Never has a former U.S. president faced the specter of civil and criminal prosecution that lies before Donald J. Trump at this moment. Two of the most significant cases seek to bring down the man and his business empire. The unprecedented nature of these legal challenges is rife with political overtones as Trump heads back onto the political scene with a recent rally in Ohio and another set for Sarasota, FL, this weekend.
Vance and James – The Dynamic Duo
Two high-profile Democrats have been working like the Devil to unearth evidence of financial wrongdoing within the Trump Organization. Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, Jr. and New York’s Attorney General Letitia James have joined forces against Mr. Trump. James is an outspoken Democrat who has pursued the National Rifle Association hammer and tong. Vance – son of the man who served under Presidents Kennedy, Johnson, and Carter – has spent years going after Trump as District Attorney of Manhattan.
Meanwhile, after a lengthy legal battle, Vance got his hands on Trump’s taxes. He is using them as the basis for an investigation into potential crimes. This spring, it was widely reported that prosecutors were working hard on flipping Allen Weisselberg, chief financial officer of the Trump Organization. Despite Vance digging into Weisselberg’s personal financial records, it appears Trump’s longtime CFO refused to buckle.
Even with extensive public resources at their disposal, Vance and James have little to show for their efforts thus far. Today a prominent Washington newspaper — citing anonymous sources – states, “Vance has convened a grand jury in Manhattan to vote on potential indictments in the investigation, but so far, no person or entity connected to Trump has been charged. It remains possible that none will be.”
In a June 29 article, Politico reporter Betsy Woodruff Swan quoted Trump attorney Ronald Fischetti essentially asking “where’s the beef”:
“According to Fischetti, members of Vance’s team said they were considering bringing charges against the Trump Organization and its individual employees related to alleged failures to pay taxes on corporate benefits and perks. It has been widely reported that those perks included cars and apartments and appear to only involve a small number of executives.
“We asked, ‘Is there anything else?’” Fischetti told POLITICO. “They said, ‘No.’”
“It’s crazy that that’s all they had,” he added.”
This is not lost on Mr. Trump, who issued a pointed statement on his blog “The Desk of Donald Trump” last evening. “After hundreds of subpoenas, over 3 million pages of documents, 4 years of searching, dozens and dozens of interviews, and millions of dollars of taxpayer funds wasted, they continue to be “in search of a crime” and will do anything to frighten people into making up the stories or lies that they want but have been totally unable to get.”
AG James To The Rescue?
AG James has centered her investigation on allegations that the president’s company altered property values to avoid taxes. This legal avenue was pursued following the congressional testimony of the president’s former attorney, Michael Cohen. As Liberty Nation previously reported, Cohen “publicly admitted to lying about his former client to Congress and is currently serving a three-year sentence in his home for tax evasion and bank fraud.”
These are merely the most significant legal probes facing the former president. Others include four criminal inquiries into President Trump’s actions on Jan. 6. Another comes by way of the Fulton County, GA, District Attorney’s office into whether 45 attempted to interfere in that state’s 2020 presidential election. Several others are more personal: Mary Trump is suing her uncle for supposed inheritance fraud, Summer Zervos for defamation in connection with The Apprentice television program, and E. Jean Carroll for defamation involving “a rape allegation.”
In all, the former president is facing 14 possible legal actions. This tangled web of alleged civil and criminal wrongdoing comes on the heels of Trump’s most stalwart legal adviser, Rudy Giuliani, being suspended from practicing law in New York.
Just another coincidence, right? But make no mistake, if charges are filed against the former president or his business empire, it will be a political blow that will hurt him should he decide to run in 2024. And that, after all, appears to be the whole point.
Read more from Leesa K. Donner.