Trumpworld’s universe of alleged crime continues to expand

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This week has already delivered two new developments in the galaxy of alleged and proven criminality surrounding former President Donald Trump.

First, attorneys for longtime Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani have revealed the former New York mayor is the target of a Georgia state criminal investigation centered on efforts to overturn the results. 2020 elections in that state. Then we learned that the Trump Organization’s chief financial officer, Allen H. Weisselberg, is expected to plead guilty to charges of underreporting his income for 15 years.

This expansion of Trumpworld’s legal universe pales in comparison to last week’s dramatic development, of course: the FBI’s raid of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort. But it’s a reminder of the extent of alleged and proven criminal behavior that has surrounded Trump since he first announced his candidacy in June 2015.

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The scale is large enough to make setting boundaries useful if one hopes to map this universe. So let’s leave out Trumpworld figures like Dinesh D’Souza, whose 2018 Trump pardon was less a function of adjacency with the president than involvement in the broader conservative ecosystem. Let’s also ignore Trump supporters who have faced lawsuits, like top supporter and former Congressman Duncan D. Hunter (R-Calif).

We can even set aside people closer to Trump who have been pardoned, like Jared Kushner’s father or Kushner’s former business partner Ken Kurson. We also won’t include people accused of helping Trump stay in power after his 2020 election defeat, like attorney John Eastman or former Justice Department official Jeffrey Clark. They may still face charges, but the seizure of their phones by the Justice Department may not herald an imminent indictment.

That leaves us with 14 Trumpworld figures — including the president — who have been charged with crimes, are being investigated, convicted or pleaded guilty and/or pardoned by the former president.

Let’s review the cast of characters, starting with the man in the middle…

donald trump. President. Focus of at least one federal investigation centered on his withholding of government documents. No indictments pending.

Stephen K. Bannon. CEO of Trump’s 2016 campaign. Accused of defrauding donors in connection with a plan to build a border wall. Later found guilty of contempt of Congress. Forgiven by Trump on charges of fraud. Awaiting contempt.

Rick Gates. 2016 Campaign Vice President. Pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI and conspiring to conceal millions of dollars earned through foreign lobbying. Sentenced to 45 days in prison, suspended at the start of the pandemic.

Corey Lewandowski. 2016 campaign manager. Charged with battery after grabbing a reporter at a Trump property in Florida. The charges were dropped.

Paul Manafort. President of the 2016 campaign. Found guilty of fraud by a jury. Pleaded guilty to two counts of federal conspiracy. Served less than two years in prison before being released during the pandemic. Forgiven by Trump after the election.

George Papadopoulos. 2016 campaign adviser. Pleaded guilty to lying to federal investigators. Sentenced to 14 days, which he served.

Michael Cohen. Trump’s attorney. Pleaded guilty to campaign finance violations, lying to Congress, and fraud charges. Sentenced to three years in prison. Served a year before being released to house arrest during the pandemic.

Rudy Giulani. Trump’s attorney. Subject of a federal search warrant in early 2021. Identified as a target of potential prosecution by state prosecutors in Georgia. No indictments pending.

Igor Frouman. Colleague of Rudy Giuliani. Accused of soliciting foreign electoral contributions. Pleaded guilty.

Lev Parnas. Colleague of Rudy Giuliani. Charged with fraud and illegal campaign contributions. Sentenced to 20 months in prison.

Michael Flynn. Trump’s first national security adviser. Pleaded guilty to lying to federal investigators. Forgiven by Trump.

Peter Navaro. Former Trump administration official. Indicted for contempt of Congress. Awaiting judgment.

Peter Roger. Long-time advisor. Convicted of witness tampering and obstruction. Sentence commuted by Trump before he began serving his sentence. Later forgiven.

Allen H. Weisselberg. Chief Financial Officer of the Trump Organization. Accused of cheating on his taxes by underreporting his income for more than a decade. Expected at plead guilty.

If the past two weeks have taught us anything, it’s that this list shouldn’t be taken as definitive.

About Johnnie Gross

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