'There's not going to be some smoking gun': Legal analyst explains latest development in Trump fraud case
Donald Trump, Allen Weisselberg and Donald Trump Jr. (AFP)

Prosecutors in Manhattan have notified Trump Organization executive Matthew Calamari that they don't intend to charge him with any crimes for now, and CNN's Elie Hoenig explained what that might mean for former president Donald Trump.

The district attorney's office had been investigating Calamari, the chief operating officer of the Trump Organization, for off-the-books compensation he received, such as an apartment and car, but Hoenig said there doesn't appear to be strong enough evidence to charge him or the twice-impeached one-term president in a tax avoidance scheme.

"It tells me that the fraud investigation is largely a dud," said the legal analyst. "If they don't have the goods to charge Matthew Calamari, there's no way they will have the goods to charge Donald Trump or any of the Trump children. It looks like all they're going to get out of that is the charge against Allen Weisselberg and the Trump Organization. The charge against Allen Weisselberg looks to be supported but, frankly, if he gets convicted he has a chance to not even go to prison given the nature of the charges in New York state. In the indictment of the Trump Organization, sounds like something, but nobody, no individual, can go to prison when a corporation is indicted. So it looks to be like that part of the case, the tax fraud part of the case, is really at a dead end."

Prosecutors in New York are now turning their attention to Trump property valuations, which his former attorney told Congress had been deceptively inflated or deflated to help gain business or tax advantages, but Hoenig said that might be even more difficult to prove than tax fraud.

"Easier said than done, easier said than prove, as prosecutors," Hoenig said. "It's not enough to just say, well, they had this building and valued it high over here and valued it low over here. They have to show that a person, anyone they want to charge, knew about that and was part of it. I don't see how they get there on Donald Trump now. We know he's not an emailer, we know he's not a texter. There's not going to be some smoking gun document, and they don't appear to have a cooperator who's in position to do that."

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