If what the major news outlets are reporting is accurate – and it probably is, given that the sources for the stories are likely the prosecutor themselves – then we’re about to enter a remarkable stretch that a lot of people were certain would never happen. We’re talking about the actual takedown of Donald Trump and his most notorious associates.
This past week we all learned that federal prosecutors are planning to make a charging decision against Trump lackey Matt Gaetz in “July.” It’s worth pointing out that July begins less than two weeks from now. We also learned this past week that New York prosecutors are looking to indict Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg “this summer.” According to the calendar, summer 2021 officially began yesterday.
So if things remain on the trajectory that prosecutors just finished leaking to the media, then in as little as two weeks from now we could be looking at Gaetz and Weisselberg both in handcuffs. Gaetz has been accused of a wide variety of crimes, some of them truly heinous. It’s not clear what the odds of conviction would be for his worst crimes. But if the reporting is true that he allegedly used campaign funds to pay for it all, then he’ll be nearly a lock for prison, because no one gets away with using campaign funds for anything. And Weisselberg’s financial crimes are the kind that no one skates on either.
So while Gaetz and Weisselberg can decide to go to trial if they want, there’s a good chance they’ll be under indictment on charges they have no chance of beating at trial. Weisselberg’s only way out will be to cut a plea deal against Donald Trump, which is what we all know New York prosecutors want out of him. Gaetz may not even have a way out, depending on the severity of the charges against him. But his only potential shot at leniency would also be to flip on Trump, if the Feds are indeed looking to make a criminal case against Trump.
We don’t know what will happen once Weisselberg and Gaetz are arrested. Flipping or not flipping is a personal choice. But the upshot at this point is that, based on what’s being reported, we could be less than two weeks away from seeing them both in handcuffs. And even if it doesn’t happen quite that quickly, we know we can expect Gaetz to happen sometime in July, and Weisselberg to happen sometime this summer.
There are those defeatists who still think that Donald Trump is going to somehow magically get away with it all no matter what. If anything, since the news surfaced last month that New York was empaneling a grand jury specifically to bring indictments in the criminal case against Donald Trump and the Trump Organization, the defeatists have become more insistent that Trump will skate. We’ll see what they say once the handcuffs start landing on the wrists of Trump’s closest confidantes. Once Trump lost the election, he was never just going to “get away with it all.” These upcoming weeks should help make that more clear.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report