Critics of former President Donald Trump have been speculating about criminal charges against him or his real estate empire for years.
Now, one of Trump’s personal attorneys has confirmed that the Trump Organization could face such charges in New York as soon as next week.
“What they wanted to hear”
According to the Washington Times, Ron Fischetti indicated that the criminal counts could target CFO Allen Weisselberg, who has refused to provide evidence in a tax evasion probe being conducted by Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr.
“They could not get Allen Weisselberg to cooperate and tell them what they wanted to hear, and that’s why they are going forward with these charges,” the attorney said in a statement to NBC News.
He went on to assert that prosecutors could not get Weisselberg “to cooperate because he would not say that Donald Trump had knowledge or any information that he may have been not deducting properly the use of cars or an apartment.”
Fischetti made it clear that the business will plead not guilty to any forthcoming charges.
Trump’s lawyers reportedly learned during a meeting on Thursday that the charges might relate to fringe benefits the CFO received from the organization. Attorneys are said to have argued unsuccessfully for prosecutors to drop the charges.
“Going after his company”
Thus far, a number of witnesses have been interviewed and various documents have been subpoenaed. Although the case dates back several years, sources say the investigation has recently intensified.
Last month, a grand jury was convened to weigh the evidence. Lawyers working for New York Attorney General Letitia James are now teaming up with Vance on the criminal probe while James continues a civil investigation into the former president.
Fischetti said that Trump’s lawyers will be moving to dismiss the “completely outrageous” charges against the Trump Organization, noting that no charges are expected against Trump personally.
“Mr. Trump is outraged that they are still going after him by going after his company where he has had loyal employees for decades,” the lawyer said.
Vance reportedly obtained Trump’s tax documents in February, but his planned retirement at the end of this year presents a looming deadline for his investigation to conclude.