Yet another fraud investigation of the Trump Organization appears to be underway in New York. This time, as it relates to the company’s insurance practices.
Last week, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s (D-New York) questioning of former Trump fixer Michael Cohen led to the allegation that Trump inflated his worth when dealing with insurance providers. This allegation of fraud directly led to New York insurance regulators subpoenaing the records of the Trump Organization’s insurance provider, Aon.
“As is our policy, we intend to cooperate with all regulatory bodies,” said Aon spokeswoman Donna Mirandola. “We do not comment on specific client matters.”
The president’s response to this and other avenues of investigation was short, and delivered as is his custom — on Twitter.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 5, 2019
Taken together, the various investigations into the Trump Organization threaten its classification as a racketeering enterprise and prosecution under RICO laws. The Southern District of New York’s building case does take on flavors of a RICO investigation, as has the Special Counsel’s probe.
The fallout of that kind of investigation could decimate Trump’s business empire.
And beyond the Trump Organization — which manages the president’s business interests — the charitable Trump Foundation was shuttered in December for “a shocking pattern of illegality.” Trump’s inaugural is also under investigation for possible fraud.
In sum total, more than 81 people and organizations are looped in to just the House Judiciary’s investigation into Trump. These range from household names like Julian Assange of Wikileaks, former Trump campaign CEO (and former Breitbart publisher) Steve Bannon, and the publishers of the National Enquirer to government agencies like the General Services Administration and the Department of Justice.
The totality of investigations into Trump’s financial dealings has been dubbed “The Great American Heist” by Esquire. Given the RICO overtones of investigations, however, it may be more accurate to reframe Individual-1 as a kingpin, and to shorten the President’s moniker “The Donald” to merely “The Don.”
Katelyn Kivel is a contributing editor and senior legal reporter for Grit Post in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Follow her on Twitter @KatelynKivel.