The first legal hammer is reportedly about to drop on the Trump Organization
Multiple news organizations on Wednesday reported that criminal charges against former President Donald Trump's company, the Trump Organization, as well as against its longtime Chief Financial Officer Allen Weisselberg, would be announced as early as Thursday of this week.
The charges, expected to be tax-related according to Trump Org officials who spoke with NBC News, would mark the first criminal action taken by the Manhattan district attorney's office and the New York state attorney general's office in the more than three years of investigating the former president's sprawling business empire. In addition to charging the company itself, prosecutors are also expected to file charges against Weisselberg, the firm's CFO who has been described by associates as "the one guy who knows everything."
According to The Wall Street Journal, Weisselberg has been under suspicion of failing to pay taxes on a number of bonuses and perks that come with being a high-ranking Trump Organization employee, such as vehicles and apartments. In 2018 federal prosecutors granted Weisselberg immunity for his testimony in their investigation into the hush money payments made by the former president to adult film star Stormy Daniels to cover up their alleged affair. Toward the end of his presidency, Trump reportedly mulled granting Weisselberg a preemptive pardon, in a sign that he seemed to believe there was more potential criminal exposure to come.
Earlier this week Trump attorney Ronald Fischetti insisted to Politico that Manhattan DA Cy Vance's investigation would not result in charges against the former president himself, and would focus only on the company. Vance's office did not confirm Fischetti's claims, however.
Crucially, Thursday's expected charges are only the beginning of the case against the former president's business and employees. The concurrent New York state and Manhattan DA investigations remain active, leaving open the possibility that further charges could be filed — particularly if the expected charges against Weisselberg can net prosecutors testimony against others in the Trump network.
Just two days before news of the reportedly impending charges broke, Trump himself released a lengthy, rambling statement complaining that the investigations are simply a "continuation of the greatest Witch Hunt of all time."
The question now becomes, if charges are indeed filed — and there's no reason to believe they won't be — which witch will be feeling the heat first?