CNN analyst explains how state case against Trump Organization would be 'nightmare' that destroys the entire family
Donald Trump and his family/Screenshot

On Thursday, the New York Times reported that the Manhattan District Attorney may be eyeing criminal charges against the Trump Organization.

The move could be terrifying for Trump because it would be prosecuted at the state level, where Trump lacks the pardon power that he's reportedly discussing using to free former campaign manager Paul Manafort.

This development would mark the end of Trump's longstanding plans for his family business, CNN analyst Michael D'Antonio told host Don Lemon on Thursday.

"This is an organization that has 500 different entities, businessman Donald Trump, before he was president, really specialized in clever engineering, clever financial dealings, in order to fund these enterprises, shift profit around," he said. "Now, for the first time, it's all going to be opened up for examination. This is why he didn't release his tax returns. He didn't want people to actually have access to the numbers, and we may now have access to the numbers."

A criminal case against the Trump Organization would open those numbers to prosecutors and eventually an open court.

His financial documents, including his tax returns, could be laid out in front of jurors and the public, the Pulitzer-winning D'Antonio explained.

"This is really his nightmare, "D'Antonio said. "He's operated as a family business for all these years to avoid scrutiny."

Depending on how the case went, it could also mark the end of the Trump Organization as it now exists.

"He wanted to hand give this whole enterprise off to his children, and his children spoke to me about how they would run it as a normal business and not be so flagrant in their publicity seeking," he said. "They may never get the chance."

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