Based on a new report from Bess Levin of Vanity Fair and confirmed by reporting from Reuters, it now appears that Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. is moving along at a rapid pace with his investigation of failed, one-term former President Donald Trump and is lining up witnesses who will testify against Trump along with others who will help explain to a jury the exact crimes Trump and his company, the Trump Organization, may have committed.
According to Levin:
“In the last several months, the D.A. has brought on the attorney who put John Gotti and other white-collar criminals behind bars, has reportedly been working to flip the Trump Organizations longtime CFO, and, most crucially, obtained Trump’s much sought-after tax returns, documents that the Queens-born real estate developer has gone to such extreme lengths to keep secret that some people have gotten the impression they contain extremely incriminating information.
“Now, Vance’s office has taken the next step in its criminal investigation: finding people who can explain to a jury why Trump is a possible crook.”
Specifically, Vance is looking for bankers, bookkeepers, and real estate experts who can help shed light on how Trump may have broken the law by inflating the value of his real estate holdings in order to get large loans from banks while simultaneously devaluing those same properties when paying taxes on them. Those two acts alone would constitute bank and tax fraud.
Prosecutors in Vance’s office also hope to present witnesses who have first-hand experience working on deals made by Trump to explain documents and how that data proves specific criminal acts by the former president and his company.
There’s also the matter of Trump’s tax returns, eight years of which Vance obtained thanks to a ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court. It has long been believed that those returns are the Rosetta Stone that will unlock the secrets of how Trump has shifted and hidden money over the decades in an effort to skirt accountability and give the illusion that his net worth is larger than it actually is. Those returns may also contain proof of financial ties to countries and entities in nations hostile to the United States such as Russia and China.
“As for Cohen, whose credibility will surely be challenged by whatever lawyers Trump manages to scrounge up, said that “unfortunately for Trump, I have backed up each and every question posed by the district attorney’s office [with] documentary evidence.” If Vance’s team can corroborate Cohen’s testimony, Brodsky told Reuters, that would be “very powerful before a jury.” The government, he said, “loves people who plead guilty to crimes, take the stand and say,…‘I participated in a crime with that person sitting right there at the defense table, Donald J. Trump.'”
Evidence and witnesses are the key to any criminal case. It sounds like Vance has plenty of both, which is very bad news for Donald Trump.