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Trump’s Big Money Woes

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Politics reporter Nikki McCann Ramirez checks in on Donald Trump’s fight against his 91 charges as doubts grow whether the former president will be able to raise his first payment of $83 million in penalties.
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Former president Donald Trump is still facing 91 criminal charges, with some campaign funds allegedly being repurposed to pay legal fees. The charges range from falsifying business records, to conspiring to overturn 2020 election...
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Show transcript
00:00
Ok. So, there's been a lot of updates on
00:03
Trump and the whole election situation,
00:05
what's going down. So we don't want to waste any time
00:07
We have Nikki mccann Ramirez,
00:09
a political reporter for Rolling Stone to help us break down all
00:12
that's been going on.
00:13
Hi, Nikki. Hi,
00:16
Nikki. How's it going?
00:19
How are you guys?
00:19
Good to see you.
00:20
It's great. It's great.
00:23
Let's see. Last time we talked,
00:26
you told us about the 91 charges that Trump was facing.
00:29
How likely is it that he'll actually have to go to court
00:31
for the most serious charges against him before the election?
00:34
It's looking increasingly unlikely.
00:37
Trump has been very successful in introducing a lot of court challenges
00:41
Sort of legal mumble jumble to slow down the case.
00:45
As we've seen, he's leveled a couple of Supreme Court challenges
00:48
both related to his criminal cases and unrelated to criminal cases.
00:52
And so in effect,
00:54
we're currently waiting to see if any of these criminal cases will
00:58
actually go to trial before the election or if they'll be delayed
01:01
so much that they'll kind of take place at the same time
01:05
as the election is heating up while we approach November.
01:08
So convenient, so convenient.
01:11
Well, you can get away with when you have money.
01:13
Can you tell us about his financial crimes case in New York
01:16
City? How much money does he have to come up with
01:18
And do experts think he's even gonna be able to come
01:20
up with that kind of cash?
01:21
Yeah. So there are two financial crimes cases in New York
01:26
One just concluded it was a civil fraud trial brought by
01:30
the State of New York against Trump,
01:32
several of his adult Children and his company,
01:34
the Trump organization and they were ordered to pay over 300 million
01:39
in damages to the state of New York because the state essentially
01:43
alleged that Trump had misrepresented the value of his companies,
01:47
his corporations, his real estate holdings in order to defraud investors
01:51
and taxpayers. Trump is fighting that money.
01:54
He's going to appeal the case and he claims he has enough
01:58
money to pay for whatever he wants.
02:00
But the reality is that a lot of the finances paying for
02:03
his legal defense in his,
02:04
in his various criminal trials are coming from his campaign.
02:09
And you know, it's,
02:10
it's not really allowed to pay out penalties for crimes with campaign
02:17
funds. So he'll have to come up with the,
02:19
the money elsewhere. And part of that may be,
02:22
the state has said that they are prepared to seize his assets
02:25
his real estate holdings if that's what they need to do
02:28
to get the money.
02:29
And then there is a separate upcoming case that's supposed to go
02:32
to trial soon, which is a criminal fraud.
02:36
In 2016, it was alleged that Trump paid a porn star
02:39
Stormy Daniels a bunch of money to keep quiet about an
02:43
affair before the 2016 election.
02:47
Basically, the state of New York is alleging that that money
02:50
constituted a campaign finance violation and like a form of fraud.
02:55
So that case will go to trial.
02:57
And, you know,
02:58
there's a lot of criminal accounts.
02:59
There, there's a lot of corporate mumbo jumbo that they used
03:02
to try and disguise the payments they made to Daniels.
03:05
So we'll see how that one plays out,
03:07
but he may be on the hook for a lot more money
03:10
Well, I guess we're gonna have to hear about it
03:12
We all remember Stormy Daniels icon.
03:14
Hello, who could forget?
03:17
I have to ask,
03:18
what are your thoughts on the Supreme Court ruling the other day
03:20
about keeping him on the ballot?
03:22
So there's kind of two minds here in,
03:26
in a general sense,
03:28
the federal system of the United States allows States by and large
03:32
to determine how their elections are run.
03:34
There is a clause in the constitution that's referred to as the
03:37
insurrection clause which bars people who have been found to have committed
03:42
insurrection or rebellion for running for federal office.
03:45
This was a clause that was added to the constitution in the
03:47
aftermath of the civil war.
03:49
In the 14th amendment,
03:51
it is in the same amendment that granted citizenship to freed slaves
03:55
that like defined what a natural citizen of the United States was
04:00
What the Supreme Court essentially said was that while states have
04:04
plenty of rights to determine how elections are run within their own
04:07
states, they cannot unilaterally determine the eligibility of a federal candidate
04:14
All of the judges agreed on that but the states could
04:16
not do that unilaterally.
04:18
However, they disagreed in how far some of the justices wanted
04:23
to take that decision.
04:24
Some of the liberal judges who said yes,
04:26
like we don't think Colorado should be allowed to just like unilaterally
04:30
remove Trump from the ballot without really having legally determined if insurrection
04:35
or rebellion had been committed.
04:36
The Supreme Court also didn't weigh in on if Trump committed insurrection
04:41
in his actions and like the aftermath of the 2020 election,
04:44
that question remains undecided.
04:46
But what some of the liberal justices said is that most of
04:50
the requirements that determine who can and cannot be president,
04:53
you know, you have to be like a natural born citizen
04:55
of the United States.
04:55
You have to be like 35 years old.
04:58
There's no congressional law that enforces those mechanisms.
05:03
They're in the constitution.
05:04
So they are sort of automatically enforced.
05:07
So the Liberal justices said that requiring Congress to create a law
05:12
that would determine how states can implement the insurrection clause or how
05:18
candidates, federal candidates would be affected by the insurrection clause.
05:22
They said that would be taking things a step too far.
05:25
And what we do know is that obviously Trump appointed three of
05:28
the current justices on the Supreme court.
05:30
They are very friendly to him.
05:32
They have made some very conservative decisions in recent years,
05:35
most notably, the overturning of Roe V.
05:37
Wade and Trump has another Supreme court case that the court will
05:41
begin hearing in April where he is arguing that presidents should have
05:45
widespread immunity from being prosecuted for crimes that were committed while in
05:50
office. And of course,
05:51
it sounds ridiculous even the fact that this is being heard by
05:54
the Supreme Court, that is a huge deal in itself because
05:58
the argument Trump is essentially making and he made it in court
06:01
in like the DC Appeals Court is that unless Congress impeach a
06:06
president for a crime that he committed while in office,
06:09
he cannot be criminally tried for it.
06:12
So that is the precedent.
06:13
If the court agrees with that precedent,
06:16
it would just be catastrophic for any potential accountability we could have
06:21
for any president, any federal elected lawmaker.
06:24
So I would definitely keep an eye on that case.
06:26
Trump, I think coming off of the Colorado Supreme Court case
06:29
is feeling really confident,
06:31
but you also have to hold on to the hope that the
06:33
Supreme Court isn't just like completely lost at this point because it
06:37
really would be a complete subversion of pretty much every law we
06:42
have against corruption, criminality in office.
06:46
So that, that's the big one we're keeping an eye on
06:49
That's so scary.
06:50
Yeah, dude, that's too much.
06:54
So, your magazine had an explosive story this week about the
06:59
kinds of drugs that staffers in the Trump White House were taking
07:04
Can you give us a little taste of what they were
07:08
doing and how your colleagues were able to get the receipts
07:13
Yeah, so that investigation kind of kicked off in January
07:19
where the office of the inspector general,
07:21
which is basically like hr for the department of defense released this
07:25
massive report of an investigation they conducted into the White House Medical
07:31
Unit. And what they found was that the White House Pharmacy
07:35
which was to be clear,
07:36
not run by an actual pharmacist was kind of operating as a
07:41
pill mill for prescription drugs just like handing out things like like
07:46
Xanax Ambien. this like anti narcolepsy drug that helps people
07:51
stay awake, not tracking prescriptions,
07:54
not recording, you know,
07:56
who was getting. What sort of the one of the things
07:59
in the report that they had was that when staffers from the
08:03
White House would go on international trips,
08:05
they would just hand out like goodie bags of uppers and downers
08:08
So people could like fall asleep on the plane and then
08:10
like wake up and be like peppy for all the media appearances
08:14
and stuff they had to do abroad and they just had bins
08:17
of like medication that like theoretically shouldn't be over the counter that
08:21
people could just like walk up and grab.
08:23
And so when that report was released,
08:25
my colleagues also went in NOA,
08:28
they started reaching out to people who had worked in the administration
08:31
in the White House Medical Unit and it confirmed a lot of
08:35
what was in the report.
08:36
Basically, people were like the,
08:38
the sense we got was that people were just popping pills using
08:42
the White House pharmacy as sort of their personal like medical supply
08:47
closet to just get whatever they on it without really having to
08:50
go through the process of like getting a diagnosis and tracking what
08:54
they were taking. And you know,
08:56
I think the opening line of the article really summed it up
09:00
really well, if you ever felt watching the Trump administration,
09:03
if you ever thought like,
09:04
oh my God, are these people high?
09:05
The answer might be.
09:06
Yes. The White House turned into Coachella.
09:11
Oh Lord have mercy.
09:14
Basically. So the Department of Defense,
09:16
it's the military that runs the White House medical office.
09:19
They made tons of recommendations on what needed to change how to
09:23
restructure the office because,
09:25
you know, it's not a real good thing if people in
09:28
the White House think they just have to sort of like their
09:30
personal little prescription drug market in the basement.
09:32
I I don't know if it's in the basement.
09:34
I've never been to one.
09:38
Oh my gosh. That's crazy.
09:42
Wild times, wild times.
09:45
But thank you so much Nikki.
09:47
We would love to have you back to cover that case in
09:50
April. So of course,
09:53
and I wanted to ask where can people find you?
09:55
So I'm obviously at Rolling stone.com.
09:58
That's where all my articles are,
09:59
are published and I am on,
10:01
on Twitter Threads blue Sky and all of that is at Nikki
10:06
MC R. Thank you Nikki.
10:09
Thank you so much.
10:10
Thank you so much for having me dude to think that like
10:16
the same person who had all of this happening while they were
10:21
president of the United States is now running for re election.
10:26
He just, I think he wants to be untouchable and he
10:28
wants everyone in the White House that supports him to be untouchable
10:31
I mean, not excuse me,
10:33
not the White House,
10:33
the Trap House. Yeah.
10:39
Moving on, moving on.