Norm Eisen, who is a former White House special counsel for Ethics and Government Reform, accused Donald Trump’s campaign of wire fraud on Friday evening, as reported by Raw Story. Eisen made the accusation on Twitter in response to former Obama White House Director of Communications Jennifer Palmieri, who posted a text message allegedly from the president’s campaign — Donald Trump Jr., in particular.
The message, which accused Palmieri of being the only person out of a hundred “patriots” to refuse an invitation to join the “Trump 100 Club,” also included a link to the Republican fundraising site WinRed.
Palmieri suggested that the “threatening” text was one of several others that she received. In addition, others took to social media to share identical text messages they received from the Trump campaign.
“This is 18 USC 1343 wire fraud by Trump campaign,” Eisen wrote in response to Palmieri. “No way the other 99 really replied, so all elements are met.”
More threatening fundraising texts from Don Jr. pic.twitter.com/LNLnU6ZA3k
— Jennifer Palmieri (@jmpalmieri) June 19, 2020
Eisen noted that the requirements for wire fraud are: “a scheme to defraud,” “intent to defraud,” and “foreseeable & actual use of interstate wire comms.” According to Eisen, Attorney General William Barr, a close Trump ally, is unlikely to investigate the purported crimes. However, he claimed that states could launch their own investigations under “analogous state crimes.”
“These are the kinds of fraudulent marketing techniques that Trump has used since the beginning of his career, and that led to outcomes like the huge Trump U. fraud settlement the shuttering of his charity by NY State.”
Eisen is referring to the $25 million settlement the president reached with the students of Trump University, which New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman called a “sham university,” per USA Today. Although he previously refused to settle, he changed course after winning the 2016 election and agreed to pay disgruntled students so long as he was allowed to admit no wrongdoing. According to USA Today, Trump University was not a real educational institution but a series of for-profit seminars. Former students of the program involved in the lawsuit claimed that the course falsely claimed to teach real estate success.
Last month, CNN reported that a federal judge allowed a lawsuit to proceed against Trump and his three eldest children for allegedly engaging in a fraudulent marketing scheme that preyed on investors. According to the lawsuit, the Trumps used The Celebrity Apprentice and other promotions to encourage investment in ACN Opportunity and defraud “economically marginalized people.” Per CNN, the Trump family plans to appeal the lawsuit.