March 2, 2019

Elie Mystal, editor of Above the Law, joined the panel at AM Joy on Saturday to discuss all things Trump and he shared a widely held view: the SDNY is the biggest threat to Donald Trump and his family. If he doesn't win re-election in 2020, he will almost certainly face prosecution on multiple fronts.

Here is a bit of what was said:

REID: Let's listen to a piece of sound that I think is a problem that Donald Trump could have as a result of Michael Cohen. This is about what else might be out there. Take a listen.

(clip from Michael Cohen testimony on Wednesday)

REP. KRISHNAMOORTHI: Is there any other wrongdoing or illegal act that you are aware of regarding Donald Trump that we haven't yet discussed today?

COHEN: Yes, and again, those are part of the investigation that's currently being looked at by the Southern District of New York.

(end clip)

MYSTAL: SDNY is coming up. The irony here that I hope is not lost on people is that the Trump Organization which appears to be a massive criminal front, is so small potatoes that if Trump hadn't run for president, SDNY wouldn't care. SDNY cares about stop terrorism. Putting SDNY on the Trump Organization, is like bringing in Sherlock Holmes to figure out who framed Roger Rabbit. These people are such cartoonish criminals. Now that SDNY is on it, they're all going down.

The key thing from Michael Cohen's testimony beside all the information he laid out, he issued basically a warning to the rest of the people in the Trump Organization from the CFO Allen Weisselberg all the way down to the secretary. "You lie for Trump, you're going to get got." SDNY is lining all of them up. When you talk about new information, I found the most compelling piece of information, the stuff from Deutsch Bank, for people that don't follow financial news, they are on fire. People think that they are engaged in serious money laundering.

When Cohen says that he's -- "I have a message for Republicans." There are easier ways to get a book deal. When Cohen says that Trump was inflating his assets to get a loan to buy the Buffalo Bills, Michael Cohen wasn't trying to buy the Buffalo Bills, Donald Trump was. You know what the statute of limitations on bank fraud that apparently happened in 2014, it's ten years.

This election is so important for Donald Trump because if he does not win, SDNY is going to be waiting with cuffs on his way out the door. That is the -- to me the key that Cohen said was that he brought this new information, that the statute of limitation has not run on and he warned the other people in the Trump Organization that you can't lie.

REID: You just also warned us for Donald Trump winning the election then becomes existential. He's got to win.

So if Trump doesn't win in 2020, it appears he can face charges up to 2024. How desperate is Donald Trump to stay in power? And will it all be for self preservation (versus self enrichment)?

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