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Crime Donald Trump Donald Trump Jr. Ivanka Trump

Who Is ‘Unindicted Co-Conspirator #1’ In The Trump Organization Indictment?

Now that legal experts have had several hours to look over and dissect the massive indictment filed in a Manhattan court earlier today against the Trump Organization and Chief Financial Officer Allen Weisselberg, we have a much better picture of exactly what sort of case Manhattan District Attorney has against the former president’s company, and it looks like an airtight one.

But there remains one mystery that has been lighting up social media since Thursday afternoon: Who exactly is the “unindicted co-conspirator #1” that’s mentioned on page 13 of the indictment?

Obviously, the unnamed co-conspirator could be Donald Trump, meaning that he will also be indicted as chairman and CEO of the Trump Organization, but is it really that simple?

Kyle Griffin, a senior producer for “The Last Word” on MSNBC set off the guessing when he posted this:

Here’s some of what followed on Twitter:

The most likely person, however, is Jeff McConney, controller of the Trump Organization who testified before a grand jury empaneled by Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. a little over a month ago.

If McConney is the unindicted person, that means he’s cooperating with Vance’s office, which is terrifying news for Trump because McConney likely knows as much about the inner workings of the Trump Organization, meaning that the Donald is officially screwed.

If, however, the mystery person turns out to be a member of Trump’s immediate family, that would be the sweetest irony of all.

 

Categories
Crime Trump-Russia

Panel Of Legal Experts Say Mueller Has Already Obtained A Sealed Indictment Against Trump

The question of whether a sitting president can be indicted has never actually been litigated in court, but there is a Department of Justice memo which would seem to suggest it goes against DOJ policy. Specifically, a DOJ memo written in 2000 states:

“A necessity to defend a criminal trial and to attend court in connection with it … would interfere with the President’s unique official duties, most of which cannot be performed by anyone else… To wound him by a criminal proceeding is to hamstring the operation of the whole governmental apparatus, both in foreign and domestic affairs.”

And yet, we live under a system of laws put forth in the Constitution which says no man is above the law, even the highest elected official in the United States.


All of this begs the obvious question when it comes to the investigation being conducted by Special Counsel Robert Mueller which focuses on actions taken by members of Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign and possibly by Trump himself: Will Mueller seek a criminal indictment against President Trump?

A panel of legal experts recently convened by Attorney IO said that the president can indeed be indicted and that Mueller likely already has a sealed indictment with Trump’s name on it.


The law professors who gathered to discuss the matter made it clear that in order to assure Trump doesn’t escape paying for the crimes he may have committed, Mueller has obtained a sealed indictment from a grand jury which will not be unsealed until Trump leaves office. As Alexander Stern of Attorney IO notes:

“Mr. Trump, through his lawyer Rudolph Giuliani, has relied on this idea that indicting him would be too distracting. However, the old adage ‘what he doesn’t know can’t hurt him’ rings true here. If Mr. Trump does not know he is under indictment due to a seal, the constitutional pitfalls associated with distracting a sitting president fall away.”


A sealed or secret indictment would remove the apparent Justice Department prohibition against indicting a sitting president while also maintaining the supremacy of the law and how it applies to everyone, no matter their office:

“The Department of Justice would arguably act unconstitutionally if it publicly indicted a sitting president. The weight on such a defendant’s mind would reduce his ability to perform his function. However, there is no such concern if the defendant is unaware of his own prosecution. Additionally, there are competing constitutional problems with saying someone is above the law by virtue of his employment status as president. A secret indictment would effectively eliminate both concerns of distractedness and issues of unwarranted immunity for criminal behavior.”

The probability that Trump has already been indicted is high. And even if he isn’t impeached, he can immediately be tried in court the second the title of president no longer applies to him.

In other words, no matter how you look at it, Donald Trump is screwed.

 

Categories
Corruption Crime Money

Former Watergate Prosecutors Predict Donald Trump WILL BE Indicted

Conventional wisdom — based on nothing more than two memos written by the Department of Justice’s Office of Legal Counsel — is that a sitting president cannot be indicted. But the issue has never actually been adjudicated in court, so it remains unclear if such a move would be allowed under the Constitution.

However, two other memos authored by the Office of Special Counsel that investigated Richard Nixon and the Office of the Independent Counsel that investigated Bill Clinton, argue the opposite: A president is not above the law and can indeed be subject to indictment.


So which is it? Can you indict a sitting president?

Two Watergate prosecutors say the answer is a resounding YES.

Jon Sale worked for the U.S Attorney’s office in the Southern District of New York (SDNY) and was also on the team that prepared to impeach Nixon. He told Politico:

“I’m thoroughly convinced the SDNY will make its own evaluation. They will not say that’s a department policy. They’re obviously looking at the president, and I wouldn’t rule out that they could decide you can indict a sitting president.”


Nick Akerman also worked in the SDNY and on the Watergate prosecution team, and he agreed, saying the Southern District’s investigation is even more dangerous to Trump than the one being conducted by Special Counsel Robert Mueller:

“When you combine their experience with the traditional independence of the Southern District and the reputation it has, this is like another Mueller investigation going on.”


Even Chris Christie, who served on the Trump transition team, thinks Trump is in serious legal jeopardy from the SDNY:

“This is why I’ve been saying for months that the Southern District of New York investigation presents a much more serious threat to the administration, potentially, than what Bob Mueller is doing.”

Keep in mind the Southern District was largely responsible for the downfall and guilty plea of Trump’s former attorney, Michael Cohen, and now they’ve issued subpoenas to the Trump inaugural committee, looking at crimes ranging from conspiracy against the United States to money laundering.

Donald Trump can and will be indicted before this entire matter is finished. The evidence is too damning to do otherwise.

Categories
Crime Russia Investigation Trump-Russia

Possible Sealed Indictment Against Trump Now In Manhattan Court Vault: Report

On Wednesday, December 19, exactly a week after Donald Trump’s former attorney, Michael Cohen, was sentenced to three years imprisonment, someone from the Southern District of New York (SDNY) placed a document related to Cohen’s case in a vault located inside the U.S. District Court in Manhattan.

A vault.

CNBC reports:

“The document, which is sealed from public view, was ‘placed in vault’ at U.S. District Court in Manhattan, according to a docket entry.

“The sealed document was filed in a case brought against Cohen by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York.”

Since the case against Cohen is considered to be complete with his sentencing, the question has to be asked: What is so secret that it has to be placed in a damn vault?


Though we cannot possibly know what the mystery document pertains to, it’s worth noting that many legal experts have said in recent months that the Southern District may have obtained a sealed indictment against President Trump. Special Counsel Robert Mueller may also have gotten a sealed indictment from one of the grand juries he has convened in Virginia and Washington, D.C.

But for now, let’s stay focused on the court in Manhattan. Just two days ago, CNN legal analyst Paul Callan noted in an article he wrote for the network’s web site:

“It is even possible that the president already has been indicted by a federal grand jury in a secret, sealed indictment that will be revealed only when he leaves the presidency.”

Indictments are sealed for three reasons, Callan goes on to explain:

  1. “When they fear a suspect, upon hearing of his indictment, might destroy evidence before his arrest.”
  2.  “When they fear the suspect might flee.”
  3.  “When the statute of limitations might expire before the suspect can be arraigned on the indictment.”

The first two reasons don’t apply to Trump, but the third one is spot-on.

After Cohen’s cooperation and sentencing, did someone from the SDNY go to a grand jury and obtain an indictment against Donald Trump? If so, they may have done so as an insurance policy if Trump tries to shut down the Mueller probe.

Granted, we don’t know that document in that Manhattan court vault is an indictment with Trump’s name written on it, but that explanation certainly makes more sense than any other.

Time will tell.

Categories
Corruption Crime Russia Investigation Trump-Russia

White House Expects Don Jr. To Be Indicted Shortly After Midterms

As we sit and watch returns from this year’s midterm election, the White House will be on pins and needles for a reason that is only partially related to the outcome of the balloting.

According to new reporting from Gabriel Sherman of Vanity Fair, West Wing officials are dreading the next moves from Special Counsel Robert Mueller as the Russia investigation again takes center stage. And most of the concern is focused on Donald Trump Jr., who could be indicted as soon as Wednesday, November 7:

“Sources say besides the president, the ones with the most exposure are Roger Stone and Donald Trump Jr. ‘I’m very worried about Don Jr.,’ said another former West Wing official who testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee. The possible exposure would be that Mueller would demonstrate that Don Jr. perjured himself to investigators when he said he didn’t tell his father beforehand about the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting to gather ‘dirt’ on Hillary Clinton.”


If Don Jr. did perjure himself, that would give Mueller leverage he could use in order to compel Junior to either cooperate or face significant jail time. And even if the president were to offer a full pardon to his oldest son, that won’t be the end of the story because law enforcement officials in New York are also looking into that Trump Tower meeting. The president has zero pardon power in New York. Also, a presidential pardon on federal charges would create the impression that Don Jr. is guilty.

So what exactly are we about to see from Robert Mueller? More indictments, more plea deals with cooperating witnesses, and eventually a report he will submit to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who may soon be fired, along with his boss, Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

But here’s the conundrum for Trump: If he tries to end the Russia probe, that will likely trigger impeachment. If he takes a hands-off approach and just rides out the storm, the final Mueller report may spell game over for him. In other words, Trump is in the classic no-win situation, and his crimes are about to catch up with him and his family.