Last week's prompt acquittal by a federal jury of Democratic power broker Gregory Craig from a false statement charge shows the partisan decision-making under the corrupt Trump Attorney General William Barr.

The Washington, DC, jury acquitted Craig, shown at right, in just over four hours Wednesday following a three-week trial stemming from a seldom-enforced law requiring “foreign agents” to register.

greg craig smiling cropped headshot 9 4 19 IMG 6685In a prosecution launched on April 11 following the Republican Barr’s installation in February, the Attorney General’s team claimed Craig made a false statement to investigators probing his failure to register as a foreign lobbyist seven years ago for Ukrainian interests.

This discretionary prosecution reportedly raised internal questions at the time among Justice Department prosecutors on whether a conviction was possible. The Republican leadership proceeded anyway, with the effect of tainting a prominent Democrat in special counsel investigations that previously had implicated only Republican officials and former officials.

Such internal decisions have career-ending and personal consequences for the targets, even experienced and eminent ones.

As Craig, a former top legal advisor to Presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton, stood up to hear the jury verdict on Sept. 4, his thick white hair contrasted sharply with his reddened face. If convicted he faced a potential prison sentence of five years.

When the "not guilty" verdict was announced, the veteran litigator appeared near tears and he audibly sniffled. That illustrated once again to this observer the tension and drama inherent in a major criminal trial. Craig then hugged members of his defense team and such friends as former law partner David Kendall, Craig’s co-counsel in defending Clinton from impeachment charges two decades ago.

As shown by the Justice Integrity Project photos for this column, Craig was smiling by the time of his brief news conference outside the court. He thanked jurors for their service and his lawyers, friends and family for their support.

Moments earlier, defense counsel William Taylor Jr. had said Craig had been hounded by prosecutors. “The question that you need to ask,” Taylor told reporters, “is not why this jury acquitted Mr. Craig but why the Department of Justice brought this case against an innocent man in the first place.”

“Why, after the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York rejected this prosecution, did this Department of Justice decide it had to hound this man and his family without any evidence and without any purpose,” the defense lawyer asked. “It’s a tragedy. It’s a disgrace. I’m glad it’s over.”

greg craig lawyers 9 4 19 cropped IMG 6681

Washington attorney Gregory Craig, center, holds a brief news conference surrounded by his lawyers on Sept. 4 following his acquittal on a false statement charge in the federal district court in Washington, DC (Justice Integrity Project photo).

A juror made similar comments to reporters at an impromptu press conference shortly after U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson thanked the jurors and dismissed them.

“I just could not understand why so many resources of the government were put into this when, in fact, actually the republic itself is at risk,” said the juror, who described himself as age 60 and his profession as working in the health field.

The juror gave his name but we refrain from using it in this column. In our view, the stakes have become too high to subject an ordinary American citizen without a full briefing as warning to the risks involved in reporting criticism of Trump, Barr and their out-of-control Justice Department and cult-like supporters, some of them angry, armed and supportive of police state tactics.

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The stabbing of Sirhan Sirhan on Aug. 30 in a California prison is bringing renewed attention to claims that he was unfairly convicted for the 1968 assassination of presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy — and has since been denied justice because of a monumental cover up.

sirhan sirhan 2016Sirhan, now 75 (shown in a 2016 prison photo), was hospitalized in stable condition following his stabbing at the Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility in Otay Mesa, near San Diego. A Los Angeles Times story, Sirhan Sirhan is reportedly stabbed at prison in San Diego, drew from California corrections authorities and other sources to report that Sirhan suffered neck wounds and that his assailant has been identified. Sirhan was then returned to the prison in weakend condition and with a wound.

The Justice Integrity Project sought reaction from experts, particularly those who have published recent books or otherwise argued that California authorities — including U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris when she was California's attorney general — have unfairly resisted efforts to provide Sirhan with a hearing.

A hearing would enable scientific evidence to be introduced and argued for the first time to show that Sirhan could not possibly have fired the shots that killed Kennedy after his 1968 presidential campaign speech at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles.

Sirhan's lead counsel, Dr. William F. Pepper — one of a number of experts who has become convinced of the defendant's innocence of firing fatal bullets — noted for us on Saturday the 213-page petition that he had filed in 2017 on Sirhan's behalf. It sought from the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) the first hearing that would evaluate ballistic and other forensic evidence. The petition summarized the evidence.

"I believe that it is no coincidence," Pepper wrote us in an email, "that Sirhan has received a potentially fatal attack at a time when the IACHR is being compelled to consider granting an william pepper headshotevidentiary hearing that could, finally, establish his innocence of the assassination of Senator Kennedy."

"The forces against the truth being revealed in this horrific case," Pepper continued, "are as powerful now — over 50 years later — as ever."

Pepper is shown at left in a file photo.

Defense co-counsel Laurie Dusek, who promptly left her home in New York after the news to travel to California, wrote us that authorities failed to notify either Sirhan's immediate family and counsel of record regarding the stabbing.

Also, she told us on Saturday afternoon that Sirhan's brother Munir Sirhan had been unable to obtain information from the hospital treating the prisoner.

Sirhan's original defense lawyer — Grant Cooper, a prominent Los Angeles trial attorney whose independence had been compromised by a secret contempt of court case that authorities brought in an unrelated matter, with potential jail time reduced to a fine after Sirhan's conviction — conceded Sirhan's guilt in the defendant's 1969 trial and unsuccessfully sought mercy.

The defense counsel, who died in 1990 at age 87, failed to argue to the jury, for example, that Los Angeles Coroner Dr. Thomas Noguchi had determined that Kennedy was killed with three shots fired from the rear (whereas Sirhan was in front of the late senator, according to witnesses).

Cyril M. Wecht, M.D., J.D., the famed forensic pathologist and attorney who assisted Noguchi on the RFK autopsy, told us in a phone conversation this weekend that it remains incomprehensible that Cooper would not have retained a forensic expert to analyze the scientific evidence and challenge the government's findings during Sirhan's trial, especially since the government medical examiner's own evidence provided a solid basis for such a challenge. "Any first-year law student would have done a better job than Sirhan's counsel [Cooper]," Wecht told us.

A recent quotation from the medical examiner Noguchi is shown below.

 

thomas noguchi sirhan quote 5 23 18

Pepper — who had been Westchester County campaign chairman to Kennedy in his New York Senate race and went on to a legal career that has included teaching human rights law for years at Oxford University in England — filed the 2017 petition on Sirhan's to IACHR, a body within the Organization of American States (whose logo is at right).

oas sealIACHR has not yet set a hearing on the petition despite numerous inquiries by Pepper and this editor, who collaborated on a 2018 Consortium News column about the case, OAS Facing Call for New Probe into RFK Murder. Here is a link to the filing.

lisa pease rfk coverIn a separate comment on Saturday, author Lisa Pease urged the public to sign a petition to California Gov. Gavin Newsom to free him. "We'd all love a new court proceeding," she wrote. "But he just wants to go home." The Change.org petition is here

Earlier this year, Pease, a former aide in 1992 to California Gov. Jerry Brown during his presidential run, authored the 512-page account of the case, shown at left, A Lie Too Big To Fail: The Real History of the Assassination of Robert F. Kennedy.

In 2018, the Washington Post published a multi-part series by longtime criminal justice reporter Tom Jackson, Who killed Bobby Kennedy? His son RFK Jr. doesn’t believe it was Sirhan Sirhan.

It reported that two of the late senator RFK's children, law professor, author and activist Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and Georgetown University scholar and former Maryland Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend were among those calling for a new investigation of the case based on evidence that Sirhan did not fire the fatal shots.

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The death of the wealthy pedophile sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein, right, on Aug. 10 in a New York prison has been expected in investigative circles.

His death became almost foreordained by recent revelations publicly linking him ever more closely to powerful foreign intelligence assets, financial moguls and mob figures — and not simply to underage girls and the celebrities who socialized in his circle.

jeffrey epstein new mug cropped july 2019Although there are many people and institutions that bear some responsibility for Epstein's death and the trafficking cover-up that existed for years, prime responsibility for the death falls squarely on U.S. Attorney General William Barr, a master of covering up deadly and otherwise sinister crimes of massive historical importance, as we reported this May in Trump Found His Roy Cohn In Deep State Fixer Bill Barr.

The column documented Barr's work first as a CIA operative working with CIA Director George H.W. Bush in 1976 and then as a cover-up maestro in the Reagan-Bush Justice Department.

There, Barr became Bush's U.S. Attorney General after he helped thwart massive investigations of government-enabled narcotics and arms smuggling and hundreds of billions of dollars in financial frauds that helped fill Republican Party coffers around the nation, as we reported. We noted also that the crimes Barr was helping to hide implicated members of both major U.S. political parties, who were thus deterred from investigating aggressively via congressional hearings.

Then in late 1992, Bush and Barr orchestrated pardons of six high-level Iran-Contra U.S. government officials, thereby ensuring that Independent Counsel Lawrence Walsh's investigation would fail.

william barr new oBarr, left, is implicated in Epstein's death even if Barr's role was merely of the "let it happen" method whereby Barr's subordinates in the U.S. Bureau of Prisons created the conditions enabling either Epstein's suicide or murder in the high-security, federally run Manhattan Correctional Center (MCC) in lower Manhattan.

That prison has been entrusted with housing some of the nation's leading criminals in recent decades, including New York Mafia leader John Gotti. Based on a tip from former Gotti moneyman Lewis Kasman, the Murdoch-owned New York Post reported this weekend that Barr made a "hush-hush" visit to the prison two weeks ago about the time Epstein first suffered a supposed suicide attempt, a report unconfirmed elsewhere.

The paragraphs above summarize this editor's opinions after reviewing closely the news reports and commentaries this weekend about Epstein's death.

Previously, I reported in depth on the careers of Epstein, Barr, Donald Trump and others involved with them. The details are intriguing. Barr's late father Donald Barr, for example, had worked at the CIA-forerunner Office of Strategic Services (OSS) during World War II.

He later served as headmaster of the Dalton School, which hired Epstein as a teacher in 1974 even though Epstein had no college degree. The elder Barr, who combined advanced literary and engineering skills, also authored a novel, Space Relations, about elites who used sex slaves and space travel.

The opinions here are derived also from daily conversations and emails from fellow investigative reporters who for years have researched Epstein as well as other mob- and intelligence-affiliated sex traffickers who specialize in providing underage sex victims to important government, business and media leaders, in part for the purpose of political blackmail.

nicholas tartaglione facebook CustomOne of those investigative reporters is former Navy intelligence officer Wayne Madsen, who predicted Epstein's death in two columns published last month in The Wayne Madsen Report, "WMR," a daily subscription investigative report. Its first post-Epstein death analysis was Epstein-Barr: “Justice” in a quasi-dictatorship known as the United States.

His reports on July 25 and 26 came after Epstein was found with bruises on his neck in his MCC cell. Authorities ascribed the bruises either to an attempt at hanging or strangulation. Madsen's reports noted the odd presence in Epstein's company of a muscular former New York City policeman, Nicholas Tartaglione, who reportedly said that he helped rescue Epstein after a suicide attempt.

Tartaglione, shown on his Facebook photo, is a former policeman in Otisville, NY, among other Hudson Valley locales. He is facing trial on charges of murdering four Columbian drug-runners in an alleged murder-for-hire killing. Madsen noted the suspicious circumstance of the former policeman possessing a cellphone in a supposedly secure prison, thereby enabling communications with the outside world. Also, Epstein purportedly complained that his injuries came from an assault.

maria wmr jip waterbury graphic 1 8 18 Custom

 

In early 2018, this editor collaborated with Madsen on a multipart series Welcome To Waterbury: The City That Holds Secrets That Could Bring Trump Down.

We reported in depth on allegations that Epstein and Trump had raped a 13-year-old "Katie" and a 12-year-old "Maria" belonging to Epstein's friend Leslie Wexner, founder of the L Brands retail empire.

"Katie" dropped her 2016 lawsuit making rape allegations after receiving death threats shortly before the 2016 presidential election. We reported also that "Maria" had been kidnapped from her home in Waterbury, Connecticut with apparent mob involvement, and that several news organizations suppressed their reporting on the case at the time of the 2016 presidential elections.

The result is that the complainants understandably remain fearful that no one with clout would protect them if they continued to tell their stories.

michael cohen ap file croppedNew York federal judge Ronnie Abrams had shown a keen interest in the case before it was dropped shortly after the election. But Justice Department prosecutors have so far shown no public sign of bringing forward witnesses like former Trump counsel Michael Cohen, who presumably could shed light on such situations.

Cohen, right, has admitted involvement in threatening and bribing women and news organizations during that period regarding their aborted investigations into Trump sex scandals.

Cohen's admitted bribery and intimidation of news organizations focused heavily on tabloids, which are most likely to dig deeply into sex scandals involving celebrities.

Madsen also is close to that world. The National Enquirer, controlled until recently by Trump ally David Pecker, has repeatedly cited Madsen as a knowledgeable expert on political sex scandals, particularly on those targeting Trump's 2016 Republican primary opponents.  

Not just victimized girls but Cohen himself, who is now serving a three-year sentence in the federal correctional center in Otisville, New York, surely must have observed with dread the federal malfeasance leading to Epstein's death, particularly after Trump's veiled threats against "rats" and leakers.

Citing specific clues, Madsen predicted Epstein's death last month in his WMR column: Is Epstein the target for a mob hit, as follows:

What is apparent with Epstein’s so-called “attempted suicide” in the Park Row jail is that some very powerful interests do not want to see Epstein come to trial in New York.

These individuals, who include Donald Trump, would rest much easier if Epstein died either by suicide, murder, or murder made to look like suicide. It matters very little if Epstein died while ensconced under tight restrictions at his Upper East Side mansion or in the MCC with access to him by other inmates.

bernard kerik portraitAmong others who have voiced astonishment that the Bureau of Prisons would allow Epstein to die in federal custody are law professor and former federal prosecutor Harry Litman (Jeffrey Epstein’s apparent suicide is unfathomable) and former New York City Police Chief Bernard B. Kerik, right.

Kerik, a Republican, supervised New York City's corrections system from 1995 to 2000 before becoming city's police chief under Mayor Rudy Giuliani. Kerik then became President Bush's first nominee (later withdrawn) to become Secretary of then-new Department of Homeland Security.

Kerik, writing Jeffrey Epstein's suicide makes no sense for the Capitol Hill tabloid The Hill, commented over the weekend in an op-ed:

Accused pedophile Jeffrey Epstein’s death this morning — reportedly a suicide, according to federal officials — is an inexplicable end to a bizarre, tragic case that only got more disturbing the more we learned about it.

The fact that one of the country’s highest-profile federal prisoners could even commit suicide defies all logic and belief.

His death raises doubts about officials’ actions. The FBI says it will investigate; Attorney General William Barr says he is “appalled” by what happened; members of Congress such as Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) are demanding answers. Indeed we all need answers, before we lose all faith in our justice system.

Trump has responded to Epstein's death by retweeting an allegation by a right-wing propagandist that the Clintons are somehow responsible for Epstein's death. Vanity Fair reported: Trump’s Epstein Response: The Clintons Are Definitely Pedophile Murderers, "The president plumbed new depths by retweeting conspiracy theories about Epstein’s suicide, in lieu of making a public statement."

Meanwhile, the Washington Post has reported the disappearance of Epstein's former girlfriend and fellow trafficker Ghislaine Maxwell, heir to newspaper magnate and purported Mossad asset Robert Maxwell. The Post article Epstein’s death leaves prosecutors with prime target: Ghislaine Maxwell by Marc Fisher said: 

Prince Andrew, Virginia Roberts and Ghislaine Maxwell, 2001It was through a 2015 defamation lawsuit filed against Maxwell by one of Epstein’s alleged victims, Virginia Roberts Giuffre, that thousands of pages of documents containing detailed accounts of Epstein’s alleged abuses became public last week.

Johanna Sjoberg, a student at Palm Beach Atlantic University when she said Maxwell hired her as an assistant, said in a 2015 deposition that was released Friday that it was Maxwell’s job to ensure that three girls a day were made available to Epstein for his sexual pleasure.

Giuffre, who says she was recruited by Maxwell at age 17 after being a towel-girl at Trump's Mar-a-Lago club, is shown at center in a 2001 photo with Maxwell at right and Prince Andrew, Duke of York, at left. In 2015, she filed a defamation lawsuit against Maxwell for denying misconduct.

The presiding federal trial judge ordered release of thousands of pages of litigation documents on Aug. 9, possibly triggering Epstein's death. Those released documents are available at the Blackstone Vault: Epstein files.

With so many new developments each day, our Justice Integrity Project coverage includes multiple subsites that we update daily. They focus on overlapping dimensions of the scandals as follows: #MeToo News (including sex trafficking and major sexual harassment scandals); Media News (including allegations of cover-up and propaganda); Deep State; and Trump Watch.

The latter includes major developments last week as U.S. House of Representatives leaders move towards court challenges of the president as part of an impeachment process. House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) told reporters that an impeachment inquiry is formally underway, with the first step demands via courts for documents and witnesses withheld by Trump.

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An NBC News column smearing actor and social critic Alec Baldwin as a "conspiracy theorist" because of his views on the 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy constituted an attack, in effect, on NBC's consumers, particularly those who care about truth and other democratic values.

That is because the July 19 column, From Trump to Alec Baldwin, conspiracy theories, narcissism and celebrity culture go hand in hand provided no evidence whatsoever that anything Baldwin, shown at right, had said was untrue or otherwise dubious.

alec baldwin pr headshotNBC's method was what we might call "The Big Lie and make it come true" via constant repetition.

The column by freelancer Lynn Parramore, Ph.D., continued a long-running campaign by the corporate media establishment — working cooperatively and covertly with government cover-up experts at times and via well-funded private foundations — to smear anyone of stature who disputes the facts about the JFK murder that have been established by well-credentialed independent experts, brave witnesses and other surrogates for the public interest like Baldwin.

russ bakerThat pattern has occurred for decades, according to a statement on the problem drafted in reaction by WhoWhatWhy investigative site founding editor Russ Baker, the best-selling author of Family of Secrets. The subtitle is: "The Bush Dynasty, America's Invisible Government, and the Hidden History of the Last Fifty Years."

Also, he is a former Columbia Journalism Review staff writer who has been published through the decades on varied topics by a large number of nationally prestigious American newspapers. 

Baker, above left, wrote this week about the column published by NBC:

The JFK assassination is one of the most widely investigated — yet paradoxically poorly understood — major events in American history. The reason for this is willful blindness, ignorance and self-interest in carrying the preferred narrative.

Shocking fact: The corporate media’s claims on this consistently run counter to what an army of experts of all kinds have actually found. On almost every front, when the public is presented with established facts, from FBI interviews, documents, testimony, it concludes that Kennedy was the victim of an organized operation, not a “lone nut.” (Thus it was entirely consistent with long-standing, documented and well-known US policy of supporting the violent removal of world leaders who were seen as not in line with establishment views, goals and priorities).

However, members of the working press, like university professors and other so-called “experts,” have been for half a century under pressure to promote the “official story” that was put out by the government right from the start. There never was any intent to seriously investigate what happened.

A premium was placed on preserving order, keeping the public calm, and making sure the system churned on. This is not only true of the assassination of John F. Kennedy. Many major events, including the assassinations of other leading individuals, were also swept under the rug. That this happened, and is still covered up more than half a century later, reminds us that all is not well in America. Unless the truth is known about how we got where we are today, we cannot truly claim to be in control of our destiny.

We shall expand upon his powerful statement in a future segment of this series, which is broken into several parts for reader convenience.

The rest of this first segment addresses this question:

  • Why Make A Fuss?

In the second segment, to be published next week, we'll examine more closely the economics of the news industry. The economics include the seldom-reported connections between some major news organizations and the intelligence / defense sectors. These connections help make understandable a reluctance to report on such sensitive matters as the JFK assassination.

We'll also examine the specifics in Parramore's column this month.

We contacted her for comment via the Institute for New Economic Thinking in New York City, where she is a senior research analyst working at a financier-led think tank co-founded by George Soros and Michael Janeway, the latter a son of Eliot Janeway, a late advisor to President Lyndon B. Johnson. We have not yet received a reply. 

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While the tyrant Donald Trump has rewarded Republican donors with prime seating for his taxpayer-funded July Fourth political rally on the National Mall, the public deserves answers about why other top officials cannot muster effective responses to his years of law breaking, including his corrupt giveaways as president to family and business cronies — and his financial alliances with murderous dictators.

democratic debate june27 2019 nypost health for illegals SmallNBC's Democratic 2020 presidential "debates" last week showcased 20 Democratic candidates who specialize for the most part in self-righteous grievances, soaring personal ambition, and impractical giveaways that they promise for their own hoped-for voting blocs.

Meanwhile, the candidates provided diminished hope that one of them can win next year's election and carry into office a Senate majority, as a New York Post front page at right aptly noted. 

The Democratic contenders launched the most visible phase of their primary campaign with two nights of debates on June 27 and 28 in Miami.

They pushed their failed themes of "identity politics" near-certain to fall flat at the same time that Trump's corrupt political machine is raising record amounts from GOP donors to fund the kind of propaganda and election-rigging that brought him into office in 2016.

This cycle, Trump is augmenting his chances by ruthlessly exploiting his presidential power, including via the greedy and craven Senate GOP majority and an increasingly partisan federal judiciary. They are delivering a radical right overthrow of U.S. government Constitutional checks-and-balances and other norms.

Such Democratic "solutions" as non-criminal status and free health care for illegal immigrants and "free college" for students loom as failed democratic 20 debate candidates Smallstrategies to win the presidential and Senate elections. They are transparent leftist sops to presumed voting blocs.

Even Democratic-leaning pundits are pointing out their economic and other structural flaws, as in a column by Washington Post business commentator Steve Pearlstein. Regarding "free college," for example, he noted that turning a slogan into a program would create many problems, including unfairness to non-college youth and those who have paid off their student debt.

The real trouble would begin when the well-funded and right-dominated media ramp up their ridicule against Democrats for their poorly conceived policy programs.

Updates:

Meanwhile, Democrats have failed to put their self-centered ambitions and flawed strategies aside long enough to expose in an understandable way the deep and sinister corruption of the Trump Family regime.

One such way would be to shorten the 11-day congressional Fourth of July holiday and convene high-profile public hearings to bring forward such compelling witnesses as former President Jimmy Carter.

The usually mild-speaking U.S. president from 1977 to 1981 has assessed the current president in the kind of frank language never voiced publicly by any of his predecessors about one another.

jimmy carter portrait deftnewsSpeaking at the Carter Center in his native Georgia, Carter made the little-noticed but vitally important historical judgment that Trump is an illegitimate president who stole the 2016 election with the help of Russians, as reported here by the Washington Post: Jimmy Carter says Trump wouldn’t be president without help from Russia. The Carter Center is a world-renowned locale for human rights, including advocacy for honest elections worldwide.

“There’s no doubt that the Russians did interfere in the election, and I think the interference, although not yet quantified, if fully investigated would show that Trump didn’t actually win the election in 2016,” said Carter, shown in a file photo. “He lost e jean carroll twitterthe election, and he was put into office because the Russians interfered on his behalf.”

Yet the former president failed to garner the front-page coverage such comments deserve even though they were backed by similar words from his vice president, Walter Mondale of Minnesota. Similarly, few in the press covered Carter's comments several years ago that the United States may not be a democracy any longer.

Democrats should lead the way in providing a Capitol forum for such a unique voice. Separately, they should invite journalist author and advice columnist E. Jean Carroll, shown right in a file photo, to answer questions posed by her rape allegation against the president, as first reported June 21 by New York Magazine in E. Jean Carroll: “Trump attacked me in the dressing room of Bergdorf Goodman, excerpting her new book.

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This tab provides supplementary reading, including source articles, for the Justice Integrity Project column published for the July 4, 2019 holiday, Democrats Dally While Trump Guts Constitution, Decency, Democracy.

The column began:

While the tyrant Donald Trump prepares to reward his Republican donors with prime seating for his taxpayer-funded July democratic debate june27 2019 nypost health for illegals SmallFourth political rally on the National Mall, the American public deserves answers about why the nation's other top officials cannot muster effective responses to his years of law breaking, including his corrupt giveaways as president to family and business cronies --  and his financial alliances with murderous dictators.

The materials are arranged in reverse chronological order below. They total too much material to include as an appendix to the column.

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