Jon Stewart fires back at claims Trump's crimes are victimless

2023 Night of Too Many Stars benefiting NEXT for AUTISM in NYC
2023 Night of Too Many Stars benefiting NEXT for AUTISM in NYC / Jamie McCarthy/GettyImages

Late-night TV spent Monday night reacting to the latest development in Donald Trump's civil fraud case. On The Daily Show, host Jon Stewart took particular exception to claims that the former president's crimes are "victimless."

An appeals court threw Trump a lifeline on Monday, drastically reducing his bond from $454 million to $175 million. Stewart noted how "enthralled" the media became at the idea of Trump either coming up with $454 million or having his New York City properties seized.

But the successful appeal added a wrench to that narrative. Stewart acted out the disappointment felt by Trump's critics and even hit on reports that Trump could net $3 billion thanks to a merger involving Truth Social.

So with nothing to report on Trump's properties or bond payments, the Daily Show took a step back to look at how the ex-president earned the penalty in the first place. "Well, it turns out for a decade , whenever Trump wanted to get a loan or make a deal, he would illegally inflate the value of his real estate," Stewart explained.

Stewart added that Trump undervalued his properties when it came time to pay taxes. The late-night TV host described it as a sophisticated real estate practice known as "lying."

But talking heads in the media argued what Trump did was a "victimless crime." In particular, Shark Tank star Kevin O'Leary's question of "who's next?" in the investment community especially tickled Stewart. The Daily Show then put together a highlight package of O'Leary blasting entrepreneurs for overvaluing their businesses on Shark Tank.

Stewart ended the segment by going in on the "victimless crime" claims. While he has no sympathy for banks, Stewart acknowledged that Trump's practices meant banks got paid back at lower interest rates. He then noted that since money isn't infinite, money that goes to a liar doesn't go to someone giving an honest valuation.

"So the system becomes incentivized for corruption," Stewart argued. "Avoiding taxes hurts all of us," he added, along with a calculation of how much Trump's "shenanigans" cost New York City.

Stewart called out hypocrisy again by showcasing the same commentators complaining about people abusing the welfare system. For the late-night TV host, it seems like the rules don't apply to the wealthy when they are in pursuit of more money.

It was a classic Jon Stewart monologue and another example of why he was missed in late-night TV. Stewart has been back behind the desk for a little over a month at this point, but Monday's rant may provided some of his best moments of the new Daily Show era.