I know Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump aren’t twins, but it still feels to me like they may have once shared a womb. And an umbilical cord. And a very limited supply of gin-infused oxygen.
At the very least they’re a double shot of derp, as evidenced by their ill-advised PR blitz over the past two days, after the Trump Organization and its longtime CFO, Allen Weisselberg, were indicted on tax fraud charges.
Most lawyers would tell the executives of a company that’s facing potential ruin related to serious legal peril to just STFU already, but the Trump boys are exceptional. They know better, and their solution is to go on television and basically say, “Yeah, this is illegal, but everyone does it, you filthy plebes.”
On July 1, Eric appeared with Raymond Arroyo on Fox News to push back at Manhattan DA Cyrus Vance, noting that what Weisselberg is being charged with is no big deal—no, really, it isn’t! Honest and for true.
ERIC TRUMP: “Well, these are employment perks. These are, you know, these are, a corporate car, which everybody has. I guarantee you there are people on this network that have corporate cars. I guarantee you there’s people at every company in the country that has corporate vehicles. This is what they’re going after. This isn’t a criminal matter. You know, it’s really interesting, Raymond. After the financial crisis, they didn’t go after a single person on Wall Street despite the fact that these people were literally, they took down the U.S. economy, but they’ll go after somebody after fringe employment benefits? Is that really what the DA is focused on as little girls are getting shot in the middle of Times Square? They’ll go after a corporate vehicle and a corporate apartment? Give me a break.”
So my takeaway from that rant is “blah, blah, blah, blah, yes we committed this crime, blah, blah, blah. Then again, I’m not a lawyer.
That said, the Trump Organization almost certainly does have lawyers, and one can only assume they’re none too happy about all this righteous “truth”-telling.
As The Washington Post ‘s Philip Bump noted in the wake of the Trumps’ recent “we did this, but so what?” press junket, Don Jr., Big Papa, and Eric all basically said the same thing after the indictments were handed down: “This is a nothingburger! How dare you besmirch the sterling reputation of the Great and Powerful Trump!”
The problem? Going on TV to blab about your own legal peril is about the dumbest fucking thing you can do—according to the professionals, anyway.
I spoke with Michael Bachner, a criminal defense attorney in New York and a former prosecutor in the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office. He was direct in his assessment.
“Generally speaking, in white collar cases — or frankly, in any type of litigation, particularly where there’s a high media visibility, as there is in a case like this — criminal lawyers will invariably, almost invariably tell their clients, ‘Do not make any statements regarding the case to the press,’ ” Bachner explained.
“ … The reason is fairly obvious: Statements made by people who can be construed as corporate representatives could be deemed as admissions of the corporation in the litigation.”
I thought everyone knew this. Just from watching TV. Apparently not.
Of course, if this reckless behavior surprises you, you haven’t been paying attention.
Well, come on, you think. No one is simply going to cop to doing the things they’re accused of doing. To which I say: How did Donald Trump characterize his phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, the one at the center of his first impeachment trial. He did not say that he was perhaps a bit inappropriate in his requests. Instead, he insisted over and over that the call was “perfect.” This is what Trump does, he rejects entirely any insinuation that he’s done anything wrong, even if that means embracing the wrongs he did as being right.
As we all know, Trump got away with trying to strong-arm Zelensky, but only because the fix was in from the beginning. Senate Republicans were never going to vote to convict him, no matter what he did. Even if, say, he incited a deadly insurrection against his own country.
But Mitch McConnell won’t be sitting on the jury this time, which means the Trumps’ luck could be running out.
And, as always, Twitter had some thoughts as well.
If you met Don Jr. and Eric and didn’t know anything about them, you’d probably figure out pretty early on that they were born rich—and not just because of the elephant blood spatters. These fools act like everything they do is somehow sanctioned from on high.
Hopefully they’ll have a chance one day to think over their PR strategies from prison. A man can dream, can’t he?
It made comedian Sarah Silverman say “THIS IS FUCKING BRILLIANT” and prompted author Stephen King to shout “Pulitzer Prize!!!” (on Twitter, that is). What is it? The viral letter that launched four hilarious Trump-trolling books. Get them all, including the finale, Goodbye, Asshat: 101 Farewell Letters to Donald Trump, at this link. Just $12.96 for the pack of 4! Or if you prefer a test drive, you can download the epilogue to Goodbye, Asshat for the low, low price of FREE.