Washington (AFP) - President Donald Trump's diagnosis as Covid-19 positive adds extraordinary drama to an already fast-moving and tumultuous US election campaign.Here is a summary of the current state of events:Where is Trump now?Trump will spend the coming days in a military hospital just outside Washington to undergo treatment for the coronavirus, but will continue to work, the White House said Friday.Press secretary Kayleigh McEnany told reporters Trump "will be working from the presidential offices at Walter Reed for the next few days."The president's campaign manager Bill Stepien said ear...
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Former special assistant to the district attorney, Mark Pomerantz disputes claims that the information he has detailed in his book is of such importance that it could destroy any potential case against former President Donald Trump.
Speaking to MSNBC's Rachel Maddow on Monday night, Pomerantz said that on all of these issues "the cat is out of the bag." In fact, he added, "those cats have been running all over the place literally for years."
"The legal issue that I've noted in the book is an issue that appears on the face of the statute," he explained. "It's already been written about, was written about before my book has come out. On the financial statement side of the coin, we don't know -- I certainly don't know what investigation is taking place, if any. I don't know whether charges will ultimately be brought. What I do know is that the evidence underlying the charges we intended to bring is already out there in the public record."
He explained that the civil case brought by Attorney General Letitia James filed is well over 200 pages of financial details that have been reported.
It "lays out in abundant detail the assets that were misvalued, the basis for the overvaluation of the assets," said Pomerantz. "That is how she concluded and why she concluded that the assets were overvalued. And the evidence that we were looking at in connection with a potential criminal case has been laid out in chapter and verse in that complaint. And, again, there is nothing in my book about the financial statement investigation that -- the criminal investigation — that we were doing. There are no new facts that don't appear in the attorney general's complaint."
He said that it was important to him, in writing the book, not to interfere with any potential prosecution. After all, he explained, the purpose of the book was to encourage further prosecution he thinks should still be pursued.
At one point, Pomerantz described a woefully inadequate district attorney's office trying to do the work that he thought the federal government should be doing.
Maddow said that what Americans have learned since then is that the Justice Department was putting a lot of pressure on the Southern District of New York not to touch any investigations into Trump. It left the Manhattan DA's office and the New York attorney general as the only ones able to do the investigations. Since, however, the DOJ has been taken over by someone else and it's possible that they could be doing the same kind of investigation that Pomerantz thinks the DA should have been doing all along.
See the full conversation below or at the link here:
Pomerantz 3 www.youtube.com
CNN reported Monday evening that new documents from the U.S. intelligence agencies detail previous China spy balloons under Donald Trump's presidency, which he has denied on his social media account.
According to statements over the weekend, the Trump Pentagon never informed the president or other White House officials about the spy balloons.
An April 2022 report from the U.S. Air Force entitled “People’s Republic of China High-Altitude Balloon” details that the Pentagon found a China spy balloon “circumnavigated the globe” in 2019, which was while Donald Trump was president. According to the report, the balloon floated around 65,000 feet, and “drifted past Hawaii and across Florida before continuing its journey."
That was the same year that a report surfaced out of Tibet that India witnessed a spy balloon over their country.
The documents say, according to CNN, that a spy balloon was “launched and controlled” by China in 2019, which proved to them at the time that they were capable of navigating such a machine across the U.S.
On Sunday, former Trump officials lambasted claims from the Pentagon that three China balloons floated over the U.S. during Trump's administration, saying that they had never heard of such a thing. It was then clarified by the Pentagon that they either weren't told or didn't know about it at the time.
In a briefing Monday, Pentagon officials called it the military's “domain awareness gap.” That's what led to the previous balloons being undetected.
Speaking to MSNBC on Monday afternoon, New York Times Pentagon correspondent Helene Cooper explained that reports about such things in the past had been categorized as UAPs, unidentified aerial phenomena, which is the more media-friendly phrase for UFOs.
Speaking to MSNBC's Rachel Maddow, former special assistant to the Manhattan District Attorney, Mark Pomerantz, said that they could have gone after Donald Trump for a RICO case, but the department didn't have enough resources.
"We were looking at instance after instance of suspected illegal conduct. Of course, they had to be provable. But if they were proven, their collective weight left no doubt in my mind that Trump deserved to be prosecuted. Measures short of criminal prosecution had been used against trump, and he had dismissed them as trivial," Pomerantz's new book, People vs. Donald Trump.
"Looking at the totality of Trump's conduct over the years, I thought it was crystal clear that measures short of criminal prosecution meant nothing to him and would not deter him in the slightest from engaging in other anti-social behavior," the book continues.
"Indeed, the more successful he became, the more brazen was his behavior, he'd stiffed many contractors and small business owners who decided to advance services or products to the Trump Organization because, after all, Donald Trump was so wealthy."
The book goes on to say that Michael Cohen told the DA's office that part of his job was breaking it to creditors that they weren't getting paid and forcing them to take whatever small amount they could get out of Trump.
"The Enterprise Corruption Statute targeted just this kind of behavior using a pattern of criminal activity to increase an entity's economic power enabling it to inflict greater social harm," the book explains.
Those are the racketeering Pomerantz previously said would be possible under Trump. The problem, MSNBC's Rachel Maddow added, is that the DA's office couldn't handle a case that big.
"One of the things that people need to remember is that the district attorney for New York County is a local prosecutor's office," he explained. "This is not the kind of special counsel operation housed in the Department of Justice, which hires and has a staff of dozens of lawyers and investigators working on a single mission. We had a small staff of lawyers, many of them with other responsibilities. We had to work within the jurisdictional and procedural limitations imposed by New York law, which are substantial."
Pomerantz then told Maddow that the DOJ can go to whatever state they want to and subpoena anyone. If New York wants to subpoena someone in Ohio, for example, they have to "go through an elaborate legal procedure involving the Ohio authorities to see if that person can be compelled to speak to us."
So, there were additional barriers to the case that wouldn't necessarily be something the feds would face were they to conduct their own investigation through the Southern District of New York.
"It became clear over time that an enterprise corruption case was simply biting off more than we could chew," he confessed.
He said that they asked then-DA Cy Vance for more people and resources, but felt it wasn't fair to the incoming DA to start hiring a lot of senior people to go after a huge RICO case of a former president.
"Bear in mind that we were trying to work quickly and bringing a racketeering case, particularly one that incorporates other stuff, Trump Foundation, Trump University, the hush money, the financial statements, it's such a big ball of wax that ultimately we decided, you know what, let's focus on a smaller more contained set of charges. And that's when we started to focus on the financial statements," he said.
Pomerantz 2 www.youtube.com