The Trump Crime Syndicate
Criminals surround themselves with criminals. FPOTUS is no exception.
Today, Donald Trump tells us, Donald Trump will be arrested.
Certainly law enforcement has made preparations for this unprecedented development. The media is on high alert. And Trump himself has been issuing posts on Truth Social that are as desperate and unhinged as anything we’ve seen from him in seven years—no small feat:
If it comes to pass that the FPOTUS is indicted in New York by Alvin Bragg, the beleaguered Manhattan District Attorney, for crimes related to the nondisclosure of the Stormy Daniels “hush money” payments, this would mean that, at long last, serial scofflaw Donald John Trump will be held accountable for breaking the law. That’s the good news. The bad news is, this is the meagerest, most weak-sauce charge he could possibly be hit with—and therefore easy for his MAGA allies to insist is the product of a “Deep State” out to get him. This ain’t Al Capone going down for tax evasion; this is a moving violation for failure to yield.
Trump is a criminal. He’s always been a criminal. He was born into a criminal enterprise and went merrily along with the family business. He is a money launderer, a tax cheat, a serial rapist and sexual assailant, and, given his longtime cultivation by the Kremlin, a traitor to his country. Until now, he’s gotten away with his crimes by cravenly ratting out his co-conspirators, as Lincoln’s Bible originally explained—and I subsequently wrote about—long ago.
If indeed Trump travels to New York this week to surrender to authorities—if he submits his short fingers for printing, and scowls for what will immediately be the most downloaded mugshot of all time—this will be a lifelong criminal finally getting arrested. That’s all.
The real shock is that this filthy crook sat in the Oval Office for four years. His criminality has fatally infected the Republican Party, just as it has disarmed the media. Most Americans, I suspect, have not realized that the Criminal-in-Chief surrounded himself with criminals, as criminals tend to do. Here is a list, in chronological order:
Fred Trump’s money guy. Started working for the Trump family in 1973. CFO of the Trump Organization. Last year, Weisselberg pleaded guilty to 15 criminal charges including grand larceny, criminal tax fraud and falsifying business records and was sentenced to five months in prison.
Trump’s original political advisor from the late 80s, and a key player of the 2016 campaign. Mueller charged him with seven felony counts: witness tampering, obstructing an official proceeding, and five counts of making false statements. Stone was convicted on all seven counts and sentenced to 40 months in prison. Trump commuted his sentence and then pardoned him.
Trump’s personal attorney and “fixer” throughout the 2016 campaign; former deputy finance chair of the RNC. Cohen pleaded guilty to five counts of tax evasion, one count of making false statements to a financial institution, one count of willfully causing an unlawful corporate contribution, and one count of making an excessive campaign contribution at the request of a candidate for the “principal purpose of influencing [the 2016] election.” He remains the only Trump insider to flip, and was therefore denied a pardon by his petty former boss.
The first big name to campaign for Trump, and at one time a VP candidate. He was arrested at age 17, for a crime serious enough to mandate spending time in a juvenile detention facility. He thwarted the rules throughout his time in the military. In a deal with Mueller, he pleaded guilty to a felony charge of lying to the FBI about his 2016 communications with Sergei Kislyak, the Russian ambassador to the United States. Then he hired Sidney Powell—yes, her—and tried to scuttle his own deal. Trump pardoned him before this could all be sorted out.
A third-rate Bond villain who worked for notorious oligarch Oleg Deripaska to boost Russian interests in Ukraine. He formally joined the Trump campaign in June of 2016. As a result of the Mueller investigations, Manafort was charged a slew of times in several districts for a variety of crimes. In Virginia, he was convicted on eight charges of tax and bank fraud. In D.C., he pleaded guilty to witness tampering and conspiracy to defraud the United States. Then he voided his plea deal by bullshitting the investigators. He was also a major character in Volume 5 of the Senate Intelligence Committee Report on Russian interference in the 2016 election. He was sentenced to 47 months in prison, followed by an additional 43 months in prison. During the pandemic he was released to home confinement. Trump pardoned him after serving just 23 months behind bars.
Real estate guy who suggested to Trump that he bring in Manafort to run the campaign. Barrack was indicted for being an unregistered foreign agent—a spy, in other words—for the odious United Arab Emirates regime. He was acquitted on all nine charges.
Junior member of Trump’s initial foreign policy advisor team. “Coffee boy.” It was Papadopoulos’s drunken comments to an Australian diplomat that triggered the launch of Crossfire Hurricane, the investigation into the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia. He pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI and served 12 days in federal prison. Trump pardoned him.
Former Breitbart News head. Current seditious podcaster. Took over the Trump campaign after Manafort’s exit in August 2016. Bannon was charged with money laundering and conspiracy to commit mail fraud for his involvement with the “We Build the Wall” fundraising operation. He pleaded not guilty; Trump pardoned him before the case could go to trial. Bannon was subsequently convicted of contempt of Congress and sentenced to four moths in prison; a judge granted him a stay while the sentence was appealed. In 2022, Sloppy Steve was charged in New York with state crimes for the “We Build the Wall” fraud; he pleaded not guilty. His bestie, the Chinese expat “serial fraudster” Ho Wan Kwok AKA Guo Wengui, was arrested last week for a dizzying array of crimes.
Russian head of state, and the crime boss whose ring Trump kissed in Helsinki and elsewhere. Last week, a warrant was issued for his arrest by the International Criminal Court on charges involving war crimes and children:
Mr Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin, born on 7 October 1952, President of the Russian Federation, is allegedly responsible for the war crime of unlawful deportation of population (children) and that of unlawful transfer of population (children) from occupied areas of Ukraine to the Russian Federation (under articles 8(2)(a)(vii) and 8(2)(b)(viii) of the Rome Statute). The crimes were allegedly committed in Ukrainian occupied territory at least from 24 February 2022. There are reasonable grounds to believe that Mr Putin bears individual criminal responsibility for the aforementioned crimes, (i) for having committed the acts directly, jointly with others and/or through others (article 25(3)(a) of the Rome Statute), and (ii) for his failure to exercise control properly over civilian and military subordinates who committed the acts, or allowed for their commission, and who were under his effective authority and control, pursuant to superior responsibility (article 28(b) of the Rome Statute).
And these are just the Trump associates who have been formally charged with crimes. Plenty of other questionable characters remain head-scratchingly free: There have been rumors of an Erik Prince indictment for years now, but nothing has happened there. Rudy Giuliani remains at large. My first summary of the crimes of Jared Kushner was published in 2018; since then, Boy Plunder implemented a Blue State genocide that killed over a million Americans. And neither Don Junior nor Eric nor Ivanka have been indicted, despite ample evidence of criminality (Trump Tower meeting, cancer charity, Baku boondoggle, respectively).
The American people are thirsty for justice. We need the rule of law to flow by the barrel and keg. We need justice to be an open bar, so we can all drink our fill. The Stormy indictment (if it happens) is like trying to get buzzed on a tablespoon of vanilla extract. Is it even really alcohol?
Will Trump’s indictment—if it materializes—be a slap on the wrist, or the beginning of a pendulum swing towards the rule of law? Will Fulton County follow Manhattan? When will Jack Smith make his move? Has the hapless Merrick Garland washed his hands of all of this?
Let this be just the apéritif.
I see Bragg's indictment over story as more of an amuse bouche than even a aperitif. Now, if he throws in witness tampering, obstruction of justice, or even being a public nuisance, then I would elevate it to the next level.
Your writing is so spot on and your conclusion that we the people need to see some heads roll is so true. The crimes are so egregious and in our faces that the delay in indicting and convicting has become a personal affront - if I hear one more time that Merrick Garland is just being thorough I'll lose my temper, it can't take 2+ years to put such an obvious case together - really MG if you were/are having trouble, you should have just used the J6 Committee findings of fact and do what you have to do to pimp them up for the DOJ, they are legitimate findings obtained under oath. Here's to believing Jack Smith is bringing the charges home to indict and convict. Only idiots (#1 Mike Pence) think indicting and convicting a former president is unthinkable - if they did the crime, they should do the time - in the case of tRump there are plenty of crimes to choose from and plenty of evidence to convict. I feel better now.