Most of us have read enough about Trump’s “professional” life—from former Caligu-lard insiders like Michael Cohen to longtime observers like Michael Cay Johnston—to know that his business practices aren’t exactly on the up and up. After all, the guy cheats at golf and hurricane maps—why would anyone assume his professional life is any different?
The biggest tell that Trump was crooked may have been when he started calling Hillary Clinton “Crooked Hillary.” He might as well have accused her of wearing an ugly combover and getting stuck on the toilet six times a day, requiring her wranglers to keep a fully charged Jaws of Life next to the plunger. Everything is projection with this guy. Ev-ery-thing.
So it’s no surprise that the wolves are finally at his door after he spent four years turning the White House into a glorified Ruby Ridge cabin, where he hunkered down in a feeble attempt to escape the gendarmes. That golden Trumpian age may finally be over.
According to new reporting from The New York Times, the Trump Organization itself may be facing criminal charges over fringe benefits it extended to one of its top employees.
If the case moves ahead, the [Manhattan] district attorney, Cyrus R. Vance Jr., could announce charges against the Trump Organization and the executive, Allen H. Weisselberg, as soon as next week, the people said.
The criminal charges would be the first to emerge from Mr. Vance’s long-running investigation into Mr. Trump and his business dealings, and raise the startling prospect of a former president having to defend the company he founded and has run for decades.
Meanwhile, NBC 4 in New York has confirmed that Trump Org. lawyers met with prosecutors, and that charges appear imminent.
Attorney Ron Fischetti confirmed to NBC an earlier New York Times report that lawyers for the Trump Organization met with prosecutors from the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office on Thursday.
“It looks like they are going to come down with charges against the company and that is completely outrageous,” Fischetti said.
“The meeting was on Zoom for about 9 minutes and there were 8 or 9 prosecutors … the corporate office will plead not guilty and we will make an immediate motion to dismiss the case against the corporation,” Fischetti said.
NBC News also confirms the reports.
This is the first indication that Vance is looking at charging the Trump Organization directly, though it’s been clear for some time that Weisselberg, who surely knows where the company’s bodies are buried, is in the crosshairs.
Prosecutors recently have focused much of their investigation into the perks Mr. Trump and the company doled out to Mr. Weisselberg and other executives, including tens of thousands of dollars in private school tuition for one of Mr. Weisselberg’s grandchildren, as well as rents on apartments and car leases.
Prosecutors are looking into whether those benefits were properly recorded in the company’s ledgers and whether taxes were paid on them, The New York Times has reported.
According to The New York Times’ reporting, Trump’s lawyers met with prosecutors on Thursday to try to persuade them to forgo charges against the Trump Organization. The indictments may also be another lever the DA can use against Weisselberg, who is intimately familiar with Trump’s operations. According to the report, Weisselberg “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.”
Trump may still be convinced that Weisselberg would never turn on him—though he likely assumed the same about his former lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen, who’s been cooperating with law enforcement for some time now. After Cohen pleaded guilty in 2018, Trump said that he was 100% certain Weisselberg didn’t flip. “He’s a wonderful guy,” Trump told Bloomberg at the time.
We’ll see how wonderful Trump thinks Weisselberg is in a few weeks.
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