A new lawsuit filed today accuses President Trump and his children of “a pattern of racketeering activity” in a scheme that ” involve[d] systematic fraud that spanned more than a decade, involved multiple Trump businesses and caused tremendous harm to thousands of hardworking Americans.”
The 160-page lawsuit details the Trump family’s involvement in three businesses that preyed their victims: the telecom company ACN, the Trump Network, a multi-level marketing scheme hawking vitamins, and the Trump Institute, high-priced, low-information real estate seminars.
The victims of the scheme have all the hallmarks of the people Donald Trump exploits: they were financially struggling and unsophisticated investors easily conned by Trump’s claims that investment in the businesses would be “risk-free” and draw in by glamorous lifestyle Trump pitched.
And some of the stories are heartbreaking.
Among those exploited in the scheme were people who were never told that Trump was being paid to promote the ventures and even a homeless man who believed that the courses would give him a sustainable future.
And the victims of the Trump family scams included Montanans. ACN was such a scam that the Montana Commissioner of Securities and Insurance issued a cease-and-desist order to keep the company from doing business in Montana after the office found that Montanans paid over $234,000 in fees to ACN while only receiving $16,000 in compensation:
And anyone tempted to argue that there is no way President Trump could possibly exploit uneducated, unsophisticated investors or clients needs to look back to the Times article, which notes that fraud is at the core of his business practice.
The suit is not the first to accuse Mr. Trump of fraud. Shortly after his election in November 2016, he agreed to pay $25 million to settle a series of lawsuits, including one by New York State’s attorney general, that alleged unscrupulous practices by Trump University, another venture that claimed to sell access to his real estate secrets. Mr. Trump settled without acknowledging fault or liability, his lawyer said at the time.
And in June, the New York attorney general’s office filed a lawsuit seeking to dissolve the Donald J. Trump Foundation, claiming the charity had engaged in self-dealing and other violations. The foundation’s lawyers called the suit a political attack.
Though you’d never guess it from his calendar or his workload, Matt Rosendale is currently employed as the head as the Commissioner of Securities and Insurance in Montana. Had he ever wandered down to his office in the past two years, he almost certainly could have found the case files on ACN and asked the Trump family to explain why they defrauded Montanans. Since President Trump or his adulterous son (also named in the lawsuit) have come to Montana roughly 93 times in the past few months, perhaps Mr. Rosendale could have asked for an explanation.
But the candidate for the Senate who can’t think of a single policy of the President’s he opposes, hasn’t done that. Instead, he’s gone all-in, promising to support Trump’s agenda 100% in Washington if elected.
This lawsuit and the many like it, along with the pattern of lies and greed Trump has brought to the Oval Office and the American people make it totally clear that Trump’s only agenda is Trump: not America, and certainly not Montana.
And that’s why Montana cannot afford to elect someone who will refuse to check Trump’s rapacious avarice and undying contempt for the American people. We cannot afford to elect Matt Rosendale.