Politics - News Analysis
Former FBI Counter-Intelligence Agent Says Trump is Screwed, ‘He’s Invoking the 5th by Not Releasing His Taxes’
This morning, Carl Bernstein said that “this” was the Trump smoking gun, the story that will take Trump down. Over the last few years we’ve read several stories that we all thought “should” take Trump down, or “might” take Trump down, but this one strikes right at the heart of everything in Trump’s “being,” his money – which is all that ever mattered to him.
It is also a giant national security risk.
When one applies to get a security clearance, the first thing the FBI looks at is one’s financial posture – are you in serious debt? To whom are you in debt? Not all debt is created equal. If you’re in debt to Yale University for $210,000 that’s one thing. Yale isn’t going to break your wife’s knees. If you’re in debt to the Gambino family for $210,000 that’s quite another.
Very few people in this nation know the threat posed by debt to the integrity of a person than Frank Figliuzzi, former assistant director of the FBI and head of counter-intelligence. People like Frank see the consequences of uncontrolled debt. People get desperate, they look to folks with whom they’d not normally associate, agree to do things they’d otherwise see as unthinkable.
And then there’s Donald Trump, who has always appeared willing to do anything for money. Now the entire nation has to contemplate what Trump will do to get out of $421 million in debt and it isn’t a pretty picture. The picture only gets uglier when one considers the fact that this entire matter entails the only other people on Earth Trump cares about, his family, or at least Ivanka.
Transcript from Rawstory, where Frank talked to our favorite TV analyst, Nicolle Wallace:
Look, you’ve just discussed the fact that Ivanka [Trump] is now wrapped up in this, because she’s been claimed as a business expense for her consulting compensation — while she’s an employee of the Trump Organization. So they’re exposed in this,” Figliuzzi noted. “And it might be part of why we saw so many concerns about Jared Kushner getting a security clearance.”
Yeah, that and all those “WhatsApp” conversations with MBS. I mean, what does a Jewish kid from Manhattan have to talk about with a Saudi Royal family tyrant, right? Oh, yeah, wait – they could talk about money and how to get more of it.
Now on to Trump:
“But I’m here to tell you, Nicolle, that if this applicant named Donald J. Trump were presented to the FBI to work in the cafeteria of the Hoover Building at 10th and Pennsylvania Ave, it would be disqualified for the financial mess that this reflects, for far less than what this reflects. Hundreds of millions of dollars coming due on a personal hook for the president,” he explained. “The judgment alone is questionable, that he would put his name personally and be liable for that.
Not to get technical, but we suspect that men who hand paper bags with $130,000 in cash to porn stars also have a difficult time getting security clearances.
Frank got real specific:
“He’s essentially invoking his Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination when he won’t release his tax returns publicly. He doesn’t want us to see what’s there, not only because it’s embarrassing, but because it may be evidence of a crime,
Yes, and that is exactly what it has always seemed like. It seemed like that in impeachment – “no witnesses!” – the president thinking that his own 5th Amendment privilege covers everyone that could testify against him. It seemed like it when he told Comey he needed “loyalty,” meaning “I get away with what I want, get it?”
It has always seemed that Trump takes the Fifth, it just took a genius like Frank to frame it correctly.
"From a counterintelligence operator's standpoint, if we saw a target with this kind of debt, this kind of possible fraud and tax avoidance at his country, we would be on him like crazy to recruit him" – @FrankFigliuzzi1 w/ @NicolleDWallace pic.twitter.com/JsaNOZi4Rz
— Deadline White House (@DeadlineWH) September 28, 2020
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