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Trump Administration/Executive Ethics

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Money & Influence 04.24.2024

Daily Beast: Trump’s New Legal Bills Are Hiding an $8 Million Mystery

Aaron Scherb, senior director of legislative affairs at good government watchdog Common Cause, agreed with Fischer’s assessment that the payments may violate reporting and corporate contribution laws. “By a legal sleight of hand, it appears that Trump world is trying to hide the true recipients of these donations,” Scherb told The Daily Beast. He noted that corporations aren’t allowed to donate directly to these committees, and that corporations can’t reimburse contributors. The payments, Scherb said, must be “thoroughly investigated to ensure that all entities and individuals are complying with the law.” “Shenanigans like this are reason #1000 why we need the DISCLOSE Act, which Senate Republicans have blocked at least five times in the last several years,” Scherb added.

Vanity Fair: Jack Smith’s One Job Is to Take Donald Trump to Trial Before the Election. (The Supreme Court May Not Let Him.)

One voting rights group, Common Cause, had the wherewithal to spell out, in no uncertain terms, that the justices are already tipping the scales in favor of Trump and that the public would be well within its right to view the justices as partisan hacks if they drag things out any further. “If this Court’s delay in disposing of this appeal has the result of preventing the case from going to trial prior to the election—or going to trial at all—it would give many Americans the sense that the Court, through its arbitrary and unexplained management of its own docket, has played partisan favorites in the midst of a heated presidential election,” the group wrote in a public filing.

Money & Influence 04.23.2024

“Democracy Scorecard” Tracks Lawmaker Support for Pro-Democracy Bills in 118th Congress

With 2024 congressional races in full swing, Common Cause is again tracking the positions of every Member of Congress on issues vital to the health of our democracy. For the fifth cycle in a row, Members of the House and Senate have received letters from Common Cause asking them to co-sponsor and support up to ten democracy reform bills. The letters inform Members that their voting and co-sponsorship record will be published in Common Cause’s “Democracy Scorecard,” which will be distributed to the organization’s 1.5 million members, as well as to state and national media, during the lead-up to Election Day.

Bloomberg: NY Court Will Publish Trump Criminal Trial Transcripts Online

The announcement comes three days after Common Cause New York, which advocates for election and ethics reform, and New York Focus, a nonprofit newsroom, called for the state court system to make the transcripts available, noting that public access is limited as New York is one of the only state court systems that charge the media and public for courtroom transcripts. “The longstanding issue of public access to court proceedings has been thrown into sharp relief by the Trump trial,” the organizations said Friday. They added, “During such a hotly contested and deeply polarized election season, and with public trust in democratic institutions at near-historic lows, the courts have an obligation to ensure the public knows the proceedings are fair and equal for everyone-including the former President.” The court’s decision is “a major victory for New Yorkers,” Common Cause said Monday, adding that it should be applied more broadly to other proceedings. “New Yorkers deserve access to the everyday court proceedings that impact them, which is why the state must join the vast majority of other judicial systems across the country and make written transcripts of all trials available to the public, and ultimately permit proceedings to be broadcast,” the organization said.

Raw Story: 'Favor Mr. Trump': Latest filing gives SCOTUS stern warning on presidential immunity case

Common Cause, a nonpartisan watchdog group, issued the warning Thursday in an amicus brief filed to the upcoming Supreme Court hearing that has brought special counsel Jack Smith’s election interference case to a standstill. “This Court is at serious risk of being perceived as attempting to influence the 2024 election in favor of Mr. Trump,” the group writes. “It should do everything possible now to avoid that impression, which would be highly detrimental to this Court’s reputation for neutrality and fairness. Time is of the essence.” Common Cause's 37-page brief condemns the nation’s highest court scheduling decisions they argue came to Trump’s legal rescue “against the public interest." Specifically, the group points to the Supreme Court’s speedy ruling on his 14th Amendment insurrectionist ban challenge — a ruling that allowed Trump to remain on Colorado’s ballot — and the scheduling of his presidential immunity hearing until April 25, the last day possible.

Washington Times: Defendants not named ‘Trump’ usually go to trial years after indictment

Meanwhile, the fair election advocacy group Common Cause filed a brief supporting Mr. Smith at the Supreme Court in the D.C. case over Mr. Trump's claim of absolute immunity, saying the justices must decide the issue swiftly so the trial can take place before the November election and, ironically, so politics don't appear to be at play. "The American people deserve a trial and a verdict on these serious charges before they go to the polls in November," said Virginia Kase Solomón, president of Common Cause. "The presumptive Republican presidential nominee stands criminally charged with conspiracy and obstruction stemming from his attempts to overturn the results of the 2020 election. It is critically important that the Supreme Court rule quickly, as it has in past presidential cases, so that justice can be rendered before Americans cast their ballots."

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