Being elected *resident of the United States is the worst thing that could have ever happened to Donald Trump. The purpose of the election, after all, was to set up the perfect sinecure, Trump TV, under the guidance of impresario Steve Bannon. From the little screen Trump would revile Hillary Clinton and all she did on a daily basis, while raving on about the rigged election, pedophile rings, and the Deep State. Most importantly, his crooked enterprises would have continued unabated and most probably, un-investigated. But then, damn, he actually won, and the whole game plan changed in a blink.
Trump was already tired of people and the “so-called judges” getting into his business, but post election the Failing New York Times and all of them started looking and asking questions with a vengeance. Whatever activities Trumpworld was built for, scrutiny was not one of them. Now, for all his screaming at Jeff Sessions, Trump has the Justice Department on his case, more specifically the Southern District of New York, and “once the Southern District gets its jaws onto a string of crimes it doesn’t let go.” Bloomberg:
Trump is now facing a two-front war against the Justice Department. The team led by special counsel Robert Mueller is supposed to focus on Russian interference in the 2016 election. But the Southern District can investigate any aspect of Trump’s behavior that took place in its jurisdiction, at any time. And unlike Mueller, who could in principle be fired, the Southern District isn’t one man; it’s a whole office of career lawyers. It can’t be fired. Even if Robert Khuzami, the acting U.S. attorney in this case, were removed, no new U.S. attorney could realistically call off the prosecutors.
SDNY subpoenaed Allen Weisselberg and his usefulness to them is likely to go way beyond any testimony about Michael Cohen. As CFO of the Trump Organization, he will undoubtedly be required to provide information on any and all criminal activity that he knows about, and the topics of inquiry could include money laundering, tax evasion, bribes, of or by foreign officials, you name it. Plus Weisselberg is the treasurer of Trump’s “charity” foundation and the only non-family member trustee of the trust that is holding Trump’s interest in his own companies. In short, he knows “anything and everything,” as a former Trump employee told CNN. So what does all this SDNY activity portend?
The digging by the Southern District should be a clue to Trump that, when he leaves office, an indictment may be waiting. That would make it hard for him to do his job as president. It would also give him an incentive to resign and be pardoned by Mike Pence.
And if the Southern District wanted to go after Trump before that, it has tools aplenty at its disposal. It doesn’t seem inconceivable that the office could seek to indict the Trump Organization itself and seize assets derived from criminal activity. Or it could use the RICO statute to get a court to deem the organization a criminal enterprise.
Current Department of Justice guidelines say a sitting president can’t be indicted. But they don’t say anything about indicting the president’s business. And the U.S. Supreme Court in the Paula Jones case held that the president may be subject to a civil suit, so any civil proceedings against Trump’s businesses are also within bounds. The Southern District has a civil office, too.
At this point Trump could have Rocco deliver a dead fish to Jeff Sessions, but it’s too late. Plus, if Sessions could actually be bullied into submission he probably would have been by now, considering the onslaught from Trump has gone on for over a year. Flipping Weisselberg is the point of no return and either Trump is too stupid to figure it out, or nobody has had the heart to explain it to him. Charlie Pierce, Esquire:
They flipped the accountant. Remember what happened in The Untouchables when they flipped the accountant. Nothing good happens to the boss when they flip the accountant.
The barely-believable events of the past week prove one thing, if they prove nothing else: There’s a huge amount of work being done under the surface regarding this administration* and we only know maybe an eighth of it. All of a sudden, one day, the president*’s former campaign manager gets convicted and his longtime fixer cops a plea. That’s a rich, full week. Then, on Thursday, we find out that the president*’s top media bagman has been singing. On Friday, we find out that they’ve flipped the accountant. At this point, if Tiffany were spotted walking out of the Manhattan DA’s office, nobody would be surprised.
One way or another, the whole operation is going to be uprooted, and that might happen before Robert Mueller releases his full report. I have to believe that Weisselberg represents a real threat at least to Trump’s two sons, and possibly to Ivanka as well, especially with Cohen singing as well. Beyond that, how much does Weisselberg know about the president*’s past connections to New York mobsters? Nothing good happens when they flip the accountant. And Robert Mueller, with no expression on his face, reaches for another document.
Some chorus of voices, the accountant, the media bagman, the fixer, and we still don’t know what the convicted-criminal campaign manager is going to do as he faces yet another trial, when he’s already looking to be behind bars for the rest of his life as it is. Meanwhile, Trump is so discombobulated he can’t even hold it together long enough to keep control of the flag on the White House roof, so that he can win a pissing contest he started back in the 90’s with a late Senator, whose power in death to garner tribute from both sides of the aisle and around the world, is blowing Trump’s tiny mind. He’s learning the hard way what being a statesman is and he ain’t.
This is political opera at it’s finest, folks, and it’s not over until Sarah Huckabee Sanders sings.