Donald Trump was already the subject of a criminal investigation, several civil lawsuits and criminal charges against his private company when the former president was faced with another unwelcome title last month: a second grand jury was formed in New York as part of an investigation into its financial practices. .
The news got worse for the Republican yesterday when we learned who had spoken to that grand jury. The Washington Post reported:
A longtime accountant for former President Donald Trump – who helped prepare Trump’s taxes and the financial statements his company used to lure lenders – recently testified before a New York grand jury investigating financial practices Trump, according to two people familiar with the investigation. Mazars firm accountant Donald Bender appeared before a grand jury that was formed this fall by Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. (D) to weigh potential criminal charges, people said.
Admittedly, Bender is not very well known to the public, but as the Post report explains, Trump’s accountant is a very relevant figure in this investigation: “Prosecutors have already obtained millions of pages of documents related to Trump. of the Bender company, after a battle that went to the Supreme Court twice. Now, they’ve asked for a testimony from a man who could serve as a human roadmap to this data. “
Or, as Rachel asked on last night’s show, “What could be worse for Trump than hearing that his longtime accountant testifies about him in front of the grand jury – a grand jury? jury that has millions of pages of documents to support this testimony? “
The answer, of course, is not much, although it could be worse if the former president’s banker also cooperates with the investigation.
And it turns out that the same Post article adds that prosecutors in recent weeks have interviewed Rosemary Vrablic, former CEO of Deutsche Bank “who arranged hundreds of millions of dollars in loans to Trump.” According to the article, Vrablic has not appeared before the grand jury, at least not yet, although she has spoken to prosecutors “about Trump’s role in the relationship with the bank.”
At this point, I suspect there will be cynics who will see developments like these and shrug their shoulders, assuming Trump has shied away from responsibility before, so there is no point in expecting a serious outcome. now.
But let’s not forget that this Manhattan grand jury process didn’t turn its wheels. Rather, it is the same investigation that gave rise to felony charges against the Trump Organization and its CFO.
It is not, in other words, a hollow exercise that leads nowhere.
As for which line of inquiry investigators are pursuing, everyone agrees there is controversy surrounding how Trump’s operation valued his assets – which may sound like a boring topic, but it’s a surprisingly powerful problem for the former president.