Just as Donald Trump is about to hit the road on his greatest grievances MAGA tour and attempt to reignite his political career it’s being reported that the twice-impeached, one-term former president’s company could be hit with criminal charges by the Manhattan district attorney’s office as soon as next week. This is the first time the company itself has been warned that it might face criminal charges.
Trump’s lawyers were told Thursday that Cyrus Vance Jr.’s office is considering charges against the Trump Organization in connection with fringe benefits the company awarded its chief financial officer, Allen Weisselberg. Prosecutors have been amassing a case against Weisselberg for months, in part to try to pressure the long-time Trump executive to cooperate with the broader inquiry of Trump and his company.
The Manhattan district attorney’s office has been probing Trump and his executives to determine if they violated any tax laws in making tens of thousands of dollars in private school tuition payments for one of Weisselberg’s grandchildren, as well as many more thousands of dollars in payments for apartment rent and car leases to other executives. The issue being investigated is whether anyone paid taxes on those payments as required by law.
The New York Times reports that Trump’s lawyers met on Thursday with senior prosecutors in the district attorney’s office in hopes of persuading them to abandon any plan to charge the company, according to several people familiar with the meeting. Such meetings are not unusual in white-collar criminal investigations.
Vance’s investigation also is looking into the Trump Organization’s representations to insurance companies about the value of various real estate assets and the role its employees – including Weisselberg – may have played in hush-money payments to Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal during the 2016 presidential campaign.