Late Monday night, the New York Times published a report that revealed an extensive probe by the New York Attorney General’s Office into ties between the Trump Organization and at least two major global banks — Deutsche Bank, which has already been under scrutiny in the Mueller investigation, and Investors Bank — sending actual subpoenas to the financial institutions, rather than simply requests for information.
Two crucial House Committees, both now controlled by Democrats, have already been in contact with Deutsche Bank. Financial Services Chair Maxine Waters and Intelligence Chair Adam Schiff have already begun inquiries into the hundreds of millions of dollars in loans extended by Deutsche Bank to Trump for his various real estate ventures, despite a string of bankruptcies and business failures that would cause most banks to stay a mile away from lending to him.
The new questions from the state AG’s office arose after Mr. Trump’s former personal attorney, Michael Cohen, testified last month before the House Oversight Committee that during his time at the Trump Organization, he was personally a witness to Trump himself inflating the worth of his assets in order to secure loans or simply file reports that made him look wealthier than he was. Trump also deflated the worth of his assets when it came time to pay taxes on them, according to Cohen’s testimony.
Of course, no one in Trump’s circle nor anyone at either bank had any comment on the investigation.
But the worry here for Trump is two-fold: First, the simple fact is, if Cohen is telling the truth, then Trump may be guilty of crimes related to his business ventures, and perhaps ongoing crimes even after becoming President in not having rectified the situation before now — if taxes or payments on loans are incorrect due to fudged numbers, certainly multiple tax seasons have passed in which they’ve been wrong, even during 2017 and 2018.
Secondly, and maybe more importantly, the legal actions here are taking place in state courts. That means that any underlings involved in committing any crimes that may have been committed cannot be pardoned by the President — or even offered a pardon, so they may be easier to convince to “flip” on him. But it also means that if there are, say, RICO charges related to tax issues that Trump could be charged with, the NYAG office is not bound by any of the “can’t indict a sitting president” mumbo jumbo that the DOJ finds itself facing with Trump.
Could his former job, real estate “mogul,” be the thing that brings him down? At this point, we don’t much care. Just get this guy out of there.
Featured image via screen capture