The war on all things Trump by prosecutors.
The New York Times reports the Manhattan district attorney’s office told former President Donald Trump’s lawyer it might file criminal charges against the Trump Organization as early as next week.
The charges stem from supposed benefits the company gave a top executive:
The prosecutors had been building a case for months against the executive, Allen H. Weisselberg, as part of an effort to pressure him to cooperate with a broader inquiry into Mr. Trump’s business dealings. But it was not previously known that the Trump Organization also might face charges.
If the case moves ahead, the district attorney, Cyrus R. Vance Jr., could announce charges as soon as next week, the people said. Mr. Vance’s prosecutors have been conducting the investigation along with lawyers from the office of the New York State attorney general, Letitia James.
Any indictment would be the first to emerge from the long-running investigation and would raise the startling prospect of a former president having to defend the company he founded, and has run for decades, against accusations of criminal behavior.
The investigation began three years ago. I find it odd the district attorney started it when Trump served as president. I mean, Trump did not pop out of nowhere in 2016. He has been a staple in Hollywood, culture, and politics for as long as I can remember.
Anyway, investigators have concentrated on “whether the Trump Organization manipulated the value of its properties to obtain favorable loans and tax benefits, people with knowledge of the matter have said.”
The office also wants to know what the company told insurance companies about different assets and if any of the employees had a role in paying off women during Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign.
I found this interesting, which makes me believe even more this is just a show and witch hunt:
“In my more than 50 years of practice, never before have I seen a district attorney’s office target a company over employee compensation or fringe benefits,” said Ronald P. Fischetti, a personal lawyer for Mr. Trump. “It’s ridiculous and outrageous.”
Several lawyers who specialize in tax rules have told The New York Times that it would be highly unusual to indict a company just for failing to pay taxes on fringe benefits. None of them could cite any recent example, noting that many companies provide their employees with benefits like company cars.
We do not know yet if the office will file any charges against Trump. They may want to target Weisselberg to get to Trump since he is a direct link:
Mr. Weisselberg’s intimate knowledge of the Trump Organization — he has worked at the company for decades and was one of the top executives when Mr. Trump was in the White House — would make his cooperation an enormous asset to investigators looking at all aspects of the company. Because of that, he has been a central focus of scrutiny in the district attorney’s investigation, with particular attention paid to the benefits that he and his family received.
In general, those types of benefits are taxable, although there are some exceptions, and the rules can be murky.
Mr. Trump depends heavily on Mr. Weisselberg, who has continued to work at the Trump Organization while under investigation. In his book “Think Like a Billionaire,” Mr. Trump credited Mr. Weisselberg for doing “whatever was necessary to protect the bottom line.”
An indictment alone could end the Trump Organization.
I can’t underscore enough how devastating an indictment would be to the Trump Org. Every lender would call their loans and no way Trump Org can pay them all, likely leading to bankruptcy. Weisselberg may not cooperate without more serious charges, but any charge will doom the TO. https://t.co/Zu9ksiVUBl
— Daniel Goldman (@danielsgoldman) June 25, 2021
The indictment would give the Trump Organization a scarlet letter, scaring off banks and potential business partners. It could cause current business partners to flee.DONATE
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