Is Donald Trump going to live out his twilight years in prison? That‘s obviously a scenario that many people would love to see come to fruition, not just because of the immense damage he did to the country and democracy during his four years in office, but because of the fact that he’s spent his entire life escaping any and all consequences for being what legal experts call an “amoral sack of shit.” And while at the end of the day we can’t say for sure whether Trump will spend his final days in a prison cell, blathering away to his fellow inmates about how the 2020 election was stolen from him, or if he’ll simply make some unsuspecting Mar-a-Lago busboys listen to his rants about Joe Biden, windmills, and having to flush the toilet “10 [to] 15 times,” recent revelations suggest his outlook is not good.
The Daily Beast reports that a defense attorney for longtime Trump Organization chief financial officer Allen Weisselberg, who was charged in July with 15 felony counts including criminal tax fraud, grand larceny, falsifying business records, and scheming to defraud the government, revealed in court on Monday that prosecutors have discovered a “tranche of evidence in the basement of a coconspirator in the Trump Organization tax fraud case.” Though it’s not clear who the coconspirator is, two sources close to the investigation told The Daily Beast that “prosecutors have been more closely scrutinizing Matthew Calamari, a Trump bodyguard who rose through the ranks to become the company’s chief operating officer,” while others believe the individual in question may be Trump Organization controller Jeff McConney, who has been Weisselberg’s deputy for years and has already testified before the grand jury, according to the outlet. Equally significant? According to Weisselberg‘s lawyer, Bryan C. Skarlatos, the defense has “strong reason to believe there could be other indictments coming.” Obviously, those could be for any current or former Trump Organization employees, from Calamari to Trump’s three eldest children, to the ex-president himself. (“We remain in discussions with the district attorney’s office relating to Matthew Calamari Sr.,” Calamari’s lawyer, Nicholas Gravante, told Bloomberg on Monday. “But we continue to believe there is no basis for indicting him. If they presently intended to indict him, I would have been informed. I haven’t been and, in fact, have not been informed to the contrary.”)
Attorneys for Weisselberg—who, like the Trump Organization, has pleaded not guilty—brought up the new evidence while trying to get the presiding judge to push back an eventual trial date, arguing that they need more time to review what they said is more than 3 million documents, according to The Daily Beast. Prosecutor Solomon Shinerock took issue with Skarlatos’s complaint, noting that, as CFO of the company, the documents would be very familiar to Weisselberg. “They are almost exclusively and an overwhelmingly majority are Trump Organization records,” Shinerock said. “Mr. Weisselberg has been with the Trump Organization for 35 years and he’s the chief financial officer. And while he may not have technical access to certain of the records, as to the financial records, Mr. Weisselberg is the boss.” The judge set the next hearing in the case for January 22, 2022, and told lawyers to expect that a trial will likely begin in late August or early September 2022, Bloomberg noted.
Of course, if prosecutors have their way, there won’t be a trial, sources told The Daily Beast, as the Manhattan district attorney’s office is trying to convince Weisselberg to flip and cooperate against Trump. Some people, like former FBI agent Phil Andrew, believe that’s never going to happen, arguing that the longtime Trump Organization exec will stay loyal in the hopes of both remaining in Trump’s good graces and keeping his $940,000-a-year job. “He’s going to have to ride this in and demonstrate loyalty to end, because that’s his meal ticket,” Andrew told Bloomberg. Others have slightly different predictions:
“The notion that Donald Trump will take care of Allen or any member of the Weisselberg family is comical,” Cohen, who is serving the last remaining weeks of his three-year prison sentence in home confinement, told Bloomberg. “For him to go to prison, expecting that Donald or the company would reciprocate upon his release, and ensure that his family is financially secure, is pure fantasy. Allen, of all people, knows this better than anyone else.”
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U.S. hits grim COVID-19 record
Here’s a fun statistic for the the “it’s no worse than the flu” crowd:
“To have so many people who have died with modern medicine is distressing,” Eric Topol, director of the Scripps Translational Research Institute, told Bloomberg. “The number we are at represents a number that is far worse than it should be in the U.S.”
The COVID fatalities come as numerous Republican governors have done everything in their power to extend the pandemic, and then blamed Joe Biden for it not being over. Over the weekend, CNN’s Jake Tapper noted during an interview with Mississippi governor Tate Reeves that “if Mississippi were its own country, [it] would be 2nd in the world only to Peru in terms of deaths per capita.” Reeves, like his GOP brethren, has vowed to fight Biden’s vaccine mandates, likening the president’s attempt to prevent Americans from getting sick and dying to tyranny.
In happier news…
A Pfizer vaccine for kids is likely on the horizon. Per CNN:
CNN notes that covid infections have risen “exponentially” among children across the United States, now accounting for a whopping 29% of all cases reported nationwide, which probably has something to do with governors like Ron DeSantis banning schools from implementing mask mandates.