State Prosecutors May Charge Trump Org. Officials

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

There exists the possibility that Trump will pardon his longtime henchman Michael Cohen and possibly even his former campaign manager Paul Manafort, but the office of the president can only pardon individuals convicted of federal crimes, not state crimes.

The New York Times reports that local state prosecutors may file charges against multiple Trump Organization officials and the organization itself in connection to the hush money payments made to Trump's mistresses.

A state investigation would center on how the company accounted for its reimbursement to Mr. Cohen for the $130,000 he paid to the actress, Stephanie Clifford, who has said she had an affair with President Trump, the officials said. [...]

“On its face, it certainly would be problematic,” said one of the officials familiar with the district attorney’s office review, noting that listing the reimbursement as a legal expense could be a felony under state law.

We know from Cohen's conviction that the Trump Organization reimbursed Cohen for the hush money payments by paying him for legal services that he never performed.

The Wall Street Journal reported this morning that Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg was granted immunity by federal prosecutors in their ongoing investigation, but any deal he may have made with federal prosecutors will not apply to state prosecutors.

Suffice to say, the walls are closing in on the Trump Organization and Trump himself and at this point it's not too hard for me to imagine that the Trump Organization could collapse under scrutiny just like the Trump Foundation did.

Everything we know about the Trump Organization and the way Trump's family conducts business, from the shady hush money payments to their foreign property buyers, strongly implies that the company is a volcano of laundered money and corruption.

I genuinely believe that if the Trump Organization were ever thoroughly audited by federal authorities, the crimes committed there would be legion.

The good news is the entire next generation of lawyers is going to make careers out of taking down the Trumps.

  • muselet

    Josh Marshall:

    As I noted two years ago, anyone who had spent time reviewing President Trump’s business history had to know that it wouldn’t survive first contact with real legal scrutiny. Not the past or the present. What stands out to me about the various criminal actions within the Trump orbit is not so much the crimes as their very casualness.

    Consider the scandal tied to the Trump Foundation, largely uncovered by the Pulitzer-winning reporting of David A. Fahrenthold, which the State of New York has already brought suit over. This is a civil proceeding. But Weisselberg, the guy who got immunity today was on the board and didn’t even know he was on the board! They used the money as a personal piggy bank. They created a paper trail of emails discussing how they were using foundation for giving clearly tied to Trump’s presidential campaign. Right or wrong, people usually don’t get in criminal trouble over this kind of stuff. It’s a civil proceeding. But the more or less complete indifference to the laws and tax rules is telling. It’s not even so much as they decided to commit specific crimes as they simply lived in a business culture in which big parts of the law didn’t even exist.

    I eagerly await tomorrow’s toilet tweet from the Lincoln Bathroom in which Donald Trump claims Allen Weisselberg worked for The Trump Organization for a short time as a junior staffer, and while Trump did meet him once or twice, he really wouldn’t recognize Weisselberg if their paths crossed.


  • Victor the Crab


  • Aynwrong

    Tick, tick, tick…

  • David Greenberg

    “Volcano “. Perfect.

  • simpfan

    And Allen Weisselberg is, apparently, singing like a bird. They are screwed.

    • Badgerite

      Maybe Giuliani was right about Mueller “wrapping it up by September…ish. Imagine that. Seems there is a lot of flipping going on by people closely connected to trump. The long time CFO of his organization, no less.
      Wonder why trump has Al Capone on his mind. Hmmm. Can’t imagine.
      Benjamin Wittes is gonna have to get a bigger cannon.

  • Draxiar

    Falling like dominoes…