Trump has been doing false appraisals 'over, and over, and over again' with little accountability: economics reporter
Donald Trump (Photo by Mandel Ngan for AFP)

Former prosecutor Mark Pomerantz has a tell-all book set to be released at midnight about the case the Manhattan District Attorney's office had on former President Donald Trump and their resistance to move forward with charges.

While former attorney Michael Cohen had sounded the alarm about the hush money payments to Stormy Daniels, New York Times reporter Suzanne Craig told MSNBC's Nicolle Wallace that it seems DA Alvin Bragg also hasn't moved on the false appraisals issue, which Pomerantz highlighted on "60 Minutes" Sunday. Craig seemed confused why that wouldn't be a greater consideration.

"I don't see it. And I kind of keep waiting, but so far we haven't seen them move on the issue of the appraisals, submitting false information to financial institutions in order to get a loan," she explained. "And that's where Mark Pomerantz so far, we've heard him go quite strongly. I can't wait to read the book to see what else potentially is in there. That has been an area of focus for him. He felt it was a pretty slam-dunk case, and then the attorney general of New York bringing a civil case with very similar characteristics to the case that Mark Pomerantz wanted to bring involving the appraisals. But Alvin Bragg has decided he is going to go ahead on the hush money end of it, and so far he hasn't moved again on the appraisals."

Pomerantz told "60 Minutes" that Trump would start with the question of what his net worth needed to be, and move on to craft how it would be collected. Cohen testified that that he was in the room when Trump made that clear to former bookkeeper Allen Weisselberg, who is now in Rikers Island Prison.

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Craig, Times colleague David Fahrenthold and biographers Tim O'Brien and David Cay Johnston have been among the major reporters following the money and sounding the alarm about the Trump finances for decades. Craig thinks that all of that information may be enough pressure on Weisselberg to cooperate, particularly now that he's in Rikers.

"Allen Weisselberg is somebody to keep an eye on. He is in Rikers now, and you don't know how that's going to affect him day to day in terms of will he decide he is going to cooperate in a part of an investigation in order to get himself out of that situation that he's in," said Craig. "And I think that's just such a personal decision, you know, that he is going to make one day. A lot of days may pass where it doesn't happen and then he is going to say enough. And that's what Alvin Bragg is counting on."

She noted she was happy to see the valuations from the appraisals were back in the news because it's a story that she and others have been talking about since at least 2018. There was a story on what Trump inherited from his father when he died, and that is what took them down a rabbit hole of financial insanity.

"It centered around appraisals, and for decades, this family has been using appraisals to their advantage," said Craig. "When they need a charitable contribution for a tax return, they go high. When they need a bank they go high. And when there is something involving land going into an estate, they go low. And over and over and over we've seen it.:

She also explained that Trump would likely claim that he relied on the counsel of outside advisers, but it isn't a defense that would necessarily work.

"It is something that will come into play. And that's why in the '60 Minutes' interview, I listened very carefully when Pomerantz was noting areas that Donald Trump had personally signed. They're trying to tie it directly to him. And then there is another third factor that we heard when we were reporting out some of this, which is, even if he relied on professional advice and he argues that, one thing prosecutors will bring up, and you can see this playing out in a courtroom, is Donald Trump is a retail guy. He should know the valuations. He should have a sense of the market. And that will I think work against him in a court."

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Trump has been doing false appraisals 'over, and over, and over again' with little accountability