Trump Organization, CFO to be charged on Thursday: report
NEW YORK CITY (AP) – Donald Trump’s company and its long-time CFO are set to be charged with tax crimes on Thursday resulting from a New York investigation into the former president’s business relationship, The Associated told The Associated Press from people close to the case.
The charges against the Trump Organization and the company’s chief financial officer Allen Weisselberg appear to involve non-cash benefits the company has given to senior executives, including the use of apartments, cars and tuition.
People were not allowed to speak about an ongoing investigation and did so on condition of anonymity. The Wall Street Journal was the first to report that charges were expected Thursday.
The charges against Weisselberg and the Trump Organization are believed to be the first criminal cases to emerge from the two-year investigation by Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr., a Democrat who is stepping down at the end of the year .
Prosecutors have reviewed Trump’s tax records, subpoenaed documents, and interviewed witnesses, including Trump insiders and business executives.
A grand jury was recently appointed to assess the evidence and New York Attorney General Letitia James said she assigned two of her attorneys to work with Vance on the criminal investigation while she continued a civil investigation into Trump.
Messages requesting comment were left with a spokesperson and lawyers for the Trump Organization. Messages were also left with lawyers for Weisselberg and other company executives. The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office declined to comment.
Trump’s spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but Jason Miller, the Republican’s longtime former senior adviser, called the looming accusations “politically terrible for Democrats.”
“They told their lunatics and supplicants in the mainstream media that it was President Trump. Instead, their witch hunt persecutes an innocent 80-year-old man for possibly taking free parking! Miller tweeted, apparently referring to Weisselberg, who is 73.
Trump had criticized the investigation in a statement on Monday, calling Vance’s office “rude, mean and totally biased” in its treatment of lawyers, representatives and longtime employees of the Trump company.
Trump, in the statement, said the company’s actions were “things that are common practice throughout the American business community, and by no means a crime” and that Vance’s investigation was an investigation. ” in search of a crime “.
Trump, who has criticized President Joe Biden’s immigration policies, was due to travel to Texas on Thursday to visit the US-Mexico border.
Lawyers for the Trump Organization virtually met with Manhattan prosecutors last week in a last-ditch attempt to dissuade them from charging the company. Prosecutors gave lawyers a deadline of Monday to argue that criminal charges should not be laid.
Ron Fischetti, a lawyer for the Trump Organization, told the AP this week that there was no indication that Trump himself was included in the first batch of charges.
“There is no indictment this week against the former president,” Fischetti said. “I can’t say he’s completely out of the woods yet.”
Weisselberg, a loyal lieutenant to Trump and his father, real estate developer Fred, has come under scrutiny, in part because of questions about his son’s use of a little or no Trump apartment. of charges.
Barry Weisselberg managed an ice rink operated by Trump in Central Park.
Barry’s ex-wife Jen Weisselberg cooperated with the investigation and handed over tons of tax records and other documents to investigators.
Allen Weisselberg has worked for the Trump Organization since 1973.
Prosecutors have subpoenaed another longtime Trump financial executive, Senior Vice President and Comptroller Jeffrey McConney, to testify before the grand jury in the spring. Under New York law, grand jury witnesses are granted immunity and cannot be charged for the conduct they testify about.
Prosecutors investigating the tax-free benefits of Trump executives also examined Matthew Calamari, a former Trump bodyguard turned chief operating officer, and his son, the company’s chief security officer. However, an attorney for the Calamaris said on Wednesday he did not expect them to be charged.
“While the prosecutor’s investigation is obviously ongoing, I don’t expect charges to be laid against any of my clients at this time,” said attorney, Nicholas Gravante.
Vance’s investigation is one of at least 18 open investigations and prosecutions Trump faces. These include a criminal investigation into whether an attempt to improperly influence the results of the 2020 Georgia election and libel lawsuits brought by two women who said Trump lied when he denied the having sexually assaulted.