Prosecutors Give Allen Weisselberg 3 Million New Reasons to Help Send Donald Trump to Prison - Vanity Fair

on 06:09Sep, 20, 2021

Is Donald Trump going to live out his twilight years in prison? That‘s obviously a scenario that many people would love to see come to fruition, not just because of the immense damage he did to the country and democracy during his four years in office, but because of the fact that he’s spent his entire life escaping any and all consequences for being what legal experts call an “amoral sack of shit.” And while at the end of the day we can’t say for sure whether Trump will spend his final days in a prison cell, blathering away to his fellow inmates about how the 2020 election was stolen from him, or if he’ll simply make some unsuspecting Mar-a-Lago busboys listen to his rants about Joe Biden, windmills, and having to flush the toilet “10 [to] 15 times,” recent revelations suggest his outlook is not good.

The Daily Beast reports that a defense attorney for longtime Trump Organization chief financial officer Allen Weisselberg, who was charged in July with 15 felony counts including criminal tax fraud, grand larceny, falsifying business records, and scheming to defraud the government, revealed in court on Monday that prosecutors have discovered a “tranche of evidence in the basement of a coconspirator in the Trump Organization tax fraud case.” Though it’s not clear who the coconspirator is, two sources close to the investigation told The Daily Beast that “prosecutors have been more closely scrutinizing Matthew Calamari, a Trump bodyguard who rose through the ranks to become the company’s chief operating officer,” while others believe the individual in question may be Trump Organization controller Jeff McConney, who has been Weisselberg’s deputy for years and has already testified before the grand jury, according to the outlet. Equally significant? According to Weisselberg‘s lawyer, Bryan C. Skarlatos, the defense has “strong reason to believe there could be other indictments coming.” Obviously, those could be for any current or former Trump Organization employees, from Calamari to Trump’s three eldest children, to the ex-president himself. (“We remain in discussions with the district attorney’s office relating to Matthew Calamari Sr.,” Calamari’s lawyer, Nicholas Gravante, told Bloomberg on Monday. “But we continue to believe there is no basis for indicting him. If they presently intended to indict him, I would have been informed. I haven’t been and, in fact, have not been informed to the contrary.”)

Attorneys for Weisselberg—who, like the Trump Organization, has pleaded not guilty—brought up the new evidence while trying to get the presiding judge to push back an eventual trial date, arguing that they need more time to review what they said is more than 3 million documents, according to The Daily Beast. Prosecutor Solomon Shinerock took issue with Skarlatos’s complaint, noting that, as CFO of the company, the documents would be very familiar to Weisselberg. “They are almost exclusively and an overwhelmingly majority are Trump Organization records,” Shinerock said. “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 January 22, 2022, and told lawyers to expect that a trial will likely begin in late August or early September 2022, Bloomberg noted.

Of course, if prosecutors have their way, there won’t be a trial, sources told The Daily Beast, as the Manhattan district attorney’s office is trying to convince Weisselberg to flip and cooperate against Trump. Some people, like former FBI agent Phil Andrew, believe that’s never going to happen, arguing that the longtime Trump Organization exec will stay loyal in the hopes of both remaining in Trump’s good graces and keeping his $940,000-a-year job. “He’s going to have to ride this in and demonstrate loyalty to end, because that’s his meal ticket,” Andrew told Bloomberg. Others have slightly different predictions:

Weisselberg may now be questioning whether continued loyalty will be rewarded, said John Moscow, a former senior white-collar prosecutor in the Manhattan district attorney’s office. Though still at the Trump Organization, Weisselberg was removed as CFO following the indictment, and he no longer serves as treasurer and secretary for many of the company’s subsidiaries.

“That’s a big change in his life, and if other people at the company are being told not to talk to him because they might be called to testify, that’s a change too,” said Moscow. “If I’m representing someone in that office, I would have to advise my client that someone like him may flip and may be wearing a wire.”

Former Trump lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen, who pleaded guilty to federal charges in 2018 and has since become one of his ex-boss’s fiercest critics, said loyalty is a one-way street for Trump.

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