New York DA Suggests Trump Under Criminal Investigation

On the court case over the release of Trump's tax returns, the New York Times reports today:

The Manhattan district attorney’s office suggested on Monday that it has been investigating President Trump and his company for possible bank and insurance fraud, a significantly broader inquiry than the prosecutors have acknowledged in the past.

The office of the district attorney, Cyrus R. Vance Jr., made the disclosure in a new federal court filing arguing Mr. Trump’s accountants should have to comply with its subpoena seeking eight years of his personal and corporate tax returns.


So what crimes are they investigating? Whether he "illegally inflated his net worth and the value of his properties to lenders and insurers."

The DA's office claims Trump's lawyers are trying to stall the investigation to run out the statute of limitations. His lawyers say they just want "due process".

I wonder if this is why he's trying to delay the election and stay in the Oval Office as long as he can. His "immunity" (which is only based on DOJ policy, which may or may not be legally correct) runs out when he leaves office.

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    If the new Vanity Fair (5.00 / 2) (#19)
    by jondee on Mon Aug 03, 2020 at 08:40:27 PM EST
    story about Jared's scrapped national testing program is true, forget about November, the whole lot of them should be dragged bodily out of the Whitehouse right now.

    Just for starters.

    The crime (none / 0) (#22)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Aug 04, 2020 at 05:11:44 AM EST
    reporter at the WaPo said that Trump, Jared et al can be charged with negligent homicide.

    I don't think it is completely clear (none / 0) (#1)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Aug 03, 2020 at 02:37:11 PM EST
    His "immunity" even applies to state charges.  He says it does but I'm not sure anyone knows.   Or so I hear and read.

    Is that DOJ policy thing just for federal charges?  Who knows?  Where's Peter?

    The Supreme Court ruled a month ago (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by Peter G on Mon Aug 03, 2020 at 06:37:47 PM EST
    in Trump v. Vance (and Mazars LLC and Deutsche Bank), by 7-2 vote, that the DOJ theory of presidential immunity from state criminal investigation is invalid. They did not decide whether a President is immune, while in office, from state criminal indictment. Frankly, if that question were actually to ripen before January 20, 2021, I would expect the Supreme Court to say that the President is immune, as a state indictment would imply the authority of a local court or other state or county agency to place the President in some form of custody, which in turn would be inconsistent with exercising the authority conferred on the President by Article II of the U.S. Constitution. This, of course, is a matter of constitutional principle, and has nothing to do with the (in)competence or derelictions of duty of any particular occupant of that office.

    I have a question (none / 0) (#18)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Aug 03, 2020 at 08:18:09 PM EST
    So, the subpoena is for Mazars, right?  Which is an audit and accounting firm according to google.   And they are seeking all these documents about Trumps financial history which, one would guess, Mazars played a significant role in, right?

    My question is, I guess, is there also legal exposure for Mazars if they helped Trump or enabled Trump in committing tax and bank fraud?  Or can they be considered to be just following instructions.



    Yes, for sure, an accounting firm (or bank) (none / 0) (#20)
    by Peter G on Mon Aug 03, 2020 at 09:20:34 PM EST
    ... or a lawyer, for the matter ... can be held criminally liable as an accomplice or coconspirator, if they have guilty knowledge of the client's crooked intentions but nevertheless act to aid them. What a professional often does not have is a duty to probe for knowledge where they may have suspicions. Lawyers, in particular, have a duty of loyalty that permits us to accept the client's word, even if fishy, as long as we don't have actual knowledge of wrongdoing. An accounting firm's duties of loyalty are less than a lawyer's; I'm not an expert on this, but I think an accountant may have more of a professional duty to probe for answers to suspicions. (A lawyer may do that because knowing more facts usually allows us to do a better job for the client, and to protect them from getting tripped up later, but we don't have to.) A U.S. bank, I think, has no professional or legal duty of loyalty to the client, unlike a bank's duty under the laws of some foreign countries, like Switzerland. U.S. banks were put under even more adversarial obligations toward clients in the anti-money-laundering "know your customer" rules that were adopted by the banking regulatory agencies after 9/11. That may be why sleazeball businessmen liked Deutsche Bank.

    Thanks (none / 0) (#23)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Aug 04, 2020 at 07:33:53 AM EST
    I was wondering because they seemed to have a bit of a laissez-faire attitude about turning stuff over if told to do so.

    Like it didn't matter much to them.


    I think DOJ (none / 0) (#3)
    by smott on Mon Aug 03, 2020 at 02:54:21 PM EST
    His immunity exists in Bill Barr's imagination.

    Though I'm sure Balls n Strikes John Roberts might contort some way to protect the Executive.

    At least until a Dem gets in.


    From what (none / 0) (#7)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Aug 03, 2020 at 04:09:21 PM EST
    I have read he is not immune from state charges and those were using the Agnew case. So I guess that is the gray area.

    Certainly true that (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by smott on Mon Aug 03, 2020 at 04:17:09 PM EST
    Trump's pardon power does not extend to state charges,

    I've always thought (none / 0) (#2)
    by smott on Mon Aug 03, 2020 at 02:52:27 PM EST
    That Trump's primary motivation for staying in office was to avoid the criminal prosecution(s) that wait for him on the day he leaves office. I'm sure Tish James has some too, not only Vance (who I'm not convinced isn't corrupt and will be bought off).

    If the Dems can actually manage a landslide such that GOP election rat-f*ckery is stymied, I do really wonder what Trump and his family will do to get out of the country and escape prosecution.

    I mean, he has SS protection at all times yes? Could he slip them and get on a private jet to Russia or Ecuador? Because it's looking more and more like he will need to if he wants to avoid indictment and jail.

    There's a theory (none / 0) (#4)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Aug 03, 2020 at 02:59:02 PM EST
    that if he loses, especially if he loses big enough it's undeniable - no guess of how big that would have to be, he will resign between Election Day and Inauguration Day making Pence president long enough to pardon him for all the federal stuff.

    Yes, there would still be city and state but no federal is not nothin.


    The Trouble With That Theory (none / 0) (#5)
    by RickyJim on Mon Aug 03, 2020 at 03:31:55 PM EST
    There is little in it for Pence in return for granting the pardon.  Ford had the reason that he had 2 1/2 years of his presidential term left in which he wanted the country's focus off the prosecution of Nixon.  However, it certainly hurt Ford in the 1976 election and Pence might have political ambitions after 2021.

    Pence (none / 0) (#6)
    by FlJoe on Mon Aug 03, 2020 at 03:59:11 PM EST
    may have a whole lot of CYA reasons to issue pardons. He was spotted at the scene of the crime many times, after all. A prosecution or even a serious investigation could spell trouble for him.

    Even if he has enough plausible deniability to skate, his future in electoral politics looks dim in any case. At least a pardon would make him a hero to the cult and if tRumpism  survives he will have a shot of retaining them in his camp.


    And a job on FOX (none / 0) (#10)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Aug 03, 2020 at 04:23:16 PM EST
    Or maybe OANN

    Yeah could be (none / 0) (#9)
    by smott on Mon Aug 03, 2020 at 04:19:33 PM EST
    But Tish James is waiting for him.
    Pence can not save him from the state charges that likely pull in his kids and Kushner also.

    It's why I wonder how he will make his escape. There's no way he stays in US just to be indicted,


    I don't know (none / 0) (#12)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Aug 03, 2020 at 04:42:59 PM EST
    His legal history might make him think, and might be right, he can beat the state.  Or at least stall them to a stalemate
    Maybe not but

    He's been doing that for years.  

    But Javanka would probably take a long vacation in some friendly country with no extradition treaty.  


    I dunno? (none / 0) (#15)
    by smott on Mon Aug 03, 2020 at 04:53:31 PM EST
    Has he ever been indicted ? My understanding was he's been a Confidential Informant for years, flipping on mobsters for the NY FBI. And saving his arse in the process.

    Tish James doesn't answer to the  NY Field Office though.


    His legal history (none / 0) (#16)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Aug 03, 2020 at 05:03:45 PM EST
    has a WIKI page

    A really long one.


    that's because he has a (none / 0) (#21)
    by cpinva on Tue Aug 04, 2020 at 12:06:47 AM EST
    really long history of business scumbaggery. the only way he ever made a profit, on his various real estate developments, was by trying to/stiffing small/medium-sized subcontractors; cheating on pretty much any kind of tax there is; availing himself of whatever loan/public funds he could, whether or not his companies actually qualified for them. so he's been in court, a lot, over the years. he's been living on mostly borrowed funds for decades.

    Such a blatant quid pro quo ... (none / 0) (#25)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sat Aug 08, 2020 at 10:30:56 PM EST
    ... would almost certainly be challenged in federal court as an abuse of power. A president's power to pardon is extensive, but it's not necessarily absolute. The FBI and Congress have investigated pardons in the past, most notably President Bill Clinton's decision shortly before leaving office in Jan. 2000 to pardon fugitive financier Marc Rich.

    Speaking of quid pro quo, (none / 0) (#26)
    by Zorba on Sun Aug 09, 2020 at 11:39:54 AM EST
    What if, after he loses (and let it be so!), Trump gives Pence a pre-emptive pardon, then resigns, then Pence pardons Trump pre-emptively?
    Blatant abuse of power and I would assume illegal as heck, but it wouldn't surprise me if they tried.

    Mark and Denise Rich had a home in Aspen. (none / 0) (#27)
    by fishcamp on Sun Aug 09, 2020 at 03:04:43 PM EST
    Mom and the three wild child daughters lived there full time, but dad was gone most of the time.  He fled to Zugg, Switzerland when his financial problems surfaced.  I used to help my friend at Aspen Audio install fancy stereo equipment.  The girls had to have the latest greatest sounds dont'cha know.

    Vance (none / 0) (#11)
    by FlJoe on Mon Aug 03, 2020 at 04:33:46 PM EST
    has a track record with the tRumps
    In the spring of 2012, Donald Trump's two eldest children, Ivanka Trump and Donald Trump, Jr., found themselves in a precarious legal position. For two years, prosecutors in the Manhattan District Attorney's office had been building a criminal case against them for misleading prospective buyers of units in the Trump SoHo, a hotel and condo development that was failing to sell.

    Kasowitz, who by then had been the elder Donald Trump's attorney for a decade, is primarily a civil litigator, with little experience in criminal matters. But, in 2012, Kasowitz donated twenty-five thousand dollars to the reëlection campaign of the Manhattan District Attorney, Cyrus Vance, Jr., making Kasowitz one of Vance's largest donors. Kasowitz decided to bypass the lower-level prosecutors and went directly to Vance to ask that the investigation be dropped.
    Ultimately, Vance overruled his own prosecutors. Three months after the meeting, he told them to drop the case. Kasowitz subsequently boasted to colleagues about representing the Trump children, according to two people. He said that the case was "really dangerous," one person said, and that it was "amazing I got them off." (Kasowitz denied making such a statement.)                              
    Just before the 2012 meeting, Vance's campaign had returned Kasowitz's twenty-five-thousand-dollar contribution, in keeping with what Vance describes as standard practice when a donor has a case before his office. Kasowitz "had no influence, and his contributions had no influence whatsoever on my decision-making in the case," Vance said.

    But, less than six months after the D.A.'s office dropped the case, Kasowitz made an even larger donation to Vance's campaign, and helped raise more from others--eventually, a total of more than fifty thousand dollars.

    Oh Vance (none / 0) (#14)
    by smott on Mon Aug 03, 2020 at 04:48:57 PM EST
    Looks completely corrupt IMO. Absolutely bought off by the Trump team before.
    I won't believe Vance is legit til I see him put  trump in jail,.

    RT (none / 0) (#13)
    by FlJoe on Mon Aug 03, 2020 at 04:47:39 PM EST
    or Sputnik working for Putin , cut out the middle man.

    Hell take the whole crew to Moscow start a new show "Traitors Apprentice" What's Russian for you're fired? Watch out for that open window.....

    So there's this whole new thing (none / 0) (#24)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Aug 05, 2020 at 08:31:11 PM EST
    From Cy Vance.

    Trump's Bank Was Subpoenaed by N.Y. Prosecutors in Criminal Inquiry
    The subpoena, sent to Deutsche Bank, suggests that the inquiry into President Trump's business practices is more wide-ranging than previously known.

    This is apart from the subject of this post playing out in the courts.  The bank they say has been cooperating with Vance for months.  Turning over all kinds of info.