We’ve been lulled into believing Donald Trump is made of teflon. He was, after all, the guy who boasted that he could shoot someone on Fifth Avenue and not lose a vote.
But Trump’s luck began to run out in early 2021—when he lost the White House, Air Force One, and his Twitter account in a few weeks’ time. His days of getting away with conduct that would sink anyone else appear to be over. He could even start losing so much that he’ll get sick of losing.
Trump was met with a huge setback Wednesday when the Supreme Court ordered the 45th president to turn over records leading up to Jan. 6.
You can practically hear Trump saying: “So this is what I get for giving those three clowns their jobs!” His only proponent in the 8-1 decision was Justice Clarence Thomas, whose wife, Ginni, expressed “LOVE” to the Trump supporters coming to Washington on the morning of the attempted insurrection.
The ruling vastly improves the chances the House committee investigating Jan. 6 will get their man.
Documents don’t lie. A paper case means the committee won’t have to rely on dissembling, uncooperative, witnesses like Mark Meadows, Steve Bannon, and Rudy Giuliani (the latter of whom was in charge of forging certificates for rival slates of electors).
It gets worse for Trump.
New York Attorney General Letitia James this week filed subpoenas for two of Trump’s kids—Ivanka and Don Jr.—as part of her investigation of the Trump Organization. This raises the tantalizing question of whether he’d put his own interests ahead of those of his own children. He’s used to throwing lackeys like Michael Cohen and Paul Manafort under the bus to save his own hide. But would Trump leave Ivanka and Don Jr. with skid marks on their backs?
Unlike the assaults on democracy which Trump die-hards either embrace or make excuses for, James has documented the kind of fraud that could break the spell Trump has cast on his supporters, many of whom were drawn to him by a sense that they were cheated by life. If James can prove the allegations, they’d see Trump for the swindler whose “wins” directly correlate with the working man’s losses.
Trump signed papers under penalty of perjury that tripled the size of his 11,000 square foot apartment in order to get a triple-sized loan. That made his triplex, at $327 million, the most expensive in the country. The price tag, former Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg admitted, was overstated by “give or take, $200 million.”
When it came time to cheat the taxman, suddenly, Trump claimed his empire was underwater. He deflated assets, sometimes the same ones. According to James’ filing, in order to take advantage of a tax break for a conservation easement, Trump valued a property in Westchester County at $251 million that had been appraised at $56.5 million. When asked where the figure came from, Trump cited the “involvement of outside professionals.” Pressed further, he conceded it came from “a telephone call with Eric.” That would be his son, that Eric.
According to Just Security’s Litigation Tracker, there are more than 20 active lawsuits against Trump, both civil and criminal, including several in Georgia over Trump’s demand that Secretary of State Brad Raffenssberger come up with 11,780 votes to tilt the 2020 election in his favor.
The DC Attorney General Karl Racine is suing Trump and his 2016 inaugural committee for using funds to enrich the Trump Organization, including paying $175,000 for a ballroom at his hotel that previously went for $5,000.
Trump’s also being sued for alleged violations of the Voting Rights and the Ku Klux Klan Act (which prohibits the intimidation of public officials), by the Capitol and Metropolitan police for injuries arising from the Jan. 6 violence, and by his former attorney Michael Cohen for retaliatory imprisonment after Trump learned he was writing a tell-all book. An active class action suit claims Trump used his brand name to defraud thousands of strivers through multi-level marketing schemes promising to divulge the secrets of his success.
Trump lost any immunity from indictment he may have possessed as president the moment he reluctantly left office on Jan. 20. The heat, at long last, is on Trump.
It’s easy to view the Trumps as farce, but there’s an element of tragedy, with the children emulating the sins of the father.
I’m old enough to remember when there was talk of Ivanka as a future president. I’m young enough to now know that’s never going to happen.
James alleges that “Ms. Trump caused misleading financial statements to be submitted to Deutsche Bank and the federal government.” The House committee has “invited” Ivanka to appear, but she is thus far resisting in light of statements the committee already has which indicate she twice asked her father to call off the mob. She made herself scarce in the days leading up to Jan. 6, to her credit, but it does suggest she knew what was in the works.
Trump doesn’t technically live on Fifth Avenue anymore. But even in his spacious Mar-a-Lago exile, he must feel like the walls are closing in. The wheels of justice grind slowly, but they do grind. And now his children are in the legal crosshairs.
Even Trump must know, he can’t hide from consequences forever. It’s only a matter of time.