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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.

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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.

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.

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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.

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


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
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The few police willing to join in solidarity with protesters

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Reports of the protests across the country are focusing on the violence, clashes and property damage caused by a small few rather than the peaceful protest of those rallying against injustice and the police standing in solidarity with them.

A few captured positive moments of cities where officers support the protests and believe Black lives do actually matter.

There were moments of protesters fist-bumping police, hugs with police, and in one incident in New York City over the weekend, one officer was separated from his unit. Protesters surrounded him with locked arms to protect him from those being violent. In Miami, Florida and Seattle, Washington, police joined protesters in kneeling.

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2020 Election

Trump shows all the signs of being ‘rattled’ now that the White House is under siege from protesters: columnist

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In a column for the Atlantic, longtime political observer Peter Nicholas stated that Donald Trump is showing all the signs of a scared man as massive protests have broken out across the country over the murder of George Floyd at the hands of four former Minneapolis cops -- and angry Americans are taking their case all the way up to the White House gates.

As Nicholas wrote, "Presidents live within a protective cocoon built and continually fortified for one purpose: keeping them alive. But inside the White House compound these days, Donald Trump seems rattled by what’s transpiring outside the windows of his historic residence."

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Black Londoner explains George Floyd protester support with story of how cops murdered his brother

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In an interview with MSNBC's Molly Hunter, a Black Londoner explained why he turned out for a protest near Trafalgar Square in support of Americans who have hit the streets in the U.S. over the murder of George Floyd by four former Minneapolis police officers.

According to the man -- identified as Daniel and who was wearing a COVID-19 mask and a New York Yankees hat -- his brother was also murdered by police and the cops walked free.

"You've been marching all day," Hunter began. "Look, I have two questions for you: what was it like watching the U.S. this week from London? Does it resonate?

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