Why won’t the Manhattan District Attorney hold Donald Trump responsible? Why won’t anyone? You’ve been told it’s my credibility. I call bullshit. Then put me on the stand and let me loose.
No problem. That’s not the reason Donald isn’t being held accountable. I propose that it’s because placing me on the witness stand will reignite a firestorm of media attention that will ultimately focus on the improper and illegal actions of members of the FBI, the Southern District of New York U.S. Attorney’s Office, the former president, the Department of Justice, former Attorney General William Barr, and all of those who lied, manipulated, and cheated to get their win while deflecting from their own culpability.
It’s 2022 and the fetid stench of the Trump administration lingers on even as the Manhattan district attorney backs out of charging him for the crimes we all know he committed. If we don’t get it together and fix the problems of justice in this country, then we could be looking at the end of democracy.
We should all be worried about our government. Because if you’re not, then what happened to me could happen to you.
For example, when you go to sleep at night, do you have nightmares about FBI agents raiding your home, searching your furniture, going through your closets, ripping through your clothes—including your daughter’s underwear drawer—and leaving with boxloads of your belongings?
Do you have nightmares about knocks at your door—two dozen federal agents with guns standing in the hallway holding a warrant and demanding entry into your home for crimes you were falsely accused of committing?
Have you ever feared that the president of the United States wants you dead, wants to destroy you and your family, your reputation, and even your children’s future?
Do you break out in a cold sweat just thinking about those things?
I didn’t—until it happened to me.
How would you like it if the craziest and most powerful person in the world spent his every waking narcissistic moment trying to use you to deflect from his dirty deeds. I once said Donald Trump wanted me dead. I now know he did everything he could to make that happen.
As you will see in these coming pages, that is not hyperbole.
That thought came to me as I sat sweltering in a hotbox in upstate New York, isolated and nearly forgotten. My family and closest friends refused to give up and tried desperately to save me before I suffered a stroke or a heart attack as they tried to secure my release from federal prison.
I thought about it as I watched government agents in the Bureau of Prisons and the Department of Justice lie about me and force me back into prison once I was released.
“Say hello to Bill Barr,” I told the government agents as they re-arrested me and forced me into handcuffs and shackles prior to shipping me back to the upstate prison from which I’d just been released.
It should come as no surprise that reporters at the White House apparently knew I was going back before this all went down.
I realized five minutes after I met with Adam Pakula and his supervisor Enid Febus, two government officers, at 500 Pearl Street in Manhattan—the Federal Courthouse—that something was awry. I was supposedly getting fitted for an ankle monitor so I could begin my in-home incarceration. Instead, I was to be sent back. The moment they handed me and my lawyer a two-page document which blatantly violated my first amendment rights and demanded that I cease writing and publishing my first book, Disloyal, I recognized the fingerprints of the president’s newest chief fixer, Bill Barr—because I had once been that guy.
However, the goal of this book is not to cry about my lot in life. I chose my own path when I sided with the slime of humanity. I know what I did and I continue to have nightmares about it to this day. Making amends for it is one of the driving forces of my life.
But, let’s not forget: I’m not the only one who worked for a scumbag. We seem to be rich with them in this country. If everyone who worked for a scumbag quit, there’d be a lot more unemployed people in this country. And don’t forget, I was never part of the Trump presidential circus. I didn’t work for the campaign. I dealt with a petty tyrant who ran a small family company. He wasn’t yet an international pestilence. And the bottom line is he fooled a lot more people than just me—70 million, to be exact, who voted for Donald in 2020. He also didn’t do it alone. Over the years, both the left and the right paid for his ride into the White House. Some of them clung to him when he got in trouble. He sacrificed others—like me —causing many former allies to become enemies. Mitch McConnell is the sad sap who falls into all three categories.
The goal of this book is to open your eyes to the danger to the country when you have a deranged president who weaponizes the Department of Justice for his own benefit. If I have to smack you in the face to do it, so be it. After all Trump isn’t unique. I want to help us all change the government so the authoritarians don’t ultimately win and destroy democracy.
Yes. I have suffered. And, yes, my family has suffered too.
But in pointing this out, I’m trying to show you what can happen to you—to everyone not in power or a friend of the powerful. We are in danger of losing this country to fascists who are destroying our democracy and the rule of law and replacing it with something unseen since the dark days in Europe prior to World War II. Donald Trump was just a practice run. If those who think like him are allowed to take control of this government—like they tried to do during the January 6 insurrection—then we’re all fucked, and my suffering will become the nation’s suffering. As I helped create this Frankenstein’s monster and let it out of its cage, I feel it is my moral duty, or if you prefer my penance, to make sure we re-cage the beast.
This book was not easy for me to write. As a result of this experience I suffer terribly from PTSD. While writing Revenge, and interviewing individuals with first-hand knowledge of my prosecution from the federal government, and of what I put my family through by my association to Trump, no one could believe I’m not on medication.
I’ve spoken at length about Trump in my previous book, Disloyal. In this book I want to talk about a deeper problem that affects all of us.
I’d like you to put aside whatever you may think about me personally—from what you’ve read or seen in the media. Simply evaluate the facts. You don’t have to believe me. All I ask is that you follow the facts.
We have a serious problem in this country that goes beyond Donald Trump and beyond our vitriolic day-to-day politics.
There is a deadly cancer plaguing our justice system.
The Department of Justice has become the Department of Injustice.
We must fix this immediately.
Donald Trump wasn’t the cause. He was a symptom. But, Donald is also a master craftsman at using the system to benefit himself and destroy those he wants to crush. In that fashion he exposed the system for what it has become—an instrument of those who have power to wield against those of us who have none. But none of this could have happened if our elected officials hadn’t already perverted the system, giving Donald the opportunity to exploit.
If we are to be a nation of laws, then those laws have to apply to everyone, rich or poor, and no matter what race, religion, creed, or color. All of us have to be equal under the eyes of the law.
That is not the case, and while we don’t say it out loud, in our hearts we know it to be true.
What this book will do is outline the road map to the problems and offer solutions.
While I do use my own experience to outline the problem, what I want you to consider is what can and does happen to anyone when they fall under the scrutiny of the Department of Justice. My privilege gave me an edge in getting out of prison before my health problems killed me. Others don’t have that opportunity and the government just does not give a shit. If the Department of Justice wants you, then they will use any means available to achieve their goal. Hence the adage often discussed in judicial circles: “The Department of Justice could indict a ham sandwich if it chose to.”
Consider this: What if government investigators used the most highly sensitive financial database (FINCEN) on the planet not legally, but illegally? And not to prosecute you, but to belittle, denigrate, and disparage you? We’re talking about a database that is used to hunt terrorists and money launderers and mobsters. In my case, it was used to smear me, and in so doing, hurt two people I didn’t know—but who unfortunately share my name. The government agent who illegally used the planet’s most secure economic information system received a mere slap on the wrist—a lesser sentence than I got for paying off a porn star for playing with the president’s “mushroom penis.”
How safe do you think your private financial records are now? And don’t say, “Well, I have nothing to hide, so why would they bother me?” I didn’t have anything to hide, either, and neither did the people whose only sin was sharing my name. The government did it anyway.
What if the prosecutor in your case refused to speak with you for months despite your volunteering to help them? What if your prosecutor saw your case as merely a means to an end of climbing a career ladder? And what if you were prosecuted for aiding and abetting a federal crime, but the individual who directed it and benefitted from the act was never prosecuted?
I mean for God’s sake, Sammy (The Bull) Gravano got better treatment from the government than I and he was a confessed assassin for the mob!
As many of the people who’ve known me the longest pointed out, this life event irrevocably changed me. I honestly wanted to help.
I still do.
When it came down to it, I went to prison because I paid off the president’s paramour for him! It wasn’t virtuous, but illegal? Come on. When I was confronted with omissions (a lack of information) on my income tax returns I was ready, willing and able to fix it and attempted to explain how it should have been a civil and not a criminal matter. I was directed not to—by the government—and then faced bogus charges of income tax evasion when I never faced an audit, never got a delinquency notice, never filed a late return, never requested an extension, and paid every tax dollar my CPA determined that was due and owed. At each step along the way the government contrived to ruin my reputation, crush my soul, and destroy my family—for the sake of an orange-faced piece of shit who ran roughshod over the Constitution. To this day he remains unindicted and free, and I’ve had to pay the price for illegal activities he perpetrated, planned, and directed.
At least Sammy the Bull got to testify against John Gotti, who was ultimately charged and convicted. Trump has never been charged and every attempt to do so, so far, has been thwarted. It turns out he’s truly the “Teflon Don.”
This is what the American public has to understand. There are two separate types of justice in the United States. One is for those who have the power. They don’t pay for their illegal actions. The other is for the rest of us—and we pay too damn much. One of my sins was thinking I was a member of the class of protected individuals: those who are able to get away with anything they want.
Now, make no mistake, I’ve sinned. I’ve paid for my sins and I continue to do so.
But my eyes have also been opened in this process, and I know damned well that those who are prosecuting the sinners are not only sinners themselves, but in the process of committing their sins they have corrupted our Department of Justice.
What you will find in these pages is not just that those who are perpetrating this injustice in our country have no problem with doing it—it is that some of them think they’re actually doing their job and protecting the country. Many of the people who spoke to me for this book are still employed by the Department of Justice. They are heroes who fear losing their job or worse, being improperly prosecuted as I was. That is why many of them spoke to me “on background” only, which requires that I don’t identify them. I want to thank them for speaking with me and helping to provide their insight and concerns about what’s going on inside the DOJ. It is what they have to say that sheds a light on this dark and evil chapter in American history.
As for the rest of them—and I’m referring to the dirty ones who prosecute high profile cases and are hell-bent on obtaining convictions for their own benefit, for better job offers, higher pay and higher status—for these animals, appearance has become their reality. These individuals become enslaved to the powerful who are to be protected at all cost because that’s just the way justice works. In their warped perception they believe might makes right because they got a pay raise.
If we’re ever to live up to the ideals of our Constitution, this must change.
And if I have anything to do with it, that change starts now.
I want to thank Brian Karem, without whom I would not have been able to get the insider information that was essential to get this work completed. He conducted many of the interviews included here. I knew of him peripherally as one of the reporters covering the White House who occasionally sparred with Donald Trump. But I knew he was the guy I wanted to help me on this book after he stood up to Trump and beat him in court three times to keep his press pass. When he asked the important question of Trump, “Will you accept a peaceful transfer of power,” and Trump became the first president in history to say no, I also knew this was a guy who got it and understand the dangers of Donald Trump and the Department of Justice. I also knew that people wouldn’t necessarily want to talk to me at the Justice Department, but would more likely open up to someone who was known for honoring confidences. That, as it turns out, is invaluable among those on the inside who want to see the Department of Justice reformed.