It took years, investigations from multiple prosecutors in various states and probably somebody’s god-fearing grandmama’s prayers, but Donald Trump and the company he runs finally faced accountability in a court of law today.
Trump’s real estate development firm, the Trump Organization, was convicted on 17 counts of tax fraud and other so-called white collar crimes by a jury in New York Supreme Court on Tuesday, the charges reading like a script from the ‘80s prime time soap Dynasty, if the script was rapped by Birdman and Mannie Fresh to the tune of Still Fly.
The New York Times described “a long-running scheme in which the Trump Organization doled out off-the-books luxury perks to some executives.” Those perks included Benzes, swanky New York apartments and even tuition at expensive private schools, all without paying taxes on what should have been considered taxable compensation.
Until now, they’d gotten away with it, bigly.
The question now that Trump’s business has been slapped with a criminal conviction, will any charges be brought against those who benefitted individually? After all, the most important executives in the Trump Organization, like any family business, were the former prez and his closest relatives. Donald Trump’s daughter, Ivanka, and sons Don Jr. and Eric, all worked as bigwigs in daddy’s company, although none of them was charged in the case or directly implicated by Trump Organization CFO Alan Weisselberg, who was the prosecution’s key witness in the case.
And while the case is a huge L for Trump and his fam, it’s a major dub for Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, one of several Black prosecutors, including Fulton County, Georgia, District Attorney Fani Willis and New York Attorney General Letitia James, who has been investigating either Donald Trump, his businesses or both. The trial that ended today began with an investigation started by Bragg’s predecessor, Cyrus Vance, but Bragg—who had been criticized for stepping back from a criminal investigation into Trump himself—took the case against the Trump organization across the finish line.
In an exclusive interview last month in which he also shot back at a failed, racist attack by a Republican gubernatorial candidate to blame him for increasing gun violence in New York, Bragg told the Root that his office was still committed to several inquiries into Trumpworld and predicted a favorable outcome for his office.
“We’re doing a lot in that orbit,” Bragg said.
“Earlier this fall, we indicted Steve Bannon and that case is ongoing and is scheduled for trial. And we are also actively investigating other matters, including the company. I’m constrained from talking specifically about what we are doing on the investigation and what exactly we’re looking at, but we are actively investigating.”
In other words, stay tuned.