I quibble with that, too. Trump's finances from 2008 onward aren't "mundane." He defaulted on the only bank lending him money, then obtained >$500m in credit despite inadequate collateral, then liquidated >99.5% of his stocks & bonds. That's unusual. /1
Litigation is common in business. The surprising part here is how, as of 2008, Deutsche Bank was the only bank that would loan him money (and only with a personal guarantee), but he nonetheless defaulted. Standing alone, it makes little business sense. /2 chicagotribune.com/news/ct-xpm-20…
The 2008 sale of Trump's Palm Beach home to the bad guy from TENET has always been odd, but perhaps Rybolovlev is just bad with money. 🤷‍♂️ Either way, it coincides with a sharp rise in Trump condos being bought through shell companies and/or with cash. /3
In 2011, the private-wealth group at DB agrees to loan Trump $48m, of which $40m is paying off the debt to DB's real estate group that prompted lawsuits—a startling transaction nobody at DB or on Wall Street had seen before. /4
Then come massive debts:
2012 - Doral, $125m debt (DB)
2012 - Trump Tower, $100m debt (Ladder)
2015 - 40 Wall Street, $157m debt (Ladder)
2015 - Trump DC, $127m debt (DB)

Latest disclosure: s3.amazonaws.com/storage.citize…

Debt as of 2016: nytimes.com/interactive/20…

It gets weirder.
In 2014, the self-described "king of debt" purchases Turnberry for $60m in cash. The financing for this is completely unknown, but we do know that Turnberry, which has lost nearly £43m ($55m), owes £115m ($147m) to a trust with Trump's name on it. /6
The Aberdeen golf course, which Trump bought in 2006, owes £43.1m ($55m) to Trump and his companies. It is also a huge money sink, but not in the way a tax shelter normally works. The reported value of it goes *up,* even while money disappears. /7
And then there's "Chicago Unit Acquisition LLC," which Trump's disclosure says in 2012 imposed a "springing loan" for "over $50,000,000"—and also says Trump owns, though he reports a $0 value for it. Maybe it's a fake debt to avoid taxes. /8
Which brings us back to "mundane." Trump didn't have sufficient collateral for his loans, hence personal guarantees to DB and Ladder Capital: motherjones.com/politics/2016/…

This is where the "theories of secret payments" come in, to explain what otherwise makes little sense. /9
At the same time of Trump's inexplicable return to good credit, he was financially connected to multiple apparent money laundering schemes involving figures from the former Soviet Union. One "theory" is that such a figure co-signed his loans. /10
Without a co-signer, it's hard to see how Trump gets the $48m loan in 2011 or $100m mortgage in 2012; again, he didn't post sufficient collateral, hence the personal guarantee.

Links to Russia are unproven but plausible. /11


On the other hand, Wall Street is filled with foolish bankers who take absurd risks, because our system rewards them.

And Trump has sources of cash, but some of them raise more questions: since 2014, he has liquidated >$220m in stocks and bonds, leaving him with <$1m left. /12
It's hard to imagine a sound reason for liquidating over 99.5% of a $220 million securities portfolio and dumping the money into massively unprofitable businesses but, well, that's what the filings suggest Trump has been doing these past 6 years. /13
Maybe there's a good answer for all of this. Trump's finances are of course complicated, but not unknowable, and nothing stops him from disclosing everything and explaining it all. What we see, however, suggests huge losses, money laundering, and an increasing cash crunch. /end

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More from @MaxKennerly

20 Oct
Let's talk for a minute about the Pennsylvania election case.

It's a win for now, because a 4-4 tied SCOTUS vote means the lower court (here, PA Supreme) order stays intact.

But it's terrifying that 4 Justices thought otherwise, and might soon be joined by a 5th (Barrett). /1
Two basic, longstanding principles of law:

first, states control their own elections, though Congress can impose conditions;

second, state courts interpret their own state laws, including state constitutions.

That should've ended this case. Excerpt from PA Dems' brief.
5 Republican Justices already blasted a hole in Congress's power to regulate elections in Shelby County v Holder, invalidating Congress's reauthorization of the VRA. Pics 1 & 2 from Ginsburg's dissent.

In the PA case, the Republicans' brief sang a different tune. (Pics 3 & 4) /3
Read 8 tweets
17 Oct
I was wondering if this was one of those "applying precedent leads us to this unfortunately result..." cases but, no, the reality is that Barrett plowed through state law and a jury's factual findings to cheat the plaintiff out of her fair compensation. /1
The plaintiff's appellate brief is available here: scribd.com/document/48048…

The facts are recounted on pages 16-21 of the PDF. They're awful. The guard repeatedly raped her at the prison.

The issue was whether the county had to pay for the $6,700,000 jury verdict. /2
Consistent with Wisconsin law, the jury had already heard ample evidence about whether the rapes were within the guard's "scope of employment," and they had decided the answer was yes. Excerpts from plaintiff's brief. /3
Read 9 tweets
10 Oct
A good article about the openly activist nature of Barrett's "originalism." We've already seen it in practice from her circuit court opinions, where she uses it—like all "originalists"—to produce the result she wants. For example, let's talk about the Second Amendment.
In DC v Heller, the "originalists" faced a problem: during the constitutional convention, there were several proposals (like from NH's delegation and minorities in MD, PA & MA) to protect individual gun ownership. They were all rejected.

Excerpts from Stevens' dissent. /2
Scalia's response, writing for the majority, was that it was stupid to look at rejected constitutional proposals. Further, the *rejected* NH/MD/PA/MA proposals actually somehow represented a prevailing view of an essential legal right the Framers didn't bother to write down.🤷‍♂️ /3
Read 5 tweets
6 Oct
Putting aside the 15-year-old on TikTok, yes, Trump's condition is still quite worrying. COVID's course is slow compared to the flu. Dyspnea often develops 4 to 10 days after symptom onset, and patients can still deteriorate after that. ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/P…

In the most recent remdesivir trial (which involved early-stage patients with SpO2 >94%, which it seems Trump went below), one-third of patients who took the drug were still hospitalized 11 days later. Around 10% were still there a month later. jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/…

The decision to give dexamethasone is still a big mystery. Either Trump had 'severe' COVID-19, or he has jumped the gun and might suffer for it, including the known effect of immunosuppression. Neither speaks well for his course going forward. /3
Read 5 tweets
27 Sep
Federal income taxes paid in 2017 (jointly with spouse):

Joe Biden - $3,742,974
Kamala Harris - $516,469
Bernie Sanders - $343,882
Elizabeth Warren - $268,484

Donald Trump - $750
Of course, we did not need a NYTimes investigation (plus I presume some whistleblower) to find tax returns for Biden, Harris, Sanders, and Warren.

Biden: go.joebiden.com/page/-/vpdocs/…

Harris: s3.amazonaws.com/pdfs.taxnotes.…

Sanders: berniesanders.com/documents/9/Sa…

Warren: elizabethwarren.com/wp-content/upl…
For people wondering, Biden's income history looks like this. The big payday was from his post-VP book sales and speaking engagements: forbes.com/sites/michelat…
Read 5 tweets
24 Sep
What was the point of DOJ's vague statement with no information about what happened—except that the 9 ballots were for Trump—and no criminal charges? Just to undermine confidence in mail-in voting and give Trump's political team something to promote as a conspiracy theory? ImageImage
Yup, already gone: justice.gov/usao-mdpa/pr/s…

Great work, DOJ, really instilling confidence in your commitment to justice and the rule of law.

Back up, slightly modified about the status of the ballots. Still no legitimate purpose for this, except to scare mail-in voters and give the Trump political team some gristle for conspiracy theories. Discarded how? Any sign of intent/accident? No criminal charges?

Come on. Image
Read 4 tweets

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