A grand jury in Manhattan has indicted the Trump Organization and its longtime chief financial officer Allen Weisselberg, the Washington Post reported late Wednesday. The information was sourced to “two people familiar with the indictments” who spoke only on the condition their names not be used because the matters were not yet public.
The actual indictment documents are expected to be unsealed Thursday afternoon, the newspaper further noted. However, Weisselberg is expected to turn himself in to authorities Thursday morning, the Post said; both Weisselberg and the Trump Organization will be arraigned later in the day. Weisselberg is expected to be present personally in court; the Trump Organization will be represented by its lawyers.
Spokespersons for Manhattan D.A. Cyrus R. Vance Jr. (D), New York Attorney General Letitia James (D), Weisselberg, and the Trump Organization did not respond to requests for comment from the Post.
The nature of the reported charges is unclear, according to the Post’s sources, but the New York Times and the Associated Press reported last week that Vance’s office was considering charges “in connection with fringe benefits the company awarded a top executive.” Among the prosecutors’ questions was whether taxes were paid on various fringe benefits, according to those reports.
The New York Times on Wednesday night said the fringe benefits were related to the indictments and suggested that Weisselberg appears to be the “top executive” at the center of the probe. That same Wednesday report in the Times said Vance’s team has “been examining bonuses and luxury perks that Mr. Weisselberg received — including an apartment in Manhattan, leased Mercedes-Benz cars and private school tuition for at least one of his grandchildren — and whether taxes should have been paid on those benefits.”
NBC News reported last week that Trump attorney Ron Fischetti called the allegedly imminent charges “completely outrageous” — while simultaneously confirming that prosecutors were to his knowledge centering their efforts “on tax evasion charges.”
According to Fischetti’s account of a meeting with prosecutors last week, representatives from Vance’s office replied “no” when Trump’s legal team asked “‘Is there anything else?” — which Fischetti interpreted as a question about whether any other person would face criminal charges, according to Politico.
“It’s crazy that that’s all they had,” Fischetti said, per that Politico report.
Under New York law, corporations can be charged with crimes.
The Post laid out rather bluntly that the reported indictments are strategic moves by the two Democrats — Vance and James — to dig even further into the affairs of former president Donald Trump himself.
“Prosecutors hope Weisselberg will offer testimony against Trump in exchange for lessening his own risk, according to another person familiar with the case,” the Post said.
The Times echoed those thoughts Wednesday evening. It described Weisselberg as “a man whose unflinching devotion to Mr. Trump will now be put to the test” after “nearly a half-century of service” to the former president’s business.
This is a developing story.
[image via Timothy A. Clary/AFP/Getty Images]
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