On Wednesday, NBC News reported that President Donald Trump’s jailed former attorney Michael Cohen is cooperating with New York City prosecutors as part of an investigation into whether the Trump Organization falsified business records.
On MSNBC’s “Hardball,” former federal prosecutor Joyce Vance told anchor Chris Matthews that the consequences for Trump could be serious.
“If it is the tail end of this whole operation of going after Trump, it seems to me the Manhattan DA, that’s a political office, this case could be a big case if you’re taking the president of the United States down into a criminal matter,” said Matthews. “The question I have, I guess, as a nonlawyer, is what’s the penalty for this kind of case?”
“So that really depends on how it’s ultimately structured,” said Vance. “If they were able to make some sort of a tax charge here, which we don’t know — we don’t know if they have tax records — we could be looking at a lengthy violation for a felony. It’s certainly not a misdemeanor.”
“The felony crime is a serious one, it carries a lot of collateral consequences,” said Vance. “But most significantly is the threat there is jail time involved, and any amount of jail time in the state system in New York would be very unpleasant for the president of the United States.”