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Will Donald Trump be indicted on the list of tax crime charges?

Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg surrendered to the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office on Thursday after a grand jury indicted him and the company.

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Will Donald Trump be indicted on the list of tax crime charges?
TIMOTHY A. CLARY AFP

A grand jury in Manhattan on Wednesday indicted the Trump Organization, former President Donald Trump’s family business, and its long-serving Chief Financial Officer Allen Weisselberg in connection with a tax investigation into the company. Weisselberg turned himself in to the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office Thursday morning, the charges against him and the company will be unsealed in the afternoon.

The grand jury voted to indict the company and CFO after a two-year investigation into the Trump Organization that was sparked by revelations from Trump’s former personal lawyer and fixer, Michael Cohen. Once one of his most loyal lieutenants, Trump and Cohen had a falling out in 2018 when Cohen came under investigation and pleaded guilty to making hush-money payments. The payments were made in 2016 during the presidential campaign to women who said that they had had affairs with Trump years before.

What are the charges against the Trump Organization?

The exact charges against the company and Weisselberg will be unsealed Thursday afternoon but will most likely be related to false reporting on taxes. The two-year investigation, led by Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R Vance Jr, has been looking into the fringe benefits that the company paid to employees and their family members. This includes a Manhattan apartment, leased luxury cars and private school tuition for at least one of Weisselberg’s grandchildren, all of which should have been reported to tax authorities and have taxes paid on them.

The presenting of the indictment will put more pressure on Weisselberg to cooperate with the DA Vance Jr and the New York State Attorney General Letitia James, who is also investigating Trump and his business dealings. Weisselberg could be key to the investigations with his intimate knowledge of how the Trump Organization works. He has been with the Trump family business since the 1970s starting when the company was run by Fred Trump, the former President’s father.

In the 1980s he worked directly for Donald Trump and became the company’s CFO in 2000. As he rose in the company, he became one of Trump’s most trusted business advisers and has been involved in even the most minor financial transaction for the former President.

Will former President Donald Trump be indicted?

The former President, although he is in the crosshairs of investigators, is not expected to be charged this week according to the Washington Post. Nor are others in Trump’s orbit expected to be indicted yet. However, the indictment of Weisselberg greatly increases the legal risks to the former President.

Donald Trump has found himself at the losing end of cases brought against him by the New York Attorney General’s office in recent years. In 2016 he was forced to pay $25 million settlement to “compensate the victims of his sham university.” In 2018, the New York AG Letitia James, who is currently investigating Trump and his company, won a case against him involving the misuse of funds from the Trump Foundation, the family charity. The charity was shut down and Donald Trump had to pay $2 million in damages given in equal amounts to eight charities.