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This Trump Organization executive has turned himself in over criminal charges: Here’s what we know

The pending charges are related to New York tax crimes and could be the first of other allegations against former President Donald Trump’s business dealings

Donald Trump, his chief financial officer Allen Weisselberg and his son Donald Trump Jr. attend a news conference in New York.
President-elect Donald Trump, left, his chief financial officer Allen Weisselberg, center, and his son Donald Trump Jr., right, attend a news conference in the lobby of Trump Tower in New York on Jan. 11, 2017. Former President Donald Trump’s organization and its chief financial officer are expected to face charges for financial crimes later this week, The Wall Street Journal reported.
Evan Vucci, Associated Press

Allen Weisselberg, the chief financial officer of former President Donald Trump’s business dealings, surrendered Thursday to the Manhattan District Attorney’s office as he and the Trump Organization prepared to face charges tied to a tax investigation, according to The New York Times.

The exact charges remain unknown. But Weisselberg was expected to face charges for financial crimes later this week, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Weisselberg and the Trump business will likely be charged with tax-related crimes for allegedly avoiding paying taxes on fringe benefits like tuition for private schools, cars and apartments, The Wall Street Journal, which broke the story on Wednesday, reported.

  • “If prosecutors could show the Trump Organization and its executives systematically avoided paying taxes, they could file more serious charges alleging a scheme,” sources told the Journal.
  • “The charges against Weisselberg and the Trump Organization would be first criminal cases to arise from the two-year probe led by Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr., a Democrat who leaves office at the end of the year,” The Associated Press reported of the pending charges.

Trump could face criminal trouble

The New York Attorney General’s Office — which has been pursuing a civil investigation into the Trump Organization — announced in May that it had joined the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office’s yearslong criminal investigation into Trump’s business dealings, the Deseret News reported.

  • Overlap of the two similar but separate investigations included “examining whether Trump or his businesses manipulated the value of assets — inflating them in some cases and minimizing them in others — to gain favorable loan terms and tax benefits,” according to the AP.
  • In February, the U.S. Supreme Court ordered Donald Trump to hand over a decade of financial and tax records to the Manhattan district attorney and three months later a New York grand jury was seated to begin hearing evidence discovered in the DA’s investigation, according to the Deseret News.

Trump insists investigation is politically motivated

In a nearly 500-word statement Monday, Trump — who has previously called seating of the New York grand jury a “witch hunt” — criticized the investigations as a partisan attack.

  • The investigations by “politically motivated prosecutors” was a “very dangerous thing for our country,” Trump alleged.
  • “They will do anything to stop the MAGA movement (and me),” the former Republican president added in a statement.

The Trump Organization, echoing the former president’s insistence that the New York investigation is all about politics, defended their CFO and Trump in a statement Thursday.

  • “Allen Weisselberg is a loving and devoted husband, father and grandfather who has worked at the Trump Organization for 48 years,” a Trump Organization spokesperson said Thursday, The Hill reported.
  • “He is now being used by the Manhattan District Attorney as a pawn in a scorched earth attempt to harm the former President,” the spokesperson added.