Trump facing 'legal consequences' for fleecing supporters with fundraising scams: Watergate prosecutor

President Donald Trump could face "legal consequences" for fundraising scams that were uncovered by The New York Times.

On Saturday, the newspaper published a damning report titled, "How Trump Steered Supporters Into Unwitting Donations."

"An investigation from The New York Times reveals Trump's cash-grabbing tactics with donors which the former president's spokesman is not denying. The Times reports Trump's campaign made recurring donations the default, then doubled them in an operation nicknamed the 'money bomb,' unbeknownst to many unsuspecting donors," MSNBC's Alicia Menendez reported Saturday. "One retiree said they withdrew seven times from his account."

For analysis, Menendez interviewed Jill Wine-Banks, the former organized crime prosecutor who was an assistant Watergate special prosecutor.

"Millions of dollars obtained through these practices," Menendez noted. "While they may be shady, are these tactics illegal?"

"They may be legal, you have to be really careful," Wine-Banks replied.

"You don't expect a former president of the United States to be using these kind of tactics. This is the kind of thing you expect from, oh, scam artists who sell really low-quality products," she noted.

"In this case, what was happening was people would sign up thinking they were donating one time and there would be a little button they didn't see that said make this monthly, make this weekly, and sometimes it changed from monthly to weekly after they had hit it or had entered the one-time donation amount,"

"I think that that kind of fraud should have political consequences, even if it doesn't have legal. But I think there are legal consequences," she said.

"He is facing so many civil and criminal charges right now that he's going crazy trying to defend himself. He needs full-time law firm, not a full-time lawyer, but he needs a full-time firm to handle all of the cases from the varying -- from Georgia, from the Manhattan D.A., from the New York attorney general, from the District of Columbia, from the policemen who have sued," she explained. "The New York courts ruled the defamation case can proceed, which means, by the way, that there will be under oath depositions, the president is going to have to testify, the former president, he has absolutely no way to evade any longer."


Jill Wine Banks