Report: Prosecutors Are Getting Closer to Criminally Charging Donald Trump


    Report: Prosecutors Are Getting Closer to Criminally Charging Donald Trump

    Americans have trouble agreeing on most things, but one matter that’s brought millions of people together of late is the shared fantasy of seeing Donald Trump actually suffer consequences for the first time in his life and live out his twilight years in prison, deprived of creature comforts like Diet Coke, bronzer, and a cell phone on which to call into Fox News—contraband Eric or Don Jr. would have to smuggle in on visiting day hidden in their ass cheeks. (And let’s be honest, they’d shove that flip phone up their orifices in a heartbeat, probably fighting over which one of them got to do with honors.) At this point, though, despite four (4!) separate criminal investigations into Trump senior, we don’t actually know if he will go to prison—but it‘s a prospect that just got more likely.

    The Washington Post reports that the Manhattan district attorney’s office has assembled a grand jury that is expected to decide whether to indict Donald Trump, his company, or Trump Organization executives, a move experts say indicates that prosecutors believe they have evidence of a crime. The panel was recently convened and will hear evidence three days a week for six months. The development suggests District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr.’s probe has “reached an advance stage” after more than two years. Per the Post:

    Vance’s investigation is expansive, according to people familiar with the probe and public disclosures made during related litigation. His investigators are scrutinizing Trump’s business practices before he was president, including whether the value of specific properties in the Trump Organization’s real estate portfolio were manipulated in a way that defrauded banks and insurance companies, and if any tax benefits were obtained illegally through unscrupulous asset valuation. The district attorney also is examining the compensation provided to top Trump Organization executives, people familiar with the matter have said…. Vance’s criminal investigation began in 2018, after [former Trump attorney Michael] Cohen pleaded guilty to charges stemming from the hush-money payoffs, made in the last days of the 2016 campaign to women who said they had affairs with Trump years earlier—claims the former president denies. Vance’s investigation soon expanded, as the district attorney sought to examine millions of pages of Trump’s tax records.

    Separately, New York Attorney General Letitia James (D) began a civil investigation of the Trump Organization in 2019 prompted by Cohen’s testimony to Congress, where he said Trump had misled lenders and taxing authorities with manipulated valuations of his assets. Asset values were inflated at times when the company was seeking favorable loan interest rates and were deflated to reduce tax liability, Cohen has alleged. He has been interviewed extensively by Vance’s team, which has added a decorated former federal prosecutor, Mark F. Pomerantz, to help with the Trump case.

    Rebecca Roiphe, a former assistant district attorney, told the Post that the recent step by Vance‘s office to convene a long-term grand jury shows the investigation has gotten to the point where prosecutors will show the jury evidence and witnesses and potentially ask them to consider charges. According to Roiphe, it is unlikely that the district attorney would have taken that step without believing they have evidence to show someone committed a crime. “The prosecutors are convinced they have a case. That’s at least how I read it,” Roiphe said.

    A spokesman for Trump and an attorney for the Trump Organization did not respond to the Post’s requests for comment. Earlier this month, James’s office said its investigation into Trump was now criminal in nature, and that they are also criminally investigating longtime Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg, upping the chances he may flip and testify against the ex-president.

    Published at Tue, 25 May 2021 23:16:25 +0000

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