Fox News personality Sean Hannity Monday night tried to defend Donald Trump by scrolling a long list of dozens of investigations into the now-former president, suggesting they are evidence of political persecution rather than actual misdeeds or criminal acts.
In a 34-second clip Hannity manages to list about 30 investigations and related actions, including the Mar-a-Lago “raid.”
I’m not sure listing all these investigations helps pic.twitter.com/YqbtMvUCYL
— Acyn (@Acyn) September 13, 2022
Last month Vox published an explainer of the “4 major criminal probes into Donald Trump,” including, “The DOJ’s Mar-a-Lago classified documents investigation,” “The Justice Department investigation into January 6,” “The Georgia election investigation,” and “The New York investigations into the Trump Organization.”
Also last month Vanity Fair published what it calls, “The Complete Guide to All the Ways Donald Trump Is Legally Screwed,” promising “Every single criminal investigation and civil lawsuit the ex-president is currently facing, including the ones you’ve probably never heard about.”
The nonprofit and nonpartisan watchdog Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) in March published “President Trump’s staggering record of uncharged criminal misconduct.” They write: “Donald Trump has been credibly accused of committing at least 48 criminal offenses while he was serving as President of the United States or campaigning for that office.”
And on January 20, 2021, McSweeney’s published a 360-page compendium titled, “Lest We Forget the Horrors: A Catalog of Trump’s Worst Cruelties, Collusions, Corruptions, and Crimes,” which includes 1056 “atrocities.”
Hannity’s list does not include all of those.
Civil liberties and national security journalist Marcy Wheeler took to Twitter to thank Hannity “for laying out the reason Trump is so desperate to try to claw back information from the FBI, [because] Trump literally obstructed every single one of these investigations, every time with Hannity’s assistance.”
Journalist Aaron Rupar observed, “it’s remarkable that Hannity doesn’t realize he’s actually owning Trump with this scroll.”
National security attorney Brad Moss commented, “Sean Hannity basically just made a contribution” to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.
“Some of these have gotten lost in the mists of time,” noted journalist and professor Bill Grueskin, thanking Hannity “for reminding us of Trump’s many crimes.”
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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.”
Watch this historic moment below or at this link.
The vote pic.twitter.com/Tsk0mE0wCC
— Acyn (@Acyn) December 19, 2022
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