Reprinted with permission from Alternet.
Trump biographer Tim O’Brien predicts that the next few months are going to be very unpleasant for the president, as House Democrats conduct a thorough probe of his personal finances.
Writing in Bloomberg, O’Brien draws on his own experience of getting sued by Trump last decade to discuss the president’s shady financial dealings that could get him into trouble for insurance fraud, among other crimes.
“Scrutiny of Trump’s insurance dealings is just the beginning of what is going to be a long, meandering and possibly harrowing experience for the president, his family, longtime employees, many of his business partners and the White House,” he writes. “Federal prosecutors in Manhattan, attorneys general in Virginia, New York and the District of Columbia, five committees within the House of Representatives and, now, banking and insurance regulators, are all putting the Trump Organization and the president’s financial and political dealings under a wide array of microscopes.”
O’Brien notes that we already know of one shady character in Trump’s orbit who is scheduled to testify before Congress: Felix Sater, the Russian-American former mobster who worked with former “fixer” Michael Cohen to negotiate with Russian officials to build a Trump Tower in Moscow even as he was running for president.
O’Brien describes Sater as a “career criminal” and says he could offer information about not just the Moscow project, but also the Trump Soho hotel project that has been scrutinized as a potential vehicle for international money laundering.
Looking at all these potential targets for investigations, O’Brien concludes that many of the president’s closest allies might turn on him to save themselves from legal jeopardy.
“If Cohen is any indication… many, if not everybody, at the Trump Organization and elsewhere may decide to protect themselves before they protect the president,” he writes. “Investigators have landed on the money trail.”
IMAGE: Donald Trump with Felix H. Sater (right) and Tevfik Arif at the official unveiling of Trump SoHo in September 2007, when it was still under construction. Credit Mark Von Holden/WireImage