Trump’s company indicted in New York for alleged tax violations

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(FILES) In this file photo taken on December 7, 2020 US President Donald Trump looks on during a ceremony presenting the Presidential Medal of Freedom to wrestler Dan Gable in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, DC. - Former president Donald Trump will not testify in his Senate impeachment trial next week, an advisor said on February 4, 2021, after House prosecutors called on him to appear for questioning. (Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP)

Donald Trump’s company and his longtime finance chief have been indicted on charges stemming from a New York investigation into the former president’s business dealings, two people familiar with the matter told The Associated Press.

The charges against the Trump Organization and the company’s chief financial officer, Allen Weisselberg, remained sealed Wednesday night, but were expected to involve alleged tax violations related to benefits the company gave to top executives, possibly including use of apartments, cars and school tuition, people familiar with the case said.

The people were not authorized to speak about an ongoing investigation and did so on condition of anonymity. The Wall Street Journal was first to report that charges were expected Thursday.

The company and Weisselberg were expected to make their first court appearance Thursday.

The charges against Weisselberg and the Trump Organization would be the first criminal cases to arise from the two-year probe led by Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr., a Democrat who leaves office at the end of the year.

Prosecutors have been scrutinizing Trump’s tax records, subpoenaing documents and interviewing witnesses, including Trump insiders and company executives.

A grand jury was recently empanelled to weigh evidence and New York Attorney General Letitia James said she was assigning two of her lawyers to work with Vance on the criminal probe while she continues a civil investigation of Trump.

Messages seeking comment were left with a spokesperson and lawyers for the Trump Organization. Weisselberg’s lawyer, Mary Mulligan, declined to comment. The Manhattan district attorney’s office declined to comment.

Trump’s spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but Jason Miller, a longtime former senior adviser to the Republican, spun the looming charges as “politically terrible for the Democrats.”

“They told their crazies and their supplicants in the mainstream media this was about President Trump. Instead, their Witch Hunt is persecuting an innocent 80 year-old man for maybe taking free parking!” Miller tweeted, apparently referring to Weisselberg, who is 73.

Trump, who’s been critical of President Joe Biden’s immigration policies, was in Texas visiting the U.S.-Mexico border on Wednesday. He did not respond to shouted questions about the charges as he participated in a briefing with state officials.

Trump had blasted the investigation in a statement Monday, deriding Vance’s office as “rude, nasty, and totally biased” in their treatment of Trump company lawyers, representatives, and long-term employees.

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