Politics - News Analysis
Manhattan DA Signaling Upcoming Trump Indictments According to Preet Bharara
Trump has long known that he was “Individual One” in a conspiracy and even Trump likely knew that it takes two people to enter into a criminal conspiracy. Right off the top, that was a problem because Cohen had issues concerning the Stormy payment, which led to his other issues.
Trump also looongg knew that he had big issues with his tax returns. If Trump’s tax returns showed that he did everything legally, maybe bending some rules but legal, and those tax returns showed that he was a rich guy, he would’ve put them on the front page of the New York Times. Instead, he took the issue to the Supreme Court, back down to the district court, up to the appellate court again, turned down by the SCOTUS, and thus had to have his firm hand them over. That is a big issue. He lost. The DA has those returns.
Now things are getting down to the end. Trump isn’t president anymore. He lost a lot of whatever goodwill he might have had left (with non MAGAs) after January 6th and he is facing damned serious federal issues, too. If there was ever a time that the Manhattan DA would strike with a criminal indictment, it would be right about this month. The grand jury has had those tax returns a while now.
Preet Bharara is the former head of the US Attorneys Office for SDNY and a billion times better lawyer than most of us will ever be. Bharara was interviewed by another brilliant attorney-reporter, Slate legal columnist Dhalia Lithwick, and Lithwick asked about Trump’s vulnerability to anything right now in New York. First Lithwick asked:
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“His tax returns are in the hands of Cyrus Vance Jr., the district attorney of Manhattan. They’re working to flip folks in the Trump organization. I wonder what piece of that you’re watching or are you just watching all of it? What do you expect to see in terms of accountability and having some sense that there is some closure to any of this?
And Bharara hit every high note:
“Cy Vance is not running for reelection. Vance is, as they say, a lame duck. As a lame duck, he’s done certain things, including hiring an outside forensic accounting firm, which is not super unusual but it’s not that common. He’s done something else that is less common, which is hire an outside lawyer, Mark Pomerantz, who’s a very distinguished, well-respected lawyer in New York,” he elaborated. “I’m not going to put too much weight on it, but it seems like the kind of move you make when you believe that there’s going to be a charge or there’s a good likelihood of a charge, because it’s a pretty public thing to do.”
Again, Bharara is better than us at these things, no doubt. But he’s also speaking as an expert to an expert about people he knows in a city he knows as a very public figure. He must hedge a bit. But everything he listed, everything highlighted, does scream that Vance is “Covering my ass because I’m about to indict a president and there is no room for error.” As Bharara says, it’s not guaranteed, there are no guarantees in law. But perhaps we can say it with a bit more strength. The grand jury may not indict Trump after all is said and done, but all those actions above look like the actions taken by a lawyer who absolutely believes they will return a true bill, and Trump will be indicted.
Nothing is guaranteed. But those signs guarantee it’s a strong strong consideration as to what Vance anticipates.
[email protected] and on Twitter @JasonMiciak