Trump CFO Allen Weisselberg to take plea deal that will require him to TESTIFY against the company
Allen Weisselberg, Donald Trump’s longtime financial chief, is expected to plead guilty Thursday in a deal requiring him to testify against the former president’s company.
Under the terms of the agreement, Weisselberg, who faced up to 15 years in prison, will spend just 100 days behind bars. The New York Times reported.
It does not require Weisselberg to turn against Trump.
But the former Trump Organization finance officer will have to admit to all 15 felonies he was charged with and testify about his role in a tax avoidance scheme on lavish corporate benefits.
That testimony will make Weisselberg a central witness in the October Trump Organization trial, where he will face many of the same charges.
He is not expected to involve the former president or any other family members of Trump in his testimony.
But the admission of one of the Trump Organization’s top executives that he committed the crimes will undermine any attempt by the company’s lawyers to claim that no crime was committed.
Law enforcement officers escort Allen Weisselberg, the former chief financial officer of the Trump Organization, as he leaves court, Friday, August 12, 2022 in New York
Donald Trump with Allen Weisselberg, chief financial officer of the Trump Organization at a press conference at Trump Tower in May 2016
The guilty plea is just the latest event to undermine Trump’s campaign statement ‘surrounding'[s] me only with the best and most serious people.’
Prosecutors are expected to use Weisselberg’s testimony as a springboard to broader claims against the Trump organization.
Weisselberg, 75, is the only Trump executive to be charged in the year-long criminal investigation launched by former Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr., who went to the Supreme Court to secure Trump’s tax records.
Vance’s successor, Alvin Bragg, is now leading the investigation. Several other Trump executives have been granted immunity to testify before a grand jury in the case.
Weisselberg started working for Trump’s father, Fred Trump, in 1973.
He rose through the ranks of the Trump Organization in the decades that followed. By the late 1980s, he was the company’s controller, and in 2000, he was named chief financial officer and vice president of Trump Hotels & Casino Resorts. He was also a board member and treasurer of the Donald J. Trump Foundation.
He has also handled the Trump family’s household expenses.
On January 11, 2017, shortly before Trump’s inauguration as President of the United States, the Trump Organization announced that Weisselberg would lead the company along with Eric Trump and Donald Trump Jr. during the Trump presidency.
That stewardship came despite public pressure at the time for Trump to divest completely from the company at a time when he was running the country.
Weisselberg has unsurpassed knowledge of the Trump Organization’s internal financial workings and has come under intense pressure from prosecutors to cooperate with their investigation.
Prosecutors alleged that Weisselberg and the Trump Organization had plans to give unofficial compensation to senior executives, including Weisselberg, for 15 years.
Weisselberg was charged with evading $1.7 million in revenue, including rent for a Manhattan apartment, lease payments for two Mercedes-Benz vehicles and tuition for family members, with Trump signing checks for tuition himself.
Prosecutors obtained tuition information by subpoenaing Columbia Grammar & Preparatory School for document.
The children’s mother, Jennifer Weisselberg, told the Wall Street Journal that the payments totaled $500,000 from 2012 to 2019.
He was also charged with defrauding the federal government, state and city of more than $900,000 in unpaid taxes and unearned tax refunds.
The Trump organization itself is under investigation for its own tax practices: including inflating valuations when seeking loans, while having low values at the IRS, according to James’s office.
The suspects have declared that they are innocent. Donald Trump has not been charged with any crimes.
He has labeled the New York investigations a “political witch hunt,” and has said his company’s actions were standard practice in the real estate industry and not a crime in any way.
The trial is scheduled for the end of October.
If the schedule is right, the Trump organization will face trial in the November midterm elections, where the former president’s Republican party could gain control of one or both houses of Congress.
Some Republican leaders have been outraged that Trump’s election fraud allegations may have cost Senate party control during two second Georgia elections in 2020.
Trump is also considering a 2024 presidential bid and has continued to tease out a possible run after the FBI raid on his Mar-a-Lago home in connection with yet another investigation involving the removal of classified materials from the White House to his home. Florida country club.
Allen Weisselbrg in New York State Supreme Court last month
Allen Weisselberg led the Trump Organization, along with Eric Trump and Donald Trump Jr., during Trump’s presidency; above Allen Weisselberg, center, is seen between President-elect Donald Trump, left, and Donald Trump Jr. during a press conference in January 2017
Donald Trump Jr. testified in the New York AG’s investigation into the Trump organization’s finances
Ivanka Trump and Eric Trump can be seen at Ivana Trump’s funeral on July 20, 2022 in New York City. Ivanka’s testimony was delayed by the event
New York Attorney General Letitia James has spent months investigating the Trump organization. Trump has repeatedly attacked her probe
Last week, Trump sat for a statement in the parallel civil investigation of New York Attorney General Letitia James into allegations that Trump’s company misled lenders and tax authorities about asset values.
Trump invoked the protection of his Fifth Amendment against self-incrimination more than 400 times. That development contrasted sharply with Trump’s earlier public statement about the constitutional right against self-incrimination. “You see the mob take the Fifth. If you’re innocent, why are you taking the Fifth Amendment?’
In the months following Weisselberg’s arrest, the criminal investigation appeared to be progressing toward a possible criminal charge against Trump himself, but the investigation slowed, a grand jury was dissolved and a top prosecutor left after Bragg took office in January — though he insists that it’s continued.
Weisselberg’s plea is just the latest development in an investigation that also involved three of Trump’s adult children.
Son Eric Trump, a director of the Trump Organization, also testified and repeatedly invoked the Fifth Amendment himself.
Ivanka Trump and Donald Trump Jr. have also testified after a lawsuit in recent weeks, in which they came for a delayed appearance following the death of their mother, Ivana. An appeals court in New York ruled in May that Trump and his adult children must testify in James’s investigation.
Donald Trump Jr. is an executive who helped run the country while his father was in the White House.
Don Jr. reportedly failed to invoke the Fifth and answer investigators’ questions.
Ivana Trump was an unpaid White House aide at Trump’s White House. She acted as a liaison with Deutsche Bank, which was the company’s main lender.