Charges expected Thursday for Trump’s company, top executive – WSVN 7News | Miami News, Weather, Sports
Donald Trump’s company and his longtime chief financial officer are expected to be charged Thursday with tax crimes arising from a New York investigation into the former president’s business relationships, people familiar with the matter told The Associated Press.
The charges against the Trump Organization and the company’s chief financial officer Allen Weisselberg appear to include non-monetary benefits that the company has provided to top executives, possibly including the use of apartments, cars, and school fees.
The persons were not allowed to speak about an ongoing investigation and did so on condition of anonymity. The Wall Street Journal first reported that charges were expected Thursday.
The charges against Weisselberg and the Trump Organization would be the first criminal cases to emerge from the two-year investigation led by Manhattan’s District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr., a Democrat who will leave office later this year.
Prosecutors have examined Trump’s tax records, subpoenaed documents and interviewed witnesses, including Trump insiders and company executives.
A grand jury was recently set up to weigh evidence and New York attorney general Letitia James said she hired two of her lawyers to work with Vance on the criminal investigation while she continues a civil investigation into Trump.
Messages asking for comments were left with a spokesman and lawyer for the Trump Organization. Weißelberg’s attorney Mary Mulligan declined to comment. The Manhattan Attorney’s Office declined to comment.
Trump’s spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but Jason Miller, a longtime former Republican senior adviser, described the threatened allegations as “politically dire for the Democrats.”
“They told their madmen and their petitioners in the mainstream media that this was about President Trump. Instead, their witch hunt is following an innocent 80-year-old man because he may have taken free parking! ”Miller tweeted, apparently referring to Weisselberg, who is 73 years old.
Trump, who has criticized President Joe Biden’s immigration policy, visited Texas on Wednesday on the US-Mexico border. He did not respond to shouted questions about the charges when attending a briefing with state officials.
Trump had blown the investigation on Monday in a statement, ridiculing Vance’s office as “rude, nasty and completely prejudiced” regarding the treatment of Trump’s lawyers, agents and long-time employees.
Trump said in the statement that the company’s actions were “things that are common practice throughout the US business community and are in no way a crime,” and that Vance’s investigation is an investigation “in search of a crime.”
Trump Organization attorneys met virtually with attorneys in Manhattan last week to prevent them from prosecuting the company. Prosecutors on Monday gave lawyers a deadline to argue that no criminal complaint should be filed.
Ron Fischetti, an attorney for the Trump organization, told the AP this week there was no evidence that Trump himself was included in the first indictment.
“There are no charges against the former president this week,” said Fischetti. “I can’t say he’s completely out of the woods.”
Weißelberg, a loyal lieutenant to Trump and his real estate developer father Fred, was scrutinized, among other things, over questions about the use of a Trump apartment by his son at low or free costs.
Barry Weisselberg ran a Trump-operated ice rink in Central Park.
Barry’s ex-wife Jen Weisselberg cooperated with the investigation and handed over tons of tax and other documents to investigators.
“We have been working with prosecutors on these tax and financial investigations for many months and have produced a large amount of evidence that enabled them to bring these charges,” said Jen Weisselberg’s attorney Duncan Levin on Wednesday. “We are happy to hear that the prosecution is moving forward with criminal proceedings.”
Allen Weisselberg has worked for the Trump Organization since 1973. The trial against him could allow prosecutors to put pressure on the executive branch and let them know what he knows about Trump’s business.
Prosecutors asked another longtime Trump chief financial officer, Senior Vice President and Controller Jeffrey McConney, to testify to the grand jury this spring. Under New York law, grand jury witnesses have immunity and cannot be charged for the conduct they testify.
Prosecutors investigating untaxed benefits for Trump executives have also investigated Matthew Calamari, a former Trump bodyguard who became chief operating officer, and his son, the company’s corporate director of security. However, a Calamaris attorney said Wednesday that he did not expect them to be charged.
“Although the prosecutor’s investigation appears to be ongoing, I am not currently expecting any charges against any of my clients,” said lawyer Nicholas Gravante.
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