New York prosecutors investigating former U.S. President Donald Trump’s business practices are likely to issue one or more criminal indictments this week – but not against Trump himself, according to people involved in the case.
Ronald Fischetti, an attorney representing Trump, said on Monday (June 28) that based on discussions with prosecutors he expects “no charges” will be brought against Trump in the initial round of indictments. Others familiar with the case said prosecutors are preparing criminal charges against Allen Weisselberg, longtime chief financial officer for the Trump Organization, and also are considering criminal charges against the company.
After an almost three-year investigation of Trump’s property dealings, the initial charges by Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr will focus mainly on whether Weisselberg and other company officials received corporate perks and benefits, such as rent-free apartments and leased cars, that were not reported properly on their tax returns, according to several people familiar with the investigation. The exact charges prosecutors are preparing are not known.
The indictments would be the investigation’s first against top officials at Trump’s company, marking a critical shift from investigation to prosecution.
Prosecutors have been pressing Weisselberg, 73, to cooperate with their probe and provide testimony, so far without success. An indictment would increase that pressure. Weisselberg is among Trump’s closest confidants, having worked for the company since 1973 when it was run by Trump’s father, Fred.
New York State Attorney General Letitia James has also joined the investigation. Spokespeople for both the Manhattan and state prosecutors’ offices declined to comment. A lawyer for Weisselberg also declined to comment.
The wide-ranging criminal investigation has examined an array of potential wrongdoing, including whether Trump’s eponymous real estate company manipulated the value of its properties to reduce its tax burden and secure more favorable loans from creditors. Michael Cohen, Trump’s former lawyer and fixer, testified to Congress that such practices were routine at the company. He has spoken multiple times with prosecutors.
More charges could be coming against the company or its officers in the weeks ahead, people familiar with the case said.
(Production: Angela Moore)