View from the left: Prosecutors are going to obliterate Trump and his massive criminal enterprise
Taken together, colluding with Russians and engaging in a conspiracy to silence women in order to steal the election would be plenty illegal and impeachable offenses. Yet they are just the beginning of the long drawn out nightmare that has begun to beset Donald Trump. We saw a virtual torrent of headlines this week related to Trump’s longtime fixer and lawyer Michael Cohen, his chief media maker David Pecker who oversees the National Enquirer property among others, an elaborate hush-money scheme to squelch negative press, false testimony to Congress run through the White House, a Russian agent who infiltrated GOP circles and made contact with Trump, and the Trump inaugural committee falling under federal scrutiny for misusing funds, some” of which went to Trump’s own businesses. At the heart of every one of those salacious and potentially illegal scandals is Trump himself.
And yet despite the velocity and volume of the seedy Trump revelations bearing down on America, this week’s reports haven’t even begun to capture the scope of the criminality that will ultimately define Trump, his presidency, and the empire he built. As former federal prosecutor and NBC legal analyst Daniel Goldman explained on Thursday, collusion appears to be moving to the back burner in terms of the universe of criminality surrounding Trump—which isn’t to suggest that collusion didn’t transpire.
“This might really be a much larger scheme related to sanctions and a massive cover up of really unparalleled proportions,” Goldman explained Thursday on MSNBC. “When you look at Michael Cohen coordinating with the White House to lie to Congress and you look at Michael Flynn lying about his transition contacts related to sanctions to Russia,” Goldman said, “it all starts at the top and trickles down and that’s how criminal conspiracies work.”
But actually, that’s just one bucket of problems for Trump—the one that relates more urgently to his political survival and presidency. The other bucket is the work of his life—his family business, the Trump Organization. And that got a wakeup call this week when incoming New York Attorney General Letitia James gave her first interview and outlined an investigatory agenda that will dissect every area of Trump’s Manhattan-based business: Trump’s real estate holdings, the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting with Russians, any government subsidies Trump has received, any violations of the emoluments clause through his New York businesses, the Trump Foundation, and really any and everything else investigators turn up as they inspect every single foundational rock of Trump’s decades-long professional life in the Empire State.