Donald Trump has hired more coffee boys than Starbucks over the years, and they all get the same treatment after he’s through sucking the marrow out of their sad, brittle, untermensch bones: He claims he doesn’t know them, and if he happens to have been photographed with them 90 times over the course of 30 years, he’s quick to point out that he’s regularly seen with lots of sketchy people who are mysteriously drawn to his grand, elysian fiefdom.
The latest luckless java lad to be mercilessly ground beneath the wheels of the Trump bus is Allen Weisselberg, the ex-Trump Org CFO who’s been testifying in the criminal trial against the company. Weisselberg has long since started Trump’s bone spurs a-tingling, alerting the ocher oaf to the danger his ex-consigliere posed. It’s why Weisselberg was summarily “fired” in 2021—though he reportedly kept doing the same job for precisely the same salary.
But now Trump’s lawyers are going full Trump, implicating Weisselberg—and absolutely no one else—in the company’s wrongdoing. As the Trump Org tax fraud trial began to wrap up, Susan Necheles, a Trump Organization lawyer, used her closing argument to point the finger at Weisselberg and Weisselberg alone.
“We are here today because of one reason and one reason only – the greed of Allen Weisselberg,” Necheles said. “The purpose of Mr Weisselberg’s crimes was to benefit Mr Weisselberg.”
Necheles also pinned blame on Donald Bender, an accountant with Mazars USA, for turning a blind eye to Weisselberg’s wrongdoing.
“President Trump relied on Mazars, he relied on Donald Bender to be the watchdog,” Necheles said. “Bender failed.“
Yeah, okay. That sounds likely.
Sure, it’s possible that the Trump Organization’s alleged malfeasance—which involved fringe benefits Weisselberg reportedly received tax-free—happened without the direction and knowledge of Donald Trump. It’s also possible Trump discovered the Higgs boson yesterday afternoon in his Filet-O-Fish. Just about anything is theoretically possible, after all.
Meanwhile, prosecutors have cited evidence that points to a far less innocent conclusion—namely, that Trump and his company were up to their luffing neck wattles in dirty deeds.
For instance, Weisselberg and other executives received annual bonus checks for hundreds of thousands of dollars — signed by Trump himself — that were logged as if they were payments for work they did as independent contractors for various Trump companies, Weisselberg testified on Nov. 17. ...
"Did Weisselberg do it for Weisselberg alone? Or did he intend at least some benefit for the corporation?" Steinglass asked. "There is a tremendous amount of evidence here, completely ignored by the defense during their summations, that he also intended to benefit the defendants."
During the trial they pointed to luxury benefits such as high-end apartments lived in by Allen and others either rent-free or well under market rate, and untaxed. They showed spreadsheets that appeared to show more than half a dozen executives receiving untaxed bonuses, and elicited testimony from Weisselberg that Trump himself had a role in the scheme — though prosecutors failed to show conclusive evidence that Trump knew what was going on.
It would be one thing if Donald Trump had earned the benefit of the doubt, but come on. If there’s one guy on the planet who should be presumed guilty before all the evidence comes in, it’s this jabroni. (Not that Trump should be implicated if there really is no proof, but really now. He signed the checks, and his former tiny right-hand man testified against him.) We’ll find out soon if Lady Justice agrees—assuming Trump doesn’t assault her and force her to recuse before the final verdict comes down.
Sen. Raphael Warnock is still defending his Georgia seat, and the Dec. 6 runoff is coming fast. If you can—and if you aren’t too tired from saving America on Nov. 8—please rush a donation to Team Warnock now! You can also write letters to Georgia voters with Vote Forward! Let’s finish up strong!
Check out Aldous J. Pennyfarthing’s four-volume Trump-trashing compendium, including the finale, Goodbye, Asshat: 101 Farewell Letters to Donald Trump, at this link. Or, if you prefer a test drive, you can download the epilogue to Goodbye, Asshat for the low, low price of FREE.