In New York City, the judge overseeing the tax fraud case against former President Donald Trump’s family business and its longtime chief financial officer,
Allen Weisselberg, has set a schedule with a potential court trial beginning in late August or early September 2022, just months before the midterm elections.
Trump Executive Could Face Charges as soon as this Summer
This might put a damper on Trump’s efforts to rally support for Republican candidates, as could the possibility of a conviction related to his family business. Lawyers for Weisselberg’s defence team hinted during a court hearing on Monday that the legal cloud above Trump’s world may be growing greater as a result of the ongoing investigations.
One of Weisselberg’s lawyers, Bryan Skarlatos, has claimed, “We have substantial cause to believe there could be further indictments coming.”
The Trump Organization has been accused of committing tax fraud.
Almost three months after Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. unsealed a slew of criminal charges alleging the Trump Organization and Weisselberg participated in a more than 15-year scheme to defraud taxpayers by paying company executives with untaxed benefits, the pair appeared in the New York state Supreme Court in Manhattan.
Both Weisselberg, who has worked for the Trumps since 1973, and the Trump Organization have denied the accusations. The ex-president claims this prosecution is driven by political animus.
Skarlatos and Mary Mulligan, another of Allen Weisselberg’s attorneys, said in a joint statement, “We have analysed the indictment and it is replete of unsubstantiated and incorrect factual and legal statements involving Allen Weisselberg.” We look forward to arguing against those claims in court.
The lawyers are likely to be back in court before New York Supreme Court Justice Juan Merchan in July 2022.
It is clear that prosecutors are continuing their investigation into Trump Organization financial dealings.
Prosecutors from Vance’s office have been coordinating with New York Attorney General Letitia James’s team on an ongoing investigation of Trump’s business dealings in the state of New York. Lawyers representing Weisselberg and the Trump Organization showed up to court unexpectedly in August, which is just one indication that Vance and James are pursuing this case aggressively.
According to Adam Kaufmann, a former investigations division chief at the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office and now a partner at the law firm Lewis Baach Kaufmann Middlemiss, the fact that they are having sealed proceedings is consistent with an ongoing grand jury investigation and suggests the district attorney may be considering additional charges or defendants.
Trump Organization COO’s Son gives Testimony
In August, Matthew Calamari Jr. — the Trump Organization’s corporate director of security and son of the chief operating officer, Matthew Calamari Sr. — testified before a grand jury, an attorney for both father and son revealed in a statement. When testifying before a grand jury in New York, witnesses are protected from prosecution.
Calamari Jr. is “a model citizen,” “has never violated any law,” and “is delighted to have the distraction behind him,” as his lawyer, Nicholas Gravante Jr., put it.
When asked if the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office might indict Calamari Sr. during Monday’s hearing, Gravante said he and his client “continue to believe there is no foundation for indicting him.”
“They would have told me of their intent to indict him if they were going to do so soon. I haven’t and contradictory information has been brought to my attention, “Added Gravante.
In 2018, about the time that Trump’s former personal lawyer Michael Cohen pled guilty to campaign finance crimes linked to payments of hush money to women who claimed to have had extramarital encounters with Trump, Vance began his inquiry.
Since Cohen testified to Congress in 2019 that Trump distorted the value of his properties to secure bank loans and reduce his tax responsibilities, James’ office has initiated a similar investigation into which the Trump Organization may potentially face civil penalties.