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‘Juries Hate Rich Tax Cheats’: Legal Experts Say Trump Org Did ‘Exactly What Corporations Are Not Supposed to Do’

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“I think the Trump Org could be dead…may be the biggest real estate corp bankruptcy in history”

The Trump Organization was charged with 15 felony counts Thursday in what federal prosecutors allege was a 15-year long “sweeping and audacious illegal payments scheme” to compensate executives “to help them avoid paying taxes,” as The New York Times reports.

Despite the Trump Organization’s pre-indictment claims the charges would be minimal, legal experts say they are far from it.

“The 15-count indictment, which charged the Trump Organization with committing a scheme to defraud, criminal tax fraud and falsifying business records, accused the company of a long-running conspiracy to help executives, including Mr. Weisselberg, evade taxes on perks and bonuses while at the same time decreasing the company’s own tax obligations,” The Times explains.

Prosecutors Thursday filed charges against both the Trump Organization and its Chief Financial Officer, Allen Weisselberg, who appears in this video earlier today in handcuffs:

Legal experts are reading the indictment and applying their knowledge to the case.

Former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Preet Bharara, who was fired by then-President Donald Trump, says, “I’m not optimistic that Weisselberg will flip but I am optimistic he’ll be convicted.”

“The law is fairly clear on what is income & what is taxable. He’s a sophisticated executive; mistake is implausible. The company booked much of it as income. And juries hate rich tax cheats.”

Noted national security attorney Bradley Moss tweeted his agreement:

Moss also says what prosecutors alleged the Trump Organization did “is exactly what corporations are not supposed to do.”

Professor of Taxation at NYU Law School Daniel Shaviro says after discovering this level of tax fraud you would have to repeal all taxes rather than choose to not prosecute for them.

NYU Law Professor, a former Special Counsel at the Dept. of Defense, asks, where are the feds?

Former New York Times investigative reporter who covered corporate insider trading and other financial topics says “if even the smallest bit of this case is true, I think the Trump Org could be dead.”

“He *needed* the presidency to survive financially. I have always believed, that is why he is so desperate to keep it,” Eichenwald adds, “because if he was president, he could hit up the Russians, Saudis, etc to bail him out. Now, with him toxic and a threat to the country, those nations know that any secret payments they make to him run a huge risk of being discovered.”

He also says this “may be the biggest real estate corp bankruptcy in history.”

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CRIME

A ‘Cooperating Witness’ Can Now Confirm Matt Gaetz Was Informed He’d Had Sex With a Minor: Report

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The Daily Beast is reporting that a witness who is cooperating with prosecutors can confirm that Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) was told by former “wingman” Joel Greenberg that he’d had sex with an underage girl.

According to the Daily Beast’s sources, the witness was in the same room with Greenberg when he called Gaetz and informed him that a woman they had paid for sex was under the age of 18.

The witness in question is talk radio host “Big Joe” Ellicott, who earlier this week pleaded guilty to charges of paying bribes and kickbacks, as well as illegally selling Adderall.

READ MORE: Tennessee school board unanimously bans Pulitzer Prize-winning graphic novel about the Holocaust

“While the sources did not know whether Ellicott had discussed the call with investigators, his account would likely be of critical interest, since it would match a key claim Greenberg made separately in a confession letter,” The Daily Beast writes.

Ellicott is not the only potentially incriminating witness Gaetz has to worry about, as a grand jury earlier this month heard sworn testimony from one of Gaetz’s former girlfriends, who was granted immunity in exchange for testifying.

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CRIME

Trump DOJ Investigation Statement Contains Two Key Revelations: Former FBI Official

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Former FBI Deputy Assistant Director Peter Strzok explained two key revelations in an exclusive CNN interview with Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco.

“Major news this morning in a story that CNN broke overnight,” CNN’s John Berman reported. “For the first time, the Department of Justice is publicly acknowledging that it is looking into a specific aspect of the plot from high-level Donald Trump allies to overturn the 2020 election.”

“We learned that federal prosecutors are reviewing the fake electoral college certifications from 2020 that falsely declared former President Trump the winner of seven states, states that he lost,” he explained.

RELATED: DOJ confirms probe of fake Trump electoral certificates: ‘Our prosecutors are looking’ at referrals

“The fake electoral certifications were signed by Trump allies, who falsely claimed to be the rightful electors in Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Georgia, and Wisconsin.”

For analysis, Berman and co-host Brianna Keilar interviewed Strzok.

Berman noted Monacco’s “carefully chosen words.”

“How do you read it?” Berman asked.

“Well, absolutely. You know, in my experience, any time the Department of Justice or FBI makes a comment on an ongoing investigation, particularly at a high level, those words are very carefully chosen and they’re very closely scrutinized,” Strzok replied. “Certainly, when you hear them coming from the deputy attorney general herself, I have no doubt that the intention and the plan to do that was probably — went up to the attorney general and certainly the office of the attorney general.”

“And it’s important when you’re looking at a statement like that to read it very carefully and there are two things I see in there.” he explained. “One, prosecutors are looking at it. What that means to me is they are examining the allegations, they’re looking at federal law, they’re seeing what the elements of the particular crimes that might be involved are and are looking where the evidence falls and doesn’t fall.”

“And the second thing, the last point is she says she can’t comment anymore on ongoing investigations. That means exactly what it says, that means right now there are investigations — plural — that are open and ongoing within the Department of Justice about this matter,” he explained. “So that’s a very significant event and to me it indicates just how high the level of investigation is now going within DOJ.”

Watch:

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CRIME

Psaki Rips Doocy Apart Over Crime Claim: ‘I Think We Should Be Responsible in Reporting to the Public’

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White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki has clearly grown tired of Fox News correspondent Peter Doocy, even growing apparently angry after delivering an exceptionally long and detailed response to his claim President Joe Biden isn’t doing enough to “keep Americans safe.”

After he asked, “would you agree that the most important job for any president is to keep Americans safe?” Doocy got slammed with facts.

Crime has existed in America since before America was America, but Doocy suggested in his first year President Biden should have somehow eliminated crime.

“If the President’s never satisfied if people don’t feel safe,” Doocy began, “does he know that after a year in office, people do not feel safe in this country?”

(Fox News has turned crime into a hot business, bragging about its “up-to-the-second crime coverage.”)

“Well, Peter, I think if we look at the facts here, we’ve seen a surge of crime over the last two years. Would you agree with that?” Psaki replied.

“So what are you attributing the rise in crime to that?” Doocy said to a very prepared Psaki, who, in a rare move, accused him of not being “responsible” in his reporting.

“Well, I think we should be responsible in how reporting to the public what the, what the, what the roles are, what the reasons for the surge in crime,” she began.

“Gun violence is a huge reason for the surge in crime. Underfunding of some police and police departments and their need for additional resources, something the President has advocated for consistently through the course of his career. That’s something we know we need to take action on. And it is absolutely true that he will not be satisfied or complacent when officers are being gunned down or when Americans have to worry about whether they can safely ride the subway or bus,” Psaki continued, growing more and more angered. “That should not be a political issue. He’s somebody who has had a long career many decades of fighting for funding for police departments for local communities in order to reduce crime.”

Doocy was undeterred.

“He’s been here in office for more than a year, and the murder rate is nearing a 25-year high. So why don’t we see and hear more from the President about this? We hear all the time about things that you guys are doing to fight the pandemic. Because that is a risk to American people. A rising murder rate is a risk to American people too.”

“And he has spoken to crime, but I think what people are most focused on as they should be or what actions he has taken. He has unveiled a strategy to focus federal law enforcement resources on combating violent crime, offered unprecedented levels of funding through the rescue plan for cities and states to put more cops on the beat and invest in proven community anti-violence programs, something every Republican voted against.”

“The Department of Justice has announced $139 million in grants to cities for community policing, which will put 1000 more officers on the streets. He’s also proposed doubling those grants, and he’s called for an additional $750 million for federal law enforcement. He’s announced a zero-tolerance policy for gun dealers who sell, willfully sell, illegal guns and we’ve launched gun trafficking strike forces in New York and cities across the country. Actions are important here and he has a long record of them.”

“Does the President think that any of that is working?” Doocy dared to ask.

“The president thinks you should have a plan to address crime and gun violence. He has one, and we look forward to working with people who support that effort.”

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