The new information revealed by former acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen and deputy Richard Donoghue is enough to investigate former President Donald Trump for criminal conspiracy, according to a former House impeachment manager.
Speaking to MSNBC’s Nicolle Wallace on Tuesday, former House impeachment manager Dan Goldman explained that it’s time for Congress to look at how to put guardrails on elected officials to ensure what Trump did never happens again.
“That’s part of the reason why the two voting rights laws are so important, to make sure that there isn’t voter suppression, and not only that, that elected officials aren’t empowered to overturn the vote of the people,” said Goldman. “Adam Schiff (D-CA) has the Protect the Democracy Act which has a lot of reforms in the post-Trump world. But none of them go — those reforms go to what occurred on January 6th and perhaps even more importantly, what occurred in the lead-up to January 6th. So, it’s not an either/or, it’s that both need to happen.”
He went on to say that it was clear Trump was on the inside of the domestic extremists’ militias who plotted and planned the attack on the Capitol.
“He was at the front of this push and this effort to reverse the election results,” explained Goldman. “And what we’re starting to see is the drip, drip, drip of all of his efforts to do it. And in particular, and perhaps most egregious to date because we will find more, but to date is what he tried to do with the Department of Justice, which was to take an independent agency, traditionally independent, and use it as his political-legal arm to undermine the confidence in the election so that he — knowing, of course, that there was no truth to it, but so that he could use it for corrupt purposes.”
That, he said, demands a deeper criminal investigation into Trump but also of those who served under him.
“It’s not enough to go after the Oath Keepers, the Three Percenters, and other domestic extremists where the January 6th criminal investigation has focused, it must continue until it determines what the root causes of January 6th were as well,” he said.”
He also explained that it could be happening already and that he assumes that it is because the questioning of Rosen happened so quickly after the DOJ said that it would wave executive privilege for former department officials.
“I would caution, though, that if I were a prosecutor, I would not be thrilled for a witness, a key witness to be providing testimony to multiple other agencies or departments, such as the Department of Justice IG’s office or the Senate Judiciary Committee,” he said. “Not that he can’t, but it’s just from a prosecutor’s standpoint, you don’t want to have so many inconsistent statements that are bound to occur when you have multiple times testifying under oath or not. But, you know, perhaps this is a bigger issue and the Senate Judiciary needs to hear from him, the Department of Justice needs to analyze its own regulations and how its own employees behave.”
It could be an ongoing investigation behind closed doors that isn’t being publicized.
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‘Next Chapter?’ Manhattan DA Signals Trump Himself Might Finally Land Under Indictment
Manhattan district attorney Alvin Bragg may finally have changed his mind about indicting former president Donald Trump.
The recent conviction of the Trump Organization and its chief financial officer Allen Weisselberg gave a glimpse of evidence that could tie the ex-president directly to the tax fraud scheme, such as a memo he signed approving chief operating officer Matthew Calamari’s illegal request to reduce his taxed salary to cover the cost of his untaxed corporate apartment, reported The Daily Beast.
“We now move on to the next chapter,” Bragg said last week after the company was ordered to pay $1.6 million in penalties for tax fraud.
Trump already asserted under oath in another case in 2021 that he personally oversaw Calimari’s compensation, and prosecutors have checks he signed to cover tuition at a private school for Weisselberg’s grandchildren, whose mother Jennifer Weisselberg has repeatedly told investigators she personally heard Trump discuss the scheme to artificially lower taxed salaries for his executives.
“This case has tentacles,” said Duncan Levin, a former prosecutor who now represents Jennifer Weisselberg and has been communicating with investigators.
The district attorney’s office declined to comment on what Bragg meant about another chapter, but former prosecutors from that office say their experience leads them to believe prosecutors will go after Trump.
“For people who want a certain outcome — to go after Trump — it gives hope,” said Catherine A. Christian, a former assistant district attorney who investigated financial fraud. “They’re going to be thorough. I’m doubtful he would have said ‘next chapter’ if they weren’t looking.”
“It happens all the time with large, complex investigations,” she added.
Prosecutors had hoped to flip Weisselberg or company controller Jeffrey McConney, who was nearly labeled a hostile witness during the Trump Organization trial, but ultimately were unable to get their full cooperation.
“They didn’t flip, and they failed,” said former Manhattan prosecutor Jeff Chabrowe. “They tried to do everything they could, and in the end, they got a truncated thing here where they went after the organization and Weisselberg, and there’s this fine that’s pretty weak.”
‘Final Nail in His Coffin’: Trump’s Taxes Contain ‘Powerful Evidence of Criminal Tax Evasion’
In a column for the Daily Beast, longtime investigative journalist and Donald Trump biographer David Cay Johnston made the case that there is enough evidence of financial fraud in the former president’s tax returns from 2015 to 2020 to indict and prosecute him.
At issue, he noted, are deductions taken for Trump companies — some of which may never have existed.
According to Johnston, the author of “The Big Cheat: How Donald Trump Fleeced America and Enriched Himself and His Family,” he found “powerful evidence of criminal tax evasion,” after reviewing the documents after they were released on Friday morning to the public after years of obstruction from Trump.
“Consider a rich business owner who fabricates deductions but who would still owe zero tax in the audited year even if those deductions were denied. That means an audit that will not generate any tax revenue. That’s also what Trump apparently did in 26 sole proprietor, or Schedule C, filings in the six years of released tax returns,” he wrote before adding, “Trump also turned a profit off a portion of the tax system, making $2.8 million profit off the Alternative Minimum Tax, or AMT.”
As for those 26 Trump businesses that may or may not exist, Johnston suggested that investigators dig deeper into how the former president used them to get out of paying taxes in the years involved.
“Most glaring in the tax returns is that they include 26 Trump businesses—or imaginary businesses—with zero revenue and hundreds of thousands of dollars in tax deductions for expenses,” he pointed out while noting they should be of interest to New York State Attorney General Letitia James, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg and Attorney General Merrick Garland.
“Unless Trump can produce records showing the expenses are real and meet other standards to be deductible, that’s fraud. That Trump did it 26 times as a candidate and as president is powerful evidence that he qualifies for prosecution by the federal government and New York State for criminal tax fraud,” he wrote before adding the results could lead to a “slam dunk” prosecution.
You can read more here.
Image: Evan El Amin/Shutterstock
Watch: J6 Committee Votes to Send Four Criminal Referrals Against Donald Trump to DOJ
The U.S. House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack has voted to send four criminal referrals to the Dept. of Justice, even more than previously expected.
The Committee’s referral says Donald Trump is guilty of: Obstruction of an official proceeding; Conspiracy to defraud the United States; Conspiracy to make a false statement; Inciting, assisting or aiding/comforting an insurrection, as reported by CNN’s Jake Tapper.
Calling the move “a major escalation for a congressional investigation that is the most significant in a generation,” The New York Times reports this is “the first time in American history that Congress has referred a former president for criminal prosecution,” and “is the coda to the committee’s intense 18-month investigation into Mr. Trump’s effort to overturn the 2020 election that culminated in a violent mob of the former president’s supporters laying siege to the Capitol.”
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