Jury Finds Trump Organization Guilty And I’m Foaming At The Mouth
IT HAPPENED! IT FINALLY HAPPENED! OF THE THOUSANDS UPON THOUSANDS OF SCANDALS AND LIES THAT DONNY DUMPTRUCK AND HIS RACKETEERING ORGANIZATIONS ARE HAVE BEEN ACCUSED OF, TWO OF THEM WERE ABLE TO BE EFFECTIVELY PROSECUTED. I WOULD LIKE TO THANK GOD, JESUS, THE GREEK PANTHEON, AND THE FLYING SPAGHETTI MONSTER FOR HEARING MY FERVENT, NIGHTLY PRAYERS.
Let’s take a deep breath, what exactly happened?
According to CNN, a Manhattan jury has found two Trump Organization companies guilty on a slew of criminal tax fraud charges, as well as falsifying business records over the course of a “15-year scheme to defraud tax authorities by failing to report and pay taxes on compensation for top executives”.
The two organization in question, the Trump Corporation and The Trump Payroll Corporation (really creative names here guys) were found guilty ON ALL COUNTS.
So what happens now? Am I allowed to dress as a Westerosi nun and parade Trump through the streets will chanting “shame, shame, shame” like that one scene in Game of Thrones?
I’m sorry to break your hearts twice, but no. Donald Trump himself was not charged in the proceedings, and I was defrocked by the High Septon on grounds of being “too into sadism”.
Wait, What? So What Happens Now?
I dunno, I guess I could sail to Essos and try to get in good with the red priests of R’hllor – OH you mean the with the Trump Organization? Okay, well here’s the good news, the asshats responsible in the Trump Organization may be required to pay a “maximum of $1.61 million in fines” when they are sentenced this January. CNN goes on to say that the company itself is “not at risk” of being scrapped because there are no new York State laws in place that would allow the courts to dismantle the company. However, it’s likely that doing business in the future is gonna be a BITCH for them now that they have a felony charge under their gold-plated belt. No one is going to jump at the chance to offer a loan or a contract to a company with that much baggage.
So who exactly is going to take the fall for this disaster? That honor belongs to the former Chief Financial Officer of the Trump Organization, Allen Weisselberg. After pleading guilty to 15 felonies related to his scheme to avoid paying $1.76 million in income, Weisselberg took to the witness stand and spilled his guts about the Trump Organization in exchange for a reduced sentence of five months in prison.
And spill his guts he did.
Over a three day long stint on the witness stand, Weisselberg admitted that he was compensated with a “luxury Manhattan apartment overlooking the Hudson River” along with two Mercedes Benz car leases, parking, utilities and furniture for his work in the Trump Organization. And he didn’t pay taxes on ANY OF IT. He also testified to have “paid himself and other executives’ bonuses as though they were independent consultants”, which allowed the two Trump Organization companies to avoid paying taxes on them. I wonder who he learned that from? According to a New York Times investigation, Donald Trump himself paid over $700,000 worth of “consulting fees” to HIS OWN DAUGHTER Ivanka and then deducted them from his taxes.
Weisselburg went on to say that he didn’t work alone, and pulled off the caper with the help of underling Jeffrey McConney. After receiving immunity for testifying in front of the grand jury, McConney confirmed many of Weisselberg’s statements and admitted partaking in illegal activities himself.
The Trump Organization’s defense attorneys attempted to shift the blame away from the Organization itself by claiming that Weisselburg was a “rogue employee” who was acting alone, and purely out of his own self-interest. Weisselberg himself neither confirmed nor denied this. He explained that he knew that his actions would benefit the company, but claimed that he undertook them primarily out of his own greed. This is where things got hairy for the prosecution. The prosecution were informed that they needed to prove that Weisselberg operated “in behalf of” the company in order to secure a guilty verdict. The prosecution and the defense lawyers argued for hours about the exact meaning of “in behalf of”, and the judge Juan Merchan explained it to the jury by saying “under the definition of ‘in behalf of,’ it is not necessary that the criminal acts actually benefit the corporation. But an agent’s acts are not ‘in behalf of’ a corporation if they were undertaken solely to advance the agents own interest. Put another way, if the agent’s acts were taken merely for personal gain, they were not ‘in behalf of’ the corporation.” In plain terms, if Weisselberg did it for Weisselberg alone, the Trump Organization was not to blame.
While Weisselberg certainly acted out of self interest, the prosecution was able to convince the jury that multiple higher-ups at each organization were at fault, and went on to point fingers at Trump himself, saying that “this whole narrative that Donald Trump is blissfully ignorant is just not true”. The prosecutors went on to say that executives and the Organization shared the blame equally, explaining that their plans were concocted “so the employees can get more net pay while costing the Trump Corporation less. It’s a win-win – unless you’re the tax authorities.”
But Trump Himself Got Off Scot-Free? What Gives? I’M OUT FOR BLOOD HERE.
Technically, yes. Trump got off scot-fee. BUT his name came up HUNDREDS of times during the legal proceedings. The jury was informed that Trump “agreed to “pay private school the private school tuition for Weisselberg’s grandchildren” and that he “signed a lease or a Manhattan apartment to shorten the executive’s commute”, he also initialed a memo that reduced that reduced the salary of top executives on paper and then PERSONALLY SIGNED bonus checks for them all at Christmas, which allowed the to reduce the amount of taxes they paid on reported salaries while pocketing the benefits for themselves.
While these facts are irrelevant to Trump’s innocence or guilt with regards to this case, it is a sign that the noose is tightening. Trump is already under scrutiny at a federal and state level for his attempts to overturn the 2020 election results. He is also under fire for alleged mishandling of classified documents, and for the questionable accuracy of the Trump Organization’s business records and financial statements. AND he is facing a $250 MILLION dollar civil lawsuit from the New York attorney general that accuses him and his adult children of a decade long fraud scheme.
So content yourself, it was a really shitty day for Trump, and a good day for the rest of humanity. In light that, I’m canceling my trip to Essos. I wanna see how this whole thing plays out.
(Featured Image: Brandon Bell/Getty Images)
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