While it’s true that we know there’s a special Trump grand jury now seated in Manhattan that will report back to District Attorney Cyrus Vance, Jr., we don’t really have a complete roadmap for what might happen next when it comes to the case against Donald Trump and the Trump Organization.
That’s why what Adam Kaufmann, a former executive assistant in the Manhattan D.A.’s office whose specialty was white-collar crime, had to say Tuesday on MSNBC is so revealing because it helps clear up some of the murkier aspects of this new grand jury.
Kaufman added he believes that Vance and his team of prosecutors are ready to move to the next step:
In other words, the indictments are coming, Kaufmann concluded, and even though we can’t yet know who will be charged, “you can say that they’re looking at this and thinking, ‘we have enough to go forward and bring criminal charges.'”
The evidence is in hand. The suspects have been identified. All that remains is waiting for the grand jury to act. Don’t be surprised if they start doing exactly that in the very near future
Now that Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. has indicted the Trump Organization and Chief Financial Officer Allen Weisselberg, it’s clearer than ever that the justice system is starting to catch up with Donald Trump and those associated with him.
And now there’s a new twist to the case against Trump, with legal experts saying that Vance’s office may be planning to file state racketeering charges against the Trump Organization, which would give them more leverage over potential witnesses and also lead to greater penalties for those who are convicted, Politico reports:
“Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance could be considering a criminal charge that former President Donald Trump’s business empire was a corrupt enterprise under a New York law resembling the federal racketeering statute known as RICO, former prosecutors and defense attorneys said.
New York’s enterprise corruption statute — which carries the potential for severe penalties — can be applied to money-making businesses alleged to have repeatedly engaged in criminal activity as a way to boost their bottom line.”
New York’s organized corruption statute, which is often referred to as “little RICO,” can be used if there are as few as three crimes involving a business located in the Empire State and carries a prison term of up to 25 years, which would be a death sentence for Donald Trump, who turns 75 next month.
Manhattan defense attorney Robert Anello said he’s certain Vance is considering bringing charges under the New York RICO law:
Anello’s comments were echoed by Michael Shapiro, who used to prosecute corruption cases in New York:
The crimes the former president’s company is suspected of having committed include submitting inflated real estate valuations to banks and insurance companies while reporting those same properties as undervalued when it came time to pay taxes. There have also been rumors that Trump may have used his corporation to launder ill-gotten funds from organized crime outfits in the United States and Russia.
Also under investigation by the Manhattan DA’s office are the hush money payments made during the 2016 campaign to two women who had sexual encounters with Trump and were paid in order to remain silent. Those payoffs, according to legal experts, may well violate New York laws against making false statements as part of a company’s business records.
As for the newly formed grand jury, attorneys say it is almost certain to go along with whatever charges Vance is seeking against Trump and his company, with Shapiro noting:
In other words, the likelihood that Trump and others in his orbit are going to be indicted is all but certain.
Thanks to some excellent reporting from the Washington Post, we learned Tuesday that a special grand jury has been empaneled in Manhattan to hear evidence against former President Donald Trump and others connected to the Trump Organization.
“Manhattan’s district attorney has convened the grand jury that is expected to decide whether to indict former president Donald Trump, other executives at his company or the business itself should prosecutors present the panel with criminal charges, according to two people familiar with the development.
“The move indicates that District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr.’s investigation of the former president and his business has reached an advanced stage after more than two years. It suggests, too, that Vance believes he has found evidence of a crime — if not by Trump then by someone potentially close to him or by his company.”
But what evidence will the new grand jury have before them? According to former federal prosecutor Harry Litman, they’ve got the “mother lode” of information that’s been collected on Trump over the past several years.