If the Southern District is so ferocious...


Why didn't they go after Trump?
Several weeks ago, Donny Deutsch said it again.

He'd said it on Morning Joe several times. On February 27, he said it in prime time, speaking to Lawrence O'Donnell, on the evening of the day when Michael Cohen testified in public.

Deutsch has said, many times, that everyone in New York always knew that the Trump organization was a criminal enterprise, the lowest of the low.

This raises a rather obvious question! First, though, let's consider the way he said it to Lawrence that night.

Note the way Deutsch assumes the greatness of the federal prosecutors who people the offices of the mighty Southern District of New York. Praise for the Southern District's ferocity is standard fare on cable:
DEUTSCH (2/27/19): [Cohen's testimony] is an opening act. The day that you'll have me back on is when the Southern District RICOs the Trump organization—that's the Racketeering Influence Corrupt Organization Act, which is introduced when people sit atop a criminal organization, where basically they will go after everything this criminal organization has done, from the charities to the money laundering to bank fraud to wire fraud to insurance fraud.

They'll take the empire apart. They'll take the buildings away. That's when I'll come back on the show, because that will be the closing act.

This and Mueller will be the opening act. And what you saw today—and I still think that Russia is going to be a sidebar into this—is a peek inside this criminal enterprise.

You saw the little pieces coming into play. You saw the word "insurance" come up for the first time. You saw him [Cohen] mentioning the children in different ways. You saw obviously the campaign violation, but that's not where this ends. This ends where—

If you live in New York City—I ran a big advertising agency for years. There were bankers and lawyers and real estate developers. What everybody knows about Donald Trump and his organization, it is the slimiest of the slime. It is just the way they do business.

It is dishonest. It is unethical. It is criminal. And the Southern District will take it apart.
The gumshoes in the Southern District will be taking the Trump org apart!

On Morning Joe, Deutsch has often said that everyone in New York has always known that the Trump org was the slimiest of the slimy—that it was an unvarnished criminal enterprise. Everyone has always known that, Deutsch has frequently said.

This raises an obvious question. If everyone has always known that, why didn't the vaunted Southern District take Trump down long before this?

In the familiar novelizations favored on anti-Trump "cable news" shows, everybody likes to boast about the toughness of the Southern District. No one asks how these ferocious federal players could have let so much slime exist under their noses so long.

There may be a very good answer to that! That said, a related question arose last night during All In with Chris Hayes.

Hayes spoke with Jed Shugerman, a legal eagle. When Hayes asked a very good question, note what Shugerman said:
HAYES (3/12/19): You know, I hear this and I have the Paul Manafort question, which is, "How is this just going on in plain sight for so long?"...I mean, this was all in plain sight. What is it saying about the fact that no one has [prosecuted] this before?

SHUGERMAN: Well, it's great that [New York State] Attorney General [Letitia] James is now on it. But let's be clear:

There is public reporting about what happened under Cyrus Vance's watch. The Manhattan D.A. had his office investigating. And they were ready to bring indictments for Ivanka Trump and Don Jr. for criminal real estate fraud. And somehow, coincidentally, those charges were not pursued when, coincidentally, there was a massive campaign donation to Cyrus Vance's re-election campaign by Marc Kasowitz, a Trump associate.

HAYES: And they had them essentially with e-mails, right? In which they're misrepresenting two people, material misrepresentation for the vacancy rates, which is just fraud basically on its face, right?

SHUGERMAN: Absolutely. So now at least we have an opportunity for Cyrus Vance to redeem himself.
Cyrus Vance isn't the federal Southern District. Cyrus Vance is the Manhattan D.A. That said:

Shugerman explained, rather casually, why Vance didn't act in one particular case. We have no idea if Shugerman's claim is correct, but at least it starts to answer a fairly obvious question, a question which rarely gets asked.

Last night, Hayes asked this obvious question. In his reply, Shugerman said, rather casually, that the Manhattan D.A. had been bought.

Let's get back to Donny Deutsch. If Deutsch is right—if everybody always knew that the Trump org was a criminal enterprise—why didn't the vaunted Southern District get after Trump until now?

There may be a very good answer to that question! But in the novelized realm of cable news, everybody knows not to ask. Last night, Hayes spoke up.

To Trump voters, the sudden burst of prosecutions has the look of a targeted "witch hunt." We'd say there does seem to be something strange about the way this prosecutorial chase has gone down, though the apparent peculiarity of this state of affairs rarely gets explained or discussed.

Last night, Hayes asked a very good question. In response to his very good question, we were told that the D.A. got bought.

He'll have a chance to redeem himself now. So cable viewers were told!


  1. I don't know if ad hominem hurts or helps, but it is certainly the order of the day here, and with more sadness than rancor, it is impossible to escape the fact Bob Somerby is an idiot.

  2. “We have no idea if Shugerman's claim is correct”

    That notwithstanding, it “starts to answer a fairly obvious question.”

    How can any question be answered by something about which you have no idea whether it’s true or not?

    Also, is Somerby suggesting something similar is at play within the Southern District of New York? A minor objection to this would be that the Manhattan DA is an elected office, whereas US Attorneys, who are in charge of the investigations within their Districts, are appointed by the President, and confirmed by the US Senate, as are the judges in the District.

  3. Forget that silly "Southern District" drivel.

    I think the Manafort story (and other Mueller's exploits) clearly demonstrate, beyond any reasonable doubt, that selective prosecution is the chosen method of political repression these days.

    Everyone is guilty of something, and if they (miraculously) aren't, then answering a few questions to the FBI will certainly make them guilty. And since everyone is guilty, prosecuting establishment's targets is a simple procedure...

    1. I know right! We cannot allow abuse of power for political prosecutions. And besides, none of this is going to lead to "locking her up". Know what I mean, El Dittohead?

      American Oversight has uncovered the signed directive from former Attorney General Jeff Sessions instructing a federal prosecutor to carry out President Trump’s authoritarian demand to investigate Hillary Clinton.

      The document, obtained through Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) litigation by American Oversight, is a formal, November 2017 letter from Sessions to U.S. Attorney for Utah John Huber and has never before been released to the public. In a sworn declaration filed in November 2018 in response to American Oversight’s lawsuit, the Justice Department had insisted that no written directive existed and that all guidance to Huber had been delivered verbally.

    2. Whoa, one bureaucrat wrote a letter to another, and that made psycho-dembot excited. How cute.

  4. “We'd say there does seem to be something strange about the way this prosecutorial chase has gone down, though the apparent peculiarity of this state of affairs rarely gets explained or discussed.”

    Would Somerby care to specify precisely what he thinks is so strange? Or must he wait for others to spell it out? Others may not find it strange, thus they would not feel the need to discuss a strangeness that they do not find.

    Does he share this feeling that he ascribes to Trump voters: “To Trump voters, the sudden burst of prosecutions has the look of a targeted "witch hunt.", and is that supposed to render it “strange?” Strangely enough, a lot of people who are guilty complain about “witch hunts” when their misdeeds are being pursued.

    And the results of the current “witch hunt” are prosecutions, guilty pleas, convictions by juries, and prison sentences. Not exactly the definition of a witch hunt, unless you feel the defendants, judges, and juries are all corrupt and looking to railroad innocent people in these current cases.

    There is nothing strange at all about the prosecutions coming from the Mueller probe; that began because of foreign influence in our election and as a consequence of Trump winning.

    1. "Others may not find it strange, thus they would not feel the need to discuss a strangeness that they do not find."

      Isn't that like, the third verse of a Doors song?

  5. This raises an obvious question. If everyone has always known that, why didn't the vaunted Southern District take Trump down long before this?

    Because it's himeytown. Literally every big player there is a crook of the utmost degree. This is how jews do business. Why'd Trump hire the greasy rat Cohen as his personal attorney? Because he's one of the tribe, that's why. Everything that gets done in NYC basically comes down to internicene fights between jews, with the general agreement being they can be lie, cheat, and steal to their hearts content, so long as they don't make thing difficult for the tribe as a whole. Trump angered jewry as a whole, and thus, like the jew Bernie Madoff -who ripped of many wealthy jews in his schemes- he faces the full brunt of the legal system.

    BTW, did you know that there's a special jew prison for jews convicted of financial crimes in NYC? Cohen's headed there. Must be nice!

    1. This is why we can't have nice things.

  6. And people on Fox claim congresswoman Ilhan Omar is a religious bigot... So how did Trump anger the tribe? By bankrupting their investments seven times? By failing to pay money he owed them? After they attended Trump University and learned nothing? He is the model of an ethical Christian businessman after all. And very pious except maybe for cheating on all three wives.

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