Robert Reich: Here's why mainstream media marginalizes Bernie Sanders
April 01, 2016
Jared Kushner's private equity firm has received hundreds of millions of dollars from wealth firms in the United Arab Emirates and Qatar, The New York Times reported.
"The infusion of money from interests in the two rival Persian Gulf monarchies reflects the continued efforts by Mr. Trump and his aides and allies to profit from the close ties they built to the Arab world during his presidency and the desire of leaders in the region to remain on good terms with Mr. Kushner as his father-in-law seeks the presidency again," The Times report states. "The Emiratis invested more than $200 million with Mr. Kushner's firm, Affinity Partners, two people told about the transactions said. The U.A.E.'s embassy in Washington declined to comment. A Qatari entity invested a similar sum, according to two people with knowledge of that deal. A spokesman for the Qatari embassy in Washington declined to comment."
As The Times points out, the Emirati government has forged a close relationship with Kushner due to his time in the Trump administration. During the Trump presidency, a Qatar-linked company helped bail out a debt-ridden tower in midtown Manhattan owned by the Kushner family.
People familiar with both governments tell The Times that Emirati and Qatari officials were initially reluctant to invest in Kushner's private equity fund partly due to the political risks, but feared unfavorable treatment if they turned down Kushner's invitation to invest and Trump won back the White House.
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While it's not unusual for political insiders to benefit from deals abroad after their administrations leave office, the scale and timing of the investments in Kushner's firm -- in the range of $2.5 billion -- have raised the eyebrows of Democrats and watchdog groups.
Read the full report over at The New York Times.
MSNBC host Rachel Maddow came into the studio, despite Friday not being her night to do the show, to discuss the indictment of former President Donald Trump.
"I do think there's one thing we all need to be preparing for here that we are maybe not prepared for and that is what I think is the very high probability that this is going to be boring," Maddow hoped
. "I'm not sure we're prepared for that."
She explained that, "So much of the court battle is motions and debates, and I'm not sure either side's ideologically prepared, I don't think the punditry is prepared, I don't think you are prepared, because this feels like really big news and really big news feels like it has a lot of momentum. But as far as I can tell, this is about a legal proceeding starting, and if you look at the kind of legal proceeding this is going to be, I think we need to prepare ourselves for the fact that, A, this may go on for a really long time, and it might go on where the incremental additional news on this news story each day is something that feels like reading the small print on the back of a lottery ticket or even your car rental insurance waiver."
"This might really be boring," Maddow warned, because although this is the first time a former president has ever been prosecuted, the case itself "isn't something that is unprecedented in the world of criminal law, the actual adjudication of cases like this one, as much as we know about what kind of case this is, before the indictment's unsealed, the actual adjudication of cases like this is often a very boring thing. I will tell you, since this particular district attorney, Alvin Bragg, has been the district attorney for Manhattan, his office has reportedly charged falsification of business records as a felony count 117 times. He has not been D.A. for that long, but in that time he's been indicted on this charge 11 times. And that's what you call trivia because it's not that important. Not one of those cases was interesting enough to make the news on its own terms."
Additionally, Maddow said, this case has in some ways "already happened to a certain degree."
"The former president's business, called the Trump Organization, was not that long ago charged with felony tax evasion," said Maddow. "Felony tax evasion is a kind of cousin of the charge reportedly considered by the grand jury in their indictment today. It was absolutely fascinating news when the felony tax evasion charges were announced against Donald Trump's business. But then, you remember what happened thereafter? ... once they got a jury, they had a trial, and was a long trial, [with] lots of testimony about, you know, alleged criminal tax fraud. And then there was a verdict and you remember where you were when the verdict came out? No, you don't, you probably don't because it wasn't a moment where the earth moved. Maybe it moved for you. It didn't move for me."
Ultimately, Maddow said, what "could break" America is not the indictment itself — but Trump's supporters' potentially ugly nationwide reaction to it
Maddow then welcomed former special assistant district attorney Catherine Christian on her show, where she predicted "a circus" on Tuesday when Trump is arraigned and booked.
See the opener below or at the link here.
what 'could break' America is not the indictment but the MAGA reaction to it www.youtube.com
Former Vice President Mike Pence joined most Republicans Thursday in casting doubt on Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg's motives in the indictment of Donald Trump.
The former president was indicted on more than 30 counts, CNN reports. His first court appearance is scheduled for Tuesday.
“I think the unprecedented indictment of a former president of the United States on a campaign finance issue is an outrage, and it appears to millions of Americans be nothing more than a political prosecution that's driven by a prosecutor who literally ran for office on a pledge to indict the former president,” Pence told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer in a primetime interview scheduled before Trump’s indictment was known publicly.
“Prosecutors make discretionary decisions about what they bring all the time. Federal prosecutors passed on this, the Manhattan DA initially delayed it, passed on it, but when you have an attorney general in New York and a Manhattan DA that targeted, one particular American in their campaigns, I think that offends the notion of the overwhelming majority of the American people who believe in fairness, who believe in equal treatment before the law, and this appears to be just one more example, Wolf, of the kind of two-tiered justice system that the American people have had enough.”
Pence is considering a presidential run himself and said during travels around the country Trump’s legal troubles don’t appear to be on the radar of ordinary Americans.
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“The media's obsession about these investigations into Donald Trump I think is being lost on the American people,” Pence said.
Pence spoke critically of the former president over incendiary remarks on social media, including a statement that "death and destruction" would likely follow charges being brought against him.
“There's no excuse for that kind of rhetoric on either side of this debate,” Pence said.
Pence declined to say whether a person who is indicted should run for president, but acknowledged that presidents shouldn’t be immune from prosecution.
“No one is above the law, including former presidents, let me be clear on that point, and the American people know this,” Pence said.
“But in this case, a controversy over campaign finance, I can't speak to the merits of this case at all, but I can speak to the issue emanating out of a question over campaign finance should never have risen to the level to bring an unprecedented and historic prosecution” of the former president.
Watch video below or at this link.
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