Will The Trump Family Be Hit With New York’s Racketeering Enterprise Charge?

Former President Trump addresses a rally in Sarasota, Florida(07/03/2021)

Investigative Reporter David Cay Johnston, an authority in all things Trump, dropped a bombshell on CNN’s Don Lemon show(07/05/21), telling fill-in host Laura Coates that he believed the Manhattan DA will ultimately hit Trump and members of his family with the racketeering enterprise charge, under article 460 of New York’s penal code. Johnston added that this charge could result in a 25 year prison sentence at New York’s notorious Attica prison. code. The full CNN segment is available here, but the relevant clip is below

David Cay Johnston specifically said: “I believe eventually Laura, and since I first said this about a year ago, a number of prosecutors have agreed with me, that the ultimate indictment here is likely to be a New York state racketeering enterprise charge, article 460 of the New York state penal code.”

Johnston then went on to describe what racketeering is, saying even though many in the public think of it as exclusively applying to the mafia, and other organized crime syndicates, it can also be applied to Trump Org, et al. He said, “Racketeering is running what appears to be a legitimate business that’s really a criminal organization who’s primary purpose is breaking the law. While we think of this in terms of mafia, it applies absolutely equally to people who cheat on taxes, who cheat insurance companies, banks, file phony business records, which in New York is a crime that can get you 25 years in Attica.”

David Cay Johnston has been spot-on on almost every piece of reporting he has done over the years, on Trump and his family . Will he be proven right again on the racketeering enterprise charges against the Trump family? Only time will tell, or as Trump famously says, “We’ll see what happens.”

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Trump Got A Mysterious $20-$30M In 2016 From A Las Vegas Hotel Just When His Campaign Needed Cash

Pulitzer winning investigative reporter Susanne Craig of the New York Times dropped a bombshell on MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow Show(02/22/21), telling Maddow that in 2016, just when Donald Trump’s presidential campaign was desperate for cash, he received some $20-$30 million from a Las Vegas hotel–funds that Trump has never really given a satisfactory explanation for. According to Craig, Trump’s only explanation thus far, has been that there are “agreements” underpinning the massive cash infusion, but he has never provided documentary evidence of the specifics of these “agreements”. Susanne Craig speculated that with the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision giving New York state prosecutors access to Trump’s tax returns, this mysterious infusion of cash from Las Vegas in 2016, will be one of the things they zero in on.

Susanne Craig specifically said, “In 2016, he[Trump] got several one-time really outsized cash payments more than $20 million that we could see flowing from a hotel in Vegas that he co-owns with another individual to companies that Donald Trump alone controls and then they went out as just huge cash distributions in the middle of the election. He’s said that there are agreements underpinning these…We haven’t seen those agreements so we don’t know, and I think that’s one of the things that probably investigators are going to look at….they were very unusual and it was $20-$30 million coming to him during 2016 when his campaign was running low on cash.” The full Maddow segment is available here, but the relevant clip is below

Susanne Craig also touched on the suspicious “consulting fees” that the Trump Organization paid to Ivanka Trump, as a possible line of inquiry for New York prosecutors. Because this is a story that received widespread media coverage, it would be an exercise in redundancy for Yours Truly to readdress that issue.

Bottom line folks, as Maddow perfectly summed it up, “It’s amazing that we had a candidate for president, ultimately a successful candidate for president, who engineered a mysterious $20 or $30 million payment to himself in the middle of his campaign, and all these years later, it’s still a total black box.” Reasonable people will agree that this must never be allowed to happen again. What if the Manhattan DA’s investigation reveals that the $20-$30 million cash infusion to Trump was from one of our foreign adversaries? How would we know what this country, or countries, got in return? It’s about time we started taking very seriously, H.R.273 – Presidential Tax Transparency Act of 2019, and other similar legislative proposals, that would mandate nominees of all major political parties to disclose several years of their tax returns. This must be done before 2024.

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Mnuchin Grilled Over Trump’s Tax Returns Double Standard

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin at a Senate Finance Committee hearing on 2/12/2020

At a Senate Finance Committee hearing on 2/12/2020, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin was grilled by Sen Ron Wyden (D-OR) about the apparent double standard stemming from his department’s decision to deny a request for President Trump’s tax returns from House Democrats while at the same time gladly handing over financial records related to Hunter Biden to Senate Republicans.

Sec Mnuchin’s explanation, a plausible one, was that the request for Trump’s tax returns was governed by a different provision from the one governing records request related to Hunter Biden. According to Sec Mnuchin, the records request related to Hunter Biden was a SARS (Suspicious Activity Reports) request which he said Treasury has already released for over 1,000 individuals following requests by both Republican and Democratic committee chairs.

Specifically, Sec Mnuchin said, “The House disclosure of tax returns is subject to protections of 26 U.S.C. 6103 which on the advise of counsel as we documented, we had significant concerns. That’s very different than I believe what you[Sen Wyden] are referring to–SARS requests, which on a bipartisan basis we have responded to thousands ofSARS requests to the committees from both Republicans and Democrats on an equal basis.”

The question for House Democrats going forward is whether they can pin Treasury Secretary Mnuchin to this SARS rationale and get Treasury to release suspicious activity reports related to the Trump family from the myriad banking institutions they have been involved with, especially Deutsche Bank. This might prove particularly interesting given the fact that Attorney General William Barr’s daughter Mary Daly currently works at Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Unit (FINCEN), which presumably handles suspicious activity reports from the various banking institutions. Was Mary Daly installed at FINCEN for a reason? Hmm

Bottom line folks, getting Trump’s tax returns remains a very high priority for the majority of the American public. However, there are other financial records related to Trump and his family that House Democrats could pry loose using Sec Mnuchin’s SARS rationale, especially records related to Trump’s dealings with Deutsche Bank. Hopefully House Democrats will seize on this great opportunity Sec Mnuchin has unwittingly presented them with.

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