Reports that Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance has convened a special grand jury as part of his probe of his probe of the Trump Organization has sparked anxiety in the former president’s inner circle, reports suggested Wednesday.
Trump aides are concerned that Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg will flip on the ex-president and are nervous because is a ‘numbers guy who just has plain details’, according to Politico.
‘This isn’t a Michael Cohen situation,’ the aide added and insisted Trump’s hints that he will run again in 2024 are not a defense tactic because he misses ‘being president terribly’.
The report of the grand jury convening is an indication that Vance feels he has enough evidence to charge and ultimately convict Trump – raising the possibility of a potential indictment this year.
Vance has obtained Trump’s tax return information after a long legal battle that went to the Supreme Court, and has joined forces with New York State Attorney General Letitia James, whose office confirmed it is undertaking a criminal probe.
The grand jury will consider a group of cases, including Trump’s, and will meet three days a week for the next six months.
‘The grand jury’s going to get everything and that’s true,’ former Federal prosecutor Harry Litman told MSNBC after news broke on the secret grand jury.
‘We know that the — that was the inception of the case, but then, they got the mother lode. They got the tax returns, going back and forth to the Supreme Court twice to get them,’ he added.
President Donald Trump called a potential prosecution ‘purely political,’ following reports Manhattan DA Cy Vance has convened a special grand jury in his probe of the Trump Organization
Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr. is stepping down at the end of the year, putting time pressure on the probe. Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg faces pressure following reports that the company paid expensive private school tuition for his grandchildren
The intense legal pressure on longtime Allen Weisselberg is adding to the drama.
Legal experts have identified the company executive as someone with vast knowledge with company workings who could ‘connect the dots’ in a potential prosecution.
‘There’s definitely a cloud of nerves in the air,’ and advisor told Politico.
‘I think the Weisselberg involvement and the wild card of that makes the particular situation more real, because there’s no sort of fluff and made-up fictional circumstances around the guy.’
‘The fact that they’re dealing with a numbers guy who just has plain details makes people more nervous. This is not a Michael Cohen situation,’ said the advisor.
Litman, a former deputy assistant attorney general during the Clinton administration, pointed to the potential prosecutors will uncover financial irregularities.
‘So, that takes all kinds of transactions of this sort and forms the basis for possibly multiple counts where people surmise and it stands to reason that it’s a similar kind of hanky-panky – changing the way you valuate same properties, one for tax to make it look low, one for loans to make it look high. That’s fraud on both entities,’ he said.
He was referencing claims by former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen, who testified that the company inflated property valuations for securing lending, then low-balled them at tax time. He also referenced the Stormy Daniels scandal, where Cohen provided $130,000 in payments that he got reimbursement for from company funds for the former porn star who claims she had an affair with Trump. Trump denies the affair.
‘And I think what is happening, likely, is a plethora of transactions like that, like that core one with Stormy Daniels, which we are learning is sort of the Trump way of doing business, the general MO, and also including Weisselberg,’ he said.
Who’s who in New York criminal probe into Trump
New York state has opened a criminal investigation into former US president Donald Trump (pictured November 2020)
A Democratic prosecutor nearing the end of his term, a loyal lieutenant of the Trump family and a lawyer determined to sink his former boss: AFP details some of the players in New York’s criminal probe into Donald Trump.
The 66-year-old Democrat has been Manhattan District Attorney since 2010. He was the first to launch a criminal investigation into the Republican ex-president.
Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance (pictured May 2020) has doggedly pursued Donald Trump, winning a years-long battle to obtain his tax records and deploying significant human and financial resources to the politically sensitive investigation
Vance, whose father was US Secretary of State under President Jimmy Carter, has sometimes been accused of a reluctance to prosecute the rich and powerful.
He delayed filing charges against disgraced producer Harvey Weinstein before securing a landmark conviction last year.
Vance has doggedly pursued Trump, though, first by winning a years-long battle to obtain his tax records and secondly by deploying significant human and financial resources to the politically sensitive investigation.
He has announced that he will not run for a fourth term when his current one expires in December, and many observers expect him to go out with a bang by filing what would be the first indictment against a former US president.
The Democrat became the first Black woman to become New York state attorney general in 2018.
Since then, the 62-year-old has forged a reputation as a combative and independent prosecutor, filing countless civil actions against large companies, particularly tech giants, and the National Rifle Association (NRA).
In addition to Donald Trump, Letitia James (pictured August 2020) is also investigating New York’s governor, Andrew Cuomo, over sexual harassment allegations and his response to the coronavirus pandemic
When Trump was in the White House, James launched dozens of civil actions against his government.
She is also investigating New York’s powerful Democratic governor, Andrew Cuomo, over sexual harassment allegations and his response to the coronavirus pandemic.
James has been cited as a possible successor to Cuomo, particularly if her investigation forces him to resign.
The 73-year-old is the Trump Organization’s long-serving chief financial officer and one of the family’s most loyal servants.
He began as an accountant for Trump’s father’s company before joining the Trump Organization as financial controller in the 1980s when Donald established himself as a Manhattan real estate mogul.
Allen Weisselberg, pictured standing behind former president Donald Trump and his son Donald Jr. in January 2017, has served as the chief financial officer of the Trump Organization since the 1980s
Weisselberg has been around for all of Trump’s entrepreneurial adventures, including when his Atlantic City casinos went bust.
According to Barbara Res, a former executive vice president at the Trump Organization, Weisselberg ‘thought Trump was a god,’ she told the Daily News.
Investigators believe Weisselberg knows all of the Trump family secrets and have been putting pressure on him for months to cooperate with their investigation.
Observers are closely watching whether Weisselberg will turn against his former boss.
Trump’s ex-personal lawyer was sentenced to three years in prison in 2018 for tax evasion and violating campaign finance laws relating to Trump’s 2016 vote win.
Cohen was one of Trump’s closest henchmen for a decade, once proudly boasting that he was prepared to ‘take a bullet’ for the real estate mogul-turned-president.
Michael Cohen, pictured March 2021, openly rejoices in former boss Donald Trump’s legal troubles on Twitter and through his podcast
He turned against his former boss, though, deciding to collaborate with federal investigators in Manhattan.
During a Congressional hearing in February 2019, Cohen alleged — among other things — that Trump regularly undervalued or overvalued his assets, both with banks and insurance companies.
Cohen openly rejoices in Trump’s legal troubles on Twitter and through his podcast ‘Mea Culpa.’
He said prosecutors would present a ‘rolling narrative,’ and that ‘it is certainly their intention now for this kind of grand jury to be asking for charges at the end of the day against one or more person.’
He noted that Vance has said he will step down at the end of the year. ‘He’s going to want to make the charging decision,’ he said.
As for the pressure on Weisselberg, he said: ‘This is hardball. This is really putting the squeeze to a 73-year-old father. This is tough, tough stuff.
A former federal prosecutor said the Stormy Daniels sage represented the ‘MO’ of how the company did business, which could bring legal exposure. Longtime Trump lawyer Michael Cohen made payments to the former porn star who claims she had an affair with Trump
Trump blasted the developments and hit at prosecutors in a statement Tuesday from his Save America PAC.
‘This is a continuation of the greatest Witch Hunt in American history. It began the day I came down the escalator in Trump Tower, and it’s never stopped. They wasted two years and $48 million in taxpayer dollars on Mueller and Russia Russia Russia, Impeachment Hoax #1, Impeachment Hoax #2, and it continues to this day, with illegally leaked confidential information,’ Trump wrote.
‘No other President in history has had to put up with what I have had to, and on top of all that, I have done a great job for our Country, whether it’s taxes, regulations, our Military, Veterans, Space Force, our Borders, speedy creation of a great vaccine (said to be a miracle!), and protecting the Second Amendment,’ he said.
‘This is purely political, and an affront to the almost 75 million voters who supported me in the Presidential Election, and it’s being driven by highly partisan Democrat prosecutors.’
He also referenced his own potential political ambitions – which could figure in a legal defense.
‘Interesting that today a poll came out indicating I’m far in the lead for the Republican Presidential Primary and the General Election in 2024. Our Country is broken, our elections are rigged, corrupt, and stolen, our prosecutors are politicized, and I will just have to keep on fighting like I have been for the last five years!’
Donald Trump, wife Melania, with the Barry and Jennifer Weisselberg, the son and daughter n law of Trump Org CFO Allen Weisselberg. Jennifer has been assisting the criminal probe into the Trump Org for months
Former President Donald Trump raged against Manhattan prosecutors for conducting a ‘purely political’ investigation in a statement made to his website
‘DNA will be easier to get when he’s at Rikers’: Trump rape accuser E. Jean Carroll trolls him over Manhattan DA grand jury after he spent months refusing to give DNA in her defamation suit
Donald Trump‘s rape accuser E. Jean Carroll trolled him on Twitter after Manhattan prosecutors announced they are convening a grand jury to consider whether to indict him in a sweeping criminal probe of his business practices.
‘Trump’s DNA will be easier to get when he’s at Rikers,’ Carroll – who is suing Trump for defaming her when she came forward to accuse him of sexually assaulting her in a department store dressing room in 1996 – quipped on Tuesday in response to an article about the grand jury.
Lawyers for Carroll, 77, have spent months battling to have Trump submit a DNA sample in her lawsuit that can be compared to the unidentified male DNA on the dress she was wearing the day of the alleged assault.
In court documents Carroll’s lawyers have accused Trump of pulling out all the stops and doing everything he can to avoid being deposed and giving a DNA sample.
‘From the very start, however, Trump has done everything in his power to stop the truth from coming out,’ the lawyers wrote in an April 16 filing in the federal court of appeals.
In her mocking tweet on Tuesday Carroll suggested that Trump landing behind bars in the Manhattan district attorney’s separate probe could make it easier to finally force him to comply in her case.
Donald Trump’s rape accuser E. Jean Carroll (left) trolled him on Twitter after Manhattan prosecutors announced they are convening a grand jury to consider whether to indict the former president (left) in a sweeping criminal probe of his business practices
Carroll’s lawyers accused the DOJ of attempting to delay progression of the case, including Carroll’s effort to get a DNA sample from Trump to see if it matches male genetic material on a dress she says she wore the day of the alleged attack (pictured)
The alleged incident involving Carroll, a former Elle magazine columnist, and Trump happened in the mid-1990s, but Carroll remained silent about it until 2019 with the support of the #MeToo movement.
When she finally published her claims , Trump, who was president at the time, attacked her and accused her of lying to sell her new book, saying: ‘She’s not my type.’