Dear Commons Community,
The following is an editorial that appeared in The New York Daily News last evening.
“The damning civil court ruling that Donald Trump had systematically lied on statements of financial condition he supplied to lenders and insurers and will be stripped of his ability to conduct business in New York and exposed to a possible quarter-billion dollar fine could have and should have also carried a criminal penalty, had only someone brought the case. And that criminal case should still be brought. Who will step up?
Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg declined to seek an indictment on this valuations case, despite his predecessor Cy Vance laying out the groundwork by prosecutors Mark Pomerantz and Carey Dunne.
State Attorney General Tish James, who did a fantastic job on this civil proceeding before Manhattan state Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron, could obtain a criminal referral and pursue prison for Trump.
Manhattan United States Attorney Damian Williams could also have a go, as could the IRS. Do it. Justice demands so.
The facts are all there, as Engoron wrote in his 35-page decision: “the documents here clearly contain fraudulent valuations that defendants used in business.” Trump, as we have long known, lies about everything, even the size of his 10,996 square foot Trump Tower triplex, which he claimed was three times as large at 30,000 square feet, causing Engoron to conclude: “A discrepancy of this order of magnitude, by a real estate developer sizing up his own living space of decades, can only be considered fraud.” And on and on and on. Liar, liar, liar. Fraud, fraud, fraud. Cheat, cheat, cheat.
The comeuppance for the con man is thanks to his one-time bagman, fixer Michael Cohen. That Trump toady ratted out the Boss and the whole Trump Organization after he was left out in the cold and prosecuted by the feds in 2018 for carrying Trump’s water. He pleaded guilty to campaign finance violations related to hush money payments to Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal to cover up Trump’s trysts and tax evasion and making false statements to a federally insured bank, as well as lying to Congress.
But before Cohen reported to federal prison to start his three-year sentence, he gave testimony to the House Oversight Committee on Feb. 27, 2019, a day after he was disbarred by the New York courts for his felony convictions.
He told the Congress that “Mr. Trump is a cheat. It was my experience that Mr. Trump inflated his total assets when it served his purposes, such as trying to be listed amongst the wealthiest people in Forbes and deflated his assets to reduce his real estate taxes.”
Asked by Rep. Lacy Clay from St. Louis, “To your knowledge, did the president ever provide inflated assets to a bank in order to help him obtain a loan?”
Cohen said: “These documents and others were provided to Deutsche Bank on one occasion where I was with them in our attempt to obtain money so that we can put a bid on the Buffalo Bills.”
Asked by freshman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, barely a month into her tenure: “To your knowledge, did the president ever provide inflated assets to an insurance company? Cohen said yes.
AOC: “Do you think we need to review his financial statements and his tax returns in order to compare them?”
Cohen: “Yes, and you would find it at The Trump Org.”
And that’s just what happened.”
Payback is a “b****”!