As Manhattan D.A. Alvin Bragg continues to build his case against former President Donald Trump, new reporting from the New York Times suggests that he is contemplating new criminal charges against ex-Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg in an effort to secure testimony against his former boss.
The news comes roughly one month after Weisselberg, 75, was released from the infamous Rikers Island facility, having served nearly 100 days on a prior tax fraud plea stemming from his work for the Trump enterprise, as the New York Post noted.
According to sources who spoke to the Times, Bragg's team has been in contact with lawyers for Weisselberg in recent days, cautioning them that their client could face perjury charges if he does not agree to provide testimony against Trump in the Stormy Daniels hush money case currently pending against the former president.
According to the outlet, the charges being threatened against Weisselberg stem from statements he gave during a 2020 interview that was conducted as part of a separate probe of Trump initiated by New York Attorney General Letitia James.
Should Weisselberg continue in his longstanding refusal to provide testimony specifically against his former boss, sources indicate that Bragg's team is exploring the possibility of leveling unrelated insurance fraud allegations against him.
As of now, according to the Times, there has been no movement to suggest that Weisselberg is likely to cooperate with the district attorney or that the aforementioned charges are on the verge of being filed.
The concept of piling additional charges onto an aging man who just spent months in a notoriously rough jail environment has spurred disagreement about whether such a move is fair or appropriate.
Criminal defense attorney Daniel Horowitz, who was once employed by the district attorneys' office, opined to the Times, “The guy has already been prosecuted and served his time, and he's 75 years old.”
“Most defense lawyers are going to scratch their heads and say, 'Is this fair?'” Horowitz added.
Stephen Gillers, professor of legal ethics at NYU School of Law disagreed, saying, there “would be nothing improper” about lodging new criminal charges against Weisselberg for different offenses.
It was just last month that Weisselberg was released from Rikers Island after spending 99 days behind bars, which amounted to two-thirds of his full sentence, as the Post noted.
Though the former Trump Organization CFO was lodged in a special area of the complex set aside for older inmates and those who needed special medical care, the experience was undoubtedly a traumatic one for the septuagenarian.
Weisselberg attorney Nick Gravante said at the time, “Anyone who truly knows Allen feels sorry that he had to go through this. I hope he can now retire in peace, spend time with his wonderful family, and leave the circus in the rearview mirror. It was my honor and privilege to have represented him. He's a true gentleman.”
However, given Bragg's seemingly boundless and naked political zeal to get Trump at any cost, Gravante's hopes for Weisselberg's remaining years may prove to be little more than wishful thinking.