Politics - News Analysis
Every Adult Trump Child MUST Get His/Her Own Attorney: But Will Dad Allow It?
We now know that a civil investigation into the entirety of the Trump Organization has a criminal component. We also know that the Manhattan District Attorney has been looking at Trump’s personal taxes for some time. It has also been reported that in a rare (very rare) move, the Manhattan District Attorney’s office has been coordinating with the State Attorney General’s office in the investigations.
Now ask yourself. Would the State of New York announce that they’ve transitioned from a purely civil investigation into a criminal investigation if the Manhattan District Attorney was not going to bring criminal charges? Perhaps sooner rather than later? They are cooperating in the case, after all.
Despite Trump’s lore, the Trump Organization is not some sprawling industry occupying 22 floors of Trump Tower, with offices in London, Doha, and Hong Kong. It occupied two floors and never employed more than about 25 people. Yes, it owned properties (or shares in properties), it also branded properties. But those were mostly left to be managed on their own as independent enterprises. The real power was located in a small space in Trump Tower. Any criminal investigation into the Trump organization will center around five primary people, Don, Don Jr., Ivanka, Eric, and Allen Weisselberg.
If the state brings criminal charges against the organization and people within the organization, there will suddenly be a lot of fingers being pointed. One can be near certain that Weisselberg has his own attorney, indeed he may already be cooperating. That leaves four people, but not four equal people. Don was the boss – ask him. Every single one of those kids would be extremely well-served by getting their own personal attorney, one worried exclusively about their own client. Eric’s attorney shouldn’t give a rat’s ass if Don Jr. goes to prison, nor should she care if Don Sr. takes the entire fall. The same dynamic should apply to everyone else.
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BUT, if the kids get their own attorneys, we all know what the first defense will be. “Dad made us do it.”
And that is why we wonder whether Don will even let them get their own attorneys. You might ask, “How can he prevent them from getting their own attorneys?” Legally, he cannot. Practically, he can. He can disown them. Never speak to them again. Write them out of the will. Take every dollar in lawsuits, leave them as… normal people. The only one with any immunity from that kind of pressure might be Ivanka and not just because of the weird stuff, but because she’s going to live shamelessly rich even without dad’s wealth. (Better hang tight to Kush, though).
Don will not want four attorneys pointing at him. He wants to get two to three attorneys representing all of them together, “team team team.” Any attorney that considers such representation is under an ethical obligation to tell each party, “We recommend you get your own attorney, we would like you to speak to an independent attorney about your decision… ” They will have it in writing, initialed by each of the kids. Only then does that group know who their clients “are,” and it’s all of them.
But if one kid is wily, and calls Don’s bluff, that kid might end up owning whatever meat is left of the Trump Organization, should things go bad for the others. The intra-family moves might be as interesting as the legal moves.
[email protected] and on Twitter @JasonMiciak