We have been discussing the serious allegations against Donald Trump’s charitable foundation, which have been used in transactions that are linked to Trump’s businesses rather than charities. — which has been sustained for years by donors outside the Trump family — has never obtained the certification that New York requires before charities can solicit money from the public, according to the state attorney general’s office. Now, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman (D) has made the surprising allegation that the Donald J. Trump Foundation does not have the necessary registration and annual audit to operate as a large foundation. I have been critical of Schneiderman in his investigation of climate change skeptics. However, the failure to obtain this necessary registration and comply with basic auditing is quite surprising. Once again, I am unclear how any attorneys representing Trump could continue to maintain the charity without satisfying such basic legal requirements, particularly one (the auditing) designed to prevent the very type of intermingling of funds that been raised by critics.
Top women chess players are considering a boycott in the face of a decision by the World Chess Federation (or “Fide”) to hold the world championship in Iran where female grandmasters will be required to play in hijabs to avoid arrest by the Islamic morality police. It is another example of an international organization disregarding the interests of competitors in cutting deals with countries like Iran. Not only is Iran an authoritarian theocracy, but the country denies women, journalists, political dissidents and others basic rights. One would think that a condition of being considered as host would be a guarantee that competitors will be afforded their human rights.
I recently wrote a column on FBI investigation into the Clinton email scandal and revised my view as to the handling of the investigation in light of the five immunity deals handed out by the Justice Department. I had previously noted that FBI Director James Comey was within accepted lines of prosecutorial discretion in declining criminal charges, even though I believed that such charges could have been brought. However, the news of the immunity deals (and particularly the deal given top ranking Clinton aide Cheryl Mills) was baffling and those deals seriously undermined the ability to bring criminal charges in my view. Now, Comey has testified before both the Senate and the House. His answers only magnified concerns over the impact and even the intent of granting immunity to those most at risk of criminal charges.
The University of Michigan this week have issued a new directive to faculty that they must accommodate students in their preferred pronouns, including “they” and “ze.” Those pronouns will appear on class lists and professors are told to acknowledge any mistaken pronoun use and correct the mistake as “one of the most basic ways to show your respect for their identity and to cultivate an environment that respects all gender identities.” That may not sit well with faculty who have deep-seated objections to the use of pronouns like “they” to refer to a single person as a matter of personal, religious, or intellectual matter. However, the university added that “If there were a persistent pattern of ignoring a student’s preference, we would address that as a performance matter.” One student has already registered his protest by changing his pronoun to “His Majesty.”
Hillary Clinton’s position on the email scandal has repeatedly changed from its first emergence in the presidential campaign from denial of bad judgment to the denial of the use of the private server for any classified information to the denial of any material “marked” as classified to the denial of seeing or understanding classified markings. However, one claim has remained unchanged. Clinton has maintained that she and her staff have “cooperated fully” with investigators. That claim was previously shown to be untrue when it was revealed that neither Clinton nor her staff would agree to speak with State Department investigators even though they said that such interviews were needed to determine the scope any damage to national security or security breaches. Now, however, the lack of cooperation has been put into sharper relief with the testimony of FBI Director James B. Comey this week. My column this week raised serious misgivings over the handling of the investigation with the disclosure of five immunity grants by the Justice Department, including one given to Cheryl Mills. Those misgivings were raised with Comey before the United States Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee where Comey revealed the extent to which Clinton aides refused to cooperate, including an assertion of the privilege against self-incrimination raised before answering questions about a key telephone conference conversation before the infamous “bleaching” over email records being sought by Congress. Comey testifies today before the House Oversight Committee. I am currently scheduled to discuss these issues tonight on the O’Reilly Factor.
The controversy over the death of Keith Lamont Scott continues to get more complicated. While the family insisted that Scott was unarmed, that now appears false. Not only was a gun found at the scene but it reportedly had his DNA and fingerprints on it. Now, reports now indicate that Scott’s gun was stolen and bought illegally from the thief. In the meantime, however, protesters are now calling for the resignation of the mayor and the police chief in Charlotte.
China is a land of gross contradictions and crippling ironies from its “Red Aristocracy” to its billionaire communists to its luxury lifestyles for party members. However, perhaps the greatest irony is how the “Worker’s Paradise” regularly arrests those who advocate workers rights. The latest such case involves Zeng Feiyang, director of the labor rights group the Panyu Workers’ Center and his colleagues Tang Huanxing and Zhu Xiaomei. Their crime was tied to their successful advocacy for better worker wages and benefits. After the workers were given the benefits, the government arrested the three advocates.