The story of how New York prosecutors were about to charge Donald Jr. and Ivanka Trump with felony fraud in 2012 until money got involved reveals that fraud is the family business and that the Trumps have been buying their way out of trouble for years.
In the spring of 2012, Donald Trump’s two eldest children, Ivanka Trump and Donald Trump Jr., found themselves in a precarious legal position. For two years, prosecutors in the Manhattan District Attorney’s office had been building a criminal case against them for misleading prospective buyers of units in the Trump SoHo, a hotel and condo development that was failing to sell. Despite the best efforts of the siblings’ defense team, the case had not gone away. An indictment seemed like a real possibility. The evidence included emails from the Trumps making clear that they were aware they were using inflated figures about how well the condos were selling to lure buyers.
In one email, according to four people who have seen it, the Trumps discussed how to coordinate false information they had given to prospective buyers. In another, according to a person who read the emails, they worried that a reporter might be onto them. In yet another, Donald Jr. spoke reassuringly to a broker who was concerned about the false statements, saying that nobody would ever find out, because only people on the email chain or in the Trump Organization knew about the deception, according to a person who saw the email.
Prosecutors were preparing an indictment but were overruled by the Manhatten DA who accepted a $50,000 donation from Trump’s attorney. The Trumps also used their money to buy off the plaintiffs in a civil suit over Trump SoHo, but there’s more than a story about how the US justice system is rigged to benefit the wealthy.
Trump SoHo is one of the skeletons in the Trump closet that is being examined by Special Counsel Robert Mueller. For decades, there has been speculation that the Trump empire was built on a foundation of lies and fraud. The reason why the President doesn’t want Mueller digging around in his financial dealings is that he could destroy the myth of Donald Trump, the successful businessman, and get his kids sent to prison.
The practice of cooking the numbers and flat out lying has followed Trump into the White House. What America has in the Oval Office is a fraudster president, and the increased scrutiny that comes with the presidency is the biggest problem currently facing the trump family.