amy Patrick
January 8 at 7:52 PM

Howdy.

To recap: I’m a licensed structural and civil engineer with a MS in structural engineering from the top program in the nation and over a decade of experience on high-performance projects, and particularly of cleaning up design disasters where the factors weren’t properly accounted for, and I’m an adjunct professor of structural analysis and design at UH-Downtown. I have previously been deposed as an expert witness in matters regarding proper construction of walls and the various factors associated therein, and my testimony has passed Daubert.

Am I a wall expert? I am. I am literally a court-accepted expert on walls.

Structurally and civil engineering-wise, the border wall is not a feasible project. Trump did not hire engineers to design the thing. He solicited bids from contractors, not engineers. This means it’s not been designed by professionals. It’s a disaster of numerous types waiting to happen.

What disasters?

Off the top of my head…
1) It will mess with our ability to drain land in flash flooding. Anything impeding the ability of water to get where it needs to go (doesn’t matter if there are holes in the wall or whatever) is going to dramatically increase the risk of flooding.
2) Messes with all kind of stuff ecologically. For all other projects, we have to do an Environmental Site Assessment, which is arduous. They’re either planning to circumvent all this, or they haven’t accounted for it yet, because that’s part of the design process, and this thing hasn’t been designed.
3) The prototypes they came up with are nearly impossible to build or don’t actually do the job. This article explains more:

Writing on the Wall: Report Suggests Border Project Is Off-Track and Over Budget

And so on.

The estimates provided for the cost are arrived at unreasonably. You can look for yourself at the two-year-old estimate that you see everyone citing.

Bernstein Materials Blast: Who Would Profit from The Trump Wall?

It does not account for rework, complexities beyond the prototype design, factors to prevent flood and environmental hazard creation, engineering redesign… It’s going to be higher than $50bn. The contractors will hit the government with near CONSTANT change orders. “Cost overrun” will be the name of the game. It will not be completed in Trump’s lifetime.

I’m a structural forensicist, which means I’m called in when things go wrong. This is a project that WILL go wrong. When projects go wrong, the original estimates are just *obliterated*. And when that happens, good luck getting it fixed, because there aren’t that many forensicists out there to right the ship, particularly not that are willing to work on a border wall project— a large quotient of us are immigrants, and besides, we can’t afford to bid on jobs that are this political. We’re small firms, and we’re already busy, and we don’t gamble our reputations on political footballs. So you’d end up with a revolving door of contractors making a giant, uncoordinated muddle of things, and it’d generally be a mess. Good money after bad. The GAO agrees with me.

And it won’t be effective. I could, right now, purchase a 32 foot extension ladder and weld a cheap custom saddle for the top of the proposed wall so that I can get over it. I don’t know who they talked to about the wall design and its efficacy, but it sure as heck wasn’t anybody with any engineering imagination.

Another thing: we are not far from the day where inexpensive drones will be able to pick up and carry someone. This will happen in the next ten years, and it’s folly to think that the coyotes who ferry people over the border won’t purchase or create them. They’re low enough, quiet enough, and small enough to quickly zip people over any wall we could build undetected with our current monitoring setup.

Let’s have border security, by all means, but let’s be smart about it. This is not smart. It’s not effective. It’s NOT cheap. The returns will be diminishing as technology advances, too. This is a ridiculous idea that will never be successfully executed and, as such, would be a monumental waste of money. 🤷🏻‍♀️

This is set to public. Have a blast sharing it.

Border wall: https://www.flickr.com/photos/54593278@N03/24075842318/
(Source: public domain: https://www.flickr.com/photos/54593278@N03/24075842318/)

Robert Mueller’s Coming to Town (song)

You better watch out, you better not lie. 
You better bow out, I'm telling you why. 
Robert Mueller's coming to town. 

He's made indictments, checking them twice. 
Telling everyone about your criminal vice. 
Robert Mueller's coming to town. 

He knows what you've been tweeting. 
He's knows that you're a rake. 
He knows that you've been bad, not good. 
So resign for goodness sake! 

O!, You better watch out, you better say bye. 
You better bow out, I'm telling you why. 
Robert Mueller's coming to town.

David J. Rothkopf on Trump’s Legacy

Great summation by David J. Rothkopf, professor of international relations, political scientist and journalist, from his twitter feed.

“So we know this, Russian government representatives reached out to the Trump campaign in 2015 and undertook multiple initiatives and had multiple points and series of contacts with Team Trump for the next couple years. It’s not just the Trump Tower meeting.

It’s not just the interactions with Wikileaks. It’s not just the Russian ties to Cambridge Analytica. It’s not just Konstantin Kiliminik, a Russian agent working hand in hand with campaign chair Paul Manafort.

It’s not just the ties between Flynn and the Russians. It’s not just the links between the Russians and Eric Prince through the meeting in the Seychelles and beyond that. It’s not just the ties of Wilbur Ross. It’s not just the Trump Organization dealings with Russia.

It’s not just Jared Kushner’s dealings with Russia. It’s not just Kushner and Flynn’s dealing with Kislyak during the campaign. It’s not just the candidate Trump asking for Russian help. It’s not just the GRU hacking for which indictments have already taken place.

We can go on. But let’s not stop before we discuss the many benefits the Russians delivered to Trump via hacking, the dumping of files, the manipulation of social media and other avenues…all to support Trump over Clinton. Nor should we fail to discuss the benefits Trump offered the Russians since he gained power.

There was his covering up their hacking and his efforts to slow investigations of it. There was his denying the conclusions of the intelligence community about the Russians. There were the talks between Flynn and the Russians about waiving sanctions. There were the meetings with Trump when he was president when he handed over classified information to the Russians. There were whatever promises or concessions were made in Helsinki. There was a pattern of placating the Russians or failing to enforce sanctions for months and months. In other words, there was plenty of quid and plenty of quo ($50 million penthouse apartments and the promise of big deals or financing benefits aside.)

From the outreach to Cohen to just the first months of the admin, we can count more than a dozen separate avenues of connection at the highest level. In any normal campaign or administration, just one would set off alarm bells and have the president calling the FBI into action. But instead, in addition to those dozen avenues, the offers that were explicitly or tacitly accepted, benefits to both sides and the overt betrayal of the U.S. to advance the political or economic interests of Trump and those close to him, we have the president obstructing justice.

Actively obstructing. Threatening to fire all those getting closer to the truth. Lying and lying and lying some more and urging staff to lie and witness tampering and so on.

This is not a case of possible collusion. This is sweeping, multi-layered, high level conspiracy led by Vladimir Putin and the Russian intelligence community, and involving the active cooperation and complicity of a man who was a candidate for president and then president as well as his entire team.

This is the biggest scandal in the history of the American presidency and there is not another that is close to it. But that is not all we know.

The DoJ believes the president of the United States directed the commission of campaign finance felonies as a candidate. The NYT produced extensive and compelling evidence of serial tax fraud by the Trump family. The state of NY is investigating fraud in their charities.

The House will soon begin investigation of Trump money laundering [RICO]. A case involving his violation of the Constitution’s emoluments clause is under way. In other words, as massive as the Russia scandal is, it might not be the biggest Trump scandal.

It might not even be the scandal that brings Trump down. But what we know is that all of these or any of these scandals must bring him down. This criminal has no business being the White House. He has no business walking freely among us.
2019 is going to be the worst year of Donald Trump’s life except for all those that will follow it. These cases will be investigated further and then proven. Some may be prosecuted while he is in office. Some may wait until he leaves office.

But someday this is already certain, no senior American public official–not Richard Nixon, not Andrew Johnson–will go down in more disgrace or be more reviled by history than Donald Trump. And that is as it should be.”

 

Trump’s criminality

Following Trump’s money exposes the awful truth: Our president is a ‘financial vampire’

“Americans were confronted Tuesday with a profound problem, one that challenges our commitment to accountable democratic government and justice. It is an awful truth that we must face now that the New York Times has published a richly documented, 14,000-word expose alleging decades of deeply corrupt Trump family finances.”
Vampire Trump

Trump’s strategy

A friend says: Just in case there’s any doubt at this point about the game Trump plays. From Anthony Scaramucci (who still supports Trump) on Friday:

“What he likes doing, and what I tried to present at CNN yesterday and that ended up with the headline, “Scaramucci calls Trump a liar,” what he likes doing, he likes saying very provocative things, and in the case of lighting up the media, he likes saying very inaccurate things, cause he knows the media will jump on him like a hall monitor in middle school and reprimand him. And he knows that his base loves it when the media reprimands him. It galvanizes them. It gets them angry. It brings them to the fore, and he’s doing that to try to get them to participate in the vote on November 6th. And so, you can hate him for that, you can hate me for explaining it, but in my mind, he’s intentionally lying, as opposed to just lying lying. As it relates to a nationalist, he’s saying the word nationalist, cuz he’s hoping that somebody that really understands that word that hates him will get up on the television and say this SOB is a militant nationalist. And his base, they enjoy it. They don’t mind it. And now you guys can be upset about that, but that’s what it is.”

Uncle Sam on the Lam

by Lansing Scott

Uncle Sam drinking
Drunk Uncle Sam is on the lam. He escaped from DC and has been hitchhiking across the country, sleeping under bridges, & drinking his Thunderbird for months now. Hes almost reached Vancouver, BC, where he will formally apply for political asylum.

Asked to explain his sudden departure from his job as personification of the United States of America, Sam said, “Are you fucking kidding me? Like anybody would want this job right now? They wanted me to lead a campaign encouraging ICE agents to separate babies from their mothers. That was the final straw. Luckily Id skipped town before they could make me recruit support for that rapist judge Kavanaugh.”

Asked why he was seeking political asylum in Canada, Sam said, “I’ve been in an abusive relationship with this government. I cant take it any more! Were all in serious danger unless we vote against Republican control of government on Nov. 6.”

Pointing his finger at the camera, drunk Uncle Sam said, “I WANT YOU to get out the vote in this election! Im not fucking kidding! DO IT!”