Frankly, there’s not a doubt in my mind at this point that Donald J. Trump thought he was home free when it came to the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office’s investigation into his family business, the Trump Organization, once new DA Alvin Bragg took over.
And, to be completely honest, we were beginning to think he was too.
Since Bragg took over the investigation as the new Manhattan DA, the road to holding Donald Trump accountable has been a tumultuous one, as we saw the probe stall out to a virtual halt. The situation was so dire, in fact, that two of the lead investigators on the case actually resigned from the DA’s office and the Trump Organization probe, specifically citing Bragg’s inaction on the investigation.
However, Bragg made it clear that he was not backing down from his probe into the ex-president and his corrupt company. Quite the opposite, in fact. And, while it was difficult to take the DA’s word on it at the time, to say that he’s making good on that promise would be an understatement now, with this newest development.
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In a bombshell 129-page court filing on Monday, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg told the judge that is on the case regarding the ex-president’s family business to move forward. To make matters that much worse for the former guy and his people, Bragg’s court filing also indicates that the DA’s office is preparing to officially file felony charges against the Trump Organization’s longtime Chief Financial Officer, Allen Weisselberg.
New York Daily News reports, quoting Assistant District Attorney Solomon Shinerock, “This case, at its core, is ordinary. It arises from the fact that Allen Weisselberg violated the basic imperative that all New Yorkers faithfully report and pay tax on their income.”
Back in February of this year, the Trump Organization filed a motion to see the case against the company dismissed. Up until now, prosecutors issued no response to this motion. The ex-president’s family company faces allegations of cheating their way out of more than $1.7 million in income taxes over the course of 15 years, in addition to various other crimes that are fraudulent in nature.
Trump’s former personal attorney and self-described “fixer” Michael Cohen has been heavily and infamously involved in the Manhattan DA’s case against his former boss. Weisselberg’s legal team has attempted to argue that prosecutors are basing all of their information against the former company CFO on lies Cohen allegedly told to federal prosecutors. However, Bragg has already shut that notion down, explaining that none of the prosecutors on the case had ever “seen or been briefed on the contents of Weisselberg’s testimony” against Cohen to federal authorities.
“Indeed, the claim that (Cohen) sparked this Investigation as part of a vendetta resulting from Weisselberg’s immunized testimony is incorrect,” the new court filing reads. “And, regardless of (Cohen’s) feelings towards Weisselberg … the Investigation that led to this Indictment, and the information used to obtain that Indictment, are the result of sources completely independent of (Cohen).”
In a statement to Raw Story, Cohen said, “Weisselberg fails and fails miserably in his vengeful witness defense in the fact that I never testified before the grand jury against him. Mr. Shinerock’s opposition papers clearly demonstrate that the Trump methodology of lying and blaming others only works for Trump; all others get jail time. This might be the right time for Weisselberg to think about cooperating.”
Bragg was clear that, in taking over the investigation, he has not looked into what Michael Cohen did or did not say to federal authorities.
Michael Cohen is far from the only one to have come forward against Donald Trump and his corrupt company, with Weisselberg’s own former daughter-in-law coming forward and admitting that she played a very large role in helping the Manhattan DA’s office obtain a significant amount of the information they have.
You can read full reporting on the development from New York Daily News here.