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Good Article on the State of the Vance Investigation of Trump and Trump Organization (3/15/21)

A good article on the Vance, Manhattan District Attorney, investigation of Trump and the Trump organization.  Jane Mayer, Can Cyrus Vance, Jr., Nail Trump? (New Yorker 3/12/21), here (may require a paid subscription to read).  A good excerpt for tax crimes enthusiasts:

Many legal experts believe that, without an inside witness such as Allen Weisselberg on the stand, it could be hard to persuade a jury beyond a reasonable doubt that Trump knowingly engaged in fraud. Tax cases are notoriously difficult to prosecute, because the details are dull and complicated; ignorance can be an effective defense. The hurdle is proving criminal intent. And, as Bharara pointed out, “Trump is actually very clever.” He learned from his early mentor Roy Cohn, the infamous fixer and Mob lawyer, to leave no fingerprints. He writes very little down, has no computer on his desk, has never had a personal e-mail address, and relies on close aides to send text messages for him. Also, as Barbara Res, an engineer who worked for Trump, recalled, he is skilled at issuing orders obliquely. Res told me, “He would direct work in a way that you knew what he wanted you to do without him actually telling you.”

The targets of complex financial prosecutions often defend themselves by noting that their accountants and lawyers had approved their allegedly criminal actions. Trump has already started making this argument. In a statement denouncing the Supreme Court’s upholding of Vance’s subpoena, Trump protested that his tax returns “were done by among the biggest and most prestigious law and accounting firms in the U.S.”

Readers may recognize Jane Mayer, the author of the article, as an outstanding investigative journalist.  See her Wikipedia page, here.

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