Manhattan DA’s criminal case against the Trump Organization and Allen Weisselberg can proceed, NYC judge rules

NEW YORK -- A judge on Friday denied the Trump Organization's motion to dismiss the Manhattan District Attorney's criminal tax fraud case against the real estate company owned by Donald Trump's family and its longtime CFO Allen Weisselberg.
Among a spate of motions that were thrown out by Manhattan Superior Court Justice Juan Merchan was one who argued that Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg and New York Attorney General Letitia James had Trump's companies and his top -Leaders targeted "on the basis of political animus".
The ruling marks the third legal blow Trump has suffered this week. On Monday, federal agents executed a search warrant at his home in Mar-a-Lago, Fla., to obtain classified White House documents.
And on Wednesday, James Trump, in her long-running civil investigation, dismissed the Trump Organization's allegedly illegal habit of manipulating hundreds of millions of dollars in the value of corporate assets like skyscrapers and golf courses to obtain loans, tax breaks and other benefits. The former president pleaded for the fifth.
Merchan set a hearing date for the Trump Organization trial for October 24. Weisselberg and his attorneys had no comment at the hearing or the court hearing. He and the company have both pleaded not guilty.
The entire litigation team investigating Trump's family business sat on the front bench of the courtroom across from the company's attorneys and Weisselberg.
Weisselberg had alleged, among other things, that the case should be thrown out of court because ex-Trump attorney Michael Cohen was cooperating in the broader criminal investigation from which it emerged. The chief financial officer said Cohen's attendance was out of "revenge."
In deciding that the case could go ahead, Merchan found that all of the charges against Weisselberg were legally sufficient, as were 14 of 15 faced by the Trump Organization and Trump Payroll Corp. He denied a single count of fourth-degree criminal tax fraud against the company. Prosecutors had agreed to drop the charges due to the statute of limitations.
The veteran accountant, who was hired by Donald's father Fred in the 1970s and managed the family fortune for nearly half a century, is accused of receiving untaxed fringe benefits for at least 15 years while managing the company's finances. The perks included a rent-free apartment overlooking Central Park for his son's young family, private school tuition and overnight camp fees for his grandchildren, luxury car leases, dental expenses for relatives and more, prosecutors say.
The charges, received in June 2021, came after Weisselberg refused to upset his boss, the New York Daily News reported. He could face up to a year behind bars if convicted in court.
Once believed to be the only case that could handcuff Trump, the year-long criminal investigation into his dealings began to lose momentum late last year when three prosecutors from the team resigned. They left because they felt the pace at which the case was progressing was too fast, sources familiar with their decision told The News.
Then, after former Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, Jr. left office in late December, the two investigators he had appointed to lead the investigation, Mark Pomerantz and Carey Dunne, abruptly resigned.
Pomerantz's leaked resignation letter said he believes Trump is guilty of numerous crimes and that Bragg should not hesitate to impeach him. Bragg has insisted he follows facts where they lead.
Allen Weisselberg
American businessman and Chief Financial Officer of the Trump Organization
donald trump
45th President of the United States
Official in charge of court proceedings
Letizia James
American lawyer and politician

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