Trump says NY ‘taking over’ the witch hunt against him with new charges
Former President Trump on Thursday blasted the charges against his company and its chief financial officer as a “disgrace” driven by politics.
“The political Witch Hunt by the Radical Left Democrats, with New York now taking over the assignment, continues. It is dividing our Country like never before!” Trump said in a statement after the Trump Organization and top executive Allen Weisselberg were charged with multiple counts of conspiracy and fraud.
In a phone interview with ABC News’s John Santucci, Trump reportedly said the charges were a “disgrace” and called Weisselberg a “tremendous person.” Santucci reported that Trump accused prosecutors of pressuring Weisselberg to turn against him, saying “they want him to lie against Trump.”
BREAKING: Former Pres. Trump responds to charges against Trump Organization and its longtime CFO, speaking to @ABC News’ John @Santucci. https://t.co/RYIcPNUXJx pic.twitter.com/x9IFiVcA3b
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) July 1, 2021
Weisselberg, who turned himself in to New York City prosecutors earlier Thursday morning, pleaded not guilty to all 15 charges, which include tax fraud, conspiracy, grand larceny and falsifying business records. Prosecutors allege that Weisselberg helped orchestrate a scheme to compensate himself and “other Trump Organization executives” with unreported income.
According to prosecutors, Weisselberg avoided paying taxes on about $1.7 million in income between 2005 and 2017. The indictment alleges that the Trump Organization had been paying for his rent in a Manhattan apartment, living expenses, a relative’s private school tuition and the lease on a Mercedes.
Trump was not mentioned in the charging documents but prosecutors suggested that executives other than Weisselberg were implicated in the scheme.
The charges are likely to turn up the pressure on Trump, especially if Weisselberg chooses to cooperate with prosecutors in the criminal probe, which the district attorney’s office says is ongoing.
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