Posted by: Bruce Allen | October 15, 2018

Imagine Former President Trump in Orange

© Bruce Allen    October 15, 2018 

[This piece is based upon the recent 13,000 word, exhaustively-documented article in the New York Times detailing tax fraud and other ongoing criminal enterprises at The Trump Corporation. The article has been extensively reported on, but I have not read it. The same information shows up in all of the news reports. I trust my understanding, which follows, is pretty close.] 

Trump Family in Jail

Michael Avenatti, the high-profile attorney for Stormy Daniels and others, predicted last week that Donald Trump Jr. will find himself facing prosecution and imprisonment before the end of the year. In his position, actively lobbying for a Democratic presidential nomination, such a prediction would be politically, if not completely, reckless, given the fact that it’s mid-October already and Junior hasn’t even been indicted. So either Avenatti has inside information or he is no longer to be trusted. But I dissemble.

The story is about Mario Cuomo, the People of New York, and the attorneys-general in the states where the alleged frauds, both historic and ongoing, were to have taken place. The People of New York, embodied in Mr. Cuomo, have an intense interest in the nature and scope of the illegal activities described by the Times, much more than as a simple matter of historical record. The statute of limitations runs six years from the last instance of fraud or concealment, i.e., the last time a Trump or Kushner lied about the family business.

Hmmm. The last time a Trump lied about not violating the Emoluments Clause. The last time a Trump profited from the Presidency—Ivanka’s licensing deals in Asia come to mind, as do Kushner’s recent bank loans on his worthless skyscraper. And according to the report, with interest and penalties the New York piece of the pie could be in the hundreds of millions of dollars. Serious jelly. As a civilian, once convicted of tax fraud, the other six or eight states would file briefs requesting their piece of the action in lieu of trial. Interest rates are rising; forfeitures would loom.

Weisselberg has it all and the documents to back it up. Open season on tax records going back 40 years. And one would be shocked if some of the business in Russia was not financed by the murdering oligarch buddies of Vlad the Impaler. Which would explain why Trump acts as if Putin is blackmailing him; Putin is blackmailing him. The oligarchs are amused by remarkable public acts of revenge. Killing a former U.S. president with Secret Service protection who stiffed them for hundreds of millions of dollars as his empire came crashing down would be right up their alley.

The New York charges will likely involve both criminal and civil actions. Swallowing hard and assuming someone like Mike Pence succeeds Trump in the White House, either in 2024 or even 2020, as President he would be unable to commute a sentence imposed by a state criminal court or courts. Trump’s continuing references to Al Capone over his career suggest, to me, that he knew he’d go down one day, and it would be at the hands of the IRS, backed up by the FBI and the DOJ. Same as Capone. Trump’s successor can call off the IRS, but the states will be a different matter.

Even if Trump were able to keep this ton of prosecutorial bricks from falling on him until 2025, his continuing need to lie about the case— “all legal, all well-documented”—will keep the statute of limitations from running out. Once he is a former president, be it 2021 or 2025, he will almost certainly face immediate prosecution from the People of New York, whom we applaud.

Add this to the list of nightmares confronting Donald Trump. His economic, trade and financial policies, as articulated and implemented by hosers Steven “The Foreclosure King” Mnuchin and Larry “Zero for the Century” Kudlow, are delivering us into higher interest rates, job losses, and, according to the yield curve on short-term vs. long-term government bonds, a steep recession arriving well in time for the 2020 election campaign, i.e., next year. There’s the whole Mueller thing and the dozens of indictments likely residing therein. There’s Paul Manafort and Michael Cohen and Michael Flynn protecting his own son. There’s Trump’s intuitive foreign policy driving the weaker nations of the world into the welcoming arms of Iran, Russia and China. There’s the whole “getting played” by Kim Jong Un and his inscrutable “yes means no” persona, which Trump trusts. Now there’s Saudi Arabia.

There’s Michael Avenatti and Tom Steyer. There’s a horde of slavering Democrats waiting to assume the gavels in the House and come at him like starving zombies, waving subpoenas, in January of 2019. There’s 12 years to Thermageddon and the possibility that Trump will be President for six of those years, stumbling his way to oblivion and taking us with him. From a legal perspective, this looks like the building of an immense logjam, one which could let loose at any moment in any number of places. At least one of those moments will arrive by November 6th.

One hopes it will be the first of many.

 

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