The left never quits, and that theme has been bolstered by the machinations going on in New York against Donald Trump and his organization. In what has been a clear fishing expedition from the beginning, the state’s attorney general and the Manhattan DA have joined forces to attempt to criminally charge, well, someone for something.
As RedState reported previously, it was announced that the investigation had moved into the criminal realm, culminating in the convening of a grand jury. Where that would lead was anyone’s guess at the time.
Now, we may have some idea. The Manhattan DA has informed Trump’s lawyers that they might charge the Trump organization over so-called “fringe benefits” given to an executive. In this case, while it is “Trump” being targeted in the sense that it’s his organization, it wouldn’t be him directly being charged in court.
The Manhattan district attorney’s office is said to have told Donald Trump's lawyers that it's considering filing criminal charges against his family business, the Trump Organization, in connection with fringe benefits the company awarded a top executive. https://t.co/YhchmJhuFy
— The New York Times (@nytimes) June 25, 2021
Bless the Times’ heart because they really tried to make this seem like a bombshell in their tweet, but when you dig into the article, it appears to be anything but. In fact, it appears to be more proof that this entire investigation is a complete farce.
The Manhattan district attorney’s office has informed Donald J. Trump’s lawyers that it is considering criminal charges against his family business, the Trump Organization, in connection with fringe benefits the company awarded a top executive, according to several people with knowledge of the matter.
The prosecutors had been building a case for months against the executive, Allen H. Weisselberg, as part of an effort to pressure him to cooperate with a broader inquiry into Mr. Trump’s business dealings. But it was not previously known that the Trump Organization also might face charges…
…“In my more than 50 years of practice, never before have I seen a district attorney’s office target a company over employee compensation or fringe benefits,” said Ronald P. Fischetti, a personal lawyer for Mr. Trump. “It’s ridiculous and outrageous.”
Several lawyers who specialize in tax rules have told The New York Times that it would be highly unusual to indict a company just for failing to pay taxes on fringe benefits. None of them could cite any recent example, noting that many companies provide their employees with benefits like company cars.
What prosecutor criminally charges a company over “fringe benefits” possibly not being recorded properly? Wouldn’t the normal remedy be to just audit them and send a bill? After all this consternation, this is what these rabid partisans masquerading as law enforcement officials came up with? The entire thing seems desperate in the same way some of Robert Mueller’s indictments seemed desperate as if they were designed to justify the investigation more than reach any real crescendo.
Now, there’s always the possibility that this is just the first, small shoe to drop. I’m skeptical, though. If they had the goods on Trump personally, I believe they’d lead with that. Rather, this seems like the first volley in a series of marginal, questionable charges to make it seem like they are drawing more blood than they are, and that’s if they even follow through here.
Given that Trump wasn’t doing his own taxes, even if something got missed, it seems unlikely to me that they’ll ever be able to directly charge him with anything. I assume they’d need evidence of a direct command from Trump to underlings to commit tax fraud, and just like with the “quid pro quo” hysteria of the first impeachment, I do not think that exists. Trump is not the kind of guy who was going to be in the nitty-gritty of tax prep for his company. And again, that’s assuming there’s even wrongdoing of some kind present, of which we haven’t seen any evidence of yet (and may never).
That our justice system has been turned into this kind of political farce is not good for the country. AG Letitia James literally ran on getting Trump. The Manhattan DA, Vance, has always presented himself as a rabid partisan. This is not how things are supposed to work, but until the American people get serious about fixing this stuff at the ballot box, it’s what we have to deal with.