I truly believe you can judge a person by the company they keep, and former President Donald Trump kept some very sketchy company. Considering that even his attorney has caught a case, it should come as no surprise that prosecutors charged the Trump Organization
Now, according to CBS News, this doesn’t mean that charges have been filed against Trump. The criminal charges are the result of a years-long, ongoing investigation by Manhattan D.A. Cy Vance into the Trump Organization—a collection of businesses owned by Donald Trump. A total of 15 charges were filed against the organization and chief financial officer Alan Weisselberg. The charges include conspiracy, criminal tax fraud, and falsifying business records.
Ronald Fischetti, a lawyer representing Trump, told CBS News that when he asked if any of the charges are against Donald Trump specifically, he was told “no.”
The Washington Post reports that Weisselberg was seen turning himself in to federal authorities on Thursday morning, and he pleaded not guilty to the charges during an arraignment hearing on Thursday afternoon. An attorney representing the Trump Organization also pleaded not guilty on behalf of the company.
From The Washington Post:
Carey Dunne, a prosecutor with the District Attorney’s Office, said in the hearing that the charges related to an “off-the-books tax fraud scheme” that lasted for 15 years. He said that the scheme allowed Trump Organization executives to get “secret pay raises” while not paying proper taxes.
“To put it bluntly, this was a sweeping and audacious illegal payment scheme,” Dunne said. He rejected an allegation from the Trump Organization that the charges were part of a politically-motivated effort to hurt Trump: “It’s not about politics,” Dunne said.
Trump Organization attorney Alan Futerfas said he would not respond to the allegations in the hearing.
“I appreciate the news release and I don’t think at this point it warrants a response,” he said, referring to Dunne’s comments.
An attorney for Weisselberg, Mary E. Mulligan, said only that her side disputes the facts of the case.
I mean, is anyone even surprised that the Trump Organization (allegedly) engaged in some shady dealing business dealings? I saw how poorly and unethically that man ran a country, so I can’t say I’m at all shocked by this. I guess the thing that confuses me is why you would run for the highest profile job in the country knowing damn well it would put a spotlight on whatever shadiness you may or may not have engaged in.
Speaking of ol’ boy, you already know Trump had something to say about this. Before the charges were even officially filed, dude issued a statement on Monday calling the prosecutors “Witch Hunters” who are “rude, nasty, and totally biased in the way they are treating lawyers, representatives, and some of the wonderful long-term employees and people within the Trump Organization.”
Glad to see that catching the biggest possible L hasn’t stopped him from being a petulant asshole.
For anyone hoping that this will eventually lead to the former president facing criminal charges, don’t hold your breath, as there hasn’t been any indication that he or his children are on track to be charged as a result of this investigation. We can still hope, though.