The chief financial officer of the Trump Organization, Allen Weisselberg, went to court – willingly and with a planned “not guilty” plea – early Thursday morning as the former president’s company faces criminal financial charges.
The Manhattan DA Cy Vance’s ongoing investigation reportedly includes accusations of unpaid taxes.
Weisselberg and the Trump Organization were expected to be arraigned Thursday afternoon, according to media reports, and Weisselberg’s attorney, Mary Mulligan, said her client would fight all charges.
The grand jury indictments were expected to be unsealed later Thursday.
Prosecutors have mounted an aggressive effort to pressure the 73-year-old Weisselberg, 73, has worked for Trump the past four-plus decades and prosecutors hope to uncover significant information via Weisselberg’s cooperation.
The New York Times, which captured Weisselberg in a photo Thursday, said Weisselberg went into the DA’s office with Mulligan. Bloomberg reported that he “went through a freight entrance” in an attempt to avoid the press.
Early Thursday in a statement, the Trump Organization defended Weisselberg, saying charges are politically motivated and that Weisselberg is being used “as a pawn in (an) … attempt to harm the former president” and that this is “a continuation of the greatest Witch Hunt of all time.”
Prosecutors are looking into Weisselberg’s personal tax history – whether he paid taxes on Trump Organization perks such as private-school tuition for his grandchild as well as property leases.
Business Insider reported Wednesday that Jennifer Weisselberg, Weisselberg’s former daughter-in-law, cooperated with prosecutors.
Vance, who is leaving office at the end of this year, began investigating the Trump Organization in 2019 over the Stormy Daniels hush money evidence involving fixer Michael Cohen.
The New York state attorney general, Letitia James, is also investigating the Trump Organization, also on suspicion of financial impropriety.