The week is just starting and it is already a bad one for former U.S. President Donald Trump. First up, FINE TUNED FINANCE reports, "Trump’s lawsuit against Orbis Business Intelligence has been dismissed by a UK court. The judge concluded that there was 'no compelling reason' to proceed with a trial. In the legal action, Trump had alleged that the intelligence agency, established by a former spy, violated British Data Protection laws in its reporting of the former President’s 'compromising relationship' with Russia."
In more bad news, a loan that Mr. Trump has claimed -- including on legal documents -- is now getting attention. Gabriella Ferrigine (SALON) reports:
MSNBC legal analyst Lisa Rubin warned of potential new criminal charges for Donald Trump after a court-appointed monitor overseeing his New York fraud case found that the former president's financial disclosures contained "certain deficiencies."
Former federal judge Barbara Jones wrote in a 12-page letter that she had identified "certain deficiencies in the financial information that I have reviewed, including disclosures that are either incomplete, present results inconsistently, and/or contain errors," adding in a footnote that a $48 million loan Trump claimed to owe to one of his companies did not exist. Rubin described how the letter "points to improprieties in Trump's financial statements."
"One of the things that it points to, and maybe the thing that's most troubling about it, is for years it's been understood that one of the business entities in the Trump Organization loaned former president Trump personally $48 million," she said. "According to Judge Jones in a footnote in this letter, she could never find, no matter how many times she asked, documentation of that loan and was later told, essentially, that the loan didn't exist."
Rubin added that the "Trump organization lawyers, they refute that. They say the loan did exist and what we did was give Judge Jones an intra-company memo telling her that debt had been extinguished. But I've looked at that memo from December 2023: it is a memo to the file, so nobody even had the guts to sign it essentially. It just says that the debt has been extinguished. There is still, to this day, no documentation that the loan existed."
More problems. His challenger Nikki Haley appeared on SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE over the weekend and CNN notes:
GOP presidential candidate Nikki Haley made a surprise appearance on “Saturday Night Live” over the weekend, taking part in a skit in which she pressed “Donald Trump” on some vitally important issues.
Haley’s questions had to do with the refusal by the real-life former president — not the actor who plays him brilliantly on the comedy skit show — to debate her. And she reprised her frequent suggestions from the campaign trail that the 77-year-old president might be suffering cognitive decline.
Both issues raise red flags about Trump that all of us, from journalists to average Americans, should be demanding answers about.
I’d argue that no one man — not even the current frontrunner for the GOP nomination — should be above the law.
What happens if Trump loses again? Will the high court send the message that he is free to stir up another insurrection?
If all the guardians of democracy look the other way, there will be nothing to stop him from once again trying to impose authoritarian rule over the nation with violence.
Justices John Roberts, Clarence Thomas, Sam Alito, Neil Gorsuch, Amy Coney Barrett and Brett Kavanaugh make up the six-member, conservative majority on the court. Three of them were nominated by Trump.
Lady and gentlemen, conservatives on the court, this is your moment to reaffirm that America is a nation of laws, and those laws, beginning with the Constitution, apply to all men and women.
Yesterday, Mr. Trump went on FOX NEWS to talk about who he might pick for his running mate if he is the GOP presidential nominee. He named Senator Tim Scott and Governor Kristi Noem -- South Dakota governor. Guess that means U.S. House Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene is not on the sort list anymore.
This is C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot" for today:
"The partnership is based on a request from the Japan's defence ministry for the purpose of importing defence equipment for the Self-Defense Forces necessary for Japan's security, and is not in any way related to the current conflict between Israel and Palestine," Hachimura told an earnings press conference.
"Taking into consideration the International Court of Justice's order on January 26, and that the Japanese government supports the role of the Court, we have already suspended new activities related to the MOU, and plan to end the MOU by the end of February," he said.
The Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS) says that hundreds of people who had been taking shelter at its headquarters in Khan Younis and the nearby Al-Amal hospital have begun to leave.
On Friday, the aid group called for a humanitarian corridor to help evacuate those wounded and wishing to leave Al-Amal Hospital in Khan Younis where it said Israeli tanks were “firing live ammunition” and four people had been killed.
Alarms have been raised for days over the hospital as a site of “relentless bombing and direct gunfire,” PRCS said in a news release, with the group also sayings its medical workers were living in a “state of terror and panic.”
The aid group said on Monday: “This comes after the International Committee of the Red Cross informed the PRCS of the occupation's approval to provide a safe passage, allowing the displaced individuals to exit Al-Amal Hospital and the PRCS's headquarters towards the Mawasi area in Khan Younis.”
“Hundreds of displaced individuals have begun leaving the PRCS's headquarters and Al-Amal Hospital after being besieged for over two weeks,” it added.
At the same time, the PRCS said the Israeli military had taken the General Manager of Al-Amal Hospital, Dr. Haider Al-Qaddura, and the hospital's Administrative Director, Maher Atallah, “to an unknown location.” CNN has reached out to the IDF for comment on whether the two officials have been detained.
The Royal Jordanian Air Force worked with the Dutch Air Force Sunday to successfully airdrop aid and medical supplies twice in the vicinity of the Jordanian field hospital in northern Gaza, according to officials in both countries.
The drop included humanitarian and medical supplies, delivered using GPS-guided parachutes, according to a statement from the Jordanian Armed Forces Sunday.
The Dutch Ministry of Defense confirmed the successful humanitarian mission, and chef José Andrés, founder of the NGO World Central Kitchen, said he was also part of the effort.
The Hamas-run Health Ministry in Gaza said on Saturday that 107 people were killed over the past 24 hours, bringing the wartime total to 27,238, with more than 66,000 people have been wounded.
Scotland Yard estimated around 10,000 demonstrators had marched through the West End of London on Saturday, with the crowd doubling to 20,000 for the speeches in Whitehall.
Demonstrators carried banners which read “end the killing” that were accompanied by harrowing images of the bloodshed since the conflicted erupted.
Other banners declared “free the children”, “freedom to Palestine” and “Boycott Israel”.
At least 200,000 people marched for Palestine in London on Saturday, a sign of the continuing mass anger against Israel’s genocidal assault in Gaza. Some speakers at the march rally said it was 250,000.
At the same time around 10,000 people were on the streets in Edinburgh (see below). It was the biggest march in the city since the start of the Israeli assault on Gaza.
In London, Amara, a young Muslim woman from Tower Hamlets, told Socialist Worker, “Israel needs to give Palestine its land back. And those who were forced to leave Palestine have to be allowed back.
“Just like the British Empire was forced to give land back—the Israeli state has to do the same. It’s not theirs to keep.”
Marchers chanted, “Rishi Sunak you can’t hide, we charge you with genocide,” and, “Keir Starmer, you can’t hide, you support a genocide.”
Farah, who lives in London but is from Iraq, said, “I have no words for what Israel is doing except genocide. But I’m not shocked at the response from the West, or Arab leaders. They care about their own interests.”
Safa and Meenal from west London said, “Cutting Unrwa aid funding is unacceptable and the accusations against it are bullshit—respect to Spain for actually upping their funding. The labelling of Houthis as terrorists is ridiculous—the British and US armies are two of the world’s biggest terrorist organisations.
“Police trying to scare people into silence and off the streets won’t work. We know what we’re standing for, everyone protesting today is on the right side of history.”
Sophie from Northampton said, “In Yemen the Houthis are standing up for what’s right, Britain needs to stop bombing them.”
The police were noticeably more aggressive than previously on the demonstration. They had issued a ban on face coverings—a studied insult to Muslim women—in advance. They arrested a protester for this at one point.
And later they pushed into the Socialist Worker Student Society (SWSS) section of the march, seized the lead banner with its slogan, “Victory to the resistance”—but then returned it.
There were at least 31 trade union banners in the special section of the march, and many others sprinkled throughout the rest of the demonstration.
The workplace and student day of action on Wednesday, 7 February, is now a chance to deepen the movement among workers and students. Pete from King’s College London UCU union branch said, “We need more direct action targeted at the arms industry.”
On 7 February, he said, “We are doing a staff and student lunchtime walkout for Palestine.”
Thousands of people gathered in France, Switzerland, and Germany on Saturday to call for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza.
In Paris, hundreds of protesters, carrying Palestinian and South African flags, denounced the ongoing Israeli attacks on Gaza. Criticising the French president for “complicity” in Israel’s attacks on Palestinians, the protesters urged the government to work towards peace in the Middle East.
In Geneva, thousands marched through the city centre in support of the people of Gaza. In Berlin, 2,000 Palestinian supporters rallied at Potsdamer Platz against the attacks.
More rallies are planned across the world on Sunday to call for an end to the war that has seen more than 27,000 Palestinians killed by Israeli attacks on Gaza since October 7.