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Trump, and his family urge dismissal of marketing scam lawsuit

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U.S. President Donald Trump and his adult children on Thursday urged a federal judge to dismiss a racketeering lawsuit accusing them of using the family name to promote sham marketing opportunities to vulnerable, financially struggling investors.

Calling the lawsuit “implausible,” the Trump family said in a filing in federal court in Manhattan that the four plaintiffs failed to prove there was fraud or intent to cause harm, or that any statements by Donald Trump caused losses.

A spokeswoman for the plaintiffs, who went by pseudonyms, had no immediate comment.

They accused the Trump family of having received millions of dollars of secret payments from 2005 to 2015 to endorse American Communications Network, which charged $499 for a chance to sell videophones and other goods, and two other businesses.

The lawsuit said the Trumps deliberately conned victims into believing Donald Trump stood behind the investments and thought they would pay off, when the real goal was to enrich themselves. They said this violated a federal anti-racketeering law known as RICO.

Other defendants included an affiliate of the Trump Organization and Trump’s adult children Donald Jr., Eric and Ivanka.

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In Thursday’s filing, the defendants suggested that the case was politically motivated, having been filed against the Republican president one week before November’s congressional elections and funded by a nonprofit whose president backs progressive causes.

They also said Trump’s promotional statements about ACN were merely opinion, or were “puffery” that reasonable investors could not rely on, and that none of the other defendants said anything the investors might have heard.

The plaintiffs originally sued on Oct. 29, 2018, and amended their complaint on Jan. 31.

But according to the defendants, the new complaint “cures none of the original defects, and in fact only highlights the implausibility, of a lawsuit that seeks to convert a celebrity endorsement by Mr. Trump and the licensing business of the Trump family, in toto, into a RICO violation by which Plaintiffs-who paid no money to any Trump business, ever-lost $499 each.”

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The plaintiffs have until March 7 to respond.

The case is Doe et al v Trump Corp et al, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, No. 18-09936.

Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; editing by Grant McCool

Report typos and corrections to [email protected].
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Republican lawmakers ask judge to destroy smoking gun documents proving GOP’s white supremacy

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Republicans on Monday sought a court order to block damning documents from being used against them in a lawsuit.

"North Carolina Republican lawmakers on Monday asked a court to make sure the files of the now-deceased GOP strategist Tom Hofeller are destroyed, or at least kept secret, instead of being used in a high-profile gerrymandering lawsuit," the Raleigh News & Observer reported.

"The filing comes after the groups behind the lawsuit, including Common Cause, accused Republican lawmakers of making false statements in court in a previous gerrymandering case, when the state’s 2011 maps were ruled unconstitutional," the newspaper noted. "That blockbuster accusation made national headlines and was, it said, based on Hofeller’s files which had been secret until recently."

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Trump angrily demands newspaper reveal unnamed sources behind bombshell report on his Russia policy

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President Donald Trump on Monday evening again lashed out at The New York Times for reporting on his Russia policy.

"The story in The New York Times about the U.S. escalating attacks on Russia’s power grid is fake news, and the failing New York Times knows it," Trump argued in a tweet sent after 10 p.m.

"They should immediately release their sources which, if they exist at all, which I doubt, are phony," he continued.

"Times must be held fully accountable," he demanded.

https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1140804748423118848

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Trump seethes and calls Fox ‘fake news’ after seeing a story that made him mad

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Trouble appears to be brewing between President Donald Trump and the cable news station he loves: Fox News.

In a tweet Monday night, the president lashed out at the network over its polling and called it “fake news’ — an epithet he usually reserves for mainstream outlets:

https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1140768516288782336?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw

Media Matters for America Senior Fellow Matthew Gertz, who has previously noted that Trump appears to record news segments and watch them a few hours later, suggested that the president appeared to be reacting to an earlier segment from Special Report with Bret Baier. The segment showed that, even according to Fox News’ polling, Trump trails every single leading candidate in the Democratic field in head-to-head matchups.

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