Court Battles

Trump Organization, longtime CFO ask for fraud charges to be dropped

The Trump Organization and Allen Weisselberg, its longtime chief financial officer, are pressing for fraud charges against them to be dropped after New York prosecutors last summer charged them with conspiracy and fraud.

Last summer, New York prosecutors alleged a scheme had been orchestrated by Weisselberg to enrich himself and “other Trump Organization executives” through unreported income, further claiming that between 2005 and 2017, $1.7 million had not been paid in taxes by its longtime chief financial officer.

Both parties have denied any wrongdoing, and former President Trump has not been charged with any wrongdoing. 

In court filings on Tuesday, the parties alleged that the allegations were politically motivated, and attorneys for Weisselberg claimed that the Trump Organization CFO had been given immunity when he testified in a case involving former Trump attorney Michael Cohen, The New York Times reported.

The Manhattan District Attorney’s office had “targeted Donald Trump’s associates and companies for investigation and prosecution based on their animus toward his speech and political views,” Trump’s lawyers argued in their filings, according to the newspaper.

Susan Necheles, an attorney for Trump, in a statement to The Hill alleged that the Manhattan District Attorney’s office, in addition to New York Attorney General Letitia James (D), were pursuing their cases to stop the former president from being able to seek political office.

“There never before has been a case like this, where individuals were prosecuted in state court for supposed failures to pay federal taxes. As ser forth in our motion papers, the DOJ knew all of the facts here and did not think a case was warranted,” she said. “The only reason the NY DA and NY AG brought this case was for political motives. Their unconstitutional behavior should not be tolerated and the criminal case must be dismissed.”

Lawyers for Weisselberg alleged in court filings that Cohen had a “vendetta” against the CFO after Weisselberg testified against him in 2018, the Times noted. The lawyers also argued that only the IRS had the jurisdiction to pursue charges related to his federal tax returns, not the New York prosecutors.

Cohen, however, slammed that argument in a tweet on Tuesday.

“This bullshit argument is nothing more than more feeble attempts by #Trump, Weisselberg and company to continue to lie in hopes of blaming me for the investigation into all the illegal actions they committed. No one is above the law and soon this adage will ring true!” Cohen tweeted.

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s office declined to comment to the Times about the matter. An attorney for Weisselberg declined to comment to The Hill regarding the matter.

The Hill has reached out to the Manhattan District Attorney’s office for comment.

— Updated at 1:49 p.m.

Tags Allen Weisselberg Allen Weisselberg Donald Trump Manhattan District Attorney Michael Cohen The Trump Organization

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