“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:
Here we go pic.twitter.com/ZWiVCc8kKy
— Acyn (@Acyn) July 1, 2021
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:
— Bradley P. Moss (@BradMossEsq) July 1, 2021
Moss also says what prosecutors alleged the Trump Organization did “is exactly what corporations are not supposed to do.”
This indictment is no small thing, and the pre-emptive PR efforts to minimize it were unwise. This was a longtime conspiracy to defraud tax authorities and falsify records. This is exactly what corporations are not supposed to do.
— Bradley P. Moss (@BradMossEsq) July 1, 2021
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.
I’ve read the Weisselberg indictment. If we take its assertions as true, this is no ticky-tack, or foot fault, or debatable case of tax fraud. You might as well repeal the federal, state, and city income taxes as discover this sort of conduct and not prosecute it.
— Daniel Shaviro (@DanielShaviro) July 1, 2021
NYU Law Professor, a former Special Counsel at the Dept. of Defense, asks, where are the feds?
The Trump Organization-Weisselberg Indictment alleges a FEDERAL tax fraud scheme.
Charges are serious and documented enough, and DA believes can prove beyond a reasonable doubt, so question is:
Where is the Garland Justice Department/IRS?
— Ryan Goodman (@rgoodlaw) July 1, 2021
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.”
…in fact, if even the smallest bit of this case is true, I think the Trump Org could be dead. It’s complicated, but it primarily pertains to the 12th count of the indictment.
Taking this a step at a time: Like most real estate companies, the Trump Org is horribly illiquid…2
— Kurt Eichenwald (@kurteichenwald) July 1, 2021
“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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‘QAnon Shaman’ Found Competent and Guilty of Felony During Jan. 6 Insurrection – Could Face Years in Jail
Jacob Chansley, also known as Jake Angeli, but best known as the bare chested, horned fur hat wearing, spear and bullhorn carrying man with the red, white and blue face paint whose image was plastered on the front pages of numerous media outlets, has pleaded guilty to a single felony count of obstructing an official proceeding for his actions during the January 6 insurrection. He initially had faced six charges.
He had been ordered to undergo a competency assessment, and was found able to stand trial, a judge announced Friday, revealing he had signed a plea deal late Wednesday.
Chansely, 33, no longer wants to be known as the Qanon Shaman, and has also allegedly decided to “repudiate” QAnon – or, at least the “Q” in his moniker, HuffPost reports.
“Mr. Chansley, a long avowed and practicing Shaman, has repudiated the ‘Q’ previously assigned to him and requests future references to him be devoid of use of the letter ‘Q’,” his attorney, Albert Watkins, said in a statement.
Late Friday morning Watkins asked for Chansley to be released before sentencing, but the federal prosecutor wants him to remain detained.
Buzzfeed’s Zoe Tillman reports Chansley could be facing 41-51 months in jail, according to the prosecutor. That would be more than three years, possibly even more than four, but likely less.
Judge Royce Lamberth has ordered Chansley to remain in jail until sentencing November 17.
Image via Shutterstock
Jan. 6 Committee Is Targeting ‘Certain Individuals’ – Directs Dozens of Companies to Preserve Records
The U.S. House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack is now targeting “specific individuals,” sending letters to the heads of nearly three dozen companies ordering them to preserve records of those people who may have participated in the insurrection or the rallies preceding it.
The level of detail this early in the investigation shows how serious the Committee is on investigating who was behind the insurrection.
Bloomberg News reports the 35 companies include: “1&1 Mail, 4chan, 8kun, Amazon, AOL Mail, Apple, AT&T, Discord, Facebook, Gab, Google, LogMeIn, MeWe, Microsoft, Parler, Proton Technologies, Reddit, Rocket.Chat, Rumble, Signal, Slack, Snap, Sprint, Telegram, theDonald.win, Tiktok, T-Mobile, Twitch, Twitter, U.S. Cellular, Verizon Wireless, Yahoo! Mail, YouTube, Zello and Zoho.”
Links are to specific letters each CEO was sent.
The letters says the Committee “seeks the preservation of these records as part of its examination of the violent attack on the Capitol and the broader context of efforts to delay or interfere with the peaceful transfer of power following the 2020 election.”
It adds that the Committee “specifically requests that you preserve information you may possess about individuals whom the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and/or the District of Columbia has charged with crimes associated with the attack; individuals who were listed on permit applications or were otherwise involved in organizing, funding, or speaking at the January 5, 2021, or January 6, 2021, rallies in the District of Columbia relating to objecting to the certification of the electoral college votes; and individuals potentially involved with discussions of plans to challenge, delay, or interfere with the January 6, 2021, certification or otherwise attempt to overturn election results, in the days preceding and up through the attack.”
The Committee did not release the list of names it included with each letter, and asked each company to not notify the individuals who appear on the list prior to preserving the records.
Image via Shutterstock
‘Crystal Clear’: House Jan. 6 Committee Is ‘Going After Trump’ Says Attorney Who Prosecuted Trump University Case
A former New York state prosecutor says the bipartisan U.S. House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack is definitely targeting Donald Trump, the disgraced former U.S. president.
Tristan Snell, who served as assistant attorney general for New York state and helped lead the prosecution against Trump University that resulted in a $25 million settlement says the Select Committee’s work this week makes “crystal clear” what its objectives are.
Snell says the “House Select Committee on January 6 is about to get real — and this week proves it.”
On Wednesday the Select Committee, headed by Chairman Bennie Thompson (D-MS) demanded a massive trove of records from the federal government, including from the Dept. of Justice, the Dept. of Defense, and the White House. A small portion of that order included information about any discussions on invoking the Insurrection Act, martial law, and “All documents and communications concerning possible attempts by President Donald Trump to remain in office after January 20, 2021.”
On Friday the Committee expanded its investigation by ordering 15 social media companies, including tech giants from Google to Facebook to Twitter, to hand off items from a huge 14-point list that included data on misinformation and “foreign malign influence.”
“A robust, comprehensive, no-stone-unturned subpoena effort is the foundation of any real investigation,” Snell explains. “And they’re going after Trump himself. That is crystal clear now.”
The House Select Committee on January 6 is about to get real — and this week proves it.
A robust, comprehensive, no-stone-unturned subpoena effort is the foundation of any real investigation.
And they’re going after Trump himself. That is crystal clear now.
— Tristan Snell (@TristanSnell) August 27, 2021
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