Trump family 'culture of corruption' called out by former FBI official
Frank Figliuzzi on MSNBC (screengrab)

Speaking about the expected indictments for the Trump Organization, MSNBC experts speculated about the charges they think Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance will issue.

According to Donald Trump's lawyer, however, the charges aren't that much and hardly match the expectations they assumed were forthcoming. In this case, the Trump Organization will face allegations of funneling money to staff to avoid taxes or as gifts. Trump personally is not expected to be charged in that case.

"Well, first, let's pay particular attention to the actual charges themselves because there's a lot of theorizing about whether the fringe benefits and failure to disclose them, which is serious in and of itself, absolutely," former FBI director of counterintelligence Frank Figliuzzi. "I don't mean to downplay those, but many people seem to think there are more charges coming than just that."

"The Trump attorney is painting it saying this is about -- people got fringe benefits but it's not part of their salary or income, and it's going to be painted to the Trump base as, look, there's a snafu with how we decided to handle these things," he explained. "Who can figure out their taxes anyway? I think there's more coming."

He also explained that folks should pay attention to those who are coming forward, because they could believe that this is the point at which they decide to cooperate.

"Let's watch and see if there's some evidence of other people coming in to cooperate if Weisselberg won't," Figliuzzi said. "And we need to watch from a security standpoint how Trump and his cohorts portray this to their base, whether they will use rhetoric that inflames people toward possible violence or further undermines our criminal justice system."

But all of the problems facing Trump and his company are part of the legal problems the family has faced over the past several years.

He cited the report from Monday that revealed Ivanka Trump may have perjured herself in a Washington, D.C. suit for possible misuse of funds on the inaugural committee in 2017. In that case, Ivanka Trump said that she has no part in organizing anything, but emails show she was organizing everything.

"As of today, we have Mother Jones reporting in a great piece that Ivanka in her testimony to the D.C. attorney general about the inauguration committee enriching the Trump International Hotel and the Organization, seems to have perjured herself essentially saying, 'No, I had no role in the inauguration committee,' yet there are emails and emails with her on them right down to selecting the menu and the catering and hosting events during the inauguration. Let's add her to the list of friends and family caught up in the toxicity that, yes, there's a culture of corruption. And, yes, investigators and prosecutors pay attention to that because it can go to the approach and strategy to a prosecution whether you're looking at an enterprise approach, whether you're going to claim the entire organization is systematically corrupt, that it exists to commit fraud or fraud is how it does business and, therefore, that allows you to take down an entire organization."

He explained that it makes a difference when deciding whether to charge corporate officers. It also helps prosecutors decide whether the individuals involved should go to prison or not.

See the full discussion below:


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