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Trump is 'enraged about the criminal indictments against his business and his CFO over $1.7M tax fraud', claims NYTimes' Maggie Haberman

 Former President Trump is said to be enraged at this week's indictments against the Trump Organization and its CFO Allen Weisselberg.   

Although not personally indicted, New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman told CNN on Friday that Trump is furious over what is taking place, and the possible long-term damage that may be inflicted on the Trump Organization.

It comes after Weisselberg, 73, appeared before a judge in New York on Thursday, charged with running a 15-year scheme to help its executives evade taxes by compensating them with $1.7 million in fringe benefits that were hidden from the authorities.


Prosecutors painted Weisselberg as a 'soldier' in the Trump Organization, having worked for the company ever since 1973, under Donald Trump's father Fred.

The Trump Organization was also charged in a 15-count indictment, that included charges of conspiracy, grand larceny, tax fraud and falsifying business accounts. 

Former President Trump is said to be enraged at this week's indictments against the Trump Organization and its CFO Allen Weisselberg.

Former President Trump is said to be enraged at this week's indictments against the Trump Organization and its CFO Allen Weisselberg.

New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman revealed on Friday that in private Trump had become 'enraged' by what had taken place

New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman revealed on Friday that in private Trump had become 'enraged' by what had taken place

The former president posted a rambling note on his blog calling the criminal charges part of the 'continuation of the greatest Witch Hunt of all time'.

But Haberman revealed on Friday that in private he had become 'enraged' by what had taken place.   

'You're going to continue to see the former president describe this as a 'witch hunt' and describe this as a partisan investigation,' Haberman said on CNN.

'Part of that is going to be Manhattan DA Cy Vance. Part of that is going to be because of the attorney general Letitia James in New York, who is also working on this case with Vance. But in reality, Donald Trump is not somebody who has sought to be indicted. He is not somebody who thought it was a good thing.'

'There was some spin from one of his advisers earlier this week about how he was, "thrilled,"'  Haberman continued. 'He's not thrilled. I don't think he's throwing staplers, but he's not happy. It's not something he's talking about constantly as fury, but this is not where they want to be, this is a totally new world for him. 

'I think that what you've seen with the former president and his advisers and of members of his family and his allies is they have conflated legal problems with public relations problems for so long that I think some are losing sight of the fact this is actually an indictment ... the reality is Allen Weisselberg is facing potential jail time, and that can change things.' 

The indictment accused Weisselberg of failing to pay tax on two leased Mercedes-Benzes, a rent-free apartment, bonuses and about $360,000 in school fees paid for by the Trump Organization.

It also said that other, unnamed executives were given similar benefits and that Weisselberg orchestrated the scheme with 'others.' 

The charges against the company and Weisselberg - whom Trump once praised as doing 'whatever was necessary to protect the bottom line' - were the first indictments delivered in a two-year investigation by the Manhattan district attorney's office.

The various schemes alleged in the indictment include: $1,174,018 in untaxed income used to pay Weisselberg's rent $359,058 in unreported compensation for private school fees $196,245 in untaxed income for Mercedes Benz leases $29,400 in under-the-table cash used to pay holiday tips


Trump Organization lawyers believe they can strip out the school fees and some other items from the charges, possibly reducing the taxable amount to $800,000.

With a state income tax rate of about 10 percent, that means Weisselberg may face a tax bill of just $80,000. 

But the real target may be creating enough leverage to persuade him to 'flip,' according to Michael Cohen, who was sentenced to three years in prison for crimes related to his work as Trump's fixer.

'Weisselberg now knows what handcuffs feel like as well as being placed in a cell,' he told DailyMail.com.

'As the pressure by prosecutors increase on him and his sons, the smart money would be on Weisselberg cooperating for leniency. The charges could also complicate the Trump Organization's relationships with banks and partners, not to mention the political future of the former president.

The Trump Organization described Weisselberg as 'a loving and devoted husband, father and grandfather.' 

On Friday, Eric Trump dismissed fears he could be indicted and insisted he has led a 'clean life' after the Trump Organization was also charged in the 15-count indictment.

The son of the former president, 37, was asked if he was concerned if an indictment was coming his way after prosecutors brought tax fraud charges against the Trump Organization and chief financial officer Allen Weisselberg. 

Speaking to Newsmax's Eric Bolling on Thursday, Eric dismissed such fears and insisted that he and his siblings Donald Jr, 43, and Ivanka, 39, have always led 'amazingly clean' lives.

Eric, who is the executive vice president of the Trump Organization, said: 'You know what? I'm not, Eric, because guess what, we've always lived amazingly clean lives. 

'And believe me, if they could've, they already would've, right? I mean, that's what they wanted, that was their end goal.' 

The businessman went on to say that, unlike President Joe Biden's children, he and his siblings entered the business world long before their father ever began politics and were 'very successful'. 

He continued: 'Don, Invanka and I live nice clean lives and we work very, very hard and guess what? 

'Long before politics ever came into our lives we were in the business world and we were successful, and we worked very hard and we lived clean lives.

Eric Trump, 37, said he is not concerned about being indicted prosecutors brought tax fraud charges against the Trump Organization and chief financial officer Allen Weisselberg

Eric Trump, 37, said he is not concerned about being indicted prosecutors brought tax fraud charges against the Trump Organization and chief financial officer Allen Weisselberg

'It's very different from the Bidens who were never in business until their father got into politics. And they milked it for everything it's worth and they still do it to this day.'

Meanwhile, Eric's wife Lara Trump told Fox News yesterday that the charges brought against the Trump Organization's chief financial officer Alan Weisselberg were 'disgraceful'.

She fumed: 'Let me be really clear with people: what we saw happen to Alan Weisselberg today was absolutely disgraceful. 

'Had this happened to anyone else, we are talking about five years of an investigation by Cy Vance [Jr.], the district attorney, we are talking about 3.5 million pages of documents because they are so desperate Dan to find anything on Donald Trump because they want to disqualify him from running for president in 2024.'

Eric (centre right) dismissed these fears and insisted that he and his siblings Donald Jr (left), 43, and Ivanka (centre left), 39, have always led 'clean' lives. Also pictured: Tiffany Trump

Eric (centre right) dismissed these fears and insisted that he and his siblings Donald Jr (left), 43, and Ivanka (centre left), 39, have always led 'clean' lives. Also pictured: Tiffany Trump

But Trump Jr, an executive vice president at The Trump Organization, told Fox News' Jesse Watters on Thursday that the charges against Weisselberg were akin to those pressed by the Russian president, Vladimir Putin.

'This is the political persecution of a political enemy,' he said. 

'This is what Vladimir Putin does. Just ask Navalny,' Trump Jr said referencing the dissident Alexei Navalny. 'That's what's happened in New York. It's the equivalent of Russia, Russia, Russia.

He added: 'After five years, three million documents, countless witnesses and hours of grand jury testimony and forensic auditors, this is what they come up with.' 

'They're going to charge a guy who is 75 years old on crimes of avoiding taxes on fringe benefit. People in corporate America get a corporate card.'

'I'm sure you've paid taxes every time you've taken a car to or from work. It happens sometimes,' Trump Jr continued. 

'This is what - this is not what they promised the American public, but they have to do something.' 

Allen Weisselberg, 73, was charged with running a 15-year scheme to help its executives evade taxes by compensating them with $1.7 million in fringe benefits were hidden from authorities

Allen Weisselberg, 73, was charged with running a 15-year scheme to help its executives evade taxes by compensating them with $1.7 million in fringe benefits were hidden from authorities

Assistant District Attorney Carey Dunne said: 'As spelled out in the indictment, this was a 15-year long tax fraud scheme.

'It was orchestrated by the most senior executives who were financially benefiting themselves and others.'  

Trump Jr said that they deliberately announced the charges on the Thursday of the July 4 weekend 'because it's nonsense'.

He added: 'But this is what they do to their enemies. No different than Putin.'   

Trump Jr accused the New York officials of attempting 'to destroy a man's life, his reputation', and said it was like living 'in a banana republic'.

He added: 'And in this is what they've got after all of that time.

'Imagine the millions they spent had they done that actually trying to stop real criminals in New York, like the tens of thousands that looted in New York last year.

'Hundreds of thousands of them were released without even a slap on the wrist just last week.

'Penn station is like a war zone. The city is going to hell and this is where they are focusing. '

Trump Jr disputed the $1.7million figure, insisting that it was income.

'The taxable portion of that to New York state is eight percent,' he claimed.

'That's $136,000 over 16 years. That's ten grand a year.

'Half of that, because my father is a good guy, he paid for this guy's grandchildren's education.

'Our tax experts say that's not even taxable. You can pay for someone's education that way. It comes out to less than ten grand a year. '

Eric's wife Lara Trump (pictured with Eric left) said the charges brought against Trump Organization chief financial officer Alan Weisselberg were 'disgraceful'. Also pictured: Ivanka Trump and her husband Jared Kushner, and Donald Trump Jr and Kimberly Guilfoyle

Eric's wife Lara Trump (pictured with Eric left) said the charges brought against Trump Organization chief financial officer Alan Weisselberg were 'disgraceful'. Also pictured: Ivanka Trump and her husband Jared Kushner, and Donald Trump Jr and Kimberly Guilfoyle

He concluded: 'This is a farce. It's a disgrace that they spent millions of dollars and years, instead of prosecuting actual murderous thugs on the streets of New York, they go after their political enemies.' 

Weisselberg, dressed in dark suit and open-necked pale blue shirt, cut a diminished figure in a crowded New York Supreme Court on Thursday.

He was frequently invisible behind black shirted court officers and spoke only to enter a plea of not guilty. He was required to turn in his passport and will return to court on September 9.  

'They are petrified my father will run again in 2024.

'After five years, hundreds of subpoenas, three and a half million pages of documents, and dozens of witnesses, this is what they have?'      

The case against Trump's trusted lieutenant - who began work for the Trump family in 1973 - could give New York prosecutors an opening to pressure him into cooperating and offering evidence about the former president's financial dealings.

But so far Trump has shrugged off the threat and Weisselberg is not believed to have flipped on his boss. 

The indictment follows months of increasing pressure after the Manhattan DA Cyrus Vance, a Democrat, announced he was going to step down at the end of this 2021. 

Donald Trump Jr (right) said on Thursday that the charges against Weisselberg (back) were akin to those pressed by the Russian president, Vladimir Putin

Donald Trump Jr (right) said on Thursday that the charges against Weisselberg (back) were akin to those pressed by the Russian president, Vladimir Putin

Vance fought a long battle to get Trump's tax records released and has been subpoenaing documents and interviewing company executives and other Trump insiders.

Trump did not respond to reporters' shouted questions about the New York case as he visited Texas on Wednesday, but earlier in the week, the Republican blasted the prosecutors as 'rude, nasty, and totally biased' and said his company's actions were 'standard practice throughout the U.S. business community, and in no way a crime.'   

Just how essential Weisselberg would be to prosecutors is a matter of debate – with high-stakes relevancy Trump.

On Tuesday, top House Democratic impeachment lawyer Daniel Goldman tweeted that Weisselberg's cooperation is vital to whether prosecutors are able to go after Trump himself.

'As I've been saying for a while, if Allen Weisselberg does not cooperate with the Manhattan DA's office — and all indications are that he has not and will not — that office will not be able to criminally charge Donald Trump for any of the conduct under investigation,' Goldman wrote.

That drew a retort from longtime Cohen, who has met numerous times with prosecutors in New York amid the probe. 

'Wrong! They have documents to prove more than you know or should be commenting on. Weisselberg is not the key to a Trump indictment,' Cohen responded. 

Another former federal prosecutor in New York, Daniel Alonson, later tweeted his own view that that potential charges being publicly discussed might not be enough to ensure Weisselberg's cooperation.

Cohen also reacted on Wednesday to the news of a looming potential indictment,  calling it a 'Bad day for Trump Organization' but a 'good day for The United States of America!'

'Evading taxes on fringe benefits is important to prosecute - but by itself isn't the type of earth-shaking charge that typically leads defendants to cooperate,' he wrote.'

Trump's former spokesman Jason Miller took to Twitter to ridicule the way the investigation had fallen far short of its intended target.

'This is politically terrible for the Democrats,' he wrote. 

Weisselberg pleaded not guilty and was released on bail. Former president Donald Trump's company and its long-serving chief financial officer were charged in the first indictments brought in a two-year investigation

Weisselberg pleaded not guilty and was released on bail. Former president Donald Trump's company and its long-serving chief financial officer were charged in the first indictments brought in a two-year investigation

'They told their crazies and their supplicants in the mainstream media this was about President Trump. Instead, their Witch Hunt is persecuting an innocent 80 year-old man for maybe taking free parking!'

Trump's lawyers have shrugged off the threat, saying it would be highly unusual for the district attorney to target a company over employee compensation or fringe benefits.

They met with prosecutors on Monday in a final push to persuade prosecutors not to bring charges. 

But reports suggest prosecutors have spent months building a case against Weisselberg, a senior executive, in the hope that he might flip, and offer evidence against his boss.

Photographs on Tuesday captured a man in a suit carrying a cardboard banker's box with '45 Office' written on the outside. That is the same phrase the former president attaches to his post-presidential statements from his taxpayer-funded post-presidential office. Perched atop the case was a tan briefcase with a combo lock.  

Trump himself was spotted exiting his Fifth Avenue building in the afternoon, departing after longtime aide Dan Scavino, who helps organize Trump's social media strategy and served as his golf caddie decades ago. 

Trump's attorney Fischetti says he doesn't expect charges to be brought against the former president after meeting New York prosecutors on Monday.

An attorney who helped bring impeachment charges against Trump also said he thinks the ex-president is in the clear over New York prosecutors' probes into his finances.

Daniel Goldman dismissed the idea of any further indictments while chatting on MSNBC Thursday, as Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg appeared in a Manhattan court on tax avoidance charges.

The former US assistant attorney issued a series of tweets suggesting that it would be hard to find incriminating evidence against the president, because he does not use emails or texts, which can be retrieved by investigators.

The lawyer noted that the case in which the Trump Organization's Chief Financial Officer Allen Weisselberg is involved would normally have been settled in civil court.

Goldman believes Weisselberg's refusal to cooperate with prosecutors or even enter settlement negotiations could be instructive of what is to come. 

A loose pair of handcuffs, which would be used to secure him to an escort, can be seen behind Weisselberg's back as he is brought into court to hear 15 charges against him

A loose pair of handcuffs, which would be used to secure him to an escort, can be seen behind Weisselberg's back as he is brought into court to hear 15 charges against him

The investigation has cost millions of dollars but could yield just tens of thousands of dollars in back tax. 

'This type of case is often settled civilly,' Goldman, who acted as a prosecutor for Trump's January 2020 impeachment, explained: 'If the Trump Organization wanted to, my guess is they could have engaged in good faith negotiations to try to settle this case with a fine and perhaps avoid a guilty plea or a conviction. 

'They chose to fight this. That says something. It's typical of Donald Trump. But I am a little surprised that this ultimately ended, based on these allegations, in a criminal charge rather than a settlement.'

'They've already taken a run at Allen Weisselberg. They have also approached Allen Weisselberg, I am certain, and said, 'This is what we have. We would like you to cooperate.' Allen Weisselberg said, 'Thanks but no thanks, I'm not going to cooperate. I'll take my chances,'' Goldman theorized. 

'He's not facing that much jail time. And I don't think there's any more pressure to add to him based on the fact that he was in handcuffs today. He knew that was coming. He made that conscious decision to get arrested and get indicted rather than cooperate. 

'And so I don't think we have any good reason to suspect that he is going to cooperate down the road. So I don't see why there would be additional charges against the Trump Organization unless new evidence comes in. My guess is that they've evaluated this evidence. 

'I don't really see any statute of limitations issues in this indictment that would have required them to do this now as opposed to later, which could be a reason why they're going to bifurcate any charges. So, it's a little confusing to me if they have more, why they would charge this. And for that reason, common sense leads me to believe that they're not going to have any more.'

Goldman made similar points in a series of tweets where he explained how he believes there is unlikely to be any further charges. 

He wrote: 'A short explanation of my analysis of the Trump Org indictment: 1) the allegations laid out in the indictment are powerful, persuasive and backed up by a lot of evidence. The scheme was premeditated and blatant cheating over a long period of time. The indictment is impressive.

'Weisselberg and the other unidentified employees referenced in the Indictment should be charged with these crimes. But this is not a typical case against a corp, even tho the heightened bar required to charge corporations is met. The consequences for the Org could be dire.

'I spent some time learning about the Trump Org and I spent a lot of time with Michael Cohen, including deposing him. Based on my knowledge and experience, it is my belief that Weisselberg's cooperation is likely necessary to charge Donald Trump, who does not email or text.

'As a former prosecutor, it is my experience that when you want to flip a defendant, you throw everything you have at him. I'm assuming that is what the DA did with AW bc that provides the most leverage. Defendants are more likely to cooperate if they face a lot of jail time.

Weisselberg was released on bail after surrendering his passport and is due to return to court on September 9.

Weisselberg was released on bail after surrendering his passport and is due to return to court on September 9. 

'Because of AW's position as the financial/accounting hub of the TO, I suspect he would have been involved in any other fraudulent activity (insurance fraud, loan fraud, accounting fraud, or corporate tax fraud). Thus, the DA would wait to see if he could charge AW with more.

'AW declined to cooperate pre-indictment so they charged him with what they had. That means they likely don't yet have a case to make on other fraud. But they likely would not have rushed this indictment if they might get there on other fraud and gain more leverage against AW.

Goldman added: 'As a result, my educated guess is that this is all they will charge AW with. And while it is a serious and brazen crime that should land him in jail, he has made the decision not to cooperate and I don't think that will change.

'Ordinarily, the co is the last one charged in a case because you want to flesh out all of the individuals and see who cooperates. So it would be very unusual to charge the co twice. I have no doubt they will continue to investigate and perhaps other lower level ppl will flip.

'but this is why a) I think these are all the charges against Weisselberg, b) I don't think he will flip, c) I don't think Trump will be charged and d) I don't think the Trump Org will be charged with anything else.

'Two final thoughts: A) insurance fraud, accounting fraud and loan fraud are very difficult cases to make. You need admissible evidence that proves every element beyond a reasonable doubt, including knowledge and intent. For someone like Trump who does not email, it's even harder.

'B) I'm no fan of Trump but I do not believe he should be charged with a crime because one doesn't like him or his politics. If you objected to his attack on the rule of law during his presidency, then you must stand up for the rule of law now even if he benefits from.' 


2 comments:

  1. I hope he becomes the president of the USA for a third time.
    He will really need to clean this schit up...and with a Louisville slugger.
    He must go after each and every one of them. The US has a myriad of laws with which to bludgeon them into a mess politicians will be talking about for centuries.

    ReplyDelete
  2. lol poor trumpy, not so well liked after all.

    ReplyDelete