Weisselberg, 74, and former President
“What I’m concerned about is he becomes collateral damage as part of a bigger fight between the Trump Organization and the district attorney’s office,”
The lawyer’s suggestion that his client was only an incidental target in the case received immediate push-back from prosecutors who pointed out that, as CFO, he would have been intimately involved with the alleged scheme in which The Trump Organization helped employees avoid income taxes by paying them in part with unreported perks like luxury housing and cars. According to the indictment announced in July by Manhattan District Attorney
But it’s also long been believed that Trump himself is the ultimate target in the case and that prosecutors are aiming to gain Weisselberg’s cooperation against his boss. Skarlatos didn’t mention the former president at Monday’s hearing but hinted that the case was only halfway done.
“This investigation has been going on for three years,” the lawyer said. “For some reason, the district attorney decided to indict midstream.”
Vance’s and James’s offices both declined to comment on Skarlatos’s assertion.
The July indictment described other uncharged executives at the Trump Organization besides Weisselberg who received untaxed perks. Prosecutors continue to investigate whether
“We remain in discussions with the district attorney’s office relating to Matthew Calamari Sr.,” said
Weisselberg appeared gaunt at the hearing on Monday, much of which focused on the volume of evidence and in the case and the difficulty of preparing a defense because the prosecution’s case was a “moving target.” Skarlatos raised the possibility of additional defendants in part to ask Merchan to grant a delayed briefing schedule.
The defense lawyer said that prosecutors have turned over more than six million pages of evidence. According to Skarlatos, the defense team would have to review 25,000 to 30,000 pages a day, seven days a week, in order to properly assess the state’s case against Weisselberg.
Skarlatos nodded to the existence of other possible defendants when he pointed out that, just before Monday’s hearing began, prosecutors had turned over a box of tax records from the company that “were found in co-conspirators’s basements.”
“They are almost exclusively and an overwhelmingly majority are Trump Organization records,” said Shinerock. “Mr. Weisselberg has been with the Trump Organization for 35 years and he’s the chief financial officer. And while he may not have technical access to certain of the records, as to the financial records, Mr. Weisselberg is the boss.”
The judge set the next hearing in the case for Jan. 22, 2022, and also told lawyers to expect that he would set a trial date at the time, most likely to begin in late August or early September 2022. Merchan said he’d decide motions for both sides at a July 12, 2022 hearing.
In a statement released during the hearing, Weisselberg lawyers Skarlatos and
“We have studied the indictment and it is full of unsupported and flawed factual and legal assertions regarding Allen Weisselberg,” the lawyers said. “We look forward to challenging those assertions in court.”
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