Thursday, April 11, 2024

As Truth Social deteriorates into a smelly mess, legal experts see signs that Donald Trump has committed another crime -- and this time, it's securities fraud

Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump

Evidence suggests Donald Trump has committed another crime -- this time it's securities fraud connected to Truth Social -- according to legal experts quoted in a new Substack post from Mary L. Trump -- psychologist, author, Donald's niece, and one of the most vocal critics of her uncle's efforts to return to the White House. At her Substack page, "The Good in Us,"Mary Trump writes:

NEW: Potential SEC violation committed by Donald, Jared Kushner’s murky foreign business transactions… Let’s dive in. Read on 👇

I’m going to let you in on something that often troubles me. 

There are days I find myself frustrated by the seeming invincibility of Donald and my extended family. On days like those, every scandal they’re involved in seems to slide right by, leaving them unscathed. It sickens me. It infuriates me.

But in my better moments, I understand this view is not accurate. 

The truth is, Donald is facing very real consequences for his behavior. This is especially true in New York, largely because of the diligent work of people like Letitia James and the relentless outcry of citizens from his own state demanding accountability. 

This has been a source of solace for me.

Because the corporate media often downplay, ignore, or spin any news that is detrimental to Donald or his children (think, for example, about how Hunter Biden has been covered, as opposed to Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner), l use my platform to ensure that such information receives the attention it deserves. 

Now is one of those moments.

Call to Prosecutors and the Media to Look Into Alleged Crimes of “Truth Social“

Members of the press, especially of the right-wing variety, have treated Truth Social, Donald Trump's publicly traded social-media platform, as a business success. But as Mary Trump shows, it has been far from a success:

First, a grim truth for Truth Social

Truth Social’s parent company, Trump Media & Technology Group (TMTG), has been in a free fall since it went public. It’s so bad that yesterday’s continued slide of the shares’ value erased all gains since the DJT stock began trading.

It’s at less than half of the $79 opening price on its March 26 debut, plummeting his net worth. The drop has led investors to short-sell the stock… the ultimate insult.

There isn’t much Donald can do at the moment, because he’s barred from selling or borrowing against his stock for six months.

There’s some justice for you.

But, incredibly, he may have even more to worry about than losing billions:

 How Donald May have Broken the Law

Taking TMTG public might have led Trump to, once again, cross the boundary into criminal conduct -- possibly adding to his already overflowing courtroom docket. Writes Mary Trump: 

Aside from gag orders and bank and IRS documents, there are relatively few laws that prevent Donald from lying through his teeth at every opportunity… except, however, the Securities and Exchange Commission’s very clear rules. To wit:

“SEC laws prohibit the use of ‘manipulative and deceptive devices’ to pump up stocks.”

As the Trump Media stocks tanked, Donald took to Truth Social to brag about the financial stability of his sub-par Twitter knock-off. He wrote that the company held more than “$200 million in cash and zero debt” and that the platform’s follower count is “growing fast,” indicating that the “company's user base could be growing despite its issues raised by financial disclosures.”

The lawyer I spoke with, Joe Gallina, said Donald may have committed a crime. 

Further, per Newsweek, Stanford Law School Professor Michael Klausner said, “a false statement of ‘material’ information is securities fraud.”

He explained that Donald’s statements could be a case of “pumping.” That would trigger the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, which “governs the statements made by company owners that could affect investor decisions.”

Do you think it’s a leap to assume Donald used those words on purpose to drive interest in the stock?

The next key step, Mary says, is to investigate the inner workings of Truth Social

We can’t let up on this until the SEC agrees to look into Truth Social’s inner workings and verify whether or not Donald’s statements are fact-based. 

As he becomes more desperate, the rest of us need to become more vigilant, because…

Truth Social is Already on Prosecutors’ Radar for Inside Trading

As we reported recently here at Legal Schnauzer, Trump Media was struggling in 2022, and a Russian-American businessman named Anton Postolnikov-- with ties to Vladimir Putin -- arranged for loans from a bank (known mostly for financing the international pornography industry) in the island nation of Dominica to save Trump's fledgling firm. That led to the involvement of a Canadian businessman named Michael Shvartsman, who is a target of a sprawling money-laundering investigation. Shvartsman is a close associate of Poostolikov, who has been a target in an FBI and Department of Homeland Security (DHS)  criminal probe of the Trump Media merger with a shadowy blank-check company called Digital World Acquisition Corporation, which took the parent company of Truth Social public. Mary Trump provides more background:

Two individuals, Michael and Gerald Shvartsman, recently admitted to insider trading related to Truth Social. The Shvartsman brothers, who were early investors in Digital World Acquisition Corp (the company that merged with Trump Media & Technology Group), made more than $22 million in illegal profits by selling on inside knowledge, which they admitted in court.

Another individual, Bruce Garelick, who was also privy to the non-public information, has pleaded not guilty to similar charges. He is set to stand trial later this month.

Speaking of shady investments, and illicitly leveraging insider connections, let’s look at another Trump family member, whose actions are screaming for greater scrutiny: Donald’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner.

Jared Kushner’s Investment Firm’s Foreign Funders Stun Experts

Kushner, of course, is a familiar name in the Trump orbit, and his international financial entanglements are raising eyebrows with insiders who know about his peculiar machinations. Mary Trump writes:

Yesterday, a revelatory analysis found that 99% of Kushner’s investment capital has been traced back to foreign sources. This is not a common occurrence, and has raised questions about the propriety of such a financial setup.

This financial influx originates primarily from authoritarian governments, a fact that has led to concerns about potential conflicts of interest. His financial dealings have been described as “unprecedented” and “unusual” by economic analyst Steve Rattner.

 The Infamous $2 Billion The Media Refuses to Investigate

Swinging deals that involve $2 billion is one way to draw attention to yourself, and Kushner, intentionally or unintentionally, has managed to do that. Mary Trump writes:

This financial influx originates primarily from authoritarian governments, a fact that has led to concerns about potential conflicts of interest. His financial dealings have been described as “unprecedented” and “unusual” by economic analyst Steve Rattner.

In 2022, a mere six months after Kushner left the White House and four years after the brutal murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, at the direction of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, invested $2 billion in Kushner’s newly established private-equity firm. 

What does $2 billion buy? Here are a few leads the media should investigate:

In October 2018, only two weeks after Khashoggi was killed, Kushner urged Donald “to stand by the prince,” arguing that MBS could “survive the outrage.” This year, Kushner called bin Salman a “visionary leader” who has made the world better.

Of course, the Saudi investment was authorized despite reservations about Kushner’s lack of relevant experience.

Kushner’s firm has also received investments from state-managed funds in Qatar and the United Arab Emirates. He’s used some of those foreign funds to invest in a $500-million real-estate project in Serbia. 

Why We Must Scrutinize Kushner’s Shady Dealings

In the past year alone, the rights and liberties of Serbia’s citizens have deteriorated significantly, representing the most drastic reduction across Europe and the country is listed as being only “partly free.”

But it has even bigger implications for the US.

Kushner has not ruled out a return to the White House under a future Trump administration. Here’s why his dealings with authoritarian governments matter:

  • Conflict of Interest

  • National Security

  • Ethics and Transparency

It’s critical we shine a light on this. Here’s how:

The Path to Holding Jared Accountable

Relaunch of the $2-Billion Investigation

The House Oversight Committee launched an initial investigation into the $2- billion investment in 2022, but the Republican majority put it on ice.

If you want another reason to help Democrats flip the House this coming election, this is a great one.

And while they’re at it:

Khashoggi’s death

As far as Jamal Khashoggi’s murder is concerned, there is still much we don’t know. Just months after Khashoggi was killed, a blockbuster report by the Intercept alleged that “Crown Prince Mohammed told confidants that Kushner had discussed the names of Saudis disloyal to the crown prince, according to three sources who have been in contact with members of the Saudi and Emirati royal families.” 

The article also alleged “MBS bragged to the Emirati crown prince and others that Kushner was ‘in his pocket.’”

These claims are largely based on circumstantial evidence, and there is no definitive proof linking Kushner to any shady Saudi activity. Given the seriousness of the matter, however, the fact that this hasn’t led to a major investigation is ludicrous. The House can investigate this too, and finally get justice for Khashoggi.

How do we get there?

I’m diving deeper into Donald and my extended family’s potential wrongdoings, while continuing to insist that investigations into their financial arrangements begin. 

And I’m doing everything in my power to flip the House, so all this can become a legal reality. We are SO close.

To continue this important work, I need YOUR help. 

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– Mary

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