Trump Organization, CFO Weisselberg could face charges in DA probe: report
Attorneys have told former President Trump’s lawyers that the Trump Organization and its CFO, Allen Weisselberg, could face charges as a result of the continuing probe by the Manhattan district attorney’s office, according to a report in The New York Times.
The office, led by Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance Jr., has told several attorneys for the former president it is considering charges regarding Weisselberg, a top Trump Organization executive long seen as a loyal player in Trump World.
Charges against the Trump Organization and its chief financial officer could come as early as the following week, according to the report.
One of the issues that prosecutors are examining is whether benefits given to Weisselberg and other executives were accurately represented in the company’s financial recordkeeping system and if the company paid taxes on those benefits, according to the report.
Some of the gifts and benefits that the district attorney’s office were looking into included car leases, apartment rents, and private school tuition totaling thousands of dollars for one of Weisselberg’s grandchildren.
Other aspects of the inquiry include whether any of the Trump Organization’s employees, including Weisselberg, were involved in paying two women “hush money” in 2016 during Trump’s presidential campaign, according to the Times. The investigation is also looking at statements that the company sent insurance companies regarding asset valuation.
According to the report, lawyers for the former president met with senior prosecutors on Thursday from the district attorney’s office in an effort to convince them not to press criminal charges against the Trump Organization.
The report noted that it’s uncertain if Trump himself will be hit with any charges from the district attorney’s office.
Trump has called the investigation “a witch hunt” and already made an unsuccessful attempt to avoid a subpoena by the district attorney’s office to give them some of his personal and corporate tax returns, the Times noted.
“In my more than 50 years of practice, never before have I seen the District Attorney’s Office target a company over employee compensation or fringe benefits. The IRS would not, and has not, brought a case like this,” said Ronald P. Fischetti, a lawyer for Trump. “Even the financial institutions responsible for causing the 2008 financial crises, the worst financial crisis since the great depression, were not prosecuted.”
The Times reported that the district attorney’s office had tried to pressure Weisselberg to work with prosecutors as they collected evidence against him for months. Weisselberg will face more pressure to work with the district attorney’s office if he or the organization receive an indictment.
The Hill has reached out to the Trump Organization and Manhattan district attorney’s office for comment. A lawyer for Weisselberg declined to comment to The Hill.
Updated: 9:50 p.m.