- Jury selection begins Monday in the Trump Organization tax-fraud trial.
- Trump could be banned from doing business with the federal government if his company is convicted.
- A ban could end his ‘exorbitant’ billing of Secret Service agents who protect him at his resorts.
Donald Trump’s real-estate and golf-resort empire goes on trial in Manhattan on Monday, in a low-level corporate fraud case with high financial stakes, including millions in potential fines and tax penalties.
But there’s another threatened cost, and it’s something government spending watchdogs have been urging for years.
Conviction could prompt the government to bar the Trump Organization from doing business as a federal contractor, including cutting off the spigot of Trump’s lucrative — and critics say exorbitant — billing of Secret Service agents who stay at his properties while protecting the former president and his family.
Trump is hardly the ideal government contractor as it is, watchdogs say, after his many brushes with fraud allegations and given federal regulations requiring “an impeccable standard of conduct.”
Those regulations also recommend “debarment,” or blacklisting, of any company convicted of such business-related crimes as “forgery, bribery, falsification or destruction of records, making false statements [and] tax evasion.”
A conviction in this payroll tax-fraud trial would only increase calls to blacklist Trump, according to Steven L. Schooner, who teaches government procurement law at George Washington University Law School.
Schooner has complained stridently over the years as the feds continued to do business with Trump despite two impeachments, an inauguration scandal, questions over his Trump International Hotel in DC, and the forced dissolution of Trump University and the Trump Foundation by the same New York attorney general’s office now alleging he pocketed $250 million through financial fraud.
Add to that the recent news that the Trump Organization had billed the Secret Service more than $ 1.4 million to stay at Trump properties during the former president’s time in office.