Donald Trump will not be prosecuted personally in the Manhattan district attorney's case against the former president's business organization when the first indictment is handed out, his lawyers claimed.
In a long and meandering statement released on Monday, Trump referred to the DA's probe as the "greatest witch hunt of all time," claiming that prosecutors failed to uncover a crime despite millions of dollars in taxpayer cash being spent. His remarks came as an indictment on the Trump Organization, the company that gave him his fame and fortune.
In a meeting last week, Ronald Fischetti, a New York attorney who represents the former president Donald Trump, asked Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance's team for specifics on charges they were considering, according to Fischetti.
Manhattan DA looks into filing charges against Trump Organization, employees
Members of Vance's team told Fischetti that they were considering filing charges against the Trump Organization and each of some personnel for allegedly failing to pay taxes on corporate benefits and perks. Cars and residences were reportedly among the perks that were given away to them, but they argued only a few of the executives received the said perks.
Vance's team has warned Trump's lawyers that unless they are convinced differently today, they would press charges. Fischetti told POLITICO that charges are expected to be filed either this week or next. Fischetti continued, "It's like Shakespeare's play Much Ado About Nothing. This is so small that I can't believe I'm going to have to try a case like this."
Vance has been looking into the Trump Organization for years. His team went to the Supreme Court to gain permission to acquire Trump's tax returns, which means his investigators know more about the former president's finances than almost anybody else. According to The Washington Post, Vance's office formed a grand jury last month to consider whether or not to prosecute the Trump Organization or Trump personally.
NY Attorney General obtained tax records of Trump Organization
The investigation has gotten a lot of media attention in recent weeks. Investigators have received reams of records from the former daughter-in-law of the Trump Organization's top financial officer Allen Weisselberg. Trump's finances have sparked tremendous attention and suspicion since the beginning of his 2016 presidential campaign.
A grand jury has been hearing evidence against Weisselberg for the past few weeks, with prosecutors acquiring the executive's tax records. Companies may be charged with crimes and may incur fines and other penalties if they are found guilty or plead guilty.
The tax records were apparently obtained by Letitia James, the New York State Attorney General who is conducting a civil investigation. James' agency was looking into whether Trump's firm lied about property valuations to get loans and other financial and tax benefits.
Prosecutors were already able to access Weisselberg's personal bank information. Investigators are digging into whether Weisselberg neglected to pay taxes on perks like residences, leased automobiles, and private school tuition for one of his grandkids over the years.
Prosecutors have obtained data from the Columbia Grammar and Preparatory School, a private school on the Upper West Side. According to reports, Vance is checking into Mercedes-Benz automobiles leased to Weisselberg and other Trump Organization workers.
They are also looking into a Manhattan apartment that Trump may have given to Weisselberg. Prosecutors are hoping that Weisselberg will cooperate with the Trump investigation and turn against him. The indictments may increase the pressure on him to strike a deal.
When Vance announced in April that he would retire by the end of 2021, the matter gained additional urgency. There is also anticipation that his office will release any indictments before then. However, Weisselberg is still employed by the Trump Organization, implying that he has not yet turned star witness against the former president, as per Daily Mail.