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Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, Jr.

Photo from the Manhattan District Attorney's Office's official Facebook

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

Major media outlets have been reporting extensively on the role that Allen Weisselberg, chief financial officer at the Trump Organization, plays in Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr.'s criminal investigation of the company. But Vanity Fair's Bess Levin, in her June 21 column, emphasizes that Weisselberg isn't the only one in the Trump Organization who is under scrutiny by Vance's office.

Vance, Levin notes, is also probing Trump Organization COO Matthew Calamari.

"As part of its criminal investigation into Donald Trump, the Manhattan District Attorney's Office has, for many months now, been trying to get Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg — who knows where all the bodies are buried and could likely put the dots together for a jury — to flip," Levin explains. "Thus far, it doesn't appear as if he's done so, but the fact that Weisselberg could reportedly face charges this summer presumably ups the chances he'll cooperate to save himself. In the meantime, though, Cyrus Vance, Jr.'s office is apparently looking into another figure who may have some extremely helpful information to share. The Wall Street Journal reports that New York prosecutors are investigating Matthew Calamari, Trump's bodyguard turned chief operating officer, and the question of whether or not he was the recipient of 'tax-free fringe benefits,' as part of their probe into the company possibly giving out such perks to employees as a way to avoid paying taxes."

Calamari hasn't been charged with anything in connection with Vance's investigation of the Trump Organization. Neither has Weisselberg or former President Donald Trump. But Levin notes that according to Wall Street Journal sources, prosecutors have advised both Calamari and his son, Matthew Calamari Jr., to hire lawyers — which, Levin observes, is "generally not a great sign."

"(The older) Calamari has reportedly lived for years in an apartment at the Trump Park Avenue building on the East Side and driven a Mercedes leased through the Trump Organization," Levin notes. "His son, Matthew Calamari, Jr., also lives in a company-owned building. Junior joined the family business in 2011 right after graduating high school and was named corporate director of security in 2017, according to a LinkedIn profile."

Vance's office recently convened a grand jury, which, according to Washington Post reporters Jonathan O'Connell, Shayna Jacobs, David A. Fahrenthold, and Josh Dawsey, is "expected to decide whether to indict the former president, according to two people familiar with the development, and is pressing Weisselberg to provide evidence implicating Trump."

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Jeff Danziger lives in New York City. He is represented by CWS Syndicate and the Washington Post Writers Group. He is the recipient of the Herblock Prize and the Thomas Nast (Landau) Prize. He served in the US Army in Vietnam and was awarded the Bronze Star and the Air Medal. He has published eleven books of cartoons and one novel. Visit him at DanzigerCartoons.

Rep. Jason Smith

Photo by KOMUnews is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Reprinted with permission from American Independent

Rep. Jason Smith (R-MO) wants to make sure kids are taught to be patriotic in their schools. His new bill would strip federal funding from any school that does not force them to memorize his selected historical texts.

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