- Bloomberg Opinion senior columnist Tim O’Brien told MSNBC that he believes people within the Trump Organization could turn on the former president
- He says that the investigation from the Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance could target people who will flip ‘if they’re exposed to criminal liabilities’
- It includes Trump’s main accountant Allen Weisselberg
- Vance’s office revealed it had received ‘millions of pages’ of Trump’s tax returns
- It is investigating whether Trump committed tax fraud
- O’Brien has previously seen the tax records as part of a lawsuit
- He said the investigation could put Don Jr., Eric and Ivanka ‘on the radar’
And just like that …… my day is made 🍸— Tammie 🕊 (@tlccourville) February 24, 2021
Manhattan prosecutors "EXPAND their investigation into Donald Trump TO ALSO LOOK AT DON JR. and chief financial officer Allen Weisselberg"https://t.co/kcHuDWyphy
A Bloomberg journalist who has seen Donald Trump‘s tax returns has claimed that people within the former president’s organization may flip and turn against him during an inquiry by the Manhattan District Attorney.
The key witness! https://t.co/yr7jaoxMeN— Richard Freedland JD (@RickFreedland) February 23, 2021
On Thursday, D.A. Cy Vance’s office revealed it had received ‘millions of pages’ of Trump’s tax returns and financial records after a Supreme Court ruling refused an attempt to keep them under wraps.
Vance’s prosecutors are investigating whether Trump committed tax fraud through inflating the value of his properties to get loans and deflating them for tax purposes, and are also believed to still be investigating hush-money payments to Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal over their claims of having sex with the former president.
The list of confirmed people being criminally targeted for prosecution in New York now includes Donald Trump, Donald Trump Jr, Allen Weisselberg, and Steve Bannon:https://t.co/2duYjBPjkf— Palmer Report (@PalmerReport) February 25, 2021
Bloomberg Opinion senior columnist Tim O’Brien told MSNBC that he believed Vance’s acquisition of the tax returns meant that the ‘damn Trump has spent decades building has gone down’.
The D.A.'s office has expanded their criminal probe into Trump’s empire, "asking questions and grilling witnesses—as recently as in the past few days—not only about Trump but particularly about his eldest son, Don Jr., and Allen Weisselberg"#Maddowhttps://t.co/3TxJgpDuId— 𝙶𝚘𝚗𝚣𝚘 𝚁𝚎𝚍𝚞𝚡 (@roland__do) February 24, 2021
He added that Vance’s inquiry may also target ‘people inside of the Trump organization who might flip on Trump if they’re exposed to criminal liabilities’, including his main accountant Allen Weisselberg. read more…
WHAT COULD PROSECUTORS FIND IN DOCUMENT TROVE?
The millions of pages of Trump documents are not just his tax returns, but the paperwork which underlies them: internal company documents, emails, spreadsheets and memos, and banking records from lenders, which were used by accountants to generate the returns.
That means prosecutors, who are now assisted by forensic accountants from private firm FTI, can try to reconstruct the thought process which led to the tax declarations – and look for any evidence of wrongdoing which went into them
Cy Vance’s team is known to be looking at whether Trump changed the declared value of his Manhattan property empire for his own advantage.
They pounced on claims by Michael Cohen, his Mr Fixit-turned-deadly-enemy, that the Trump Organization increased its claimed value for buildings when asking banks for loans, then decreased the values for tax authorities. Both would be offenses.
PAYMENTS TO IVANKA?
Consulting fees given to Ivanka Trump have raised eyebrows because she was also an employee of the Trump Organization. If the consultancy fees were given to evade or avoid tax, that could be of interest to Vance. His team will also be looking for any other payments to other people which they may conclude were an attempt to avoid tax.
The probe was launched initially in the wake of payments to Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal, allegedly to silence them from making allegations of sex with Trump. Evidence that further implicates him in making payments may be a campaign finance issue, and if there are other – so far unknown – payments to other people for other reasons, those too could be of interest.
THE TRUMP FAMILY FORTUNE
Trump is being sued by his niece Mary who alleges he and two of his siblings – his sister Maryanne Trump Barry and late brother Robert – swindled her and her brother out of their rightful inheritance thought an orchestrated system which was also designed to avoid tax. She bases her claim on a previous treasure trove of older tax documents. Alleged crimes from the mid-1990s and earlier are likely to be covered by the statute of limitations, but prosecutors may look for similar patterns to those she alleges to see if there is an attempt to structure inheritances for younger generations of Trumps at the expense of the public purse.