Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Display:
Maryland and District of Columbia Sue Trump Over His Businesses - NYT


In a new legal challenge to President Trump, the Democratic attorneys general of Maryland and the District of Columbia filed a lawsuit on Monday claiming that the president's failure to shed his businesses has undermined public trust and violated constitutional bans against self-dealing.

The complaint, filed in a Maryland federal court, makes many of the same arguments as a lawsuit filed this year by a Washington watchdog organization in a New York federal court. But some legal experts said the new suit may progress further because the plaintiffs were government entities, which could have stronger standing to sue the president.

It is part of a broader effort by Mr. Trump's critics to force him to defend his continued ownership of his business empire. Some congressional Democrats are expected to file a third suit as early as this week arguing that his behavior is also unconstitutional.

The Constitution prohibits federal officials from accepting gifts or emoluments from foreign governments. It also prohibits the president from accepting economic benefits or emoluments from the federal or state governments, other than his salary. But in 230 years, no court has interpreted what exactly constitutes an emolument.

Brian E. Frosh, the Maryland attorney general, said if the lawsuit progressed to the discovery phase, he and Karl Racine, the attorney general for the District of Columbia, would seek to obtain the president's tax returns to gauge the extent of his business dealings.

"It is unprecedented that the American people must question day after day whether decisions are made and actions are taken to benefit the United States or to benefit Donald Trump," he said. "The president's conflicts of interest threaten our democracy."

Complaint file

by Bjinse on Tue Jun 13th, 2017 at 09:11:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
One significant flaw in the complaint exposes the standing of the gov't.s of MD and the D.C. to dismissal: The complaint does not refer to any material evidence of loss, or injury, to their sovereign rights that instantiates "unfair competition" enjoyed by the defendant at their expense and that of their um "residents" and casinos.

For example, plaintiffs have not submitted gross tax receipts in the period at issue --at least Nov 2016 to present-- with the claims to the court as exhibits. Such exhibits typically would be cited in the brief, if they support prima facie claim of harm(s)including but not limited to racketeering, for instance, and do not rely on court-ordered discovery of defendant's business records or personal income tax documents filed with state and federal treasuries.

Instead the brief relies in the main on press reports, the Comey Method rather than Federal Rules of Evidence. Not a constructive strategy for a "landmark" decision.

"Prayer for Relief"
Plaintiffs principled arguments of harm, suborned by the defendant's alleged violations of federal and state emolument prohibitions, however, tend to undermine the foundations of capitalist enterprise that ordinary "residents" hold dear, namely usufruct, personalty, and realty in the private domain; or advocate for another coat of socialist profit atop public-private-partnership that the office of the POTUS purportedly represents.

I look forward to that remedy which the solomonic court of the united states will propose ... with the advice and consent of the several landowners populating congress.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Tue Jun 13th, 2017 at 02:13:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Trump Reveals Flat Revenue at Controversial Washington Hotel

Attys-general for the state of MD and District of Columbia presented this hotel as an exemplar in their complaint of injuries (primarily future tax losses, possibly tax avoidance) induced by Mr Trump's violations of emoluments clauses. I implied the brief is weak. Bill and Caleb try to help out with a bolluxed application of GAAP to US "disclosure" forms. These in no way resemble either financial reports or statements required of publicly traded firms (which "Trump" is not) by the SEC or corporate and individual income (hold that thought) tax returns required by the IRS.

Plaintiffs' Damage Control: Revenue is not income?

The disclosure form, the first Trump has filed since taking office, says that his hundreds of holdings produced at least $528.9 million over a 15 1/2-month period that ended in April. That number appears to mix revenue with income, as Trump's previous disclosures have.

Pedantry

Revenue is income. Turnover is income. The top-line of any profit and loss (P&L) statement, "gross revenue" or "gross income" or "earnings," is the sum of all monies  produced by any enterprise/activity in a specific period EXCEPT unearned income. Unearned income of an enterprise --be that of an individual or corporation-- is money produced by title of a security (an ownership interest in indenture or debenture) issued by a third-party enterprise.

Both IRS and SEC reporting forms segregate gross income from gross unearned income amounts by line item. Unearned income is far down the list and not detailed, altho' the earnest reader may read footnotes for clues. where the reporter adds back profit (loss) to EBITDA (Earnings Before Interest Tax Depreciation Amortization less all expenses) in order to calculate net income. Which is similar to Adjusted Gross Income amount on yer individual income tax filing form.

What Bill and Caleb should have said is, disclosure reporting provides no means to differentiate income produced by corporate and individual activities, because "Trump" and the corporate enterprise are one and the same, as the story goes. Let's carry on. The public of liberal liberals hope to impeach The Man rather than the company for alleged violations of emoluments clauses. Institutions of capitalism must prevail. Therefore The Man must somehow be isolated from the body of the corporation --all the employees EXCEPT the Russian ones-- in order to ascertain the depth of The Man's depravity, personalty, profit (loss) from "holdings". That is The Man's unearned income ... regardless of enterprise profit (loss) reporting.

Private Equity Investors Shocked

The financial disclosure forms that U.S. officials are required to file offer only an imperfect window into Trump's assets, debt and income.
[...]
The ranges listed for liabilities were largely unchanged from prior disclosures.
[...]
Three lawsuits claim that Trump's businesses [?]-- including the hotel -- violate the U.S. Constitution's "emoluments clause," which bans U.S. officials from accepting payments or gifts from foreign governments or from U.S. state and local governments.

ooo boy


Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Sat Jun 17th, 2017 at 02:40:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]

Display:

Top Diaries

Sectarianism goes viral

by Frank Schnittger - Mar 19
37 comments

From Outbreak to a Global Pandemic

by Oui - Mar 22
65 comments

Trump: It's About #Me, Not Others

by Oui - Mar 24
40 comments

Crisis In Leadership

by Oui - Mar 21
44 comments

Occasional Series