While cowardly Republican senators may have voted to refuse to hold Donald Trump accountable for the impeachment charges lodged against him of inciting an insurrection, the acquitted ex-president is facing what may prove to be an even more important legal development in New York State.
The Wall Street Journal is reporting today that Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. is “extending the known range of the criminal probe of the former president and his company, according to people familiar with the matter.”
“The people said Manhattan prosecutors are examining loans Mr. Trump took out on his flagship Fifth Avenue building, Trump Tower; 40 Wall St., an art deco skyscraper in New York City’s Financial District; Trump International Hotel and Tower, a hotel and condominium building at Columbus Circle; and Trump Plaza, an apartment building on Manhattan’s East Side,” the newspaper writes.
“All of the loans under scrutiny were made to Mr. Trump by subsidiaries of Ladder Capital Corp. , a New York City-based real-estate investment trust, the people said. Since 2012, Ladder Capital has lent Mr. Trump more than $280 million for the four Manhattan buildings, according to property records,” the article continues.
The expanded investigation by the Manhattan District Attorney joins investigations in progress by New York State Attorney General Letitia James — who is looking into Trump’s state tax filings as well as the financial disclosures he made in loan applications with differing property valuations than what he declared in his tax filings — and by Fani Willis, the Fulton County, Georgia District Attorney, who is taking a close look at the ex-president’s alleged efforts to overturn the state’s vote in the 2020 presidential election with his infamous phone call to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger.
According to The Wall Street Journal, Vance is looking closely at the financial information and valuations contained in the loan documents for the properties under scrutiny.
“While the focus of prosecutors’ interest in Mr. Trump’s properties and loans isn’t known, they could be looking for discrepancies between loan documents and financial information submitted elsewhere by Mr. Trump, such as that on tax returns or submitted to an insurance company, legal experts said. Writing false information on a loan application with the intention of getting financial benefits one isn’t entitled to can be a crime under New York law, according to legal experts.”
While Trump managed to escape conviction in his Senate impeachment trial due to the probable fear of potentially violent political repercussions from his extremist base against any Republican who voted against him, at least the nation can look to his likely subsequent prosecution in state courts as the consolation prize if indeed they are able to put him behind bars for his life of criminal financial activity.
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Vinnie Longobardo is a 35-year veteran of the TV, mobile & internet industries, specializing in start-ups and the international media business. His passions are politics, music and art.