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Here’s Why Trump is Beatable (with Tristan Snell)

February 4, 2024
Notes
Transcript
Tim is joined by attorney Tristan Snell, who helped lead the prosecution of Trump University. They discuss the case and delve into the best legal strategies to take on Donald Trump with, so that the tyrant can finally be held accountable for his crimes.

Buy Tristan’s book, “Taking Down Trump: 12 Rules For Prosecuting Donald Trump By Someone Who Did It Successfully,” here: https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/756546/taking-down-trump-by-tristan-snell/

This transcript was generated automatically and may contain errors and omissions. Ironically, the transcription service has particular problems with the word “bulwark,” so you may see it mangled as “Bullard,” “Boulart,” or even “bull word.” Enjoy!
  • Speaker 1
    0:00:08

    Hey everybody. Welcome to the next level Sunday interview. I’m your host, Tim Miller. This week, we have an interview with Tristan Snow, author of the book taking down Trump twelve rules for prosecuting Donald Trump by somebody who did it successfully. Tristan was at the New York AG’s office during the Trump university case, And we have a lot of coverage.
  • Speaker 1
    0:00:28

    And and we talk a little bit about the cases that are going on now that I thought it’d be interesting to kind of do a deep dive on going back to that Trump University case refreshing our memory. What can we learn from that? What might be politically salient from that? So Tristan and I got into that as well as a little bit on what’s happening now with the trump trials for more on the trump trials, make sure you are checking out George Conway explains it all to Sarah Longwell. If you have not, subscribe to that feed.
  • Speaker 1
    0:00:54

    They have a weekly rundown of what’s happening in the trump cases. And, you know, for those of you that heard the news about Charlie Sykes are definitely gonna miss them and we’ve got news coming down the pike on what’s gonna be happening with Charlie’s podcast that I think you guys are gonna be super excited about. So stay tuned for all that. Appreciate you very much, and, we’ll be talking to you soon. Up next, Tristan Snell, but first, my pals at acid tongue.
  • Speaker 1
    0:01:17

    Peace Hello, and welcome to the Bulwark Sunday interview. I’m your host, Tim Miller. I’m here with Tristan Snell, author of taking down Trump twelve rules for prosecuting Donald Trump by somebody who did successfully. By the time this is out, that book will be on bookshelves. So you can go check it out, Tristan.
  • Speaker 1
    0:01:52

    Thanks for taking the time.
  • Speaker 2
    0:01:53

    Thanks for having me.
  • Speaker 1
    0:01:54

    I wanted to start. We’re taping this on Monday, and there was a great interview that Jean Carroll did morning, with Ravi Kaplan who I’ve also had on the show for an awesome interview if people missed that on CNN and she’d spoke I think about something that’s very relevant to the point of your book, about how about how Donald Trump is very beatable. So I I want to just listen to her comments, really quick and kinda get your reaction.
  • Speaker 3
    0:02:19

    I hadn’t seen him since, he has sold him in, in the dressing room. And, preparing to see him was terrifying. The days leading up is Robin brought me around stronger and stronger. It was so, I hadn’t slept. I hadn’t eaten.
  • Speaker 3
    0:02:46

    I couldn’t think. I lost my language when she was trying to prepare me to go to do testimony in front of Valentine. And then when we were in the courtroom, And Robbie went to the lectern. She said, good morning, Eugene. Please state your name and spell it for the jury for the court.
  • Speaker 3
    0:03:10

    And there he was, and he was nothing He would just no power. He had he was zero. That was I was flabbergasted. And from then, I would just sailed her. She brought me in.
  • Speaker 3
    0:03:30

    She said, say your name, and I just looked at Robbie. Saw he was nothing, and it came up in there. Did you did you make eye contact with him? Many times. And what was that like?
  • Speaker 3
    0:03:43

    It he’s an emperor without clothes. It’s like looking that nothing. It was like nothing.
  • Speaker 1
    0:03:50

    Tristan, I mean, isn’t that basically in line with what you’re writing about?
  • Speaker 2
    0:03:54

    Yeah. The kicker is we just actually have to speak up and keep pushing and insist that the emperor does not actually have any clothes and that he’s committed a lot of awful misdeeds too. Yeah.
  • Speaker 3
    0:04:07

    Just keep pushing. This is
  • Speaker 1
    0:04:10

    key point of your book that it’s, it’s, like, it’s doable. Right? Like, taking him on is doable, and it’s just for too long for a variety of reasons. People were afraid to do it. I mean, what was your, I wanna get into the Trump University stuff in particular, just kind of what spurred all this and your work on that at, and then New York AG’s office.
  • Speaker 1
    0:04:28

    But from the biggest picture, Like, is that your take, like, what are the what are the ways in which that manifest?
  • Speaker 2
    0:04:35

    You know, I think that it’s the, you know, my book is done up as a playbook with twelve rules for how to beat him, but there’s also kind of what’s his playbook. Right? What does he do to actually prevail. And a lot of it comes down to intimidation, destruction of reputations, a lot of counter attacking. That’s one bucket.
  • Speaker 2
    0:04:57

    Another bucket is around delaying, coming up with diversions and distractions. That’s like another big bucket. And then really another one of the big ones for a long, long time was that he would co opt people. He would either figure out how to get them on his side or get to his get to that person’s inner circle. I think that was especially effective for him with elected prosecutors.
  • Speaker 2
    0:05:22

    Where he could actually get to that politician and get them turned away from from him and go target somebody else and then we could see very interestingly timed campaign donations or that lo and behold, they came out as a strong supporter of so and those, bid for higher office, whatever. That was really how it manifested itself for a very long time. But then you look at eGene. So I think the intimidation thing was what she had to get over, especially with the fact that she was very much injured by him. But once she got over that, well, the delay is he tried to delay the case for a long time.
  • Speaker 2
    0:05:59

    That’s over now. He can’t destroy repute her reputation or or merch her any like, he can’t. He already has defamed her a whole bunch of why she’s there. So, like, it wasn’t like he could hurt her anymore that way. And she wasn’t gonna get co opted.
  • Speaker 2
    0:06:12

    So there’s no way for him to get at her anymore. So she just had to get over that fear and then she was ready to go. You know, that’s it. And then he’s not invincible. He’s not even close.
  • Speaker 1
    0:06:24

    Yeah. Before we go back, you hit on something I wanted to get into, which was this the stonewalling and the delay and that goes back forever. And I think that is frankly the most relevant element of all this today, you know, in in this post February of twenty four, right? Because a lot of this other stuff said, like, that, you know, hits. We we see that he doesn’t have any clothes.
  • Speaker 1
    0:06:47

    We see that he’s guilty. But he can delay and the clock is really ticking here. You know, the the convention is in July. Sixty or ninety day window. Is it possible for, at this point, for Jack Smith, etcetera, to fight against the stonewalling and delaying tactics given the time constraints.
  • Speaker 2
    0:07:05

    You know, it is tough. There’s no doubt. Like, we’re very much under the gun now. He’s doing it put it this way. There’s the difference between him stonewalling and then there’s the difference between him coming up with some BS legal argument that requires some other decision to be made So let’s separate those two things out.
  • Speaker 2
    0:07:21

    Stonewalling, he’s kind of done it and it’s over and you’ve actually gotten past that phase. That is really for in the investigatory days where you’re issuing subpoenas, so forth and so on. Like, they’ve already gotten everything. So we’re great there. Like, I don’t think that that’s really where the problems are.
  • Speaker 2
    0:07:37

    Like, I think the feds and the state authorities have been able to get the witnesses and documents that they’ve needed to get. But then the next question is, like, Is he gonna be able to keep coming up with legal diversions that are going to help him run out the clock? That’s where we are right now. With the immunity issue going up before the DC Circuit and the Supreme Court. And I would argue with because I believe he’s part of it, the counter attacking against Fani Willis, I think, is trying to come up with some it’s both a counter attack and a delay tactic.
  • Speaker 2
    0:08:07

    To try to see if he can slow down that Georgia case. I think that with regard to Jack Smith in the January sixth case in DC, I don’t think it’s gonna succeed at delaying things very much. I hope that’s true. I don’t think that it’s going to delay anything by more than maybe a couple of weeks. I think we’re gonna see the courts move fairly quickly to dispense with that immunity issue.
  • Speaker 2
    0:08:30

    But that’s the really the biggest area where he’s trying to run out the clock.
  • Speaker 1
    0:08:36

    And so we were looking at what, a March start before that, of that case. And so if the Supreme Court you know, moves before that, then how quickly could they turn that around? Do you think?
  • Speaker 2
    0:08:47

    Look, we’re gonna get oral arguments in a couple of weeks and then how quickly did they turn a decision around? You know, famously in Busy Gore, they did it in about two days, although I hope it’s right up there frankly. I hope that they can get it done in a couple of weeks. Maybe less. Look, I still think that we’re gonna see oral arguments begin in the DC case by mid to late March.
  • Speaker 2
    0:09:11

    I do. And I think we’re gonna end up seeing a delay of only a couple of weeks. But I maybe I’ll end up being wrong, but I I that’s where I still I I I’m still hopeful that we could see that happen. I don’t I think it’s gonna be weeks of delay, not months of delay.
  • Speaker 1
    0:09:25

    Your lips to god’s ears. I I want to go back because I think that you’ve been doing a lot and and we have that new Secret Podcast George Conway explains it all to Sarah Longwell where they’re discussing the minutiae and the day by day of what’s happening with these court cases. And so I thought it would be most interesting just to spend some time with you. Going back to where you first did successfully take on Trump as as subtly noted in the title of your book. Which is the Trump University case.
  • Speaker 1
    0:10:00

    This was something that was, so as we were talking in the green room, you’re like, you know, this hasn’t really been the news for eight years. Right? A lot of memories of labs.
  • Speaker 2
    0:10:08

    Yep.
  • Speaker 1
    0:10:08

    I would even argue that a lot of people weren’t educated about it to the degree they should have been. You know, back at that time, when I was working on the anti trump Superpact, In twenty sixteen, I was arguing for attacking him more on the way that he screwed over regular people. You know? And like, it didn’t show up that well in polls, but I, you know, so this was just a gut thing, not a data thing for me, but I was just like, I think that’s the way to get a chink in his armor and Trump University was a prime example of this. And so it was like a little bit of a hobby horse for me and inside Zoom meetings with with, you know, admin and and and Washington DC.
  • Speaker 1
    0:10:44

    So anyway, I wanted to kind of refresh everybody’s memory because I I do think still worth kind of talking about because it tells a lot about Trump. So for those people who don’t remember, can you just give a a quick, like, the reader’s digest version of, of what the case was and how you guys decided to bring it.
  • Speaker 2
    0:10:59

    Yeah. Long story short is that Trump University was a, basically, a wealth creation seminar or, you know, motivational speaker upsell program wrapped in the gold veneer of the Trump brand. It was promising during the crash to help people invest in
  • Speaker 3
    0:11:17

    real estate, specifically how
  • Speaker 2
    0:11:18

    to invest in foreclosures and distressed properties, which itself is an interesting thing. They A lot of the techniques that they were sharing were basically techniques to take advantage of, of people that couldn’t make their payments on their houses and so forth and so on. It was actually kind of predatory, more than a little predatory, but that’s a different story. At the core of it, what they would do is they would say, hey, you’re gonna come it’s a bait switch. Hey, you’re we’re gonna teach you everything you need to know about real estate.
  • Speaker 2
    0:11:47

    Then you’d get to that program that you paid fifteen hundred dollars for, and they would say, oh, no, no, no, no, no, you’re not ready for that. You need a mentor. Now we’re gonna upsell you on a fifteen thousand to thirty five thousand dollar program. The trump elite programs. They had a gold and a silver and a bronze.
  • Speaker 2
    0:12:04

    And
  • Speaker 1
    0:12:05

    You need a mentor. It kind of reminds me of the Osage thing. We had David Graham on this podcast. Yeah. Have you seen that movie?
  • Speaker 1
    0:12:10

    It’s like you need a guardian rich Osade, in AWS. You then you gotta pay us.
  • Speaker 2
    0:12:15

    Then you need to go up to that level and then you got to that level And, you know, and there’s a lot of scams that work this way. Right? You get upsold to like, oh, don’t worry. Those secrets we’ve been promising you, those are through the net door. You just have to pay one more time.
  • Speaker 2
    0:12:31

    So they get through that next door, and there’s still nothing there. It it, etcetera, etcetera. And there are other things too. Trump, supposedly had handpicked the the instructors. He didn’t know them.
  • Speaker 2
    0:12:44

    He had no role in picking them. It was supposedly trump’s secrets for how to invest in real estate. It had nothing of this word. You know, the curriculum was actually created by a company that made other wealth creation seminar programming as well as timeshare rental hard cells, fun fact. The instructors were not real estate experts in any way, shape, or form.
  • Speaker 2
    0:13:04

    And then to top it all off, you know, they did fun things like, say Donald Trump was going to be there and then the next day you got to go take a picture with a cardboard cutout of him. Which I think is actually a good microcosm for exactly how Trump university worked. So this was a whole scam thing that they did for about three years. Sadly, it was very, successful. They conned forty two million dollars out of about six thousand people
  • Speaker 1
    0:13:29

    And this was in, like, the early twenty ten, then of the late
  • Speaker 2
    0:13:32

    This was two thousand seven to twenty ten was the height of it. So then we We weren’t the only ones, by the way, and I covered this in the book. This also crossed the desks of authorities in Texas and Florida who ultimately did nothing about it and interestingly then those AGs got, well timed campaign checks from Florida.
  • Speaker 3
    0:13:56

    And Greg Abbott.
  • Speaker 2
    0:13:56

    And Greg Abbott was the other one. He was AG of Texas at the time. We, and then there was a a private civil class action that was running into some headwinds, then we came in with our suit starting in twenty we started our investigation in twenty eleven We filed their suit in twenty thirteen. Long story short after all of that was, we were all about both cases were due to go to trial the trials got pushed until after the twenty sixteen election, but were slated to happen in the kind of like period between Thanksgiving and Christmas in twenty sixteen. Then Trump wins the election and he finally caves and we settle the cases globally the two cases together for twenty five million dollars.
  • Speaker 2
    0:14:39

    And that all went back to the consumers pretty much. So of of the people who got ripped off, the people who put in claims in that settlement, they got paid back a little over ninety percent of what they were, of what was taken from them.
  • Speaker 3
    0:14:50

    I want
  • Speaker 1
    0:14:51

    to put a pin in the payments because I want to come back to that. It’s relevant to the modern day. But, So when you guys were deciding to take up the case. Yeah. Was there political pushback?
  • Speaker 1
    0:15:01

    Did you was there internal pushback? Like, what was your what was that experience like.
  • Speaker 2
    0:15:06

    Yeah. So a lot of the book is about this. So it that’s really where I can go into it in greater depth, but the the short version is We had both the stonewalling from the Trump people where they refused to to give us a lot of documents that they in all likelihood had. And in some cases I know they had, but we couldn’t get them from them. We had to go get a lot of those documents from third parties, and that’s there’s a whole one of the rules in the book talks about that about going, you know, you gotta get creative, but also go to his vendors and business partners that he has also shortchanged and not paid because those people can become your allies.
  • Speaker 2
    0:15:42

    That was one of the ways that we broke open the case. So we got resistance from Trump Then we also had to fight resistance in our own office, particularly from the AG at the time, Eric Schneiderman, who was definitely on the fence about whether or not to bring the case. And unfortunately, it meant it caused a lot of delays in our bringing the case delays that almost really sunk us because of some statute of limitations issues that I also talk about. And finally, after a whole series of events, we were able to convince him and also the Trump people screwed up a little bit. Long story short then was that he decided to go for it.
  • Speaker 2
    0:16:20

    Finally, you know, we had to in the meantime, we had accumulated this mountain of evidence. So we Right. We we really had we had them. So it wasn’t really about the merits. Like, why were we waffling?
  • Speaker 2
    0:16:32

    It wasn’t about the merits. It was about the political fallout or the willingness or unwillingness of Schneiderman to take on a high profile target like that with all of the counter attacks and unpleasantness that that would bring. Yeah.
  • Speaker 1
    0:16:45

    You might get a nickname. Who knows? That’s when it
  • Speaker 2
    0:16:48

    starts completing. And it wasn’t about politics though, per se. Because at that point, it’s twenty twelve, twenty fifteen.
  • Speaker 1
    0:16:55

    He’s a tabloid figure.
  • Speaker 2
    0:16:56

    He’s a tabloid figure. He is doing the birther thing by that point.
  • Speaker 1
    0:17:00

    That’s true.
  • Speaker 2
    0:17:01

    But he’s not a candidate for office yet. So it’s not some sort of, like, effort to, like, take him out and stop him from running. Nobody thought that he would incredibly done for president is anything more than a publicity stunt at that point in time. So it it had virtually nothing to do about politics. It had everything to do publicity and media and the fact that he would counter attack a whole bunch and turn the case into a quagmire, which it could have become but ultimately did.
  • Speaker 1
    0:17:29

    Yeah. And one of the things you read about also is that that was convincing to me is, like, among the evidence that you gathered vendors that got screwed over were kind of the key people. Right? And I
  • Speaker 3
    0:17:40

    thought it
  • Speaker 1
    0:17:41

    was an interesting lesson about dealing with Trump, right, was that he does screw people over and it’s the way that he’s not like Bob. Right? He doesn’t just take care
  • Speaker 2
    0:17:47

    of his people.
  • Speaker 1
    0:17:48

    You know? And so anyway, talk talk about that. I’m talking about what the vendors kind of provide it.
  • Speaker 2
    0:17:53

    Yeah. So, you know, you had some vendors that were corporates. Right? And they’re gonna get they’re they’re not gonna mess around, but a big corporation gets a subpoena as a custodian of I. E.
  • Speaker 2
    0:18:03

    They’re not a witness. They’re not a tar oh, they’re sort of a witness. They’re not a target. It’s not their fault. They didn’t do anything.
  • Speaker 2
    0:18:09

    They just happen to have records that are salient and relevant to this investigation. They get a subpoena from the New York AGs office, they’re going to call me back and say, like, yeah, it is a deep, you know, this was a while ago now. They’d be like, is it, you know, can I send you a DVD, you know, with the who’s that long ago now? Or do you or or do you want to is a DVD okay or do you need to actually have the hard copy? Do you want us to print them out for you?
  • Speaker 2
    0:18:35

    And I said, whatever’s easiest for you. Blah blah blah. But, you know, that’s what a big company is gonna do. So there are plenty of things that we got just as a matter of course. We got our hands on bank records.
  • Speaker 2
    0:18:44

    We got our hands on HR records that Trump outsources everything. So all of this stuff, you know, like HR background checks, whole bunch of th things like that. That was all outsourced. So we’ve been able to get our hands on a bunch of that stuff. The big thing was getting then there were tapes.
  • Speaker 2
    0:19:01

    He had actually they had actually recorded a bunch of the seminar sessions. Because they were trying to optimize sales conversions, like how many people did you upsell? What was your what was your percentage conversion rate? That’s why they recorded them, not for quality control. It was for sales conversion rates.
  • Speaker 2
    0:19:19

    How many people did you con today? Okay. Yeah. Exactly. That was a that was a good one.
  • Speaker 2
    0:19:23

    Let’s
  • Speaker 1
    0:19:24

    Yeah. Con artists of the week award.
  • Speaker 2
    0:19:25

    Yeah. Con artists of the week award goes to this guy and we’re gonna make sure everybody do what he did. Because he did a good job scamming those people. That was pretty much what they were doing. And so we we knew they had a bunch of these.
  • Speaker 2
    0:19:38

    We had gotten five. That’s all they produced. The Trump people. We were convinced that they had a lot more of these lying around, and they had transcribed them and we knew it. The emails they did give us, which looked like nothing, did have some nuggets in there and among them were figuring out who the vendors were and critically that this vendor that had done the transcripts had actually been underpaid when Trump University died and had never gotten his last invoice paid.
  • Speaker 2
    0:20:06

    And I brought it up when I talked to him and that was what got him to help us. He wasn’t I don’t know if he was gonna help us before that. Until I brought that up and then all of a sudden, it was like totally total one eighty. And that’s
  • Speaker 1
    0:20:19

    the story, but I also kind of hate it because it’s just like this is the thing I’m curious what your view is on this on being at that time on the non poll politics side, very much on the legal side. I was just convinced there would be salience to this. Right? It’s like, it’s like, these are people that are desperate for money getting screwed over. This is, like, your vendor, the transcription vendor is, I had a hundred, you know, if I had one of them, I had a hundred who called me at the Super PAC and was like, Trump didn’t pay me two hundred bucks.
  • Speaker 1
    0:20:46

    And I was like, the, like, there’s no way folks are gonna want to support this guy once they learn the way he screwed people over. So anyway, I was just want, like, guys had to be kinda talking about this internally. Like, oh, man, there’s gonna be a lot spotlight on this case now that he’s running. And were you kind of surprised by the lack of say aliens, or what, why don’t you just sort of think about the political side of it?
  • Speaker 2
    0:21:06

    So I wasn’t at the office on war by the time Trump ran for president. I am left in twenty fourteen, and then my colleagues carried it on from there and handled the settlement. When I was at the AG’s office in this twenty eleven, twenty twelve, twenty thirteen, we would joke about what would happen if Trump ever ran for anything. Because as as people may remember, he did flirt with it briefly in twenty twelve. Yeah.
  • Speaker 2
    0:21:31

    He thought about running in the Republican primary event.
  • Speaker 1
    0:21:34

    Lieutenant hamster.
  • Speaker 2
    0:21:35

    And yeah. He yeah. He did some stuff. And then finally, there was a sort of like he made it like it was a big deal that he had finally decided to endorse Mitt Romney.
  • Speaker 3
    0:21:46

    Right.
  • Speaker 2
    0:21:46

    And made Romney, like, come to meet him, and it was a whole thing. And, anyhow, we would joke about it. We would we basically, the joke was like, well, he’ll never get anywhere because there’s all this. We thought it would be salient. You’re right.
  • Speaker 2
    0:22:02

    Like, we thought that with all of this and the the divorces, the bankruptcies, everything. We just thought that once everything came out about him, that there is no way that he would get through a Republican primary. And also, it’s not exactly like he’s mister Family values, which is still just that’s one of the ones that still just, like, completely blows my is that that man with all of the things he’s done personally is somehow, you know, a lot of folks who are very religious and conservative and and traditional, somehow consider him a champion just blows my mind all all the time. So we just we we would joke about it, not that we never thought he’d actually be candidate for anything. Except maybe for like like he did in twenty twelve.
  • Speaker 2
    0:22:42

    It’s like, oh, he’ll flirt about it because it’s a great way for him to get his name in
  • Speaker 1
    0:22:46

    the news. Sure.
  • Speaker 2
    0:22:47

    We never thought he’d actually run. As anything more than a publicity stunt. So, yeah, I would think and I still think I still think to this day that if more people knew about this, then it would still be salient for people because I don’t because he tries to be this guy who’s the champion of the common people. And if more folks realized what he has done, his track record of what he has done every time he does and encounter a quote unquote common person, it is to find a way to knife them. And if they are coming in for a hug, so to speak because they love him all the better for him to stab them.
  • Speaker 2
    0:23:24

    These were Trump superfans these were the Trump university people and I mean that the the vendors here and there kind of a lot of them have been though. Like if you go look at the whole history of like people that were vendors for like the New Jersey casinos and stuff like that. These were people who really really wanted to work with Trump specifically and and pitched to get to work with them back to the InterContinental University students. These people were definitely a hundred percent hardcore. They loved the apprentice They adored him.
  • Speaker 2
    0:23:54

    They thought he was the most successful richest business person in America, which has never been true. But literally, even when I talked to them and they knew they’d been ripped off they would still, in my phone calls with them, I I would ask them, well, why did you want to go in the first place? Why did you go to Trump university? And the answer included often things like, well, you know, he’s the richest guy in New York. And it’s like, no, no, he’s not, not even close.
  • Speaker 2
    0:24:19

    Oh, he’s the biggest real estate guy in New York. No. No. He’s not. Not even close.
  • Speaker 2
    0:24:24

    Like, you know, but these were his biggest fans. And his response was, let me pick my pocket and see if I can stab him while I’m at it.
  • Speaker 1
    0:24:33

    Yeah. Fucking fifteen grand. Richest guy in the city got a you know, try to save time for people.
  • Speaker 2
    0:24:39

    Well, they also have the big lie that he was gonna give all the money to charity.
  • Speaker 1
    0:24:44

    Yeah.
  • Speaker 3
    0:24:44

    They would say that too, which
  • Speaker 2
    0:24:45

    which was definitely not true. He’d made a personal profit in Trump University of about five million bucks. Off initial investment of two, three million.
  • Speaker 1
    0:24:53

    Yeah. Part of me wants to do a focus group with the people that got screwed over by Trump university, but part of me doesn’t think my heart could take it. Okay. I wanna ask you with the money that they got back, though. This is important.
  • Speaker 1
    0:25:03

    Every time
  • Speaker 3
    0:25:03

    I interview about anybody about any of these
  • Speaker 1
    0:25:05

    six, they’re actually gonna get their money or actually gonna get their money. These people got their money.
  • Speaker 3
    0:25:09

    They did.
  • Speaker 1
    0:25:10

    Let let’s talk about how that happened, and then I wanna project it out to Eugene Carroll on the other civil cases happening now.
  • Speaker 2
    0:25:16

    Yeah. So the kicker there was that once it was a settlement that we didn’t have to worry about in appeals process. Like, he act he he wanted to avoid trial. He had two trials going. It was gonna be one with the New York AG’s office in Manhattan and another one in, federal court in San Diego.
  • Speaker 2
    0:25:33

    Fun side note is that was the case that yielded the that Mexican judge rant from from Trump during the twenty sixteen election judge Curiel. That’s right. And, he wanted to avoid those trials. So he settled. The settlement then just had to be approved by the judge, which it was in March of twenty seventeen, And then at that point you do in any kind of settlement situation like that or or or sometimes if it’s if it is a judgment in the consumer protection world than you do.
  • Speaker 2
    0:26:01

    You have a claims administrator, and that’s the vendor that then, you know, figures out all the money. And many of you listening to this may have had this experience right now. There’s a big one going on now with Verizon, although there’s some murkiness about whether or not it’s actually gonna get approved fully finally. Finally, you’re gonna email about it.
  • Speaker 1
    0:26:18

    Am I getting any cash out of this?
  • Speaker 2
    0:26:19

    It’s actually it’s actually unsure. I put in a claim.
  • Speaker 3
    0:26:22

    I put in
  • Speaker 2
    0:26:22

    a claim for me. I put in a claim for my wife, and now I I was reading some things that make it sound like it might not be done yet. In terms of whether or not that settlement’s gonna happen. So stay tuned. But hang on.
  • Speaker 2
    0:26:31

    Let me see.
  • Speaker 3
    0:26:31

    If you
  • Speaker 1
    0:26:31

    think it’s gonna happen, let me know, and I’ll fill out the paperwork. Having stolen.
  • Speaker 2
    0:26:37

    When these things happen, you fill out a form. Yeah.
  • Speaker 1
    0:26:39

    It’s kinda like publishers where, you know, they come with a big check. And I’m like, do I really This is
  • Speaker 2
    0:26:43

    actually gonna happen. Do I do I do I should I get excited yet? The answer is I don’t know. But with this it’s like, no, it’s not just a hundred bucks. This was people getting, you know, you know, ten, fifteen, twenty, twenty five, thirty, thirty five thousand dollars back.
  • Speaker 2
    0:26:55

    And, and the people who put it in claims by, like, yeah, it was like it was over ninety percent is what they got back. So, so that was a really, really great outcome you know, one thing that deserves a lot of credit is the law firm, the the the lawyers that did the private class action suit decided to waive taking fee So they didn’t take their third of the money, as they could’ve, which was really, really wonderful of them to do. Obviously, you know, it was you know, definitely look good optically for them, but gosh that was, you know, a really great thing that helped get a lot more people more of their money back. Wonderful thing when a state AG does a case like this is that they don’t take any money. So they certainly weren’t paying it to the to the state, AGs.
  • Speaker 1
    0:27:39

    I guess that’s a big question. He was liquid enough for you to get this
  • Speaker 2
    0:27:44

    No. He was not. He took out a loan.
  • Speaker 3
    0:27:48

    So, I mean, I
  • Speaker 2
    0:27:48

    guess that’s liquidity. That is it’s just, you know, it’s not profits. Let’s just give him a loan.
  • Speaker 1
    0:27:55

    Deutsche Bank?
  • Speaker 2
    0:27:56

    No. It was ladder capital. I want to say without having my notes in front of me, but I think that’s correct. But he got a it was not Deutsche Bank. I think it was Latter, and that was where he he actually had to take out a loan to pay that twenty five million dollars in twenty seventeen.
  • Speaker 1
    0:28:13

    That takes us to the present day. Yes. So we have this eighty three point three million dollar payment to aging Carol. I don’t think I’m speaking of school here. I spoke with Robbie of, this week, latest just to congratulate her.
  • Speaker 1
    0:28:25

    And, and one thing that she mentioned was She doesn’t know that he’s got the cash to pay a bond. Right? So even if he appeals this, so you, you’re, you’re the expert, but my understanding layman’s understanding is even if you appeal a a judgment of that degree, there’s twenty percent, I guess. Fifteen, twenty percent, you still have to pay as a bond.
  • Speaker 2
    0:28:45

    Yeah. To put it up.
  • Speaker 1
    0:28:46

    To put it up to appeal. Right?
  • Speaker 2
    0:28:48

    So in
  • Speaker 1
    0:28:49

    this case, you’re talking about seventeen million. Give or take fifteen to seventeen million somewhere in that range that he’s gonna have to put up. Even an appeal. That’s a lot of cash each. And then and then we’ve got the other simple case, which I’ll get to next.
  • Speaker 1
    0:29:01

    But, like, what so know you don’t know his his finances. Like, what is your sense of that? And, and also, and secondarily, does the fact that he’s exaggerated his wealth so much that has to be a factor here in whether or not they’re gonna make him pay it.
  • Speaker 2
    0:29:15

    Well, I’ll say one thing is there’d be exaggerations of as well. So all of these exaggerations and boasting about his wealth and the fraudulent financial statements and all of that hurts him. You know, it hurts him bigly. In a big, big way when it comes to things like this Eugene Carroll case because that jury had to be sitting there, like, he keeps bragging about how much money he has. So it’s not like I I had to have been a factor.
  • Speaker 2
    0:29:38

    Right.
  • Speaker 1
    0:29:39

    If he
  • Speaker 2
    0:29:39

    had been coming in pleading poverty, trust me, that number probably would have been a little bit would have been a probably a good bit lower. I don’t think he did himself any favors. Every time he opens his app to talk about how wealthy he is, he is kind of setting himself up to fail in a jury situation like but that’s a, you know, bit of a side note. Can he pay it now even just a bond to put up say twenty percent? I suspect that that’ll probably also be debt.
  • Speaker 2
    0:30:04

    You know, it’s possible that he’ll take it from someplace else, but here’s something that’s an interesting data point here though, is that you know, we we heard about this a couple months ago in the New York AG Civil fraud case. He violated the court order that said that any money in trump in the trump organization that all the assets of the Trump organization, including cash, were going to be under the watch of a court appointed monitor and that there couldn’t be move moving money or assets into or out of the Trump organization without involving that monitor and what did Trump do? He did exactly that. He took forty million dollars in cash out of the Trump organization and used it to pay a twenty nine million dollar tax liability from the to the federal government. And he also and then he also used it to put up the money for the last year’s settlement in the Eugene Carol pardon me judgment at the agent Carol case number one.
  • Speaker 1
    0:31:06

    Right.
  • Speaker 2
    0:31:07

    So he already was robbing Peter to pay Paul for that one and doing it literally, all the places he could get money from. All of his so supposedly successful businesses, all of the people who would lend money to him supposedly because he’s such a great credit worthy person he claims. Of all the places he could have gotten cash from, he went to the one bucket that had somebody from the court watching over it and took it from that. I think that tells you a lot about his cash situation. Like, I don’t know when he needed that forty million dollars last year.
  • Speaker 2
    0:31:35

    Was he unable to borrow it? I think there’s a very valid question as to whether or not maybe he tried to borrow that and he couldn’t because at at some point here, this is gonna add up to him potentially being illiquid and not somebody that can that can borrow more money. And then and then we have the New York AG case, which I think where you’re headed next about, like, what ramifications that could very soon have, and may already be apparent by the time, we air here.
  • Speaker 1
    0:32:02

    Yeah. The borrowing thing does seem real. Like, it does seem like he’s struggling to find people, yeah, to loan him at this point.
  • Speaker 2
    0:32:08

    Yeah. I mean, look, at the end of the day, he was blackballed by every major bank in the US as of the mid nineties because of the casinos.
  • Speaker 1
    0:32:18

    Right.
  • Speaker 2
    0:32:19

    And all the overbuilding generally. A lot of the was that he had just gone way above and beyond his needs to pay for everything with all the building that he did in New York during the eighties and early nineties and then, you know, overbuilding because the part of the problem was and people have written about this a good bit. David k Johnston among them that it wasn’t just that, you know, this is he’s such a great businessman. He did a casino in in Atlantic City. Was initially successful.
  • Speaker 2
    0:32:45

    So what did he do He built three more, all right near each other, practically in a row. And it’s like, you know, there’s this thing called cannibalizing where you don’t wanna actually have your business right on top of each other. You don’t see four McDonald’s’s in a row. It wouldn’t work that way. Even shouldn’t be in the iron.
  • Speaker 1
    0:33:04

    I’m sorry, Tristan. You’ve not read Art of the deal. Okay. I don’t I don’t know. Apparently, you’ve missed.
  • Speaker 2
    0:33:10

    The only person who would go to all four McDonald’s probably, but like most of the rest of us would not go to all four of them. All of a sudden the sales for all of them would be would look terrible. Right? He put four of them all in a row. And yeah, he overbuilt, and he overdid it, and he was just completely over extended.
  • Speaker 2
    0:33:26

    And so US banks wouldn’t lend to him anymore by the mid nineties. So that’s why he started working with these European banks who were desperate to enter the US market and were looking for to work with. And so once they got their hands on Trump, Deutsche Bank, and and others were just like, here, have money, have money, have money because they really, really wanted to work with high profile US businesses.
  • Speaker 1
    0:33:47

    Right.
  • Speaker 2
    0:33:47

    And so they worked with Trump thinking he’s high profile credit risk, oh, whatever. We’ll probably make money on it, and maybe they have. But at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter because the marketplace got defrauded. It’s not just whether Deutsche Bank feels like it got defrauded in a way Deutsche Bank also probably has some stockholm syndrome slash Deutsche Bank may not feel so good so soon, you know, because I think that a lot of these buildings are not necessarily going to be generating a lot of money for Deutsche Bank coming up. But, yeah, it’s a mess.
  • Speaker 2
    0:34:16

    Is he gonna be able to find more bank abroad that will lend to it. Will they find more alternative other sources of capital? It then opens the door to the possibility that he’s gonna find sources of capital that are expecting him to do something in return. Right. Link wink nudge nudge, especially if he were to return to the White House or maybe he has some other bathroom at Mar a lago that has documents the FBI wasn’t able to recover.
  • Speaker 2
    0:34:40

    Who knows? We have no idea or maybe there’s some of them at Bedminster. We don’t know that at any rate, it raises a lot of questions both legally and politically.
  • Speaker 1
    0:34:48

    It does. It does.
  • Speaker 2
    0:34:51

    Yeah.
  • Speaker 1
    0:34:56

    I want to get to the little fraud thing really quick, and I’m, you know, I’ve trumped arrangement syndrome, so I’ve never wanted to defend Trump. But this is my one case where I’m like, I mean, if he defrotted Deutsche bank, is it that big of a deal? Like, I mean, if he lie, like, shit, wasn’t it their job? And so this is why this is why I’m interested in this Trump’s civil case. You know, so I’m curious in your views.
  • Speaker 1
    0:35:20

    What is the pushback to that on the merits of the law? And and then what are the potential ramifications for that case that it seems orders of magnitude greater than the e j and Carol case as financially.
  • Speaker 2
    0:35:31

    Look, I think that when you have these fraud statutes on the books. It’s a statutory fraud. So let let we’ll put aside for a second the idea that like, okay, if Deutsche Bank felt defrauded, wouldn’t they be able to do something? And if they didn’t, that means it was okay. Deutsche Bank, like any lender has the ability to go after a creditor for what’s considered common law fraud.
  • Speaker 2
    0:35:53

    So a business can sue another business for fraud, but that’s a different legal claim than the statutory fraud case that the AG’s office brought. They that law is on the books, and I think it’s and it’s been and those kind of laws have been on the books for, you know, almost a century in one way or another. New York was one of the pioneers in laws like that, but most states have various laws like this on the books now. And there are federal laws on the books about this. And it all also has cousins and like false advertising laws and so forth and so on.
  • Speaker 2
    0:36:22

    But if you think about this from like a business to business fraud perspective, there’s both a liberal and a conservative argument that actually interestingly kind of overlap a good bit about why this is important. I think that the liberal thought is going to be well. They don’t necessarily know that they’ve been victimized, but they have been victimized, you know, blah blah blah. You know, that there’s something along those lines. I think there’s sort of a like market conservative defense of laws like that too, which is you need to have trust in order to have a marketplace function with parties who don’t know each other in a complex society.
  • Speaker 2
    0:36:58

    If you don’t have that, the system breaks down, So you can’t basically have to be open season on being able to put things in writing that our complete fabrications and just because you put a little bit of fine print on it that says, don’t believe these. That should not be enough to get your way out of being able to then commit as many frauds in these representations as you want. When these laws were traditionally passed and upheld, It wasn’t just by people that we would consider to be on the left. A lot of it was folks that were very much free market conservatives. That’s a lot of where the initial impetus for a lot of these laws came from and I think we should still view them very much in that light regardless of where you are in the political spectrum.
  • Speaker 2
    0:37:39

    I think there’s a very good argument for why those kind of laws need to exist and why they should be enforced even when the bank that got, you know, snowed here isn’t squawking, it shouldn’t matter. At the end of the day, the plaintiff is actually not Deutsche Bank. It’s the people of the state of New York, and we can’t have the marketplace or society as as a whole. Get victimized by this kind of rampant lying.
  • Speaker 1
    0:38:04

    Fair enough. And, do you have a sense just again seeing this this is New York Trump, you have experienced it, like, what, like, the degree to which the judgments could land against him here?
  • Speaker 2
    0:38:16

    So I think that by the end of this week, judging Horan, I think is gonna keep I I have every reason to expect he’ll keep his promise. He said he would get us a judgment based on the trial that was just held by the end of January. So I believe that by by the time everybody’s hearing this, we’re going to have a judgment it’s issued probably from from the from the court in New York and I expect that to be I think it’s gonna be definitely in excess of two hundred million and I think it could be four hundred million or more. The AG’s office is asked for three seventy million. It’s possible that Angauron’s math comes in under that I don’t think it’s gonna be that he suddenly does it by an order of magnitude and says like, oh, I’m only gonna give thirty seven million.
  • Speaker 2
    0:38:59

    And and what is this? This is in restitution with the the calculation is based on based on the lies that Trump told in these financial statements. He had loans that were given to him on more favorable terms than he would have, and he told the truth. And the delta, the difference between what he had to pay the bank versus what he should have had to pay the bank in interest in points, etcetera, etcetera. That’s the difference there.
  • Speaker 2
    0:39:25

    So that’s how much that he took and it’s considered to be a disgorgement effectively of ill gotten gains. Like, this was money that he effectively had that he didn’t have to pay back, that he got as a as a an unwanted benefit.
  • Speaker 1
    0:39:41

    The process then for the state actually garnishing that those funds, then is what? He has another appeal, I assume.
  • Speaker 2
    0:39:48

    He would then have another appeal, and we remember on this that this was where we already had summary judgment late last year in which judge Engoron said that there was liability for fraud. So the first question is, Is he liable for fraud? Yes or no? The answer is yes. The trial was mostly about math and some other secondary issues.
  • Speaker 2
    0:40:09

    The other big thing that the that the judge already gave summary judgment for was to say that the cancellation of the corporate charters was warranted. That is a provision in this statutory fraud, law that’s called executive law sixty three twelve. Has a provision that when you have a repeat offender, basically, if you have repeated systematic fraud and illegality that the businesses in question can have their corporate licenses revoked. And at that point, they’re put out of business and the assets for those businesses can be put into receivership. Same as it would be in a bankruptcy.
  • Speaker 2
    0:40:45

    So the control gets stripped, and then the assets can get liquidated, and then the money gets paid to you know, it’s not like they’re getting taken from Trump entirely. If the if the debt gets paid off those buildings, first, the creditors get paid off first. Anything that’s left over will be handed to Trump, but then he won’t be allowed to have these businesses in New York anymore. And they’re also asking the AG’s office is asking for additional ban on Trump being able to open any new businesses in New York going forward. And I can talk about that a good bit, but I do think it’s warranted.
  • Speaker 2
    0:41:17

    In this case.
  • Speaker 1
    0:41:19

    Well, that would be quite the shame. We’re gonna have to we’ll be circling back on that maybe with you, over with our friend, George Conway. I I wanna get two other things really quick. You’ve just been so hot on Alina Haba lately. I just kind of wanna let you cook.
  • Speaker 1
    0:41:31

    I just wanna I just wanna give you one minute just let you cook. On on her, on, you know, her jurisprudence, her work, her lawyering.
  • Speaker 2
    0:41:40

    Yeah. Her body’s work here, her sort of legal, you know, portfolio as it work. So the kicker here is, you know, I don’t mean to pick on her so much, but on the other hand, the things that she’s been doing are so obvious and and you know, I’ve been front and center lately. You know, she was there for the New York AG case. You know, she was one of the lead counsel on that one.
  • Speaker 2
    0:42:01

    And now she was also for this case with Eugene Carroll. And the number of the things that she did here were just doozies, especially if we go back to the first Eugene Carroll case from last year. I talk about this in great detail in my book in the context of if you have if you actually go against Trump and now you’re go you’ve gone public and you’ve brought your case, you’re going to expect to get kind of a clown car of lawyers and crazy legal arguments, a lot of which are diversions. You need to not focus on a lot of the distractions and diversions, focus on your case, focus on the signal, not the noise, and wait for them to make a mistake. Because at the end of the day, he kind of has a revolving door of lawyers, He doesn’t like to spend top dollar for his lawyers, sit back and wait.
  • Speaker 2
    0:42:47

    And I think Robbie Kaplan in the Eugene Carroll case clearly understood that that’s what was going on there. And I think the AG’s office has been content to sit back and wait for things to happen there. You know, Habba or other people with her were the ones that infamously didn’t check off the box on the form to get a jury rather instead they ended up with a bench trial, which Jengoron who already had lost his patience with Trump for refusing to comply with subpoenas in the investigatory phase of that matter. So that’s fun Also, Trump really needed a jury because that gives him more opportunity to manipulate people and try to to sway him over to his side. He doesn’t want a bench trial.
  • Speaker 2
    0:43:24

    He wants a jury to work with. So that was a terrible mistake or an oversight. We’re not really sure which. Haba also initially started off by trying to have Trump and Eric and Don junior try to plead the fifth in that civil fraud case. That was a bad look.
  • Speaker 2
    0:43:39

    Shouldn’t have done that. That was not that was not a good idea. Also, I just don’t think Trump was ready for what Robbie Kaplan did to him in the deposition in the eugene Carroll case I don’t know if Trump was prepared for what hit him in that he should have been prepared to do better when he got shown the access Hollywood tape that was played for him during his sworn deposition, and rather than have a good stock answer ready to, like, dismiss it, try to say, oh, you know, like he did in the twenty sixteen case. I think Kellyanne Conway had managed to get him to say, oh, it’s it’s just locker room talk. I didn’t mean that.
  • Speaker 2
    0:44:15

    Blah blah blah. Don’t take me literally and I and I shouldn’t have said it. Blah blah blah. That’s what he tried to do to that’s what he did to he successfully managed to tamp that down enough that it didn’t tank his campaign. He gets under oath with Haba as his lawyer right there, and that’s when he made the infamous comments about, you know, stars historically being able to assault women.
  • Speaker 1
    0:44:37

    Right.
  • Speaker 2
    0:44:37

    Just like, oh my, like, how were you not better prepared for that question. You had to know that Kathleen was gonna play that tape. You had to be ready to to have him have a prepared answer to try to get past that question, where that series of questions, and she just didn’t. So, you know, yes, I spend a lot of time sort of, you know, dragging Alina Haba. However, I am very thankful for Alina Haba because I think that she may, in fact, be doing the Lord’s work here even if she doesn’t realize it.
  • Speaker 2
    0:45:12

    So thanks Elena.
  • Speaker 1
    0:45:13

    Alright. That’s that was what I was hoping for. Alright. I’ve got one more on field for you, but because you’re a legal expert. We have a we have a big Rico case kind of happening, potential Rico case with, I guess the NFL Joe Biden.
  • Speaker 1
    0:45:28

    The pharmaceutical companies. They’ve all been conspiring together to to ensure that the Chiefs win the Super Bowl and and and go after Magga. Do you think this is, is there something here for any AGs, any red state AGs to look into. You know, I don’t know what kind of evidence you need to open up a case, but since you have some experience there.
  • Speaker 2
    0:45:48

    Just keep digging. Maybe you’ll find it eventually. You know, and, of course, it’s an interesting thing to say that it’s somehow all destroying the sport of football. I’m I’m I’m a huge football fan, but just destroying the the game of football to make the ratings so good. Like, come on.
  • Speaker 2
    0:46:06

    The NFL is making money everybody’s making money hand over fist on this one. And somehow, that’s a bad thing. I mean, it this is all just
  • Speaker 1
    0:46:15

    so strange. It’s definitely not the Patrick. I mean, Patrick Mahomes has only been in the Super Bowl four out six years. It’s definitely
  • Speaker 2
    0:46:21

    not the best quarterback of his generation doing best quarterback of his generation things. No. It has nothing to do with that. It’s clearly the nefarious and diabolical influence of Taylor Swift. That’s a conspiracy.
  • Speaker 2
    0:46:34

    Alright. It’s a giant conspiracy.
  • Speaker 1
    0:46:36

    AGs out there. John Afcosh kid in Missouri, whatever. You guys just keep looking into this one. Maybe you’ll find something. Alright.
  • Speaker 1
    0:46:43

    My final thing for you, Tristan. You talking the book. About and and we always get this question for people. How can voters and activists, you know, kind of engage and be supportive and and and and holding prosecutors accountable and just and make sure, you know, so so just talk a little bit about that, before I let before I lose you.
  • Speaker 2
    0:47:01

    Yeah. You know, part of the point of the book is to provide a bit of a citizens guide for everybody to figure out like, look, what can we do as private citizens to make a difference with this and a lot of times feels like these prosecutors are up on a pedestal and that there’s nothing we can do except get on social media and get upset about it. Actually guess what? Getting on social media and getting upset about it, I believe, in fact, did make a difference, because everybody else in the media looks at what’s going on in social media and what’s resonating. It really did create a lot of firestorm and a lot of political, like, force that got created The January sixth committee represented a, you know, why I wish it’d been more bipartisan, but it was at least a little bit bipartisan effort to and and represented a political force in this country that wanted to see accountability, that wanted to see that us get to the bottom of it regardless of where that led.
  • Speaker 2
    0:47:54

    If it led all the way to the top, great. Let the chips fall where they may. Let’s follow the facts, follow the law, and let’s see where that takes us. And finally DOJ had to do it too. They really had been, I think, pushed in that direction by the political force that was brought to bear by a whole lot of us talking and yelling and kicking and screaming and advocating for this to happen, and it it was manifested by the committee The committee then did its part to shine a light on these things.
  • Speaker 2
    0:48:22

    They’ve got a lot more media attention to snowball that snowballed. As the Washington Post reported, DOJ and the FBI sat on the idea of going after Trump and his inner circle for over a year in twenty twenty one and twenty twenty two. It was only once we started getting those televised hearings of the J six committee in twenty twenty two and the brave testimony from a lot of folks who came forward like that. I think Cassidy Hutchinson’s probably the one who deserves maybe the most credit for that for how riveting that was. It made a huge difference and then it resulted in Jack Smith being appointed special counsel.
  • Speaker 2
    0:48:55

    The other example I point to in the book is with the Manhattan DA’s office and Alvin Bragg. I think that the firestorm that was unleashed when he dropped the criminal investigation against Trump then led to it being revived a year later. So I I think that when people get upset about these things, and then call their members in Congress and so forth and so on. It does make a difference. I really do.
  • Speaker 2
    0:49:20

    And we, at the end of the day, yes, we have to elect good people, brave, courageous people to be in these roles, but then that’s not enough. We actually have to keep, you know, they are there to hold bad guys accountable. And they’re they’re the good guys that are supposed to do that. We need to make sure that we hold the good guys accountable as citizens.
  • Speaker 1
    0:49:39

    I appreciate that so much. Man, thanks for taking the time. Hope you’re enjoying your media tour. Taking down Trump. Twelve rules for prosecuting Donald Trump by somebody who did it successfully, Tristan Snow, keep in touch doors always open here at the Bulwark.
  • Speaker 1
    0:49:50

    Talk to you soon.
  • Speaker 2
    0:49:51

    Thanks, Tim. Anytime.
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