Trophy Kill: Trump CFO Does Perp Walk Over Corporate Perks

Yesterday, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr.  and New York Attorney General Letitia James paraded triumphantly in front of hundreds of cameras to charge the Trump Organization and its finance chief, Allen Weisselberg, 73, with a 15-count indictment for failing to pay taxes on corporate perks. Weisselberg was a trophy defendant that needed to be prominently displayed. James ran for Attorney General on the pledge to get Trump and his associates.  The excitement around the courthouse itself had the feel of a thrill kill as the heavily Democratic city celebrated the arrest of someone close to Trump.

I admittedly view these cases through the lens of a longtime criminal defense attorney but few recognized the obvious problem of a big hunt and small game.  It is not that Weisselberg himself is small game, he was a close associate at the top of this company. The charges are small game when these prosecutors pledged to pursue Trump and alleged major crimes. However, the charges are based on violations that are ubiquitous among corporate executives and rarely the subject of such a major prosecution.  If prosecuting untaxed perks was really a focus of these offices, they would have to frog march half of Manhattan to the hoosegow.

Nevertheless, the New York Times declared “the charges represent a major milestone for Mr. Vance, a Democrat who twice beat Mr. Trump at the U.S. Supreme Court in a battle to obtain the former president’s tax records.” Indeed, this effort has been going on for years and I also supported Vance’s right to gain such tax records. I stated repeatedly that I believed that the Trump arguments against turning over such records to Congress and prosecutors were unsupportable from a legal basis.

However, one can recognize that major victory in obtaining Trump’s taxes without inflating the significance of this indictment of his former CFO. The piling on of charges is clearly designed to get Weisselberg to flip against Trump. Standing alone, the case is hardly impressive.  These are tax reporting violations that go back to 2005 and had nothing to do with Trump’s presidency.  This was not Russian collusion or Ukrainian coercion to hush money payments to strippers. It was a failure to tell the IRS that Weisselberg was using cars and apartments paid for by the Trump organizations as well as other benefits.

That did not stop the “bag and brag” quality of the event held at the courthouse. People and many news outlets celebrated that a Trump associate was being handcuffed for anything. However, as a trophy kill, this is hardly enough to mount let alone brag out.

Moreover, the failure to pay taxes on benefits is usually a matter addressed civilly not criminally. If the prosecutors can prove the alleged effort to conceal the benefits, that certainly makes the matter more serious but this is not a big game charge eve if this is a major figure in the Trump company. It is of course possible that there are major criminal charges coming and that this is just the first small salvo. However, it would be difficult to nail Trump on such tax allegations over perks without showing knowledge and involvement in the tax omissions.

The prosecutors have alleged that as much as $1.76 million in benefits should have been taxes since 2005. Putting aside the common inflation of such valuations by prosecutors, that is a lot of money. It is result of adding everything from cars to apartments to wifi to holiday gift accounts.  I expect some of these should have been taxed, but reading the indictment leaves one wondering how many executives fail to include car and other benefits as income, particularly going back to 2005.

I have made an analogy to Major League Baseball cracking down on substances on the hats and arms of pitchers. Pitchers knew that it was illegal but saw this as a common practice. Umpires did not monitor or punish pitchers for adding substances for better adhesions. As I said yesterday, this is obviously far more serious as an act. This is an alleged crime and a lot of money, particularly the payment of tuition which are hard and reliable figures. However, the question is whether this is a common practice has been the focus of major investigations let alone major criminal cases in the past. It also raises the question of selective prosecution.

Weisselberg is charged with a scheme to defraud, conspiracy, four counts of criminal tax fraud and other crimes. However, the major charge is grand larceny in the second degree which can result in a sentence for as must as 15 years but it is extremely unlikely that a sentence would be long, let alone reach such levels.  This is a first offender, elderly businessman who did not claim perks for taxes.  It does not make him Mother Teresa but it also does not make him John Gotti.

Here is the indictment: Weisselberg indictment


100 thoughts on “Trophy Kill: Trump CFO Does Perp Walk Over Corporate Perks”

  1. Once again Turley shows he is a brilliant legal scholar, whose ethics are selective at best. This is yet another witch hunt to discredit a man who (now) knows all the treasonous politician’s skeletons. It is more legal harassment of a man who left behind a life of luxury to become the most hated POTUS in contemporary history.

    But I suspect it will be nothing more than a media headline, likely to become yet another Streisand Effect – and come flying back toward those who would attack this brilliant patriot; Donald J Trump.

    Get your popcorn ready.

  2. Most of the “news,” propaganda, and opinion articles on the allegations of tax fraud Trump Organization are written by people who know nothing about the actual tax laws at issue in this case. The average person reading Prof. Turley’s article, for example, would think that where’s there’s smoke there must be fire and that if a corporation provides housing to an employee, even at pricey New York City levels, that the housing benefit must necessarily be taxable. But this isn’t true. Employee housing benefits can be non-taxable to employees if all three of the following conditions are met:

    1. The housing is provided on the property owned by the business or employer.
    2. The housing is provided for the convenience of the employer. The employer must have a “substantial business reason” for this, such as a remote work location.
    3. The employee must accept housing as a condition of employment. A condition of employment is an agreement at the beginning of employment by both employer and employee.

    These tax laws were written specifically for the benefit of corporations. Consequently, many corporations can and do provide non taxable housing benefits that are entirely within the scope of a lawful non taxable fringe benefit. Were the housing benefits provided to Mr. Weisselberg within the scope of the above non taxable fringe benefit requirements? And will the Prosecution be able to prove they were not? Nobody in the media seems to care about those issues. And why don’t they care? Because those issues involve facts and evidence. And in our modern Kangaroo Court System, facts and evidence simply don’t matter. Only the leftist Mob matters.

  3. The metaphor of a trophy kill is well used by Professor Turley. A trophy kill lends itself to the thought of the bagging of a big antlered buck. They marched before the press with their little spike buck easily carried across their shoulders. Not much meat for the winter on that bone. The problem is, they trespassed on private property to get it. Poaching is still a serious offense and the penalty will be extracted at the voting booth.

  4. So they have had the Trump tax records for quite some time now and they file charges on his accountant for tax evasion. They know that record breaking bass has still been seen in the lake but they proudly tell you about the little perch they caught. It reminds me of Rachel Maddox breathlessly telling us for days that she has the Trump taxes. On July 4th their will be many ladyfinger firecrackers that fizzle out just like this indictment. Oh well, a few more New York taxpayers dollars wisely spent.

  5. Brilliant Professor Turley! Your choice of metaphor is spot on.

  6. “it’s not about politics.

    It’s about Trump Deranged Syndrome.

    1. It’s about a failed, nay, treasonous judicial branch which thwarts, not supports, the “manifest tenor” of the U.S. Constitution.

      The Founders expected elected officials to be corrupt.

      The Founders expected the Constitution to prevail.

      “…courts…must…declare all acts contrary to the manifest tenor of the Constitution void.”

      “…men…do…what their powers do not authorize, [and] what they forbid.”

      “[A] limited Constitution … can be preserved in practice no other way than through the medium of courts of justice, whose duty it must be to declare all acts contrary to the manifest tenor of the Constitution void. Without this, all the reservations of particular rights or privileges would amount to nothing … To deny this would be to affirm … that men acting by virtue of powers may do not only what their powers do not authorize, but what they forbid.”

      – Alexander Hamilton

    2. Your Honor, we are making a motion to dismiss the case against our client because of the prosecution’s Trump Derangement Syndrome.

      Selective prosecution, as Turley will acknowledge, is a very long shot defense, but good luck with that!

  7. NYC Law – a bldg with more than 9 apts requires a LIVE IN superintendent. The super gets a free apartment and a small salary. Wanna bet that most supers don’t declare the apartment on their taxes? What about all of the NYC Gov workers that get free cars, free metrocards and also subsidized housing? Do they claim that on their taxes too? Does De Blasio put the rent value of Gracie Mansion on his taxes too? Certainly NYC knows what that is because Bloomberg never lived there. NYC rented it out instead then.

  8. The statement “it’s not about politics.” is a bald-faced lie and everyone with a brain and functioning critical thinking knows it’s a lie.

    The Marxist totalitarian mindset of “show me the man and I’ll show you the crime” was front and center in this investigation from the very start and it’s exactly what started the investigation and that folks is what the political left has done to our justice system.

    I am no fan of the loose cannon mouthed Trump; however, I am a huge fan of the United States Constitution and our justice system. I’m all for getting criminals off the street including white-collar criminals and I’ll never rationalize actual intentional criminal behavior but this ends justifies the means witch hunting by the extremists in the political left to get Trump and anyone that is associated with Trump is unconstitutional bovine excrement!!!

    President Trump is correct, this was a “show me the man and I’ll show you the crime” witch hunt from the very beginning and if you truly cannot see that then you need to reevaluate your ethics, your morals and your commitment to the United States of America and its Constitution.

    The extremists in the 21st century political left are constantly trying to B A S T A R D I Z E the Constitution and our justice system and used their twisted nonsense as a political tool to destroy those they disagree with.

    1. Witherspoon declares:

      “President Trump is correct, this was a “show me the man and I’ll show you the crime” witch hunt from the very beginning and if you truly cannot see that then you need to reevaluate your ethics, your morals and your commitment to the United States of America and its Constitution.”

      He’s talking to you, Professor Turley. Why won’t you call this a “witch-hunt”? Why?

      1. Jeff, you are killing me. When Turley chooses not to go down the ” Trumpist” road, you fill in the blanks for him. Heads I win tails you lose tactic. This reminds me of the Left’s racist identity test. You either admit you are a racist or the absence of that admission is part and parcel to being a racist. At least you didn’t reference Turley working for Fox. But the holiday weekend is young.

        1. Paul,

          I did reference Turley’s employment at Fox several times today. I’m relying upon you to keep me in check. You are slipping. Get it together!

          Why do you think Turley will not declare the investigation of Trump a “witch-hunt?” Could it be that it isn’t?

          And if he does not repudiate the entire investigation, will not the Trumpists here eventually turn on him like they did Liz Cheney?

          Tell me what you think.

          1. Sorry Jeff. I was busy and came late to the game today. My confidence has been restored. Your ” sickness ” continues. The fact that he doesn’t use the term ” witch hunt” is do to the fact that he is smart enough not to invoke that colloquialism while stating his opinion from a legal standpoint. I don’t believe ” witch hunt” appears in any statute. But malicious prosecution does. Which is EXACTLY what this is. The A.G. campaigned on the ” Get Trump ” platform. And the idiots in N.Y. elected her. With crime rampant since Biden took over you would think that the A.G of our 2nd most populous state would devote resources to violent criminals. Not someone who didn’t declare free rent on his taxes
            This is beyond stupid.
            I am not sure of the statue of limitations in my state but I am going to take a chance.
            I owed a trucking company. And a few times I did take my wife out to dinner and put it down as a business expense. I also gave my kids the company gas credit card when they were away at college. I lived in Chicago. Should Kim Foxx come after me now? Chicago is averaging 33 shootings a week. And I believe 15 children under the age of 5 have been murdered. And this weekend it is predicted to be a war zone. Of course it is because of the guns from Indiana. Not the criminals.
            How long until I am indicted?
            Turley had more credibility than all of the hosts and guests on cnn and msnbc combined.
            You are intelligent obviously. Why you demean yourself with the same song and dance repeatedly is beyond me.
            One more point to you, fish wings and and Sevelez, IT IS HIS BLOG. HE CAN PICK THE SUBJECT MATTER ALL THE TIME. IF YOU DON’T LIKE IT START YOUR OWN.Then you and your 5 contributors can echo your hatred for Fox and Trump ad nauseum.

            1. Paul says, “The fact that he doesn’t use the term ” witch hunt” is do to the fact that he is smart enough not to invoke that colloquialism while stating his opinion from a legal standpoint.”

              Wrong. Turley does not call this prosecution a “witch-hunt” because it is not. Unlike you, he is not a Trumpist.

              Paul asks, “Why you demean yourself with the same song and dance repeatedly is beyond me.”

              I blame you. You just admitted that you were too busy to keep a close watch on me.

              Paul says, “IT IS HIS BLOG. HE CAN PICK THE SUBJECT MATTER ALL THE TIME. IF YOU DON’T LIKE IT START YOUR OWN.Then you and your 5 contributors can echo your hatred for Fox and Trump ad nauseum.”

              Until Turley and/or Darren inform me that I am no longer welcome on this blog, I will presume that they appreciate the diversity of opinion I contribute. Provided I stay within the bounds of civility, silencing me would betray Turley’s Free Speech principles.

              1. Jeff, thank you for your timely response, First of all I am a conservative who leans libertarian. I am NOT a Trumpist. Never played tennis but I am familiar with the term ” unforced error” And nobody had more of them than Trump. I DO NOT want him to run again. However , the left wing media was far more dishonest in covering him than any other President. We can debate the validity of the Russia investigation. But the fact that it was driven by the Clinton campaign with money laundered through the Democratic Party law firm, whose chief piece of ” “evidence” was compiled by a discredited British ex spy gives me pause. And Mueller’s inability to read or understand the Weissman written document at the end of the ” investigation” was comical. My favorite take was the media’s ” It didn’t exonerate him” position. Although not a criminal trial since when is that an acceptable conclusion ? What a waste of time and money! The ” good people on both sides” was reckless. But if you listen to the whole quote he excludes White supremacists . He should have known how that would play. But involving less subjective matters, the use of ” anonymous sources” by the left wing media is out of control. The ” Suckers and Loses” thing never happened . If it did Trump hating Bolton who was at his side the whole trip would have loved to attribute that quote to him. But to his credit he denied it ever happened. Same with the Russian bounties story. Never happened says our intelligence agencies. These lies were repeated by Democrats and the MSM an an almost daily basis .But in fairness I also dismiss the Harris staff strife story in recent days in Politico for the same reason.
                Also you are correct, it is my fault that you are out of control. I will try to do better .Although retired I have been busy lately. I will try to do better.
                As far as the blog is concerned, I am not advocating for you or anyone else to be removed . Like Turley I am a free speech guy. I don’t believe there is anything such thing as hate speech. If someone wants to say that Hitler was the greatest guy ever and Mein Kamph was the greatest book ever , have at it. My guess is there would be serious rebuttal on the other side which is great. As long as you are not using any platform to promote violence I am ok with it. And yes I know the inevitable ” insurrection” argument is coming up after my last statement. Can we discuss that later? The First Amendment didn’t have “Love everybody” in mind when referring to free speech. The attempts to limit free speech especially in academia are truly frightening. If you need a ” safe space” because a ” Micro aggression” ” triggered you” check into that plastic bubble now.
                My suggestion as to starting your own blog was to do it in addition to Turley’s. That way you and you 5 “: followers” could address the subjects that YOU deem most important because it would be YOUR BLOG!

                1. Paul claims:

                  “First of all I am a conservative who leans libertarian. I am NOT a Trumpist. Never played tennis but I am familiar with the term ” unforced error” And nobody had more of them than Trump.”

                  My test for a Trumpist is simple: if a person denies that Trump is a chronic and habitual, then he or she is a Trumpist. If all you believe is that Trump made some “unforced errors,” then you are a Trumpist.

                  Look, I concede that Biden appears to be suffering from a mental deterioration. Do I know it, I do not, but it would not surprise me in the least were it true. But the point is that I do not deny such a possibility or even probability unlike a Trumpist who will look you straight in the face and swear without cracking a smile that Trump is completely honest and never lies.

                  I agree that Clinton paid for dirt on Trump. It happens on BOTH sides, and it is equally objectionable. I will concede that the Mueller Report’s stating that it was not exonerating Trump is unheard of, provided that you will admit that the Report does not state “no collusion,” as Trumpists and Turley, to his discredit, claim. The Report states that there was insufficient evidence to establish a “criminal conspiracy” between the Trump campaign and Russian state operatives. Manafort secretly handing over internal polling data to the putative FSB agent Kilimnick IS “collusion” which is defined simply as “secret cooperation.”

                  You say: “the use of ”anonymous sources” by the left wing media is out of control.”

                  You mean like Trump constantly claiming, “people are saying….”? I have a great concern about the Left or the Right media relying upon anonymous sources. As a journalist, I would tell a source not to tell me secretly what they will not stand by publicly. Anonymity on this blog and in general is one of the main reasons there are so many falsehoods poisoning our discourse because there is no accountability. ANONYMITY IS NEVER ALLOWED IN A COURT OF LAW!

                  As far as the “suckers and losers” allegations, I agree that comment is hard to believe even for Trump. But then again, it is not inconceivable; after all, who would believe that Trump would say what he said about his ability to grab women by their genitals unless there was a recording of it? That comment is no less despicable.

                  I don’t know whether Turley would agree with you that there is no such thing as “hate speech.” He would say, I gather, that neither Big Brother nor Little Brother should censor any speech unless it incites imminent violence because what is hateful is subjective. And if we know one thing about Turley, as a defense lawyer concerned with due process, he demands bright clear lines so that an individual knows precisely how to avoid crossing it, but he shrinks from telling us where he draws that line and how bright to make it.

                  You say, “If you need a ”safe space” because a ”Micro aggression” ”triggered you” check into that plastic bubble now.”

                  I agree that CRT is triggering Conservatives and that they desperately want a safe space for their children.

                  I do appreciate your advice to start my own blog, but I have found a “safe space” here. As long as I am civil, I can say whatever I want knowing that I will not be censored. Turley is true to his word. My advice to Trumpists is to discriminate and ignore my posts if they are “triggered” by them.

                  Have a good Fourth of July!

                  1. Jeff, Thank you for your reply. And I want to say Happy 4th to you and yours before responding.
                    I don’t think there is a legal or any other official definition for Trumpist so I guess you have the right to yours .And I never said that Trump doesn’t lie. They all do. I seem to remember a finger shaking President UNDER OATH stating ” I never had sex with that woman” Then had the audacity to try to mitigate that lie by saying oral SEX was not SEX! Of course I should have expected no less from a man who tried to use ” That depends on what your definition of is, is”.
                    I remember another President telling me that I could keep my doctor if I wanted to under his health plan. I could go on but I already had carpal tunnel surgery once .Which is really weird because I don’t know how to type. By the way, I am in favor of Obamacare. In a country this rich NOBODY should be without health care. But I digress. On the Trump lying, I hope you are not using the WaPo lie counter. If Trump said that it was 72 degrees in Washington the previous day and it was 71, they counted that as a lie. And by some strange coincidence the lie meter has disappeared with the onset of the Biden Administration .Much like the Covid death counter on cnn. And anyone who looks you in the eye and says Trump is completely honest and never lies is not a Trumpist. They are mentally ill. Because I think you would agree, none of us fits that description. I think your assessment is a bit hyperbolic.

                    On the Clinton paid for ” dirt” Maybe we need to define ” dirt”. To me it is something factual in the past that happened to an opponent that could hurt them. Like a DUI or drug bust. Not a blatant lie like much if not all of the Steele report was. As you’re lawyer, you know there are names for this. Libel if printed, slander if spoken.

                    On the no collusion, I think the Manafort communications constitute collusion .But I think that was about polling data. Not good but pretty insignificant. I did not read the whole report so I will not comment on what further evidence there may have been. But I did watch the entire hearing and I have to believe that if there was something more significant it would have been brought out and I would have noticed. Maybe you could educate me here.

                    On Anonymous sources, the Trump ” people are saying” is weak. And I know the President has a high degree of influence on the American public. But I contend in this age of social media, and with the exceptions of the the 3 ” conservative ” networks you previously stated, and the left wing press, which with the exception of the N.Y. Post, maybe the WSJ have more influence than the President is swaying public opinion. And on cnn and msnbc it is not ” people are saying” , it is always” a high placed government source”. In my mind not a fair fight. And I agree totally with you about anonymity on this blog. See we agree on something!

                    On ” suckers and losers”, This will probably not go over well but I don’t care. To equate a lewd act to someone losing their life for their country does not seem commensurate.

                    On Turley agreeing with no ” hate speech”, My guess is unless you are inciting violence he would be ok with most forms of speech. I certainly don’t think the
                    ” woke” definition of ” you might hurt someone’s feelings” rises to the level of prohibited speech.

                    I never mentioned CRT. My reference to ” safe spaces” Microagressions” and ‘ Triggering” had to with, and I am not sure if this is even a word, the pussification of our youth today. I was taught to never be a victim. These young ones are being taught to embrace victimhood. And the reason is it eliminates personal responsibility. The fact that you got a red bike for your 10th birthday instead of the blue one you wanted does not mean you can act in an unlawful manner later in life. I am being sarcastic but you get the point.

                    And Jeff, you don’t need a ” safe space” . You can handle whatever comes your way.

                    Again Happy 4th.

                    1. Paul,

                      Thanks for taking the time to write cogently unlike many Trumpists who are content to throw insults at me instead of engaging in a rational discussion. Regarding my definition of a Trumpist, I was going to add that a person who cannot recognize, or refuses to acknowledge, that Trump as a liar is in a class by himself is a Trumpist. I don’t deny that Clinton was a liar. Believe it or not, I was in favor of his impeachment because a lie about a consensual affair under oath is nonetheless perjury. I would have convicted him to send a message that no one is above the law. But Trump is a chronic and habitual liar. A consummate bullsh*ter. In his case, differences in the quantity of his lies amounts to a difference in quality, meaning his lying is pathological. History will so record it.

                      I don’t believe that Trump has EVER admitted he has lied. How could he? The cardinal rule of a conman is NEVER admitting to a lie. Because once he admits he has lied, there can be no more confidence, for if he has lied once, how can one be sure he won’t lie again? Think of the computer HAL 9000 in Kubrick’s movie. The only good thing about HAL was that he was perfect; once he made a mistake, the computer was useless. The conman works on the same principle. And Trumpists don’t want to admit that their leader is a conman, but he is.

                      Regarding opposition research, think about it. There is ABSOLUTELY NO incentive to pay good money for bad research. Nothing is worse than to make an allegation against one’s opponent that is demonstrably false because the backlash is much more defeating than had they never made the accusation in the first place. I have to believe that Steele believed that his work product was true because if he attempted to pass along demonstrable lies, his livelihood as a private investigator is finished for good. He’ll never be hired again. I don’t know how much of the dossier is actually true or not, but we know that Trump consorts with prostitutes. You do believe that he slept with Stormy and the Playboy bunny don’t you despite his denial? So, it is quite plausible that he had prostitutes in Moscow though the urinating was probably a kink that Trump was too cheap to pay for, I’ll admit.

                      Regarding the Manafort meeting, weak or not, it occurred, but Trumpists would have you believe absolutely nothing occurred. I don’t believe, nor has the mainstream media claimed, that Russia affected the election results. They allege that Russia TRIED which is bad enough and that Trump and his cronies were receptive to such influence if not engaging in a criminal conspiracy. Moreover, Manafort lied and would not cooperate with Mueller to admit all that he did and knew. That is undeniable. And he could keep his mouth shut because he knew Trump would pardon him which he did. So there could be more to be discovered about Russian collusion. But Trumpists claim the whole affair was a media driven “hoax.” Another lie.

                      Regarding “suckers and losers,” I grant you that 99.99% of politicians, nay, people, would never utter such a detestable remark, but frankly when I first heard, it sounded like something Trump might say. I certainly would not put it past Mr. Bone-spurs. Has it been 100% proven that he did not say it?

                      I do agree that nowadays “victimhood” is in fashion. However, both sides seek the power of victimhood. The Trumpists certainly believe that they are the victims of everything the Democrats wish to do. Both the Left and the Right are homo sapiens and equally susceptible to fall into the trap of finding refuge in victimhood. As great as our ideological differences are, at least we share a common humanity. If our rhetoric ever degenerates to untermenschen vs ubermenschen, then we are finished as a civil society.

                    2. jeffsilbermancom wrote, “I was going to add that a person who cannot recognize, or refuses to acknowledge, that Trump as a liar is in a class by himself is a Trumpist.”, “Trump is a chronic and habitual liar. A consummate bullsh*ter. In his case, differences in the quantity of his lies amounts to a difference in quality, meaning his lying is pathological. History will so record it.”

                      I’m sure you’re one of the people that completely swallowed the pure anti-Trump TDS feeding propaganda that the Washington Post created, aka their list of President Trump’s lies. I’m one of the many reasons that the Washington Post had to change the title of their list from President Trump’s Lies to Trump’s False or Misleading Statements. Their original title was in fact a bald-faced propaganda lie based on the actual content of their list, I went through the complete list when it was between 2,000-3,000 and found no lies, there were statements that ended up to be false and lots of misleading statements but no actual lies (a lie is a very specific thing) and I spread the news far and wide that the immoral political hacks Washington Post were intentionally lying to its readers.

                      All lies are false/misleading statements; however, not all false/misleading statements are lies.

                      In my humble opinion; President Donald J. Trump is an unwise narcissistic man with a loose cannon mouth that cannot, yes I actually mean cannot, stop his mouth from being his own worst enemy. Plus; President Donald J. Trump was/is an internet troll.

              2. jeffsilbermancom wrote, “Turley does not call this prosecution a “witch-hunt” because it is not.”

                False, period.

                You’re using Salem Witch Trial School of Thought which are underlying thoughts of a person that causes them to throw out all logical reasoning and conclude the absurd.

                If you actually paid attention to how Turley writes, Turley doesn’t use the the phrase “witch hunt” because he tends not to use hyperbolic phrases and intentionally softballs language as if he’s presenting to a court of law, it’s actually not a bad habit for a professional lawyer like him.

                1. Witherspoon,

                  You are correct Turley, unlike a demagogue like Trump, does not use hyperbolic language. “Hyperbolic” is a euphemism for lying since it means grossly exaggerated.

                  I defy you to point me to any quotation of Turley that states, insinuates or even intimates that any investigation or prosecution of Trump was or is a “witch-hunt,” that is, a deliberate harassment without any legitimate legal foundation.

                2. Witherspoon,

                  I’ll only agree in principle with your statement:

                  “All lies are false/misleading statements; however, not all false/misleading statements are lies.”

                  But I don’t agree with your statement of facts. However, I do agree with your assessment of Trump’s character. It was so well stated, it’s worth repeating:

                  “In my humble opinion; President Donald J. Trump is an unwise narcissistic man with a loose cannon mouth that cannot, yes I actually mean cannot, stop his mouth from being his own worst enemy. Plus; President Donald J. Trump was/is an internet troll.”

                  Just the kind of dissolute character to make deliberate lies as opposed to innocent misstatements of fact.

                  1. jeffsilbermancom swrote, “I’ll only agree in principle with your statement: But I don’t agree with your statement of facts.”


                    You know it’s dang foolish to disagree with facts.

                    What facts do you disagree with?

                    People consumed by their anti-Trump hate still to this day call the Washington Post list a list of Trump’s lies even though the list has been debunked as fake news over and over again. I wrote about one example from the Washington Post “lie” list over on Quora in February 2020, back then the Washington Post’s list was around the 16,000 mark. Instead of posting the whole thing here I’ll must give you a quote from the conclusion and the link:

                    “The Washington Post’s argument is nothing but a contradictory partisan opinions that have been debunked and there are thousands upon thousands of similar claims in their list of over 15,000 that are simply differing opinions. It’s anti-Trump propaganda and if you can’t see it that way then you’re looking through industrial-strength weapons-grade thickened ideological blinders (#Corneilus Gotchberg) at the information.”


                    The Washington Post “lie” list is the epitome of Fake News and anyone claiming or thinking that it’s a list of Trump lies is a fool.

                    1. Mr. Witherspoon bellows:

                      “The Washington Post “lie” list is the epitome of Fake News and anyone claiming or thinking that it’s a list of Trump lies is a fool.”

                      Better a fool than a liar.

                      Jeff Silberman

  9. “violations that are ubiquitous among corporate executives”

    Surely, you must be kidding.

  10. Malicious prosecution must result in conviction and jail.

    Mike Nifong

    In 2006, Mike Nifong pursued rape, sexual assault, and kidnapping charges against Reade Seligmann, Collin Finnerty, and David Evans, three white members of the Duke University men’s lacrosse team. The accusation of sexual assault was made by Crystal Mangum, one of two local black woman who the lacrosse team hired to work as strippers at a party.[8] The case attracted national and international media attention.[9] Former New York Times public editor Daniel Okrent wrote, “It [the case] conformed too well to too many preconceived notions of too many in the press: white over black, rich over poor, athletes over non-athletes, men over women, educated over non-educated.”[10]

    In a letter addressed to the North Carolina State Bar on August 7, Nifong formally surrendered his law license. He then decried the “fundamental unfairness” with which his disbarment was conducted, contradicting his own lawyer’s assertion that Nifong believed disbarment to be an appropriate punishment. To explain the physical condition of the license, Nifong said the license had been damaged “by a puppy in her chewing stage”, and therefore had never been framed or displayed.[81]

    On September 7, 2007, after having already been disbarred, Nifong reported to the Durham County jail to serve a one-day jail sentence for contempt of court. He was held alone in a cell for his protection.[82]

    – Wiki

  11. This is the same Cyrus Vance, Jr. who tried very hard to get a court to reduce Jeffrey Epstein’s Sexual Predator rating from the worst to the least. Fortunately the female prosecutor he assigned was in effect laughed out of Court by a Judge who did the right thing and Epstein remained as one of the worst right up until he apparently died. Then there was Harvey Weinstein that the NYPD Rape Squad nailed by wiring a woman and sending her into his lair. Brave woman and very thorough cops but for reasons never explained, Cyrus Vance, Jr. refused to assign a prosecutor the perfect case. Several more years went by and finally the MeToo crowd got Harvey.

    So Cyrus Vance Jr. who has always been an elected Democrat Prosecutor for Manhattan now apparently has found that his voters and their lawyers are not kicking into his campaign chest these days. He fortunately will resign at the end of his current term.and will spend his remaining time trying yet again to nail Trump via a very valued 80 year old employee. And interestingly, the Mayor’s wife was given access to a multi million dollar fund several years ago and not one penny has been accounted but that’s just find with Cyrus Vance, Jr.

    And no, I am not a Republican I am a very disenchanted Independent who believes we can do better.

  12. Turley–now, you’re trying to defend tax cheaters on the grounds of politics. You claim: ” This was not Russian collusion or Ukrainian coercion to hush money payments to strippers. It was a failure to tell the IRS that Weisselberg was using cars and apartments paid for by the Trump organizations as well as other benefits.” No, it wasn’t a “failure to tell the IRS” about “using” cars or apartments, it was tax evasion, pure and simple. According to Weisselberg’s daughter in law, Jennifer, Weisselberg’s salary remained the same for years and years, and instead of raises and bonuses, for which he would have to pay taxes, he received a rent-free apartment, private school tuition for members of his family and other pricey benefits, which the Trump organization wrote off as business expenses, and for which Weisselberg owes income taxes because these perks were substitutes for income and bonuses. Weisselberg owes millions in unpaid taxes.

    You may recall the “Queen of Mean”, Leona Helmsley, who is famous for claiming “only the little people pay taxes”. Leona had a fabulous home in the Hamptons, with servants. All of the living expenses of this home, including food, salaries for the servants, etc. were paid through the hotel owned by her and her husband. Leona went to prison for tax evasion. This situation is no different.

    And, you claim “If prosecuting untaxed perks was really a focus of these offices, they would have to frog march half of Manhattan to the hoosegow.” Really? Is “half of Manhattan” cheating on taxes to this extent? This wasn’t just a few “perks”, either. Just more of your assignment to try to normalize Trump and his crookedness.

    1. What he’s doing is pointing out the obvious double-standard and hypocrisy. Vance has been known to be VERY understanding of democrats in similar cases, in fact, he nor New York State has ever prosecuted a similar case. At least not according to any case-law Trumps lawyers… and the mainstream media, can find.

    2. The indictment claims 1.76 million dollars in unclaimed benefits, but you allege “Weisselberg owes millions in unpaid taxes.”

      Doesn’t compute.

  13. On a side note: “Nevertheless, the New York Times declared “the charges represent a major milestone for Mr. Vance, a Democrat who twice beat Mr. Trump at the U.S. Supreme Court in a battle to obtain the former president’s tax records”

    And where were the big bombshell charges concerning Trump and his taxes that according to the liberal media… for the past four years… were imminent? Oh, yeah, like literally every other single accusation of Trump crimes by the legal “experts”, media and democrats, this too floundered out, lol. Teflon Don wins again..

  14. The bleating about “saving our democracy” has drowned out dissent and rational thought. Years ago I Tweeted this:

    “Trump has started a race to the bottom that the Democrats are determined to win.”

    He was justifiably criticized for his lock her up chant. No those same self micturating morons stand mute as a prosecutor runs on a promise to get a political figure and proceeds to make good on said promise.

    This is a formula for real political violence. If losing an election means financial ruin and incarceration, candidates with be incentivized to form their own gangs and fight in the streets for office. I have seen it personally.

    If the one party power grab fails don’t be surprised when Hunter is prosecuted and jailed. Also don’t complain.

    1. “If the one party power grab fails don’t be surprised when Hunter is prosecuted and jailed. Also don’t complain.”

      Too many liberal activist judges across the country to ever let that happen.

    2. ti317:

      The popularity of the “lock her up” chant stemmed from the dual standards of the law as it pertains to Democrats.

      State was supposed to have control over her work emails, some of which would necessarily be classified. She signed a new hire document acknowledging this. She signed an outgoing employee document that fraudulently claimed she’d given all her work related emails to State. They use closed communication systems to prevent foreign bad actors (see Colonial Pipeline hack) from gaining access.

      Hillary Clinton used an illegal server in her bathroom which she used for all her correspondence. Not just some of it. Obama claimed to know nothing about it, but it turned out he used an alias when emailing her on this system.

      I believe she did this in order to control the records of her communications. Anything like “don’t forget to pay Russia for the made up dirt on Trump in the dossier” would be deleted. She was a defense lawyer. She’d know the power of written evidence.

      In any case, she had an illegal server from which she conducted State business. This wasn’t just once in a while emailing from a private email address, but regularly and with intent. That illegal server was stored in her bathroom, where people without any clearance had physical access to it. Housecleaners, carpet cleaners, guests, repairmen… That legal server, which contained classified information, was regularly backed up to the Cloud, which was like screaming classified information at the border of Russia, China, or North Korea. Lord, how they must miss her being SOS. The server was worked on by IT people with zero clearance.

      While she was under subpoena, she broker her Blackberries and laptops with hammers, and she used Bleach Bit to wipe her server clean. Then she lied about it. “Do you mean, did I wipe it with a cloth?” Shrugging shoulders.

      If anyone else, with the exception of maybe Joe or Hunter Biden, kept classified information on an illegal server in their bathroom, and backed it up to the Cloud, wiped it clean while under subpoena, and then lied about it, they would be rotting in some oubliette in a federal penitentiary.

      My father worked at the DOD. They scare the heck out of you with warnings about what happens to people who so much as accidentally mishandle classified information one single time. He used to work at times in a SCIF. It contained multiple safes inside, so even those with access to the SCIFs don’t have access to everything it might contain. He said there was this red sign over the door. It read, “Feeling lonely? Want to talk to someone tonight? Then forget to lock your safe.”

      People get charged with serious felonies for taking a selfie inside a nuclear submarine, accidentally sharing the classified information of the sub’s layout in those few square feet of space. They go to prison for leaking information to journalists. They lose their jobs, their clearance, their reputation, and often their freedom. An NSA employee went to prison for this:

      “Nghia Hoang Pho, 68, of Ellicott City, Maryland, and a naturalized U.S. citizen originally of Vietnam, was sentenced today to 66 months in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release, for willful retention of classified national defense information. According to court documents, Pho removed massive troves of highly classified national defense information without authorization and kept it at his home.”

      But a Secretary of State can deliberately keep classified information on an illegal server at her home, and nothing happened to her.

      “Lock her up” referred to the Democrat government ruling class who’s above prosecution.

      See Joe and Hunter Biden to learn more about this caste.

      1. Karen:

        “See Joe and Hunter Biden to learn more about this caste.”

        Sounds like you are alleging “Democratic privilege.” Makes me think that the arguments noting White privilege are not be far-fetched.

        1. Jeff:

          “White privilege” is racist. I have held the hand of white people dying of cancer. Lost a white person to suicide. Watched more than one relative and classmate descend into drug addiction. Known handicapped white people who told me they just wished they were average. I see homeless drug addicted and mentally ill white people in CA all the time. You probably do, too. Claiming that you know anything about someone’s life because of the color of their skin is racist. There are no laws that expressly benefit white people. There are, however, rules such as Affirmative Action and its analogs that benefit black, Latino, and Native American people, while discriminating against Asians and white people.

          Cops usually don’t fight with people who don’t fight back, and if they do, there’s an IA process for that. Studies show that black people are more likely to fight cops. I believe that’s the logical result of lauding those like Michael Brown who fight the cops. If you keep saying cops are racist and will kill you for being black, then it encourages black people to fight cops. People who fight cops have a higher risk of getting hurt or killed.

          What can white people do that black people cannot? Buy a home? Attend a university? Study in school? Have a nuclear family? Attend any event in America? Get a job? Go to any venue just like anyone else?

          The rhetoric implies it’s the Jim Crow South here, or as if you’re a Chinese person in North Korea. It does not reflect reality. If America was systemically racist, and cops were out there hunting black people, then black people would not immigrate here in droves. Yet they do, and they succeed more than native-born black Americans, because they have a conservative culture of hard work and responsibility. Democrat rhetoric, and welfare programs that penalize women who live with the fathers of their children, have decimated black communities. If black people emulated Asian culture, the country would be filled with black doctors, lawyers, engineers, and scientists within a generation.

          Apples to oranges, Jeff.

          I don’t understand the persistent denial among Democrats that there is a dual system.

          – Democrat voters looted, burned, rioted, burned a police precinct, seized entire city blocks for a seditious autonomous zone, threw bombs at federal buildings, and destroyed businesses. Most were not charged. Those who were charged were often diverted to counseling programs. One single time, Republican voters, along with a few Antifa, broke into the Capitol Building, took some selfies, and created a disruption. Most were charged with “illegal parading” and trespassing, yet they’ve been in solitary confinement since they were taken into custody. They are absolutely throwing the book at people who did far less than the Leftist rioters have for a year. The Capitol Police officer died of natural causes, and one of their own protestors was shot while unarmed and not fighting anyone. The law is not applied equally.

          – Joe Biden bragged about a quid pro quo in Ukraine, and got away with it. Trump was impeached for inquiring about it.

          – Hunter Biden said his father knew about his business dealings. There is evidence of pay to play on his laptop. So far, there have been no consequences. Meanwhile, Democrat congresspeople like AOC declared that Trump was in violation of the Emoluments Clause because a foreign national can rent a room for the going rate at any Trump hotel.

          – Democrats claimed Trump was an anti-semite, despite his having a Jewish family, Jewish friends, close ally of Israel, and having moved the embassy to Jerusalem. Meanwhile, Democrats deny they have a growing trend in antisemitism with the popularity of BDS, AOC/Tlaib/Ilhan’s openly antisemitic rhetoric, and their concerted effort to block replenishing the defensive Iron Dome that keeps Israelis alive.

          Democrats are repeatedly guilty of what they claim Republicans are doing. The most egregious case is Psaky had the gall to claim that Republicans, not Democrats, were behind the Defund the Police Movement. They repeat lies so often it’s taken as Gospel.

          1. Karen,

            All I can say is that our opposing views are irreconcilable. I thought we shared some common ground, but it would seem we do not. I don’t see how we could ever bridge our differences. I don’t know what this irreparable ideological gulf portends for the future of our great country because more free speech, despite what Turley advocates, is sadly not working to bring this country together.

        2. Democrats in government and private industry are working together to create an authoritarian, Single Party State.

          Political dissenters are censored on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Youtube.

          Google search algorithms preferentially yield results that help Democrats and hurt Republicans, and they bury the reverse.

          If you won’t agree that gender is a state of mind, with the castration and sterilization of children, and that biological men should gain access to biological women’s sports divisions, then you can lose your job, lose your business, lose your platform, be censored, be harassed, and even lose custody.

          If you won’t pledge your allegiance to the Marxist, anti-Capitalist, anti-cop, pro-criminal, Democrat, racist, anti-semitic BLM organization, then you can be harassed at school, at work, and in every aspect of your life. You can’t even eat dinner safely.

          Democrats have sued and questioned every presidential election they’ve lost. They claim the other side stole the election. Republicans question the election and they’re called seditionist traitors.

          People are afraid of Democrats. Many people are afraid of saying their Republicans at universities, or the workplace. They’re afraid they’ll get assaulted if they wear a MAGA hat. They can’t even note the obvious, that Antifa is a violent organization that confuses anything capitalist with fascism. Heck, they are on camera hunting down elderly people or those with Souther plates and harassing or assaulting them, calling them fascists, too. “Fascist” appears to mean anything they want it to mean, except big government with few individual rights, and intolerance for dissent, all for the “greater good”, as that would apply to the Democrat Party.

          I’m so tired of this. I’m tired of people refusing to see what’s right in front of them. Tired of people just ignoring evidence and going with their feelings. It will soon be too late to stop this.

          1. Karen says
            “I’m so tired of this. I’m tired of people refusing to see what’s right in front of them. Tired of people just ignoring evidence and going with their feelings. It will soon be too late to stop this.”

            You took the words right out of my mouth. If nothing else, we can agree that people should feel less and think more. I never ask someone, “How do you feel?” I always ask, “What do you think?”

            I wish all our political disputes were removed from the public sphere and settled in a court of law where hard evidence is the name of the game and not mere opinion. Where rules of evidence exclude hearsay and other forms of immaterial and prejudicial considerations. And an impartial and disinterested jury renders an informed judgment.

            You and I are similarly motivated, and yet our views could not be more at odds. Strange, isn’t it?

    3. ti317,

      I wouldn’t give a hoot in Hell were Hunter Biden prosecuted and convicted or if Joe Biden were impeached. You won’t hear me complain about either. But the fact that neither has yet occurred does not excuse any wrongs done by Trump and his employees. If he did not wish to have this level of scrutiny on his conduct, he should not have run for president which he never expected to win in the first place. By most accounts, his run was a way to augment his Trump brand. Unfortunately for him, he won.

      1. It is not usual to prosecute someone for the use of a company car or similar perks.

        Selective prosecution based on the politics of the person is abuse of power. The law should be applied equally, but it emphatically is not.

        Everyone has their excuses for why this is OK.

        1. Karen,

          Do yourself a favor and Google “selective prosecution,” ok? This defense may work in the court of public opinion, but very, very rarely in a court of law.

  15. “However, the charges are based on violations that are ubiquitous among corporate executives and rarely the subject of such a major prosecution. If prosecuting untaxed perks was really a focus of these offices, they would have to frog march half of Manhattan to the hoosegow.”

    Therefore, this is yet another example of the abuse of power against conservatives. Democrats in positions of authority have investigated Trump’s lifetime of actions, and those of his associates, trying to find something, anything that could possibly be a crime. Imagine that, for a moment. Hundreds of activists in government positions scrutinizing yours and your associate’s lifetime for evidence of any crime at any time. For years. It will never end. I assume we’ll eventually hear about Trump getting arrested for jaywalking, or driving with a busted tail light, or the IRS disagreeing with his tax attorney’s deductions. They’ll find something, eventually, to pin on him. No one can withstand that level of scrutiny for so long.

    This would be like arresting a conservative for driving 7 miles over the speed limit, while letting everyone else carry on.

    Similar happened to Dinesh D’Souza. Rosie O’Donnell repeatedly exceeded campaign donation limits. She just said she had no idea there were limits. Most people either escape prosecution or are just fined. Obama’s own campaign was fined $375,000 for failing to disclose donations, and for failing to return donations that exceeded the limit. No jail time of which I am aware.

    No jail time for Hillary Clinton having a couple of bootleg servers in her bathroom, where multiple people without any clearance had access to them. She did this to prevent State from having access, and a record, of all of her correspondence. There was classified information on those servers, which she backed up to the Cloud. But no consequences.

    No consequences for Biden bragging about his quid pro quo in Ukraine, getting that prosecutor fired.

    No consequences for crack addict Hunter Biden getting a job in Ukraine oil and gas that paid millions, where his only qualification was that his father was the VP who, coincidentally, got the prosecutor fired investigating Burisma.

    No consequences, so far, for Hunter Biden’s laptop evidence showing a patter of pay to play implicating his father.

    No real consequence for the IRS repeatedly and preferentially targeting conservatives.

    No consequences for NSA spying on conservatives and lying about it.

    1. Yeah, poor little Trumpy Bear is a victim–another alt-right talking point regurgitated by a disciple. Trump has always had a reputation for being a crook, and has been sued thousands of times for reneging on contracts and refusing to pay what he agreed to. Where’s the proof that the so-called “laptop” belonged to Hunter Biden? Even Turley admits that it might not be his. And…Trump is not a conservative, and neither are you.

      1. Show me one example of trump being charged with any crime, just one…. tic toc toc toc… You can’t, because unlike 99.999% of BLM gang members, he’s not a criminal. Prior to 2016 I’ve never read anywhere that Trump had any such reputation. This is just another in a long list of manufactured narratives by the left.

    2. Don’t forget that Hunter is now selling his paintings (where he blows paint onto a canvas thru a straw!) for up to $500,000 a piece! With the buyers kept confidential! The money laundering is in plain sight. That is how brazen the Biden’s are because they know they can – and will – get away with all of their crimes. Because they are Democrats.

      Joe Biden is nothing more than a lying, plagiarizing, self-enriching, corrupt, greedy career politician. Joe Biden is a sleezebag politician of the first degree – along with the rest of the Biden family.

    3. Karen says:

      “No consequences for Biden bragging about his quid pro quo in Ukraine, getting that prosecutor fired.”

      99% of quid pro quo’s are a good thing. Without quid pro quo, one does not have an enforceable contract. Joe’s quid pro quo was laudable since America should condition its foreign aid to rid the beneficiary country of well-known corrupt prosecutors. I’m saddened that you can’t see that fact and swallowed the Trumpist canard that what Joe did was no different or worse than what Trump did.

      1. Jeff, one problem. The threat was to get a prosecutor fired who just happened to be looking into Burisma, an Ukrainian energy company that paid a guy, Hunter, hundreds of thousands of dollars, who doesn’t speak the language and knows zero about energy . No red flags there. Even the Obama State Department expressed concerns. It was corruption at the highest level. Every bit of news that comes out about the
        ” smartest man he knows ” is worse than the previous story. And sleeping with his brother ‘s widow is sickening.

        1. Paul,

          Let’s get one thing straight once and for all: Hunter Biden is a dirtbag. I have NEVER defended ANY of his conduct. I AGREE that the mainstream press has largely ignored him. I ADMIT that Joe Biden probably knows much more about his business affairs than he has let on. I would WELCOME any and all investigations into father or son. And I would NOT call any such investigations witch-hunts. Are we clear now?

          1. Jeff, perfectly clear. I agree with everything you have just said. And appreciate you saying it. And no references to Fox news or the fact that Turley is a contributor.
            Has hell frozen over?

  16. The old “white” guy and the “black” woman aren’t prosecutors. They are card-carrying Democrat (not “Democratic”) politicos thro and thro. If they were lawyers worth the salaries taxPAYER$ pay them, they would be looking at so many Ds they could stage such a parade through the courthouses every week with “blacks” and “whites,” old and young, wealthy and more wealthy, connected and oh-so-connected, women and men, etc. etc.

  17. “[T]he failure to pay taxes on benefits is usually a matter addressed civilly not criminally.”

    Not if you’re Robespierre and Marat — I mean, Vance and James.

  18. Can you imagine what NY prosecutors would find if they spent a tiny fraction of their time investigating Al Sharpton’s National Action Network?

    Instead of prosecuting Sharpton for his tax fraud and other crimes, he was a close “advisor” and frequent guest at the Obama/Biden White House.

    It’s good to be a Democrat isn’t it?

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