Uh, oh. Donald Trump may have been enraged about being in hot water, but it appears that he just stepped into a far hotter fire. A criminal investigation finally snatched all of Trump’s financial records from his greedy little hands. But now the investigators are going after something far more damning.
Manhattan district attorney investigators in the ex-president’s real-estate company, Trump Organization, have decided to pull out any witnesses that they can name from Trump’s financial records. The idea for the investigators was to put people on the witness stand to bring those records to life, to tell the real story behind them to a jury.
A person familiar with the investigation said the investigative team would collect “subpoenas and testimony,” according to Reuters:
‘The next phase is identifying targets.’
Trump’s former fixer and personal attorney Michael Cohen went to the Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance’s office to met with prosecutors eight times, according to CNBC.
Cohen spoke to Reuters about the evidence he has retained that will assuage those who question his credibility:
‘Unfortunately for Trump, I have backed up each and every question posed by the district attorney’s office [providing] documentary evidence.’
Experienced white-collar defense attorney and former federal prosecutor Reed Brodsky said:
‘Even in the most heavily document-dependent case, you need witnesses to tell the story.’
Brodsky moved on to become a partner at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher. He indicated that should investigators corroborate Cohen’s testimony:
‘[His story is] very powerful before a jury. The government loves people who plead guilty to crimes, take the stand and say …I participated in a crime with that person sitting right there at the defense table, Donald J. Trump.’
The DA’s team also has its eye on the man behind the money, Trump Organization’s CFO Allen Weisselberg. The chief financial officer has been with the organization so long that he worked for the ex’s father, Fred Trump. The net spreads from there.
The DA’s prosecutors wanted to talk to:
‘[B]ankers, bookkeepers, real-estate consultants and others close to the Trump Organization who could provide insights on its dealings, according to interviews and court filings.’
Unfortunately, this phase of the investigation “could take months.” Vance has investigated whether Trump basically kept two sets of books, one for tax and insurance purposes, the other for bank loans.
The Supreme Court ordered Trump’s accountants Mazars USA to:
‘[Release Trump’s] tax filings, business documents and internal correspondence, looking for discrepancies between information provided to creditors and data given to tax authorities.’
The DA also hired FTI Consulting, Inc., which specialized in forensic accounting. In addition, the district attorney hired a former federal prosecutor, Mark Pomerantz, as a special assistant to handle some of the witness interviews. He was notable, because of whom he has investigated:
‘[H]e prosecuted Gambino crime family boss John Gotti’s son in the 1990s and is known for his expertise in white-collar crime.’
Trump faced two criminal investigations for a total of four “ongoing investigations involving Trump and at least 17 active lawsuits,” according to Reuters.
Vance was also interested in the firm that had worked for the Trump Company for a lengthy period of time, the real estate brokerage Cushman & Wakefield Plc. Cushman’s people have already given sworn testimony to Vance’s team.
The Trump Company claimed that an easement at his Seven Springs estate in New York cost $21.1 million. He figured that based upon what he claimed was “lost profits from luxury homes he could have built.” Cushman appraised the easement at Trump’s Los Angeles golf course at $25 million.
The Mueller Report Adventures: In Bite-Sizes on this Facebook page. These quick, two-minute reads interpret the report in normal English for busy people. Mueller Bite-Sizes uncovers what is essentially a compelling spy mystery. Interestingly enough, Mueller Bite-Sizes can be read in any order.