CNN has reported that New York state prosecutors have asked to meet with Michael Cohen’s attorney. This shows that the State of New York is not waiting for Bob Mueller or other federal law enforcement authorities to pursue criminal investigations against Donald Trump or his children.
After the Michael Cohen plea deal we reported that the Trump Organization could be implicated in federal crimes, and the federal prosecutors were pursuing those crimes.
We also reported that if Mueller didn’t want to go after Donald Trump and his business right now, that New York State prosecutors might want to go ahead instead of waiting for the feds to make their move.
Now it appears that this is exactly what is going on.
With all the different parties involved, and all the different potential crimes involved, this situation can get confusing. The most important thing to know right now is that New York is pursuing two different lines of criminal investigation that involve the president and his children:
- The Trump Organization, and
- The Trump Foundation.
We knew that it was full steam ahead with respect to the Trump Foundation lawsuit, as we have reported previously.
But we didn’t know until this week that New York was going to move immediately to investigate the Trump Organization for its state crimes.
According to CNN:
“New York state tax department investigators are scheduled to meet Tuesday with an attorney for President Donald Trump‘s former personal lawyer Michael Cohen, as part of a state probe regarding Cohen and the Trump Organization.”
“State tax officials are examining potential tax fraud by the Trump Organization.”
“Federal prosecutors are continuing to pursue a line of inquiry stemming from their Cohen investigation: whether Trump Organization executives violated campaign finance laws.”
“The New York tax department now also appears to be examining the Trump Organization based on information included in the federal charges against Cohen.”
Here are the details of state tax crimes:
- Court filings from federal prosecutors showed that Cohen submitted false invoices to the Trump Organization in an effort to get reimbursed for hush money he paid to women who had alleged affairs with Trump.
- The company then paid out those invoices as legitimate business expenses, which would be tax fraud.
- The tax department is also examining whether the Trump Organization failed to keep accurate books and records, which is also a crime under state law.
If the tax department finds any wrongdoing they will refer the matter to the state attorney general for prosecution.
We’ve always known that Donald Trump cannot pardon anyone on state level charges, so this news is a big deal for the president and his family.
Also, there is no rule that says the president’s business (The Trump Organization) or the president’s children cannot be indicted while he is president.
And New York prosecutors look like they are moving very aggressively and don’t want to wait to pursue criminal charges.
And there’s nothing Donald Trump can do about it. Three of his children– Don Jr, Eric, and Ivanka – are involved in finances of both the Trump Organization and the Trump Foundation. So they might be implicated in the company’s illegal financial maneuvers.
In short, New York State can indict and arrest Trump’s kids while he’s still in office.
Donald Trump’s horrible week appears to be getting even worse.
I am a lifelong Democrat with a passion for social justice and progressive issues. I have degrees in writing, economics and law from the University of Iowa.