A Manhattan grand jury indicted the Trump Organization and its longtime chief financial officer Allen Weisselberg on Wednesday in District Attorney Cy Vance’s years-long investigation, Axios reports.
The charges were not immediately unsealed but they are believed to be related to the investigation into whether the company used cash bonuses and other perks to dodge taxes on compensation.
Weisselberg was indicted after refusing to cooperate with investigators digging into Trump, though it’s possible there will be further indictments in the future.
“I can’t say he’s out of the woods yet completely," Trump lawyer Ron Fischetti told the Associated Press.
Vance began investigating hush-money payments from Trump fixer Michael Cohen to Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal but the inquiry quickly grew into a wide-ranging investigation into the company’s business practices. Investigators have also looked at whether the Trump administration manipulated the value of its assets.
Weisselberg surrendered to law enforcement Thursday morning and is expected to plead not guilty.
His attorneys told reporters that they “will fight these charges in court.”
The Trump Organization argued in a statement that Weisselberg is being used by prosecutors "as a pawn in a scorched earth attempt to harm the former President."
"The District Attorney is bringing a criminal prosecution involving employee benefits that neither the IRS nor any other District Attorney would ever think of bringing. This is not justice; this is politics," a company spokesman said.
Adviser claims Trump “emboldened” by charges:
Trump on a conference call Monday was “thrilled by what he saw as light charges,” according to Politico.
“Just wait until 2024, you’ll see,” Trump said on the call. “This is going to hurt Sleepy Joe.”
An adviser told the outlet that Trump was “emboldened” by the news.
“Now he’s definitely going to run for president” again, the adviser said.
Another Trump adviser said the former president is much more focused on his bogus fraud claims about the 2020 election.
“His world is seriously consumed by that,” the adviser said. “In comparison to election fraud, [the D.A.’s investigation] is not even close.”