After a lengthy probe into former President Donald Trump and his real estate company, it appears that Manhattan, New York District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. is ready to announce criminal charges.
That development was announced by Trump attorney Ron Fischetti, who shared his thoughts on the matter following a meeting with prosecutors on Thursday.
“That is completely outrageous”
According to the Washington Examiner, the lawyer expressed a belief that criminal charges against the Trump Organization and one of its top executives were imminent — perhaps coming as soon as next week.
Fischetti noted, however, that the former president is not expected to be charged.
WNBC reported on Friday that the attorney confirmed a virtual meeting with a group of prosecutors that lasted for about nine minutes.
“It looks like they are going to come down with charges against the company and that is completely outrageous,” Fischetti declared.
As for the company’s response, he explained: “The corporate office will plead not guilty and we will make an immediate motion to dismiss the case against the corporation.”
“Employee compensation or fringe benefits”
Vance convened a special grand jury last month that is believed to have reviewed evidence related to alleged misdeeds by Trump Organization executives. The district attorney has announced his intention to step down at the end of this year, leading to speculation that he is increasing the pace of his probe to wrap it up before that time.
Trump Organization Chief Financial Officer Allen Weisselberg is believed to be targeted by the purportedly imminent criminal indictment but it is unclear whether other company executives could also face charges.
The case appears to hinge on allegations that Weisselberg failed to properly account for tax liabilities involving fringe benefits and gifts from the company including apartments, car leases, and private school tuition.
“In my more than 50 years of practice, never before have I seen the District Attorney’s Office target a company over employee compensation or fringe benefits,” Fischetti said. “The IRS would not, and has not, brought a case like this.”
Vance’s office is also believed to be pursuing evidence of alleged “hush money” payments made through the corporation to women who said they had affairs with Trump. Some reports suggest a motivation for upping the ante with the anticipated criminal indictment is the hope that executives like Weisselberg will cooperate with prosecutors seeking to charge the former president.