“No Other Former President.” The Evidence of Trump’s Crimes

Below I will articulate multiple judicial determinations, decisions by Trump’s accountants, and acts by Trump which strongly indicate that he is guilty of numerous crimes. The point in presenting all these different findings is to suggest that while Trump might plausibly suggest one is corrupt, or explained away, but to argue that they all are is simply absurd.

-A judge has determined there is probable cause that Donald Trump violated the Espionage Act, unlawfully removed or destroyed government documents, and obstructed justice. The context was an order by Magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhart to search Trump’s property at Mar-a-Lago. To issue such a search warrant the judge must find that there is probable cause evidence for specific crimes enumerated on the warrant will be found. The search resulted in the seizure of numerous Top Secret items, to include some at the “TS/SCI” enhanced level of Top Secret for exceptionally sensitive information.

The invocation of the Espionage Act is particularly disturbing because doing so suggests there is evidence Trump intended to misuse the evidence in a manner injurious to the United States or to assist a foreign power. The essence of the espionage statute cited in the warrant is that the information will be “used to the injury of the United States, or to the advantage of any foreign nation.

-A completely different judge has determined that it is likely Donald Trump committed two major felonies in his effort to stay in power after losing the election. The context for this determination was a dispute between John Eastman and the January 6th Committee. Eastman is an attorney who was the architect of the plan to convince Mike Pence to unilaterally throw out enough electoral college votes to give the election to Trump. The Committee subpoenaed his emails and Eastman resisted, claiming Trump was his client and the attorney/client privilege protected the emails. The Committee countered that the attorney/client privilege did not apply because the emails were in the furtherance of a crime or fraud.

Thus, Judge David Carter had to decide, to the preponderance of evidence standard (more likely than not), whether the crime/fraud exception to attorney/client privilege applied. The judge decided the crime/fraud exception did apply, ruling it likely that Donald Trump attempted to obstruct an official proceeding and that Trump engaged in a conspiracy against the United States. The judge was quite direct in these conclusions.

Based on the evidence, the Court finds it more likely than not that President Trump corruptly attempted to obstruct the Joint Session of Congress on January 6, 2021 . . . Based on the evidence, the Court finds that it is more likely than not that President Trump and Dr. Eastman dishonestly conspired to obstruct the Joint Session of Congress on January 6, 2021.”

The relevant criminal statutes, 18 U.S.C. § 1512(c)(2) and 18 U.S.C. § 371, carry maximum sentences of 20 years and 5 years respectively.

-Yet another Federal judge concluded that it has been plausibly alleged that Donald Trump aided and abetted in assaults on police and that Trump conspired with seditionists to violently attack the Capitol. The context involves lawsuits filed by members of Congress, and several Capitol Police Officers, seeking to hold Trump liable for damages they suffered on January 6th. The allegations include that Trump violated the Ku Klux Klan Act by conspiring with the Proud Boys, Oath Keepers and others to violently assault the nation’s capitol. Trump asked the court to dismiss the charges on grounds no plausible facts were alleged supporting the allegations against him.

Judge Amit Mehta disagreed, holding that plaintiffs plausibly alleged that Trump conspired with seditionists and aided and abetted in the beatings of police officers. Once again, the judge was quite direct in his conclusions.

“Plaintiffs have plausibly alleged that the President was of one mind with organized groups and others to participate in violent and unlawful acts to impede the Certification . . . Plaintiffs have stated a claim for common law assault based on an aiding-and-abetting theory of liability.”

-The United States Court of Appeals found “There is a direct linkage between the former President,” and the events of January 6th. The context of this determination was Trump’s resistance to the January 6th Committee receiving documents from the National Archive. Trump asserted executive privilege, which the Court of Appeals rejected. Along the way, the three judge panel walked through the events of January 6th in a way suggesting Trump was responsible. In the words of the unanimous decision:

“The January 6th Committee has also demonstrated a sound factual predicate for requesting these presidential documents specifically. There is a direct linkage between the former President and the events of the day.”

Any one of these should be viewed as scandalous judicial findings disqualifying anyone from any public office. Trump supporters have to believe all six of the judges discussed above are corrupt. That’s absurd, of course, but what else can they do?

But what if there was something else? What if there was evidence of Trump’s corruption from an organization beholden to him?

-Trump’s own accountants fired him for fraud. It obviously takes a lot for an accounting firm to divorce itself from a big money client, but Trump managed to do it. In February the Mazars Company, which had provided accounting services to Trump for over a decade, terminated its relationship with him. The reason was that company had found that Trump had lied to them about his finances. Accordingly, the company advised all those for whom it had prepared financial statements on behalf of Donald Trump that they should not rely upon those statements:

“We write to advise that the Statements of Financial Condition for Donald J. Trump for the years ending June 30, 2011 — June 30, 2020, should no longer be relied upon and you should inform any recipients thereof who are currently relying upon one or more of those documents that those documents should not be relied upon.”

What if we had evidence that Donald Trump himself regards himself as guilty of crimes?

-Donald Trump has pled the 5th Amendment even though it can be used against him. It should be noted that a grand jury in New York has already criminally indicted the Trump Organization for a tax fraud scheme spanning fifteen years. While Trump is not yet individually indicted the investigation continues.

However, in a separate investigation, the New York Attorney General has been investigating the Trump Organization, and Donald Trump, as part of civil investigation of bank, insurance and tax fraud. Trump resisted being deposed in that investigation all the way to the highest court in New York. He failed. He even used his former wife’s death to stall the deposition. All that came to an end on August 10th when Donald Trump finally appeared for the deposition.

At the deposition, the former President of the United States, refused to answer any questions, instead invoking his 5th Amendment right against self incrimination. In a criminal proceeding that can’t be used against him. However, in the civil lawsuit that the NYAG is expected to bring, it can be used to support an inference of guilt. If you doubt it is an effective admission of guilt, just listen to what Trump said about others invoking the 5th Amendment.

-Update on the above example. The State of New York has sued the former President of the United States, Ivanka Trump, Eric Trump and Trump Junior, along with the Trump Organization for multiple massive frauds across virtually every aspect of the business enterprise. The lawsuit alleges Trump grossly inflated his net worth to fraudulently obtain favorable loans while often reporting the same assets at lesser for tax purposes. The New York Attorney General asserts various violations of Federal law which she says has been referred to the the Federal Prosecutor’s Office for Southern District of New York and the IRS.

Trump is crying that “no other former President” has been the target of a search warrant. That is true. However . . .

Donald Trump is not like any other former President, and he deserves to be treated accordingly.

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Keith

Retired lawyer & Army vet in The Villages of Florida. Lifelong: Republican (pre-Trump), Constitution buff, science nerd & dog lover. Twitter: @KeithDB80