Allen Weisselberg, the Trump Organization’s Chief Financial Officer, surrendered to authorities in Manhattan Thursday morning ahead of anticipated tax-related charges against both him and former President Donald Trump’s company, according to people familiar with the situation, the New York Times reported.
The CFO was seen at the lower Manhattan courthouse just after 6 a.m. with his lawyer. New York prosecutors will likely announce the first criminal indictment Thursday following a multi-year investigation into the 45th president, but specific charges are still unknown.
Trump’s company issued a statement early Thursday defending the organization’s CFO as a “loving and devoted husband, father and grandfather,” writing, “He is now being used by the Manhattan District Attorney as a pawn in a scorched earth attempt to harm the former President. The District Attorney is bringing a criminal prosecution involving employee benefits that neither the IRS nor any other District Attorney would ever think of bringing. This is not justice; this is politics.”
Earlier this year, New York Attorney General Letitia James’ office announced that it was pursuing a criminal investigation into the organization, including whether the company failed to pay payroll taxes on what should have been taxable income.
On Monday, Mr. Trump’s campaign office issued a statement accusing New York prosecutors of engaging in the “greatest witch hunt of all time.”
“Radical Left New York City and State Prosecutors, who have let murderers, rapists, drug dealers, and all other forms of crime skyrocket to record levels, and who have just announced that they will be releasing hundreds of people involved in violent crime back onto the streets without retribution of any kind, are rude, nasty, and totally biased in the way they are treating lawyers, representatives, and some of the wonderful long-term employees and people within the Trump Organization,” the statement read.
Trump said “politically motivated prosecutors” are “very dangerous” for the United States.
“Remember, if they can do this to me, they can do it to anyone! Why would anyone bring their company to New York, or even stay in New York, knowing these Radical Left Democrats would willingly target their company if viewed as a political opponent?” the former president wrote. “It is devastating for New York!”
The attorney general’s office started investigating the Trump Organization in 2019, but only recently evolved it into a criminal probe, CNN reported. James opened her inquiry after former Trump attorney Michael Cohen claimed during a congressional hearing that Trump inflated the value of his assets.
Millions of pages of documents, including Trump’s tax returns, were examined by Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance’s office. One person familiar with the probe said multiple investigators from the New York attorney general’s office also joined the efforts.