Donald Trump can no longer publish weird messages via social media, but the former president still releases written statements on a regular basis, filled with conspiracy theories, demonstrable lies, assorted attacks against perceived foes, and his unique writing style in which random words are capitalized because he considers the words important.
But over the weekend, the Republican issued a statement that was strange, even by his standards. Over the course of several hundred words, Trump lashed out wildly — and profanely — at law enforcement officials in New York, who he believes are out to "get Trump." (He still enjoys writing in the third person.) The former president's statement was long, rambling, and conspiratorial, and it wasn't at all clear why he published it.
We still can't say with certainty what prompted Trump's tantrum, but a probable explanation emerged yesterday. The New York Times reported on the latest legal proceedings surrounding the former president's family business and its longtime chief financial officer.
A Manhattan criminal court judge set the schedule Monday during a court appearance for the Trump Organization and the longtime senior executive, Allen H. Weisselberg, as one of Mr. Weisselberg's lawyers suggested that charges against other individuals could be imminent in the long-running criminal inquiry into the business dealings of the company.
As regular readers may recall, it was earlier this summer when prosecutors charged Weisselberg and the Trump Organization with several felonies, including fraud and tax evasion. The general counsel for the Manhattan district attorney characterized the allegations at the time as "a sweeping and audacious illegal payments scheme" orchestrated by the former president's business.
Yesterday, Weisselberg's lawyer, Bryan Skarlatos, told a judge, "We have strong reason to believe there could be other indictments coming."
That was new — and unexpected.
As Rachel explained on last night's show, yesterday was supposed to be uninteresting: The point of the hearing was for defense counsel to ask for more time. It's why it came as a surprise when Weisselberg's attorney mentioned, almost in passing, that there's "strong reason" to believe his client isn't the only Trump Organization employee who'll end up facing criminal charges.
At the same hearing, as lawyers discussed the nature of the documents produced so far as part of the process, Skarlatos also referred to "documents that were found in co-conspirators' basements that are tax documents that go directly to the issues."
Naturally, this also raised a few eyebrows, since it raised the possibility that in this criminal case against Trump's business, search warrants are being executed in the basements of various co-conspirators, and the obtained documents are relevant to the alleged felonious scheme.
All of which puts the former president's most recent online breakdown in a new context.