Will trump be indicted

Will trump be indicted DEFAULT

Why the Law Is Strong Enough to Take On Donald Trump

At the same time, Mr. Garland so far has avoided narrower actions personally targeting Mr. Trump that would put the Biden administration in direct public conflict with him. Possible federal cases that for now at least seem not to be on Mr. Garland’s agenda include prosecution with respect to the evidence of obstruction of justice laid out in the Mueller Report; campaign finance violations, for which Michael Cohen, Mr. Trump’s onetime attorney, was criminally charged; and allegations of interference in the 2020 election, including Mr. Trump’s shocking call to the Georgia secretary of state pressuring him to “find 11,780 votes” as well as Mr. Trump’s role in setting off the insurrection.

We believe the criticisms that have been raised regarding Mr. Garland’s judicious approach to investigating Mr. Trump are misplaced. How does one administer justice without inviting cynical allegations of political motivation, given the history of the past four years, and while Mr. Trump persists in his efforts to undermine our democracy? The answer is carefully, by the exercise of restraint, and by focusing the use of power on the most critical problems that must be addressed most urgently. Mr. Garland has striven not to make Mr. Trump himself the explicit focus of his efforts, and so to avoid the swirl of controversy that surrounds the former president.

Whatever path the attorney general may find appropriate in the future, for now America is fortunate to have strong institutional players in the states and localities. And it’s not just the Manhattan district attorney, Cyrus Vance Jr., and the New York attorney general, Letitia James. Fani Willis, the district attorney of Fulton County, Ga., is also investigating Mr. Trump and his allies’ startling behavior under her state’s criminal law. As Mr. Vance did, she has brought in an outside expert and is pressing forward in a low-key but serious fashion.

For these state and local officials, the political considerations obviously weigh differently than they do for the Biden administration. There are certainly people who will perceive politics behindany state investigation, but Mr. Vance and Ms. Willis do not work for Mr. Trump’s direct electoral adversary. And in Mr. Vance’s case, as the lead law enforcement official in the locale where Mr. Trump has for decades centered his business dealings, his office bears the greatest public responsibility for the integrity of the law enforcement process. We believe that the ability of state authorities to engage on these issues is a great strength of our federal system.

The ultimate value of the district attorney’s investigation is simple: accountability. While the ultimate question of guilt or innocence will be left to a state judge and a jury, the investigation upholds the most fundamental precept of American governance: As Mr. Vance has put it, “no one — not even a president — is above the law.”

Donald Ayer, a former U.S. attorney in the Reagan administration and deputy attorney general in the George H.W. Bush administration, is an adjunct professor at Georgetown Law. Norman Eisen, a senior fellow at Brookings, was President Barack Obama’s ethics czar and ambassador to the Czech Republic, and served as special counsel to the House Judiciary Committee during the first Trump impeachment. E. Danya Perry, a former deputy attorney general for the State of New York and former assistant U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, is a co-founder of Perry Guha. They are among the authors of “New York State’s Trump Investigation.”

Sours: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/07/01/opinion/trump-organization-indictment-charges.html

More indictments expected in Trump Organization tax case as judge plans summer 2022 trial

In all, Weisselberg alone received about $1.76 million worth of "indirect compensation," the indictment said.

The Trump Organization, Trump Payroll and Weisselberg, who has worked for the former president and his family for more than four decades, in July pleaded not guilty to the charges, which do not include Donald Trump himself.

"We have studied the indictment and it is full of unsupported and flawed factual and legal assertions regarding Allen Weisselberg. We look forward to challenging those assertions in court," Weisselberg attorneys Skarlatos and Mary Mulligan said in a statement to NBC.

In court Monday morning, Weisselberg's lawyers told Merchan they have received roughly 6 million pages of materials as part of the evidence-gathering phase of the case, a deluge that forces them to review 30,000 pages a day, seven days a week, NBC reported.

A prosecutor countered that Weisselberg "is no stranger to these documents, he has been with the Trump Org for 35 years," according to NBC.

— CNBC's Dan Mangan contributed to this report.

Sours: https://www.cnbc.com/2021/09/20/more-indictments-expected-in-trump-org-tax-case-as-judge-plans-summer-2022-trial.html
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Trump CFO's lawyer says he suspects more indictments on way

NEW YORK -- A lawyer for Donald Trump’s indicted corporate finance chief told a judge Monday he has “strong reason to believe” more indictments are coming in an ongoing New York investigation into the former president’s real estate empire.

Lawyer Bryan Scarlatos made the remark during Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg’s first court appearance since his July 1 arraignment on tax fraud charges. Scarlatos did not say what led him to believe more people would be charged.

In recent weeks, a pair of Trump Organization executives have testified before a grand jury in the case. Under New York law, grand jury witnesses are granted immunity and can not be charged for conduct they testify about.

The Manhattan District Attorney’s office declined comment.

“Mr. Weisselberg is separate from the Trump Organization. He is the only individual here whose liberty is at stake,” Scarlatos said. “What I am concerned about is that he will become collateral damage in a larger fight between the Trump Organization and the DA’s office.”

Scarlatos raised the issue of more possible indictments while arguing for more time to review up to 6 million pages of documents that he said prosecutors are turning over as evidence, calling it “a herculean task” and saying new indictments would create a ”moving target."

Prosecutors said Weisselberg is “no stranger” to many of the documents because they include Trump Organization business records that the executive likely produced or reviewed as part of his job.

Judge Juan Manuel Merchan gave both sides until next spring to file motions and responses. He said he’d decide on motions at a July 12, 2022, hearing, the next time Weisselberg is due in court.

Merchan said he expected to set a trial date at that time and would likely schedule it for the end of August or beginning of September next year.

“The reason I mention it now is that it’s on everybody’s radar,” Merchan said. “I don’t have an exact date yet.”

Weisselberg has pleaded not guilty to charges he collected more than $1.7 million in off-the-books compensation, including apartment rent, car payments and school tuition.

Trump’s company is also charged in the case, which prosecutors have described as a “sweeping and audacious” tax fraud scheme.

One of the Trump executives granted immunity to testify before the grand jury is the company’s director of security, Matthew Calamari Jr. Prosecutors have been looking at him and his father, Trump chief operating officer Matthew Calamari Sr., in their probe of untaxed benefits.

A lawyer for the Calamaris said in a statement responding to Scarlatos’ remarks that he was not aware of any plans to indict the elder Calamari.

“We remain in discussions with the district attorney’s office relating to Matthew Calamari (Sr.), but continue to believe there is no basis for indicting him," lawyer Nicholas Gravante said. "If they presently intended to indict him, I would have been informed. I haven’t been and, in fact, have been informed to the contrary.”

Weisselberg sat quietly next to his lawyers at Monday's brief hearing and didn't speak to reporters on his way to and from court. Because of the coronavirus pandemic, everyone wore masks and the courtroom had clear plastic partitions between various parties.

Trump himself has not been charged with any wrongdoing. He has condemned the case, the first to arise from New York authorities’ two-year investigation into the former president’s business dealings, as a “political Witch Hunt.”

Trump has said his company’s actions were standard practice in the business and in no way a crime.

According to the indictment, from 2005 through this year, the Trump Organization and Weisselberg cheated tax authorities by conspiring to pay senior executives off the books by way of lucrative fringe benefits and other means.

Weisselberg alone was accused of defrauding the federal government, state and city out of more than $900,000 in unpaid taxes and undeserved tax refunds.

The most serious charge against Weisselberg, grand larceny, carries five to 15 years in prison. The tax fraud charges against the company are punishable by a fine of double the amount of unpaid taxes, or $250,000, whichever is larger.

Weisselberg's lawyers, Skarlatos and Mary Mulligan, said in a statement after Monday's hearing that the indictment is “full of unsupported and flawed factual and legal assertions.”

"We look forward to challenging those assertions in court," the lawyers said.

The 74-year-old Weisselberg has intimate knowledge of the Trump Organization’s financial dealings from nearly five decades at the company. The charges against him could enable prosecutors to pressure him to cooperate with the investigation and tell them what he knows, but so far there have been no signs of that.

The case is being led by Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. and New York Attorney General Letitia James, both Democrats.

The Trump Organization is the entity through which the former president manages his many ventures, including his investments in office towers, hotels and golf courses, his many marketing deals and his TV pursuits.

According to the indictment, Weisselberg paid rent on his Manhattan apartment with company checks and directed the company to pay for his utility bills and parking, too.

The company also paid for private school tuition for Weisselberg’s grandchildren with checks bearing Trump’s signature, as well as for Mercedes cars driven by Weisselberg and his wife, and gave him cash to hand out tips around Christmas.

Such perks were listed on internal Trump company documents as being part of Weisselberg’s compensation but were not included on his W-2 forms or otherwise reported, and the company did not withhold taxes on their value, prosecutors said.

Trump’s company also issued checks, at Weisselberg’s request, to pay for personal expenses and upgrades to his homes and an apartment used by one of his sons, such as new beds, flat-screen TVs, carpeting and furniture, prosecutors said.


Follow Michael Sisak on Twitter at twitter.com/mikesisak

Sours: https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/wireStory/trump-cfos-lawyer-suspects-indictments-80126886
What the Trump Organization indictments mean for former President Trump

Has Trump beaten the system?

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellDemocrats are ignoring the only thing that mattersThe Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by The National Columbus Education Foundation - Positive developments on COVID-19 treatments The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Altria - Political crosscurrents persist for Biden, DemsMORE (R-Ky.) said on the floor of the Senate that “President TrumpDonald TrumpPennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro enters governor's raceGOP lawmakers introduce measure in support of Columbus DayBannon's subpoena snub sets up big decision for Biden DOJMORE is still liable for everything he did while he was in office. Didn't get away with anything yet."

"Yet," McConnell repeated, with his index finger raised in the air, "We have a criminal justice system in this country. We have civil litigation," he continued. "And former presidents are not immune from being accountable by either one."

But most legal observers have concluded that Trump will probably not be indicted. Certainly no time soon. He may not even be sued successfully. Not for the 11 instances of potential obstruction of justice found by Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerSenate Democrats urge Garland not to fight court order to release Trump obstruction memoWhy a special counsel is guaranteed if Biden chooses Yates, Cuomo or Jones as AGBarr taps attorney investigating Russia probe origins as special counselMORE. These have been dismissed by Trump’s lawyers as mere “process crimes” even though “process crimes” are against the law.

True that former Trump adviser Tom Barrack was just indicted in Brooklyn for process crimes in failing to register as a lobbyist for the Emirates. The conduct alleged, however, according to the indictment, was not to advance Trump’s interests, but constituted a “betrayal” of the former president.

Not for extortion in the Ukraine affair. There is too much uncertainty over whether dirt on the Bidens was “something of value,” and there is that pesky element of quid pro quo. Not for fomenting the insurrection of Jan. 6. There are constitutional issues, say the cautious lawyers. Unlike former Attorney General Bill Barr, current AG Merrick GarlandMerrick GarlandBannon's subpoena snub sets up big decision for Biden DOJNavy engineer, wife accused of espionage plotBlinken warns Haitian migrants against making 'dangerous' trip to USMORE knows who his client is, but also unlike Barr, he is apparently too timid to take a shot any time soon. He is not there to dispose of the issue as might a judge. He is there to be an advocate, not for the president, but for all of us.

So, no whiff of an indictment in the wings. Not even a grand jury subpoena to House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin McCarthyThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Altria - Political crosscurrents persist for Biden, DemsSunday shows preview: Senate votes to raise debt ceiling; Facebook whistleblower blasts company during testimony The Memo: New Trump revelations bolster critics while fans shrugMORE (R-Calif.) to get down Trump’s famous conversation with him on Jan. 6 as the insurrectionists penetrated the Capitol.

Little doubt that Trump would likely be convicted before a D.C. jury for inciting an insurrection on Jan. 6, leaving the constitutional issues for the appellate courts to grapple with.

Evidence of conspiracy is often circumstantial, gathered from acts, declarations and conduct. The iconic appellate judge Learned Hand famously called conspiracy “that darling of the modern prosecutor’s nursery.” The evidence against Trump for conspiracy to incite insurrection is overwhelming, and well known. Here, the prosecutor does not need to flip co-conspirators or interview scores of witnesses. Most crimes go down in the shadows. This one was caught on camera in plain view of the entire nation. The damming incontestable evidence is in Trump’s words, his big lies and in the obviously intended violent consequences of his actions.  

Likewise, Trump is unlikely to be indicted in federal court for tax fraud. Manhattan DA Cy Vance has charged the “Trump Organization” and its chief financial officer with tax fraud. But conspicuously absent from the indictment is Donald Trump. Tax fraud would also be a federal crime. Yet, the independent Southern District of New York sits on its hands. Vance, like Garland, comes off as too timid to charge Trump himself.

McConnell also spoke of civil litigation. But Trump may not be held accountable for his libel of E. Jean Carroll. Garland has adopted the absurd position of Bill Barr that saying a woman who charged him with rape was “not his type” was part of his official duties as president. Because of sovereign immunity, Carroll may well be left without a remedy.

No one seems to have much of an appetite for holding Trump accountable. The filibustering Senate rejected a House resolution calling for an independent investigation of Jan. 6. Speaker Pelosi appointed a select committee to launch a House investigation, but if Republicans are able to delay the proceeding until the run-up to the mid-term elections, the inquiry will have the flavor of a political cabal. And, if the Trumpist Republicans take the House in 2022, as is widely predicted, the investigation will vanish into the dustbin of history.

Trump’s friends are off the hook. Roger Stone has been pardoned. So have some other of the former president’s men: Michael Flynn, Steve Bannon (indicted for defrauding Republican donors) and George Papadopoulos. All have been pardoned.

Absent a pardon, some of Trump’s friends may have flipped and given incriminating evidence against Trump. Barr testified before Congress that it would be a criminal act for the president to grant a pardon in order to prevent someone from giving evidence against him. Barr was right, but this transgression will also be ignored.

The Supreme Court has said that the president is not above the law, and this lofty principle has found its voice even in Trump-appointed justices.

But, in the real world, the wooden application of lofty principles is a custom more honored in the breach. Political prosecutions in this country leave a bad taste. After all, we are not a banana republic like Brazil, routinely imprisoning our former leaders. But, as Laurence Tribe, the renowned professor of constitutional law at Harvard Law School, points out, we become a banana republic if the president is not held accountable under the law.

From all that appears today, McConnell simply engaged in a shell game, kicking Trump’s liability over to the courts. Nothing much is likely to happen to bring Trump to book. What McConnell saw as his accountability will have to be judged in the court of public opinion.

James D. Zirin, a former federal prosecutor in the Southern District of New York, is the author of “Plaintiff in Chief—A Portrait of Donald Trump in 3500 Lawsuits.”

Sours: https://thehill.com/opinion/criminal-justice/564634-has-trump-beaten-the-system

Trump be indicted will

Why Trump (probably) won't be indicted

Will Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, Jr. indict former President TrumpDonald TrumpPennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro enters governor's raceGOP lawmakers introduce measure in support of Columbus DayBannon's subpoena snub sets up big decision for Biden DOJMORE as part of a broader investigation into Trump’s finances? The smart money says no. Unless something new emerges, despite all the speculation, there’s no bank fraud, no insurance fraud and no money laundering.

At Vance’s office, the mountain labored and brought forth a lamb. After years of investigation partnering with the New York State attorney general, all that Vance has come up with so far is an indictment of two corporate entities doing business as the Trump Organization, and Trump’s chief numbers man, Allen WeisselbergAllen Howard WeisselbergJudge aims to hold trial for ex-Trump Org CFO next summerLawyer says ex-Trump Organization CFO is expecting more indictmentsProsecutors considered charging Trump Organization CFO with perjury: reportMORE. Weisselberg was hired by Trump’s father as a bookkeeper years ago, and he is not even a certified public accountant (CPA). 

What Vance has charged would constitute federal crimes as well. But, curiously, the IRS and the United States attorney for the Southern District of New York have been deafeningly silent in the matter. Typically, aggressive about its turf when a federal crime is being investigated or even charged by the state, the Southern District has stood idly by, raising speculation that they don’t think it is much of a case that they really want to prosecute.

Trump has drawn attention to the omission, stating that Vance “is bringing a case involving employee benefits that neither the IRS nor any other district attorney would ever think of bringing. This is not justice; this is politics.”

But the evidence that a crime was committed appears to be overwhelming. Not a witch hunt. Not a mainstream media hoax. Trump likely cheated on his taxes. Big-time cheating, not minor league, although the law hardly distinguishes between major and minor league tax fraud. Vance has alleged a $1.7 million tax fraud scheme accomplished over a 15-year period in which the Trump Organization compensated Weisselberg, its chief financial officer, in a manner that allowed the company and the executive to evade taxes.

Donald Trump Jr. called the charges a "political persecution" that might happen in a "banana republic," ignoring that, had Cy Vance not indicted on the evidence, we would have really become a banana republic. In our country no one, and certainly not a former president’s business organization, is above the law.

It is no answer to say that everybody cheats on executive compensation. First of all, everybody doesn’t cheat. And there is nothing wrong with a prosecutor making an example of a “high-profile” tax evader as a deterrent to others who might try to defeat the public fisc. After all, as Oliver Wendell Holmes said, “taxes are what we pay for civilized society.”

Vance’s lead prosecutor, Carey Dunne, said during an arraignment in the State Supreme Court in Manhattan, “To put it bluntly, this was a sweeping and audacious illegal payments scheme.”

But legal analysts such as former U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara and CNN commentator Elie Honig believe that, assuming no startling breaking news, there is little chance that Trump will be indicted. Prosecutors normally indict the corporate entity last and its guiding spirit first. Here, they began with the Trump Organization. Looks very much like the alpha and the omega rolled up in one indictment. 

The wild card is that Weisselberg may decide to turn state’s evidence against Trump to save his own skin. Accountants frequently turn state’s evidence in white-collar cases.

When I was a federal prosecutor going after white-collar criminals, I always looked for the accountant. He was the most likely witness for the government. 

But Weisselberg, who is 73 years old, is unlikely to face significant jail time on these charges, and so will have little motive to give evidence against his long-time employer. He has little to lose. Even if convicted after trial, he has no CPA certificate to protect.

The Brookings Institution issued a report concluding that any prosecutor worth his salt would indict Trump for at least five provable financial crimes. According to Norman Eisen, a senior fellow at Brookings: “When you read through the indictment, through all 15 counts and the 24-page indictment and the stunning level of detail, it really presents a sweeping tax fraud case.”

But there is a difference between a Brookings report and the stern and familiar requirement that the prosecutor prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Vance has probably concluded that he can’t prove that Trump cheated on his taxes based on the evidence on his hard drive. 

Will Trump’s company and brand survive the criminal prosecution? Will Trump be damaged politically if Weisselberg is convicted? The jury is out in the court of public opinion even if Trump again escapes indictment.

James D. Zirin, a former federal prosecutor, is the author of “Plaintiff in Chief—A Portrait of Donald Trump ion 3500 Lawsuits.

Sours: https://thehill.com/opinion/criminal-justice/562537-why-trump-probably-wont-be-indicted
Will The NY D.A. Indict Ex-Pres. Trump? Here Are The Legal Clues - MSNBC

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