Sometime later this year, failed, one-term president Donald Trump will be in a courthouse facing charges related to his finances and the finances of his company, the Trump Organization.
Based on testimony Trump has given in previous court cases, the upcoming legal challenges he faces could be a slam-dunk for prosecutors who are investigating him on charges ranging from money laundering to tax evasion.
CNN obtained transcripts of Trump’s former court appearances, and one thing seems safe to say: Trump has left a trail of statements that will probably doom him the next time he faces an indictment:
“Donald Trump once said he calculated his net worth, to a degree, on his ‘feelings,’ and that he put the ‘best spin’ on some of the assets.
“‘I think everybody’ exaggerates about the value of their properties. ‘Who wouldn’t?’
Did he inflate values? ‘Not beyond reason,’ Trump said, insisting he gave his ‘opinion’ to a key associate and ‘ultimately’ let that person make the decision, according to an exchange in a 2007 deposition.
“The exchange takes on fresh meaning this spring as Manhattan prosecutors investigate whether Trump’s ‘best spin’ was common practice in local real estate circles — or if he crossed the line into illegal activity.”
Prosecutors say it’s often difficult get convictions on financial crimes because it’s so hard to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a suspect “intended to defraud someone through misstatements.”
But it’s not hard to prove when you have the person’s own words which were given under oath. If Trump was lying in 2007, he can be charged with perjury. If he didn’t lie, then his prior statements can be used to bolster the argument that he’s been a cheat for decades and also give them a road map as they build their case against him this time.
Trump also said in 2007 that he often massaged the numbers on his financial statements to suit his own purposes:
“During the deposition, Trump was questioned over Seven Springs where its value nearly doubled in one year from $80 million in 2005 to $150 million in 2006.
“The property was valued very low, in my opinion, then and it became very — it just has gone up,” Trump said.
“He was asked if he had any basis for that view, other than his own opinion.
“‘I don’t believe so, no,’ he said.
Donald Trump is a pathological liar. He’s also a grifter and a con man. Those qualities could all but guarantee he’s convicted on several crimes.