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Trump Org Is Basically Just Donald Trump — But That Won’t Make Prosecuting Him Easy

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WASHINGTON ― In Detroit, General Motors has a board of directors that oversees the company’s management. In Bentonville, Walmart has shareholders who can ultimately hold its board accountable.

And in Manhattan, the Trump Organisation has, basically, only Donald Trump.

Which means that even as Trump and his various defenders attempt to claim that Trump personally is in the clear because only his company is facing charges, in this case it is largely a distinction without a difference.

“The Trump Organisation is an avatar for Donald Trump, in every way imaginable: financially, emotionally and psychologically,” said Tim O’Brien, a Trump biographer whom Trump unsuccessfully sued for printing that his net worth was a fraction of what he had claimed. “The core company is a mom-and-pop shop on Fifth Avenue.”

It’s a company that was also hit with a fraud indictment on July 1. Prosecutors say the Trump Organisation, along with its chief financial officer, Allen Weisselberg, dodged taxes by improperly treating salaried income for top employees as fringe benefits or as contractor compensation.

Trump himself was not personally charged, but O’Brien said it was inconceivable that Trump would not have known about the scheme described in the 25-page indictment, given that only a handful of employees there had any decision-making authority. “None of those others would dare tie their shoes without asking Trump,” he said.

But showing that Trump personally profits from and is involved in every aspect of the business does not necessarily mean that prosecutors can convict him for its illegal actions.

To do that, the state of New York, through district attorneys in Manhattan and possibly the state attorney general’s office, would have to show that Trump knew that what his company was doing when it arranged........

© HuffPost

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