The Washington Post has obtained some of the documents that investigators have been looking into to determine if Donald Trump acted to mislead potential lenders about his true net worth. That accusation was made, pointedly, by longtime Trump attorney Michael Cohen in his public testimony before Congress.
And some of those documents, Trump’s “statements of financial condition” provided to banks and insurers, are astonishing.
• Trump lied about the number of floors in Trump Tower, claiming it had 68 floors rather than 58.
• Trump lied about the size of his 1,200-acre Virginia vineyard, claiming it was 2,000 acres, or almost double its true size.
• Trump lied about the number of lots he had zoned and ready for sale at his Southern California golf course, claiming 24 lots that did not exist.
These are, ahem, obviously not wee little oopsies. While a slightly less insane real estate developer might regularly overestimate the expected sale price of properties, for example, claiming a property is almost twice as large as it actually is or claiming your signature tower has sprouted ten more floors overnight would appear to be the sort of thing that would get any other developer thrown in prison.
But there somehow seems to be some debate, in the Post‘s article, as to whether or not this counts as true financial fraud. To be sure, he outright lied to financial firms about his holdings in an effort to secure more favorable terms—which would seem to be the only needed definition—but there’s some tittering over whether the lies are so egregious that they were perhaps not … meant to be taken seriously? Or something?
This continues the apparent pattern in which any investigation of Donald Trump, for anything, turns up additional evidence of more potential crimes. And you can be absolutely assured that the newly Democratic-run House will be examining every one of these bizarre documents.