Supreme Court Clarifies Burglary Definition Under the Armed Career Criminal Act

The Armed Career Criminal Act (ACCA) was designed to require harsher sentences for convicted felons who use a gun in the commission of a crime. It was passed during the Reagan Administration as a deterrent against violent crime. Defendants must have three or more prior convictions on their record in order to fall within a category of felons who must receive a minimum sentence of 15 years if they are convicted again of using a gun in a crime. It has engendered plenty of controversy because criminal defense advocates see the law as too draconian in that it deprives the court of opportunities to evaluate the individual circumstances of a case before sentencing defendants to long terms in prison.

In United States v. Stitt, the Supreme Court just issued a unanimous decision that clarifies how burglary offenses will be treated under the ACCA. Even if a state law definition of burglary is more expansive than the generic understanding of the term, it will still count in terms of including prior convictions in a defendant’s sentencing review. In this case, the defendant argued that the applicable state court definition of burglary for one of his prior convictions included the invasion of a vehicle that had been turned into a living structure. He pointed out that the generic definition of burglary did not include a vehicle at all. The Supreme Court overruled the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals and held that the state court definition of burglary was allowed to stand for the purpose of imposing a sentence under the ACCA. Therefore, the defendant should receive at least 15 years for his conviction of threatening to kill someone with a gun pointed in her face.

What makes this case particularly noteworthy is that it signals that the ACCA is not going anywhere soon. While there has been plenty of talk of criminal justice reform in the news lately, the Supreme Court unanimously closed the door for plenty of future appeals from defendants with state law convictions on their record and facing sentencing under the ACCA. The fact that the decision was unanimous also indicates that the justices may be trying to project a unified image to their approach when possible. Following the controversy surrounding the confirmation of the most recently appointed justice, this show of unanimity could help squash rampant rumors that the Supreme Court is more divided now than ever before.

Pres. Trump’s Former Lawyer Michael Cohen Receives 3-Year Prison Sentence

President Donald Trump’s former attorney and consigliere Michael Cohen was sentenced December 12 to three years in federal prison following a confession in which Cohen described himself as a “blind loyalist” who concealed “dirty deeds” for Trump.

As he was being sentenced to his federal prison term, Cohen, 52, stood at the defense table in a courtroom wearing a dark suit gently nodding his head in shame with closed eyes. U.S. District Judge William H. Pauley III handed down his sentence in accordance with Cohen’s criminal admission of dishonesty about Trump’s business dealings in Russia and arranging monies for women who took bribes and claimed they had sexual relations with Trump.

Also in his confession, Cohen validated a suspicion long held by federal prosecutors that the former Trump Organization attorney’s criminal acts were made under the direct order of the President himself. Thus far, Cohen is the first and most senior figure in the Trump Organization to criminally inculpate the President for illegal acts under federal law.

The federal government had undertaken a two-year investigation of the Trump circle of intrigue prior to Cohen’s arrest, indictment, and sentencing. This investigation is ongoing and the Cohen case brings up the pertinent legal question of whether the sitting American President can be prosecuted under the laws of the U.S. Constitution.

As he spoke at Cohen’s sentencing hearing, Judge Pauley III gave the convicted attorney a small amount of esteem for admitting his guilt but went on to admonish Cohen by stating that his confession does not “wipe the slate clean.”

“Somewhere along the way Mr. Cohen appears to have lost his moral compass. As a lawyer, Mr. Cohen should have known better,” Judge Pauley III said, according to the Associated Press.

Cohen was also ordered by Judge Pauley III to pay an IRS restitution fee of $1.39 million dollars, submit a $500,000 dollar forfeiture, and pay an additional $100,000 for other court-related fees. Cohen must report to federal prison on March 6 and left his sentencing hearing without issuing a statement to the press. Prosecutors agreed that Cohen’s three-year sentence modestly satisfied the guidelines of the recommendations they desired. He could have gotten a four to five-year sentence under federal law.

However, Cohen did make a statement before the judge during his hearing.

“Time and time again, I felt it was my duty to cover up his dirty deeds rather than to listen to my own inner voice and my moral compass. My weakness can be characterized as a blind loyalty to Donald Trump, and I was weak for not having the strength to question and to refuse his demands,” Cohen said in his emotional speech.

Does Mueller Have Trump On The Slow Political Cook Setting?

The Trump reality show is pure gold for Hollywood screenwriters. Getting juicy material every hour that covers most of the sins man ever invented has to be like winning the lottery. And the great thing about the Donald Trump reality show is there’s no censorship. Trump’s reality show is borderline Scarface real. Forget the drugs and the accent, Trump hits all the bases when he lets his thumbs do his thinking. That may sound like a judgmental thought, but the Trump show is all about judging. Trump’s judging his voter base every time he sends a tweet. And, he judges how far he can push the limits of democracy and sleep at night.

Mr. Trump is one of those people who have street smarts and a rich daddy. Fortunately, Trump was able to abscond his father’s fortune while he dabbled in the world of New York City Guido-inspired building and buying. But Mr. Trump wanted more. He wanted to bring his style of politics into the White House but he had to wait until his three favorite kids got older. But what the president didn’t plan for was a special counsel investigation that will put all previous special counsel investigations to shame. The prosecutor in charge of the investigation, Robert Mueller, is the same prosecutor who put John Gotti Sr. behind bars.

Now that Mueller asked for leniency in the Michael Flynn case, more details about the Mueller investigation keep surfacing from the legal netherworld. Mr. Flynn cooperated with Mueller on three different investigations. Two of those ongoing investigations are still active. Mueller redacted the content until he’s ready to do his final made for TV presidency report.

Roger Stone wants to make sure he won’t lose his Republican membership and his membership to Mar-A-Lago, so he pleaded the fifth. Congress can ask Roger all the questions they want answered about Trump, the Russians, WikiLeaks, Jerome Corsi, and Donald Trump Jr., but he’s under the protection of the Fifth Amendment. But according to the Washington Post, Trump’s reality show may begin a new season if Mueller reveals more parts of the Russian smoking gun.

Trump and Stone will smile when they hear one of their homeboys in North Carolina, Representative Mark Meadows thinks the Michael Flynn story will help Mr. Trump. Meadows is a member of the House Freedom Caucus. Meadows believes that Flynn told Mueller there wasn’t any collusion. And he wants Fries with that.

State Bar Association Fees Overturned by US Supreme Court

The United States Supreme Court has announced its decision supporting North Dakota lawyer Arnold Fleck. This Bismark, North Dakota, divorce lawyer said that he should not be forced to pay dues to the State Bar Association of North Dakota in order to practice law, and the United States Supreme Court agreed with him.

Earlier the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals at St. Louis ruled in favor of the State Bar Association of North Dakota arguing that the state had the right to determine who could practice law in their state. Fleck, represented by the Goldwater Institute, argued that being forced to join the organization made him give money to political ideas that he could not support.

The case dates back to when North Dakota voters were asked to support Measure 6. The measure would have presumed that each parent had an equal right to parent unless the court was shown compelling reasons why one parent should have their rights revoked. Fleck spent a lot of time and energy supporting Measure 6 that the voters did not pass. Meanwhile, the state bar association spent resources helping to defeat the measure.

The 8th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against Fleck in August 2017. In North Dakota, lawyers must pay an annual fee to the state bar for the right to practice law in the state. The lower court found that when Fleck wrote the check to pay the state bar, he opted-in knowing that part of his money might go to support causes that he did not agree with at the time.

Before the case went to court, the State Bar Association of North Dakota changed their rules to allow lawyers to opt out of non-germane expenses. Fleck argued that lawyers should instead have to opt-in to these expenses or their First Amendment rights were not protected. The United States Supreme Court agreed with Fleck.

Read More: https://www.jurist.org/news/2018/12/supreme-court-sends-dispute-over-mandatory-state-bar-association-fees-back-to-lower-court/

Trump’s Lawyers Are Digging In To Defend Trump From Mueller’s Report

Mueller’s back on Trump’s bad nerve. The Mueller investigation just indicted another Trump campaign undercover agent. Jerome Corsi, a conspiracy theorist, and writer, allegedly gave Trump information about Democratic leaders through Roger Stone. Corsi and Trump got to hang out because they both think Obama tore a page out of the Trump’s handbook and lied about his birthplace.

But the Corsi indictment adds another piece to the Mueller collusion puzzle. Mueller seems to have Trump and several members of his family in his crosshairs, according to some news reports. But he’s not going to indict Trump or any members of his family. He’ll let the Democratic Congress do that when they get together in 2019. Mueller has all the information on the Trump campaign debacle, according to an-ex Mueller aide.

According to Alan Dershowitz, a well-known Harvard professor and frequent Trump advisor, Trump’s attorneys already know what Mueller knows, and they are digging in to launch a credibility campaign that includes the normal Trump exaggerations, victim-like messages, and vintage Trump flip the story statements. In fact, Mr. Trump already started his campaign to discredit the Mueller investigation. A recent Trump tweet makes it sound like Mueller didn’t interview all the people on his campaign. He didn’t interview the people who never had interactions with Russians. Imagine that. Then he sent another tweet that tries to bring the Democrats into focus in order to deflect some heat.

Trump’s new tweet seems to indicate he already knows what’s coming. He also knows his buddy Attorney General Matt Whitaker will drag his feet in releasing the information to anyone but Congress if he wants to still be one of Trump’s homeboys.

Despite Trump’s camera demeanor, some aides say he’s feeling the pressure. He knows the settlers are circling their get-even wagons around him, and he’s not sure who he’ll blame to get out of the mess he underhandedly orchestrated. Most Trumpians won’t care what Trump did or didn’t do after Trump and his attorneys paint a picture of the world the way Trump sees it. Those people threw the dice and bet their paychecks on Trump. He sold them a piece of P. T. Barnum’s pie, and they’re still eating it, according to Trump opponents. In fact, some Trumpians can’t stop eating what Trump serves them.

Full Report: http://www.fltimes.com/tns/washington/trump-s-joint-defense-agreement-with-manafort-could-amount-to/article_54e2e9ac-9504-5ef3-b623-613d4a9f4c76.html

Trump Just Got His “Collusion’s Not A Crime” Nuts Squeezed By A Trump Judge.

President Trump likes to fight in court. He learned how to deal with judges from his old pal, disbarred lawyer Roy Cohn. Roy Cohn was Senator McCarthy’s lawyer during the 1954 Army-McCarthy hearings. And Cohn played a big role in the senator’s quest to prosecute suspected Communists.

Trump needed a lawyer who wasn’t afraid to step on the back of the justice system using nefarious methods. Roy Cohn was the guy who could get Trump a court win even when the Trump was in the wrong. Cohn had a special way of handling judges. Mr. Cohn would dig deep into a judge’s past and look for things he could use against the judges who presided over Trump cases. Cohn would look for people who could get to the judge in some way so the judge would change his opinion during a Trump lawsuit. It wasn’t uncommon for Cohn to ask judges what they wanted to rule in favor of his client. According to some old news reports, Trump’s deep pockets helped pay judges to side with him.

Trump and Cohn were a dynamic duo until Cohn passed in 1986. But by then, Trump’s opinion of judges wasn’t a secret. Mr. Trump believes judges mix their political opinions with their court opinions. Liberal judges were the enemy, according to Trump. When Trump had the power to put conservative judges in place, he made sure Chief Counsel Don McGahn, and Attorney General Jeff Sessions did what they could to carry out his plan to put conservative judges in place all over the country. According to Vox report, Mr. Trump thought conservative judges would rule in his favor when one of his constitutional breaking edicts shook the essence of democracy.

But Trump’s conservative judge theory didn’t hold up when Dabney Friedrich a U.S. District Judge said Trump’s claim that collusion is not a crime is fake news. She presided over the case that the Mueller team brought against Concord Management. Mueller claims Concord Management used fake identities and Russian operatives to influence the 2016 election on social media sites.

Trump thought Judge Dabney Friedrich would rule in Concord Management’s favor. After all, she is a Trump judge. Trump and his legal henchmen appointed her last year. In a long-winded opinion, Friedrich ruled collusion can be a crime if the intent is to pull a fast one on a department of the government.

That legal decision put Trump on notice. If Mueller proves Concord Management and the Trump campaign colluded with Russia, Trump days of saying there was no collusion will be as meaningless as his attempt to ask the Supreme Court to hear his case about a transgender military ban before they address they normal docket.

Did Trump Really Want To Prosecute Clinton And Comey?

It should be obvious; no matter what party floats your political boat, the President is a sucker for a good lawsuit. He likes to fight in court. The president’s lawsuit addiction makes a lot of lawyers happy, but it burns a hole in taxpayer pockets. But when someone challenges Mr. Trump or doesn’t conform to his way of doing business, he seeks other ways to get even. It easy to imagine Trump as the rich kid on a New York City playground playing touch football. He was the kid that let air out of his opponent’s bicycle tires because his team lost the game. Sore loser is in each strand of his DNA.

So when Hillary Clinton brought a smile and her political resume to the Trump’s knife fight in 2016, she didn’t have a chance. Hillary forgot Putin owed her one or two smackdowns for sanctioning Russia when she was Secretary of State. Putin got even by throwing Clinton under her own political bus in front of the nation.

And then Trump rolled over her with his preacher-like threats of damnation for using her personal email account to send official government business. Some of that information happened to have all those black Sharpie lines through most of the words. Ivanka Trump thought she would do what Hillary did and not get caught. But anyone with the last name of Trump doesn’t fly under the Democratic Party’s radar. Ivanka gets to taste a little of Hillary’s embarrassment when Congress gets back in session. And the president gets to fight with the Democrats.

That’s one reason it’s hard to believe Trump didn’t ask his former White House lawyer, Don McGahn, to prosecute Hillary Clinton for breaking federal law. Plus, it’s hard to believe he didn’t ask McGahn to slap an obstruction of justice charge on James Comey. Bashing Clinton would go to another level on the campaign trail. And trying to put James Comey in jail for doing his job sounds like a great way for Trump to get even. Comey made the fatal political mistake. He tried not to be political.

Don McGahn addressed the Comey-Clinton prosecuting order from Trump, but in true lawyer fashion, McGahn’s lawyer told the New York Times “no comment.” But his legal counsel did say McGahn never got the order to prosecute Comey or Clinton. The Clinton bashing may continue. Hillary could run in 2020. Trump prays that will happen before he gets out of bed in the morning.

Trump Won’t Sit And Talk Face-To-Face With Special Counsel Robert Mueller

For months, President Trump danced around Special Counsel Robert Mueller questions. A year ago, Mr. Trump said he would sit down with Mueller and answer questions. But his legal attack dog, Rudy Giuliani stepped in and said that would be political suicide. Giuliani had no doubts. The president would commit perjury if he sat down face-to-face with Mueller. Mr. Trump can’t help himself when he starts talking. His unplanned comments usually create some sort of political or legal storm that keeps his stable of attorneys busy. So Trump’s current position is he’s going to send his answers to Mueller. He’s not going to talk to Mueller one-on-one.

Trump has other political and press enemies in is legal frying pan right now. Mr.Trump gets mad at CNN reporter Jim Acosta when Acosta asked the president questions he doesn’t want to answer. Trump threw Acosta’s press pass in the White House trash because Acosta caught Trump in one of his nasty moods. When Trump called Acosta a “terrible person” and suspended his press pass, CNN didn’t hesitate taking legal action. Judge Timothy J. Kelly gave Acosta his pass back. But Trump kept the pressure on CNN and Acosta by saying he would suspend Acosta’s press pass once the 14-day injunction ended. But before CNN could get the judge involved, the White House said Acosta could get back in the Trump bashing game during the next press conference.

But Mueller investigation isn’t going away even though Trump still tries to make that happen. Mueller doesn’t talk to anyone outside of his investigating team. And he makes sure any leaks from his investigation come at the right time. The latest leak is more indictments are on the way. Some legal analysts say Donald Trump Jr. name might be on one of those indictments. Trump Jr. did a lot of things for his dad during the campaign. One of those things was meeting with a Russian lawyer during the campaign who allegedly had ties to the Kremlin. That meeting had the scent of collusion in the air. Some insiders think that’s why Sessions recused himself from the investigation. Sessions attended one of those Trump Jr. meetings. And Trump enhanced the scent of collusion when he asked the Russians on a live campaign broadcast to release the dirt they had on Mrs. Clinton.

The list of legal battles against Trump keeps getting longer. New York is digging into the Trump Foundation, and several Democrats want the court to decide whether Trump’s new Attorney General Matt Whitaker can be attorney general without Senate confirmation.

Trump Administration’s Stance on Asylum May Not Have Legal Grounding

Along with Twitter, Executive Orders and Presidential Proclamations seem to be the favorite policymaking tools used by United States President Donald Trump, but they do not seem to be as effective as he envisions them. The latest example in this regard is a Presidential Proclamation that intends to deny asylum to migrants who enter the country illegally; as with other hasty decisions that Trump has made during his controversial mandate, this proclamation is already facing strong legal challenges.

The background issue that prompted the proclamation is a series of migrant caravans that originated in the Central American Northern Triangle of El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, three countries that have made substantial contributions to the War on Drugs, which has resulted in an escalation of criminal gang activity and violence. The caravan formed in October and had grown to a strength of more than 6,000 before the midterm elections, but was reduced to about 2,000 by the time the migrants had reached Mexico City on foot.

The caravan are mostly made of individuals and families who intend to apply for asylum once they reach the border between Mexico and the U.S.; the basis for their request would be fear of persecution by criminal gangs in their countries. It should be noted that MS-13, the largest and dangerous criminal organization in El Salvador, began as a prison gang in Los Angeles, and it has consolidated its power in Central America as a result of the War on Drugs.

According to Washington Post, one of the legal arguments against Trump’s proclamation has been filed in California’s Ninth Circuit of the Federal District Court by the American Civil Liberties Union. The legal argument is that the proclamation goes against the Immigration and Nationality Act. Legal analysts who have reviewed the ACLU complaint predict that it will prevail in circuit court and perhaps appellate court, but it may be overturned at the Supreme Court level.

Another problem with the proclamation is that it goes against the United Nations Refugee Convention, of which the U.S. is a signatory. As the situation stands, quite a few migrants have been turned away at checkpoints along the southern border with Mexico, thus denying their right to apply for asylum.

Under the Trump administration, the backlog of asylum petitions has placed a heavy burden on the courts assigned to review these cases. The proclamation would bring relief to the courts in the sense that it may reduce the caseload, but it may doing so in contravention of international agreements on how refugees and asylum seekers should be treated.

The Trump Administration Likes To Do Battle In Washington And In Court

Donald Trump may not be an attorney, but he likes to act like one. He’s not afraid to go to court to prove he does things by the book. Through the years. Mr. Trump has sued and been on the receiving end of lawsuits numerous times. Now that he’s been president, the legal battles are in full gear. His administration didn’t waste any time pushing the legal envelope when it added the citizenship question to the 2020 census. The trial to stop that Commerce Department request starts November 6th in New York City.

Last March, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross announced he would add that question to the 2020 census. It didn’t take long for the Civil rights group, as well as other critics, to stand up and cry, “that’s a racist move.” Opponents of the question say that’s a move by the Trump Administration to scare minorities and immigrants so they don’t respond to the government survey. If the Census Bureau doesn’t get the right count, the data the government uses to form electoral districts will not reflect an accurate number of voters. And the data from the census determines where the government sends billions in federal funding.

The American Community Survey asks the citizenship question. That survey goes out to more than three million households every year. For the last 68-years, every American household gets to answer the simple questions on the census form. When Jeff Sessions got his dream job as Attorney General one of the first things he did was hide behind the 1965 Voting Rights Act so he could add the citizenship question. But he didn’t want to get dirt on his hands so he let Ross do it.

If there’s any doubt that Jeff Sessions doesn’t like immigrants, his recent move to separate immigrant children from their parents at the border should remove those doubts. Trump and Sessions may not get along, but they both want to stop the flow of illegal and legal immigration any way they can. And some critics say that means crossing the legal line to put their bigoted agenda in motion.

According to CNBC, the current court case will focus on the way the Commerce Department added the question. The plaintiffs in the case include 18 states, several cities, a few immigrants groups and the District of Columbia. The plaintiffs say the intent behind the addition of the citizen request was discriminatory.

The Commerce Department never tested the question before adding it to the census. That never happens, according to people who are familiar with how questions get added to the census. Ross added the question before the Department of Justice asked him to add it. Mr. Ross said it was taking too long to get a response from the Justice Department, so he added the question.

Doug McGahn Leaves White House But His Conservative Judicial Legacy Will Live On

Some Washington insiders say Doug McGahn is bailing out before Trump’s political ship cuts its own towline. After all, McGahn and Trump were tight. McGahn was one of the select few who could get Trump’s attention day or night. Trump trusted McGahn’s legal art and his conservative views about the nature of the future judicial system. McGahn is the architect of the Trump plan to put conservative judges in place all over the country.

Doug McGahn was in full lawyer armor when news of a Russian investigation caught Trump with a left hook. And when Trump used his reality show personality to fire James Comey, Doug was there to joust with the people who said Trump and Putin like the same kind of escorts, and the same kind of politics.

In the legal world, being the White House counsel is one of those it’s my bat and ball kind of games where the White House wins even when it doesn’t. So McGahn can name his own law gig going forward. But his pal Trump is going to miss the talented Irishman who reshaped the judicial system. And his partner, Jeff Sessions will certainly miss the guy he could share his Trump tweet burns with. Those Trumpian Jeff Sessions super tweets, about his poor performance and bad choices, made the former Senator of Alabama pay attention. Some Department of Justice employees say Sessions is finally putting the right color socks on that match his lawyer certified, one-button, tailor-made, dark blue suit. But some news reports say Sessions is going to miss Doug McGahn the most when he’s sticking it the immigrants like the Romans did with the slaves.

Although Trump has a replacement, McGahn’s legal talents and Washington connections could help Mr.Trump when Mueller comes calling in November. McGahn and Mueller share legal secrets. Some high-ranking officials say Doug doesn’t want to run offensive and defensive legal interference for a damaged political quarterback anymore.

State of Washington Pulls The Plug On Death Penalty

The Supreme Court of the State of Washington has killed the death penalty. Part of its rationale was that capital punishment is imposed in a racially biased manner. According to a report by ottawasun.com, the decision was unanimous in the appeal of a man who was found guilty to having raped and murdered a woman in her home. The court held that capital punishment isn’t equally applied, and that it’s cruel and unusual under the state’s constitution. All of the state’s inmates who are on death row had their penalties converted to life in prison based on racial or other considerations.

The court stated that the use of the death penalty isn’t applied equally. Factors that sometimes influenced sentencing included where the crime occurred, the county of the defendant’s residence, budgetary resources at different times and the defendant’s race. The court relied heavily on a study that was performed on behalf of the appellant. The study found that depending on the statistical method used, black defendants were 3.5 to 4.6 times more likely to receive the death penalty than white defendants. The court also found significant differences from county to county in decisions to seek the death penalty. Washington is now the third state to pull the switch on the death penalty as a result of a finding of racial disparity. Massachusetts and Connecticut are the others. Capital punishment is still permitted in 30 states. A moratorium on the death penalty in Washington had been in effect since 2014.

In the subject case, the defendant’s conviction was overturned. That was partially based on prosecutorial misconduct during closing arguments. A second jury was chosen for purposes of sentencing, and that jury also imposed the death penalty. By law, that sentence was required to be reviewed by the Washington Supreme Court. The law requires the court to inquire into whether the death penalty is excessive or disproportionate to penalties in similar cases. The defendant successfully argued that in his case, the sentence was disproportionate.

The court’s ruling was that the death penalty in the State of Washington was unconstitutional as administered. The issue that wasn’t addressed in the court’s decision is whether the state’s legislature intends on drafting a new death penalty statute that’s consistent with the decision in the subject case. If it does, it’s highly likely that the new statute will be challenged sometime in the future.

Lawyer For Trump Foundation Says Lawsuit Against The Charity Fueled By Bias

A foundation named in honor of United States President Donald Trump has requested that a judge in New York move to dismiss a lawsuit filed against it. The lawsuit was filed by the state’s Attorney General in response to activities of the non-profit. Both Trump and the foundation have characterized the lawsuit as a politically motivated attack.

A lawyer for Donald Trump said that the lawsuit filed by Attorney General Barbara Underwood was no more than an effort on the part of her office to lead a charge against the president. The lawyer claims that the resistance operates by attacking him whenever possible and filing lawsuits when agreements could be reached.

Underwood is a Democrat that inherited the results of a 21-month probe by former Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. Attorney General Underwood said when speaking in June that the investigation into Trump Foundation affairs alerted her office to numerous unlawful actions that were committed with the attempt to benefit Donald Trump.

Alan Futerfas, a lawyer employed by the Trump Foundation, says that funds collected by the Foundation have been completely accounted for and that ‘nearly every penny’ was spent to benefit individuals that were in need. Futerfas went on to say that no one involved with the Foundation committed any illegal acts. This includes three adult children of Trump that are affiliated with the Foundation in various capacities.

Futerfas has also openly questioned the failure of Underwood and the AG’s office to pay any attention to the many allegations of wrongdoings that have been lodged against a foundation associated with former President of the United States Bill Clinton.

A spokeswoman for Underwood, Amy Spitalnick, added to the fray via Twitter by saying that Attorney General Underwood has no intention of backing down in her efforts to assure that Trump and his associates are held accountable for improper practices taking place in the state of New York.

Spitalnick explained that the Trump Foundation in New York amounted to nothing more than the then-presidential candidate’s ‘personal piggy bank’ and was used to further both the political and business interests of President Trump.

The lawsuit by the Attorney General was filed in a Manhattan state court of New York. The lawsuit is asking that the court recoup $2.8 million dollars from the Foundation and force its dissolution. The lawsuit also asks that the three Trump children involved with the Foundation be banned from associating again with a charity in the state of New York.

A Solution for the Increased Eviction of Tenants.

According to statistics, the level of wages has stagnated for several years now. The high cost of housing has therefore led to a high eviction rate in the country as most tenants are unable to cater to their rent. This worrying trend is evident all over the country. According to a book written by Mathew Desmond, most low-income earners spend a significant amount of their monthly income on rent. The author estimated the rent and the electricity bill payable by most low-income earners to be over 70% of their income. Even though a majority of the evictions are not done according to the law, most tenants do not seek legal help.
Statistics show that barely 20% of the evicted tenants go to the courts. As a result, some innovators have been developing a program for the tenants to find justice after unlawful evictions. Two innovators from Brigham Young University and the University of Arizona are the brains behind the idea. After the completion of the program, the number of evictions is expected to go down significantly and also the facilitating the acquiring of the appropriate attorneys in cases of unlawful evictions. According to the Dean of the Brigham Young University, Gordon Smith, there was a need for collaborations with other stakeholders in the legal field to develop an appropriate solution for the tenants across the country.
The dean revealed that some of their students carried out a study and discovered that most residents find a hard time when faced with legal battles in areas such as debt collections, evictions, and divorces. Some of the target areas include Arizona and Utah. However, the developers expect to come up with a solution for the whole country soon. The number of daily evictions recorded in 2016 from Utah was estimated at 7.61 while Pima County in Arizona had about 22. The statistics were compiled by the Eviction Lab.
Some citizens find it hard to use the current civil legal system. The innovation is expected to encourage more law students to help in minimizing the number of evictions by helping the tenants to understand their constitutional rights. One of the main challenges to the developers of the program is the variations in the legal guidelines regarding the evictions. Different states have different legislation on the issue. Most eviction laws favor the owners of the residential buildings. In some states, the tenant is issued with an eviction notice and expected to respond in a very short period.

Read More: https://jacobinmag.com/2018/08/ireland-housing-crisis-eviction-renters

Trump’s Legal Team Is Preparing To Fight A Mueller Subpoena

The tension caused by Trump’s refusal to sit down with Robert Mueller’s team of investigators is creating an assortment of what-if scenarios in the legal community. When the Mueller investigation got started over a year ago, Mr. Trump said he would sit down with Mueller because he has nothing to hide. But as the investigation drags on, and more people are facing prosecution for their ties with Russia, and the alleged interference in the 2016 election, Trump is changing his tune. Trump’s lawyers now say he will talk to Mueller, but Mueller can only ask the president softball questions. Talk of collusion and obstruction of justice are off the table if Trump sits down with Mueller.

Rudy Giuliani, the no-holds-barred former New York prosecutor, and mayor of New York City is the legal front man in this comedy of legal maneuvering. Giuliani sent Mueller a message last week, and Mueller didn’t reply. In Rudy’s legal mind that means Mueller is going to subpoena the president. And Rudy and the other members of Trump legal team are ready to do what they do best. They are going to fight like Manny Pacquiao fought when he got hammered by Floyd Mayweather in 2015. Manny had a shoulder injury so his performance was not up to par. Trump has another type of injury that could predict the outcome of this pending legal battle. That injury is his inability to tell the truth.

But truth doesn’t always matter when legal battles enter the courts. Perception takes the place of truth in some courtrooms. And Giuliani and Trump are master perception manipulators, according to people close to the legal titans who are preparing for this legal showdown. Mr. Giuliani and the Trump’s legal team are ready to take the fight to the Supreme Court. But some legal analysts say the fight won’t last that long. Other analysts say a subpoena battle could last several months.

The midterm elections are approaching, and Trump is playing a major role in those elections. More legal dirt throwing could mean the Republicans will lose their majority in the House and possibly in the Senate. But Trump is willing to take that risk to protect his position. Some legal experts say Giuliani and Trump are waiting for a verdict in the Manafort trial before they do anything. If the verdict is an acquittal, Trump will use that to his advantage, according to Giuliani.