After the exit of the Trump brood from the hallowed halls of government power, smart money was always on when – not if – the long arm of the law would finally catch up to them.
For those of us who knew the background of Donald Trump before he ascended to the presidency, we were aware of the fact that he was the epitome of a crooked Manhattan businessman. He was the garish caricature of 80s excess and greed.
Had he stayed in his lane, maybe stuck to reality TV, today’s news would likely be quite different. He would have likely been grappling with yet, another bankruptcy. He may have been able to keep his faux charity and managed to bilk unsuspecting socialites into funding his projects further, through their donations. Whatever the outcome, it would have been much safer and wiser to keep his dealings as low key as possible.
Did I mention “wise”?
I did, but we’re talking about Donald Trump – literally the dumbest, most corrupt individual to ever hold public office, much less, the presidency.
So, the latest breaking news has not just Donald J. Trump, but his entire, parasitical family of grifters in the hot seat.
For the years of the Trump presidency, he was protected by “presidential immunity.” It appeared he was getting away with the kind of crimes that would have put most of us behind bars, by now. All of that is not unique to the Trump presidency, in that all too often, there seems to be different rules for politicians, than any other citizen. With that being said, Donald Trump went out of his way to insult, divide, and bend the system to his benefit. He was clumsy and ham-handed in his efforts, appealing to our geopolitical foes, while pushing away our allies.
He also, by his very nature, dredged the national gutters, building up an army of the worst, most intellectually-barren, uncivil cretins to act as his personal guardians. We saw the culmination of those efforts on January 6, 2021, when they converged on the Capitol and attempted to overthrow our government, in order to install Donald Trump as king.
Donald Trump would not go away quietly, as the one-term loser and cautionary reminder of how fragile our freedoms are. Now, his scheming and glory-hunting have brought the hounds of justice to his door.
On Tuesday, as the hours of the day waned, New York Attorney General Letitia James announced that what began as a civil investigation into Trump and his business practices has now morphed into a criminal case.
The investigation began in 2019 and centered on testimony from Trump’s former personal attorney and “fixer,” Michael Cohen.
Cohen testified before Congress as to the Trump Organization’s practice of inflating the value of assets, for insurance purposes, and in order to secure loans. When it came to taxes, however, the value was mysteriously downplayed.
And now, @NewYorkStateAG is conducting a CRIMINAL investigation of Trump Org.
Cohen served as a loyal foot soldier for Donald Trump for over a decade, but when he was no longer useful, Trump was more than happy to turn his back and toss him under the bus.
Cohen was sentenced to three years in prison in 2018 for tax evasion and campaign finance reform violations – the same things Donald Trump has been accused of.
Since that time, Cohen has had an awakening, and has written a book about his time as Trump’s attorney, and also hosts a successful podcast. He has predicted this turn of events for the Trump family, and it is quite likely that his testimony will be revisited often in the ongoing investigation into Trump’s crimes.
Speaking to CNN on Tuesday, the New York AG’s office stated:
“We have informed the Trump Organization that our investigation into the organization is no longer purely civil in nature. We are now actively investigating the Trump Organization in a criminal capacity, along with the Manhattan DA,” James’ spokesman Fabien Levy told CNN. “We have no additional comment.”
So what does that mean?
In a civil case, the Trump Organization would be faced with lawsuits and fines. That’s pretty much the cost of doing business on the average, it would seem, as it pertains to big companies.
To be clear, the civil case is still ongoing. However, by joining with the Manhattan District Attorney, Cy Vance, and elevating their investigation to a criminal case, the stakes have been raised, considerably. Trump and his progeny could see the inside of a jail cell, at some point.
In an increasingly serious sign for former President Donald Trump, the attorney general’s office is working with the Manhattan district attorney’s office, whose wide-sweeping probe into the Trump Organization has looked into whether the company misled lenders and insurance companies about the value of properties and whether it paid the appropriate taxes. James’ notification to the organization brings a new level of potential legal risk to the former President, with the attorney general now able to seek criminal penalties as part of the probe.
And of course, Donald Trump is doing what Donald Trump does best: He’s whining and playing the victim.
“There is nothing more corrupt than an investigation that is in desperate search of a crime. But, make no mistake, that is exactly what is happening here,” he said in a lengthy statement.
Well, I can think of something more corrupt…
A person familiar with the investigation said a couple of investigators with the New York attorney general’s office, who are steeped in knowledge about the Trump Organization, have joined the district attorney’s team. A different person familiar with the matter said the New York attorney general is still conducting a civil investigation.
In other words, they’re not playing around. They’re building a case with some meat on its bones, and all of Trump’s flailing and mewling won’t get him out of this one.
His real problem is finding competent legal help. Years of stiffing lawyers and other creditors has left him with few options. Even Rudy Giuliani is said to be baffled and dazed, waiting for payment for his services and getting the shaft.
Trump traveled this road for years, and it worked for him, right up to the point that he put his life under the white-hot spotlight of the presidency.
Several Trump Organization properties’ financial dealings are being scrutinized as part of the investigation, including Seven Springs Estate in Westchester County, New York; 40 Wall Street, a building in Lower Manhattan; Trump International Hotel and Tower Chicago; and Trump National Golf Club in Los Angeles.
To date, his son, Eric Trump, his tax attorney, Sheri Dillon, and his Chief Financial Officer, Allen Weisselberg, have been deposed. Dillon declined to answer certain questions, but given the trajectory of the investigation, she likely did not help her client with her refusals.
Before this all comes to an end, we can believe that more dirt is forthcoming. The twice-impeached, one-term president will find that his hubris was his undoing. We, as a society, can only hope that with his imprisonment, the age of MAGA recedes back into the sewer that spewed it forth, never to stain our republic again.