February 15, 2022

David Cay Johnston, who wrote "The Big Cheat: How Donald Trump Fleeced America And Enriched Himself And His Family," was a guest on CNN this morning to talk about the significance of Trump's accounting firm dumping him on Valentine's Day. John Berman asked what it meant.

"Well, it's very important in Donald's case because he's facing questions about running a racketeering enterprise, and running a fraudulent company is at the very center of that. So that his accountants have turned against him and disavowed these compilations they put together where they said, well, here is what our client Donald said these things are worth. Here is how much money he said he had in the bank without checking it, which is what we expect accountants to do, indicates Donald is more and more being separated from people who can do him great harm by simply telling the truth," Johnston said.

"What happens if Mazars cooperates with investigators, which by all accounts it does seem that they are?" Berman asked.

"Donald Bender, the Mazars accountant who prepares Trump's tax returns, testified before the Manhattan grand jury. And New York has this very unusual law, if you testify before the grand jury, you are granted immunity," he said.

"That's not true at the federal level and in other states. So, he no longer is in concern personally for anything he may have done from the Manhattan prosecutors. But it does mean that Mazars is helping the prosecutors put together the, what I expect will be a racketeering case. A New York state racketeering case against Trump, the Trump organization, Allen Weisselberg and probably Donald's three oldest children."

Berman asked if he believed this also has criminal implications.

"Oh, absolutely. But the attorney general's case, while a civil matter, very clearly is aimed at trying to flush out how Donald cheated banks, insurers, investors and of course this is in the context of Donald and Don Jr. and Ivanka saying, 'We shouldn't have to testify before you. There's no reason for you to testify.' In fact, they actually asserted that the statement by Mazars makes the criminal and civil investigations moot, which is utter and complete nonsense."

Berman asked what will the Mazars statement will do to Trump's business.

Johnston said Trump will have a very hard time doing business.

"He may find banks who are unwilling to do business with him even at the level of a checking account because of their concerns that they will be drawn into these widening investigations of Trump and his businesses. And by the way, I think that the accounting profession needs to reform itself and say no more of these compilations where we put our name on a document that we have not checked out the numbers behind it. That's an utterly corrupt practice that should have been ended a long time ago."

"Where do you think this ends for Donald Trump and the Trump organization?" Berman said.

Johnston said the civil case brought by Letitia James will result in a civil suit making numerous charges of falsification of documents, false claims and obtaining benefits as a result.

"The Manhattan grand jury is eventually going to indict Donald Trump. They've got 5 million pages of documents, John. They have to go through every one of them before they can finish their work. But Donald Trump will be indicted on a state racketeering charge. I'm confident of that. And perhaps in West Chester County, by the new D.A. there and in Fulton County, Georgia, by Fani Willis, who's looking into voter fraud and now has a grand jury just for the purpose of investigating Trump's effort to interfere with the Georgia vote count," he said.

"And again, they're going to be people who watch this and say, David Cay Johnston is saying this, but Trump has in their minds gotten away with so many things in so many different areas over the years, why is this different? Why does this new piece of information with Mazars bode particularly ill?" Berman asked.

"Donald has learned very well from the notorious Roy Cohn how to evade and denounce law enforcement. He's gotten away with stuff I've been writing about since the late '80s. But what's different here is, you now have seasoned teams of prosecutors and civil investigators from the attorney general who know what they're looking for and they have lots of witnesses who come in and testified about what Donald is doing and his web of lies is catching up with him, finally, after all these years, after the New Jersey casino authorities failed to do their job and regulate him to the point that he actually cheated customers at one of his casinos. The only time that ever happened in Atlantic City. Finally, you're having focused law enforcement on Donald Trump, which never would have happened if he hadn't become president," Johnston concluded.

NOTE: Johnston is one of those people who pointed out early on that Trump was a crook and a liar, and I highly recommend his books. He started covering Trump during the casino days, and his books have a wealth of information -- including Trump's links to the mob and his money laundering.

Can you help us out?

For nearly 20 years we have been exposing Washington lies and untangling media deceit, but now Facebook is drowning us in an ocean of right wing lies. Please give a one-time or recurring donation, or buy a year's subscription for an ad-free experience. Thank you.


We welcome relevant, respectful comments. Any comments that are sexist or in any other way deemed hateful by our staff will be deleted and constitute grounds for a ban from posting on the site. Please refer to our Terms of Service for information on our posting policy.