Adam Klasfeld Profile picture
Reporter, @CourthouseNews: NYC+Int’l. RTs=What's it to ya? adam[at]adamklasfeld[dot]com PGP Fingerprint: F427 EE3B 6F05 E5D5 785B 775B 2C74 683C 219D 91DC
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25 Sep
Good morning.

The Second Circuit is hearing Trump's appeal of a federal judge's ruling from last month authorizing Manhattan DA Vance's probe today.

More on the decision under review:…
Attorney William Consovoy is up first for Trump.

"The court stacked the deck against the president" by describing Trump's effort at a backdoor effort to relitigate what SCOTUS rejected, Consovoy claims.
Judge Leval:

"I'm a little puzzled because eventually, in order to quash a subpoena... one must make a showing that would support the proposition that the subpoena was [issued] in bad faith or overbroad."
Read 41 tweets
23 Sep
Good morning.

A hearing in @NewYorkStateAG's bid to compel the Trump Organization and Eric Trump to comply with investigatory subpoenas is about to begin.

I will be covering the proceedings for @CourthouseNews.

Background, from August:…
Dozens of attorneys are introducing themselves to the court reporter.

The judge has not yet arrived.

New York State Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron has joined the call, and proceedings are about to begin.

Engoron notes that NYAG seeks to compel the respondents—Trump Org, Eric Trump and others—to be deposed.
Read 22 tweets
20 Sep
Part 3:

The day of his arrest for a record-breaking sanctions-busting scheme, Reza Zarrab planned scuba diving trips in Florida.

Zarrab’s divemaster chronicled his high life online: yachts, submersibles, & partying with rapper Ludacris.

Another @CourthouseNews / @OCCRP 🔽
This is a deep dive into the lavish life of money launderer Reza Zarrab, known as the “Turkish Gatsby” for his high living, access to top government officials, and his marriage to Ebru Gündeş, a famous Turkish singer and actress.

It’s also the story of his divemaster.
Before Reza Zarrab’s arrest made him a notorious money launderer, he dreamed of being French ocean explorer Jacques Cousteau.

“He was constantly watching videos about Jacques Cousteau’s research,” the former captain of his superyacht 60 Years said in an interview.
Read 8 tweets
20 Sep
In NY testimony, money launderer Reza Zarrab downplayed his business in Russia.

Interviews with Zarrab’s courier and deep data dives show how deep it ran—& its ties to the Magnitsky scandal.

Part 2 of the series.

Exclu: @OCCRP & @CourthouseNews…
Zarrab, while still in his early 20s, was the co-owner of Bella Investments Company LLC, a Dubai-based “investment company” that secretly handled around $1.25 billion in suspicious wire transactions involving Russian and offshore entities.
Several transactions were tied to the massive tax fraud exposed by the late Russian whistleblower Sergei Magnitsky.

More on the Magnitsky scandal here:…
Read 7 tweets
20 Sep
Reza Zarrab’s ex-courier spoke to us for months and shared previously unreported bank records, photos and other evidence of his ex-boss’s money laundering empire.

He’s in the #FinCENFiles.

Exclu: @OCCRP & @CourthouseNews…
Zarrab’s ex-courier Adem Karahan has been speaking to us on-record via Turkish translation for months by secure video. He says he helped haul tons of Zarrab’s gold across borders. Public records show that’s true.

This is his first interview with English-language news outlets.
Karahan provided bank records, travel documents, photographs and other evidence to support his claims.

Our team — @TREStocks, @DanielaCastro32, Kelly Bloss (@OCCRP) and I (@CourthouseNews) — followed those leads for months.
Read 11 tweets
18 Sep
Lev Parnas on why he thought Trump kept silent on Erdogan's protesters: “He was advised not to bring up a big stink about it, because then it would sour the relationship really quickly.”……

cc: @CourthouseNews, @OCCRP & @NBCNews
For those having trouble viewing the footage embedded on Twitter, here it is on YouTube.
Lev Parnas on Trumpworld and Fethullah Gulen: "They would have given him up in a heartbeat."

Read 4 tweets
18 Sep
Before Inauguration Day, Turkey’s top diplomat met with @LevParnas, an oligarch & Trump’s fav lobbyist at the Watergate to break into the new admin.

Parnas told us about it in a 90-minute chat—with “receipts.”

Exclu: @CourthouseNews, @OCCRP & @NBCNews…
“Lev Parnas has the evidence. He just wants the right people to listen.”

On top of the investigation–featuring a Putin-aligned oligarch, lobbyists, & a shipping billionaire jailed in Turkey–read the feature here, with my partner @AubreyBelford and me:…
Parnas shared photographic, video and documentary evidence to back up his claims—also supported by our review of court records, government documents and financial statements.

I will be posting segments of my 90-minute chat with him throughout the day.
Read 4 tweets
11 Sep
BREAKING: The 2nd Circuit PAUSES a judge's order blocking the "public charge rule" again in light of the Covid pandemic.

Rights groups say the rule has stopped immigrants from seeking medical care for fear of being denied green cards.

Background:… Image
Two members of the three judge panel agreed that DHS would likely succeed in their argument that the district judge had no jurisdiction to issue an injunction.

Read their ruling here:…
State AGs and rights groups warn that the public charge rule will worsen a public health crisis by chilling immigrants from getting care for fear of ramifications for green cards and visas.

This isn't hypothetical, they say. It's happening.

From May:…
Read 4 tweets
3 Sep
Good morning from New York.

There is a hearing this morning in the lawsuit opposing the Trump administration's bid to exclude undocumented immigrants from census apportionment.

Covering it live for @CourthouseNews.

Background from last month:…
We are about to begin.

Judge Furman convenes the hearing with U.S. Circuit Judges Peter Hall and Richard Wesley round out the three-member panel.

For @NewYorkStateAG: Judith Vale

For @ACLU: Dale Ho
Vale begins oral arguments by slamming what she calls "blatantly unconstitutional exclusion" of undocumented immigrants from apportionment.

If the Trump admin's plans go through, California will likely lose at least one seat. Texas and New Jersey are also likely to lose seats.
Read 15 tweets
2 Sep
Mysterious ruling in Ghislaine Maxwell’s criminal case.

In a sealed letter, Maxwell tried to modify a protective order to allow her to file her criminal discovery under seal in her civil litigation.

The judge denies that as-yet-undisclosed request.
In an ironic twist, the judge says most of the materials leading to all this secret battling over what can be disclosed under seal in what case...

... are already on the public record. #transparency
From all the secrecy, it's hard to know what, if anything, to make of this ruling, except:

* It's a bookmark of the furtive wrangling.

* Ghislaine Maxwell's lawyers have a pattern of making arguments surrounding secrecy that multiple judges slam for lacking evidence.
Read 4 tweets
1 Sep
The Second Circuit will hear oral arguments this morning on President Trump's bid to stay Manhattan U.S. Attorney Cyrus Vance's subpoenas.

The court already rejected an administrative stay.

Background and live-tweets ahead, @CourthouseNews…
Proceedings are about to begin.

Chief Judge Katzmann convenes today's hearing, starting with Trump v. Vance.

Listen here.
Here's the panel: Walker, Katzmann, and Lohier.

William Consovoy is up first, calling the Manhattan DA's subpoenas a "fishing expedition."

"Will the president be given an opportunity to appeal that ruling" before the subpoenas are executed, Consovoy asks.
Read 14 tweets
31 Aug
Today's proceedings in the prosecution of We Build the Wall's leaders, including Steve Bannon, will begin at 1 p.m. Eastern Time.

I will be covering the hearing for @CourthouseNews.

Background from the indictment unsealed Aug. 20:…
The conference is about to begin.

On the line are:

* Lead defendant Brian Kolfage and his lawyer Harvey Steinberg

* Steve Bannon ("present," he says) and his lawyer William Burck

* Andrew Badolato and his lawyer Daniel Stein

* Timothy Shea, and his lawyer John Meringolo
Also representing Bannon are attorneys Daniel Koffmann and Allison McGuire, also from the firm Quinn Emanuel

U.S. District Judge Analisa Torres is presiding.
Read 13 tweets
24 Aug
A hearing in the unusual judge-appointed prosecution of Steven Donziger is about to begin.

After helping his clients win a more than $9 billion verdict against Chevron in Ecuador, Donziger faced a blistering counterattack.

Recently, he was disbarred:…
Judge Preska started the hearing now.

Recently, Donziger's counsel successfully sought billing records from the private law firm appointed to prosecute him for offenses the U.S. Attorney's office declined to charge.

We got an early look last month.…
Lead prosecutor Rita Glavin, a partner at the private law firm Seward & Kissel, has called for a hearing over whether Donziger's attorneys Richard Friedman and Zoe Littlepage should be disqualified.

They were also Donziger's lawyers in Chevron's countersuit against him.
Read 6 tweets
21 Aug
That means New York's pro-transparency law will be mostly in full effect, allowing the public to see police disciplinary records beyond the ones that @propublica and the @NYCLU made public.

"Whoa," an unidentified voice exclaimed on the line, as the judge announced the ruling.
The police unions "fail to show that the balance of hardships tip decidedly in their favor," Judge Failla says. @CourthouseNews
Given the release of the documents, Judge Failla notes that any ruling "would not put the horse back in the barn," but she says that the police unions' expert provided "no empirical evidence" that release would cause harm.

"His opinion at base is rumination," Judge Failla says.
Read 14 tweets
20 Aug
BREAKING: Steve Bannon, through his counsel, enters a plea of not guilty on both counts of the indictment.

The story so far at @CourthouseNews…
@CourthouseNews The parties agree to a bond of $5 million, secured by $1,750,000 by financially responsible persons and travel restrictions, the prosecutor says.

Bannon will await trial in the D.C. area.
Bannon cannot travel internationally, or use private jets or boats without express permission.

Pretrial services does not object to the agreed-upon conditions of release.
Read 6 tweets
20 Aug
Steve Bannon is expected to have his first court appearance at around 4 p.m. Eastern Time—roughly 15 minutes from now.

Covering it soon, for @CourthouseNews.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Aaron has appeared on the line, instructing the clerk to read the roll call.

William Burck from Quinn Emmanuel is representing Bannon.

The government is not on the line.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Nicholas Roos (who also prosecuted Michael Cohen) and Alison Moe (who also prosecuted Ghislaine Maxwell) from SDNY has joined the line.

The hearing is about to begin.
Read 7 tweets
20 Aug

A federal judge DISMISSES President Trump's second attempt to block Manhattan DA Vance's probe and UPHOLDS the prosecutor's subpoena.

Background, @CourthouseNews… Image
The judge calls Team Trump's litigation posture "as unprecedented and far-reaching as it is perilous to the rule of law and other bedrock constitutional principles on which this country was founded and by which it continues to be governed." Image
Judge Marrero wrote that Trump is trying to run out the clock and seek the same "absolute immunity" SCOTUS denied through the "back door."

Ruling:… Image
Read 4 tweets
18 Aug
"The Agalarovs have significant ties to Russian organized crime and have been closely affiliated with individuals involved in murder, prostitution, weapons trafficking, kidnapping, extortion, narcotics trafficking, money laundering" & more.

Senate Intel on Trump pageant sponsor Image
One of 11 hits for "Russian organized crime" in the 966-page report and 33 hits for simply "organized crime."
Senate Intel Committee:

Emin Agalarov sent Don Jr. an email telling him about a "gift for your dad from Mr. Putin," a Fedoskino-style lacquer box.

This is the photograph of the gift and what appears to be Don Jr's handwritten note: "YOU ARE BEING SENT A GIFT FROM PUTIN!" ImageImage
Read 4 tweets
18 Aug
ICYMI: Senate Intel's Volume 5 dives into Paul Manafort's ties to Konstantin Kilimnik, described plainly here as "a Russian intelligence officer."

Manafort sought to secretly share internal Trump campaign info with Kilimnik on "numerous occasions."

"The Committee obtained some information suggesting Kilimnik may have been connected to the GRU's hack and leak operation targeting the 2016 U.S. election."

Follow my colleague @MMineiro_CNS coverage of this 966-page volume ahead on @CourthouseNews.
In his additional views to the report, Senator @RonWyden notes: "Unfortunately, significant aspects of this story remain hidden from the American public," shielded by "excessive redactions."

He says this includes the new info tying Kilimnik to the hack-and-leak ops.
Read 4 tweets
18 Aug
Police unions' appeal of a ruling allowing the @NYCLU to publish a database of disciplinary records is about to begin in the Second Circuit.

Background from last month, @CourthouseNews…
After a brief delay for tech difficulties, the police unions case is the first one up.

Up first is Courtney Saleski for the unions.

Judge Pooler quickly interrupts and asks how the NYCLU be bound by an agreement to which they were not a party.
You can listen to it live here:
Read 10 tweets
14 Aug
Dershowitz's new letter contains an exhibit that he identifies as a transcript of a taped call with Wexner's lawyer John Zeiger from the fall of 2015.

These are a selection that Dershowitz flags.

(Follow @jruss_jruss's coverage of the hearing on Monday.) 🔽
Les Wexner and John Zeiger have denied Dershowitz's claims of an extortion plot, in what attorneys for the professor's accuser call a "devastating" blow to his case.

Monday's hearing will focus in part on whether Dershowitz can depose Wexner to test those denials
Read 5 tweets