As if Donald Trump weren’t already struggling with an avalanche of legal troubles, the former president has also had to contend with a criminal trial into his family business in New York.
Today, a jury found the Trump Organization guilty on 17 counts, including scheme to defraud, conspiracy, criminal tax fraud, and falsifying business records. NBC News reported:
A criminal court jury in New York on Tuesday found the Trump Organization guilty of all charges in a sweeping, 15-year tax fraud scheme that prosecutors said was orchestrated by top executives at the company. Jurors deliberated for just over a day before returning the guilty verdicts.
For those who might need a refresher, it was last summer when Trump faced a rather brutal legal setback: A New York district attorney’s office brought charges against the former president’s business, the Trump Organization, as well as Allen Weisselberg, the Republican’s long-serving and trusted chief financial officer, alleging widespread tax fraud.
Weisselberg ultimately pleaded guilty and became a cooperating witness, but the Trump family business decided to take its chances with a jury. As of this afternoon, that did not turn out well.
It’s worth emphasizing that the former president himself was not directly charged in this case, though as the trial neared its end, prosecutors alleged the Republican "sanctioned" fraud.
The jury’s findings are nevertheless brutal for Trump: His prized family business has now been convicted of multiple felonies, further tarnishing his scandal-plagued reputation.
What's more, there are financial penalties to keep in mind: As NBC News' report added, the company faces roughly $1.6 million in fines at sentencing. Making matters worse, lenders and other businesses are also likely to start keeping the Trump Organization at arm’s length, since few are eager to partner with convicted enterprises.
A New York Times report added that the conviction might also lay the groundwork for the New York district attorney’s office “to intensify its wider criminal investigation into Mr. Trump’s business practices — and hush money paid to a porn star who said she had an affair with him — an inquiry that gained momentum in recent months, according to people with knowledge of the matter.”
For his part, the former president this morning condemned the case as a "witch hunt" — one of the Republican's overused, go-to complaints. Members of the jury who took a detailed look at the Trump Organization's business practices clearly disagreed.