Trump lawyer claims indictment was politically motivated

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A lawyer for former President Trump on Thursday slammed the indictment against the Trump Organization and its chief financial officer as being politically motivated.

“This is a sad day for the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office. After years of investigation and the collection of millions of documents and devoting the resources of dozens of prosecutors and outside consultants, this is all they have?” Ronald P. Fischetti said in a statement.

“In my 50 years of practice, I have never seen this office bring a case like this and, quite frankly, I am astonished. The District Attorney is supposed to be apolitical, but everyone knows that the only reason they are proceeding with this case is because it is ‘Trump’. As far as we are concerned, this case is over,” Fischetti continued. 

The Trump Organization and one of its executives, Allen Weisselberg, were charged Thursday with various fraud and conspiracy charges by New York City prosecutors.

Weisselberg surrendered to the district attorney’s office Thursday morning. He later pleaded not guilty to 15 charges, including tax fraud, conspiracy, grand larceny and falsifying business records.

He is the first Trump Organization official to face charges following investigations by the Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance’s office and New York Attorney General Letitia James who looked at the Trump’s business dealings.

Prosectors alleged in an indictment that was unsealed Thursday afternoon that Weisselberg was creating a scheme to pay himself and “other Trump Organization executives” with income that was not reported.

Additionally, prosecutors allege that Weisselberg received $1.7 million in income between 2005 and 2017, which he did not pay taxes on. 

“As spelled out in the indictment, this was a fifteen year-long tax fraud scheme, involving off the books payments, which is a type of crime that’s charged against companies and executives all the time,” Carey Dunne, an attorney for the Manhattan district attorney’s office said. “Contrary to today’s assertion by the company’s former CEO this is not a, ‘standard practice in the business community,’ nor was it the act of a rogue or isolated employee.”

Trump was not charged in the indictment, though Trump called the charges a “political witch hunt.”

Attorneys for Weisselberg did not immediately respond to an earlier request for comment.

Following the indictment, a spokesperson for the company also accused the district attorney’s office of playing politics.

“The District Attorney will try to convince the public that these charges are of great significance. However, everyday New Yorkers and Americans know exactly what this is: an inappropriate use of a local prosecutor’s vast and unchecked power to target a political opponent,” a Trump Organization spokesperson said in a statement.

Tags Allen Weisselberg Allen Weisselberg Donald Trump Donald Trump Fraud The Trump Organization

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