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An Indictment of the Trump Organization Is an Indictment of Donald Trump

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After Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance indicted the Trump Organization and its chief financial officer Allen Weisselberg for tax fraud on Thursday, supporters of Donald Trump took pains to point out that the former president had not been charged personally. But setting aside the strong possibility that Vance may file more charges in the case, a criminal indictment of Trump’s company hits close to the man the brand is built on. The Trump Organization is Trump, and Trump is the Trump Organization. And this indictment could have severe repercussions for the firm and Trump himself.

The Trump Organization is something of a one-note brand—nearly every aspect of the company’s identity is tied to the former president. The company’s entire strategy is to appeal to consumers by evoking the ethos of wealth, status, and luxury that Trump has tried to equate with himself. But the company is also, legally speaking, his alter ego. With the exception of a few ventures, Trump owns 100 percent of every corporate entity and asset that falls under the Trump Organization umbrella. According to personal financial disclosure statements filed when he was president, the Trump Organization itself—the entity that was officially indicted on Thursday—is........

© Mother Jones

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