Former Vice President Dick Cheney, a trusted adviser to President Donald Trump, said last month that the president owed “perjury” for lying under oath during a public questioning about Donald Trump Jr.’s prior knowledge of the 2016 Moscow meetings, where meetings between his father’s campaign and individuals tied to the Russian government were established. Trump denied that he knew anything about the events, but the statement proved he had lied.
The previous week, Trump also criticized the press for its “outrageous” criticism of his “criminal tax returns,” but the release of those documents led to controversy over perceived parallels between the president’s income and behavior and that of Donald Trump Jr.
The severity of the potentially damaging fact-finding disclosure also could cause some of Trump’s business holdings to face criminal scrutiny.
Companies currently under investigation for alleged tax violations—and the public’s perceived backlash—could be put at risk if Trump were accused of fraud.
“If Trump lied and then his businesses were shown to be involved in financial wrongdoing, not only might they be punished criminally—in addition to IRS and other penalties—their business prospects could be curtailed,” said Stephen Vladeck, a professor at the University of Texas School of Law and author of The Contested Presidency: The Rise and Fall of Donald Trump.
The Trump Organization has long been associated with various companies that face major potential litigation, including Trump International Hotels and Mar-a-Lago, the president’s Florida resort.
Given the number of Trump’s business interests at stake, it’s not uncommon for companies to face controversy while under investigation. Legal experts say the significant attention given to all things Trump could help push investigations, particularly if the threat of an investigation into Trump ends up hurting the companies’ financial picture.