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Donald Trump investigation: Prosecutors indict Trump Organization
The long-running probe into former President Donald Trump and his business empire has reached a major development this week. New York prosecutors have now indicted the Trump Organization with its CFO Allen Weisselberg expected to turn himself in.
Following over two years of investigations by Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance and New York Attorney General Letitia James, the New York grand jury has decided to indict the company and Weisselberg. According to a Trump representative, the charges against Weisselberg and the Trump Organization are expected to be unsealed Thursday. This follows reports last week that the Manhattan DA’s office is expected to make indictments against the former president’s business and longtime associate.
The charges stem from a scheme to pay compensation to Weisselberg and other fringe benefits kept “off the books” by the Trump Organization. The charges follow Vance’s long-running investigation into several allegations made against the former president’s company. Vance was also looking into possible criminal activity such as falsifying business records, insurance fraud, and tax fraud.
The investigation hit a major roadblock until February this year when the Supreme Court ruled in favor of Vance to obtain Trump’s financial records both personal and corporate. In March, Weisselberg’s former daughter-in-law Jennifer Weisselberg had spoken with prosecutors several times. Vance was also looking into whether Trump employees, Weisselbergs included, were able to avoid paying taxes in exchange for fringe benefits.
While Trump himself is not expected to be personally charged this week, the indictments signal financial and legal trouble for his business empire. However, prosecutors are hoping that Weisselberg could testify against Trump for his own risk, according to a source of the Washington Post.
Meanwhile, Trump looks to maintain his influence over the Republican Party by holding rallies to meet his supporters. The former president was set to appear at an event in Alabama, but the event was canceled out of concerns that the event would go very partisan. Trump was scheduled to be a keynote speaker at the USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park, only for the park commissioners to cancel the former president’s appearance.
The cancellation of the event comes as details of Trump’s intentions surfaced after contacting the Republican Party. “It became apparent that it was going to be a partisan political event, rather than just a patriotic event planned for that evening,” said commission chairman Bill Tunnell.