The prosecution in the Trump Organization tax fraud case made the obvious conclusion in their closing arguments:
NEW YORK (Reuters) – Donald Trump’s namesake real estate company engaged in tax fraud and the former U.S. president knew it was going on, a prosecutor said in closing arguments in the Trump Organization’s criminal trial on Friday, countering defense assertions that Trump was unaware of the scheme.
In his final day of closing arguments, prosecutor Joshua Steinglass said Trump authorized an array of perks and payments for top executives, including apartment rent and Christmas bonuses, that cheated tax authorities by being either unreported or misreported as non-employee compensation.
“The whole narrative that Donald Trump was blissfully ignorant is just not real,” Steinglass told the 12-person jury in a New York state court.
Trump, he said, was “very hands on when it came to compensating his top people.”
And of course, the defense then asked for a mistrial, on the basis that ambulatory crime spree Lord Damp Nut was not the object nor subject of the trial:
Michael van der Veen, who represents the Trump Payroll Corporation in the case, asked the judge for a mistrial.
“We picked a jury…based on the people’s representations that Donald Trump was not on trial,” he said Friday, adding that the prosecution has now “made him a co-conspirator.”
I might add, an UNINDICTED co-conspirator.
Anyway, the judge agreed with the prosecution and allowed it:
Acting New York Supreme Court Justice Juan Merchan indicated this week he was surprised by the new attention on Trump in the case, but told prosecutors they could make their accusations during closing arguments because much of the discussion before the trial, and during jury selection, revolved around the fact that Trump was not sitting at the defense table.
Additionally, attorneys for the Trump Corporation and Trump Payroll Corporation invoked the former president’s name several times Thursday and said several times that he had no knowledge of any tax schemes or Weisselberg’s admitted illegal activity.
Merchan on Friday denied the defense’s request for a mistrial. “I don’t believe it is necessary to declare a mistrial, nor do I think that’s even a thought,” he said.
We should note that Weisselberg has pleaded guilty, and yet is on paid absence from the Trump Organization that he defrauded, and believe it or not, us up for a $500,000 Amero bonus in January. And I think it is safe to say that Trump knows about that. I might suspect that all of this money equals witness tampering, but I’m suspicious this way.
As part of his plea agreement, Weisselberg will spend 5 months in jail, and then he’s back to being a company man.