With my apologies to the poet EE Cummings: it’s the day of the accusation, and the world is muddy …
Do you feel as casual as I am? Maybe not. Perhaps you think the first indictments against the Trump organization, unsealed on Thursday, are a stampede. Maybe you think the 15 counts – including allegations of tax evasion, conspiracy, robbery, and false business records – aren’t a big deal. Nailing Trump’s CFO and the company itself for stuff like that might seem a bit trivial given the fascist stench that continues to escape the old guy.
But it always helps to remember that Al Capone was ultimately shot not for murder, but for unpaid taxes. These indictments are just the start. The New York grand jury has been sitting for six months, and the Manhattan district attorney, working with the state attorney general, has only begun to unroll his criminality evidence.
Certainly, he deserves much worse for being a Russian sidekick and for his incitement to violence (this latest crime against America is ongoing). And sure, his cultists will dismiss the indictments – the first ever against a former president of the United States – with their usual magical thinking: which proves he hasn’t done anything wrong is why he deserves to be. to be president again, so that he can drain this swamp ”, and so on.
But just look at all the potential collateral damage. A flurry of indictments in the summer and fall could seriously cripple the business he has bragged about for so long. Banks and other business partners may well be reluctant to lend money to, or to engage at all with, an outlaw group accused of committing financial crimes. Many banks may even be prohibited by laws and regulations from working with Trump.
Full-scale legal assault will also cost a bundle to defend, precisely when he needs the money most – while presumably running for president again.
Daniel Goldman, a former Assistant US Attorney who has sued Mafia families and white-collar crooks, tweeted the other day: “I can’t stress enough how devastating an indictment would be for the Trump Org. . Every lender would call their loans and no way Trump Org can pay them all, which would likely result in bankruptcy ”- because, according to a 2020 Forbes magazine report, the company already has at least $ 1 billion in debt.
Let’s not forget that this whole investigation began when Trump was exposed for smuggling money to two women during the 2016 presidential campaign. His personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, went to jail for it. If Trump hadn’t been such a problem in this episode, Manhattan DA Cyrus Vance might never have launched (and expanded) his financial investigation, nor would he have researched Trump’s tax records – winner. twice in the United States Supreme Court.
Witnesses from inside his crime scene are now ready to testify as to how the organization has long embarked on widespread tampering and I would even wait impatiently for Trump to explain how things his company does. ” are common practice throughout the American business community and by no means a crime. ” That’s what he said earlier this week in his latest propaganda banner; let us listen to his lawyers plead this in court. Indeed, four prominent legal experts concluded in a new report that “Trump runs a serious risk of being indicted.
These legal experts recognize, as I did earlier, that some people “will perceive a politicization in any criminal or coercive action that may be taken” against Trump and his company. However, “as key law enforcement officials in the region where Trump has focused his business relationships for decades (the Manhattan Attorney General and the State Attorney General) bear the greatest public responsibility for the integrity of the law enforcement process, as it affects almost everyone. the transactions apparently involved. Ultimately, they must choose between taking action or leaving the actions of Trump and those associated with him beyond public responsibility … Although extreme caution should be exercised before prosecuting top politicians. plan and their associates, in principle, the law also applies to the prince. and the poor too.
I am skeptical that Trump will ever be jailed. But it would be a measure of justice if the prince became a poor man.
Dick Polman is a seasoned national political columnist based in Philadelphia.