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The Trump Organization and Allen Weisselberg claim they were indicted because Manhattan prosecutors don't like Trump

Business Insider
Business Insider
 2022-02-23

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Allen Weisselberg and Donald Trump on May 31, 2016.
  • The Trump Org and its longtime top bookkeeper are seeking to dismiss criminal charges against them.
  • They say Manhattan prosecutors are targeting them because they don't like Trump.
  • Allen Weisselberg said he was targeted because Trump's former fixer had a "vendetta" against him.

The Trump Organization and its longtime chief financial officer, Allen Weisselberg, asked a judge to dismiss a 15-count indictment against them from the Manhattan district attorney's office, saying they were targeted because prosecutors didn't like former President Donald Trump.

Trump has not been charged with a crime in connection to the DA's investigation, which is focusing on whether his company evaded tax laws and artificially inflated or deflated the value of its assets for loan and tax purposes.

But his lawyers said in the filing, which was submitted late last month and unsealed Tuesday, that prosecutors "targeted Donald Trump's associates and companies for investigation and prosecution based on their animus toward his speech and political views."

They asked a Manhattan judge for a hearing, at which they'll argue that the Trump Organization and Weisselberg are the victims of "selective prosecution."

According to the filing, a copy of which was obtained by Insider, Trump's defense lawyers noted the Manhattan DA's collaboration with New York Attorney General Letitia James, adding that James' parallel civil inquiry into the Trump Organization was "motivated by illicit animus."

James campaigned for office in 2018 as a Democrat promising to investigate Trump and has continued to threaten Trump with prosecution, the lawyers wrote.

"Indeed, just last week Attorney General James sent out a fundraising solicitation which centered on Donald Trump, stating, 'The GOP continues to pave the way for another Trump run in 2024 — and he might win,'" they wrote.

Weisselberg's lawyers struck a similar tone, saying that he was "collateral damage" in investigators' "yearslong pursuit of Mr. Weisselberg's longtime boss, Donald J. Trump."

Weisselberg's attorneys also singled out Trump's former fixer Michael Cohen and said Weisselberg should not have been charged because he was granted immunity when he testified before the grand jury in a previous federal criminal investigation into Cohen.

That investigation focused on Cohen and Trump's efforts during the 2016 election to pay off the adult-film actor Stormy Daniels in exchange for her silence about an affair she said she had with Trump in the mid-2000s. Cohen pleaded guilty to felony counts of tax evasion, bank fraud, and campaign-finance violations stemming from the inquiry.

Weisselberg's "immunized testimony was given during the federal investigation that resulted in the criminal conviction of Michael Cohen, and it sparked a vendetta that Mr. Cohen has pursued against Mr. Weisselberg in every forum available," Weisselberg's lawyers said in the unsealed filing.

Cohen hit back at that characterization, telling Bloomberg : "There is no vendetta here, only an interest in seeing justice served and to ensure that no one is above the law."

The lawyers also said in the newly unsealed motion that the DA had poured an "unheard of" amount of resources into the investigation — for which a grand jury is hearing evidence — including "presumably millions" spent on an outside consulting firm.

They added that too many prosecutors — including from the DA's office and from James' office — were present in the grand jury that handed up the Weisselberg and Trump Organization indictment.

The Manhattan DA's office indicted the Trump Organization and Weisselberg in the summer.

These were the 15 counts against them:

  • One count of scheme to defraud in the first degree.
  • One count of conspiracy in the fourth degree.
  • One count of grand larceny in the second degree.
  • Four counts of criminal tax fraud in the third degree.
  • Four counts of offering a false instrument for filing in the first degree.
  • Four counts of falsifying business records in the first degree.

Both Weisselberg and the Trump Organization pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Comments / 330

Carolyn
02-23

Oh please, you can’t get warrants on a persons likes or dislikes, she has evidence, that’s the simple fact! And according to one judge, lots of it!

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138
Seen too much
02-23

They were Indicted because they have been breaking our laws for decades. The truth has finally been released and the Justice system is coming for the Known CRIMINALS.

Reply(16)
121
DJ69
02-23

OH, blah, blah, blah. A whole lot of people don't like the 'Evil One' but that's not why New York came after them. They broke the law and had been breaking laws for years. Time will slow walk you down. Well, that's what happened to Weisselberg and Trump. They got to happy with breaking the law and they got caught with their draws down. They were big men while breaking the laws, they should be big men while paying for their crimes. To late to cry about it now, they should have cried when they even thought about breaking the law. Dummies!!!

Reply(2)
45

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