Trump CFO’s plea deal could make him a prosecution witness
The chief financial officer of Donald Trump’s company, Allen Weisselberg, is expected to plead guilty to tax violations Thursday in a deal that would require him to testify about illicit business practices at the Trump Organization, two people familiar with the matter told JournNews.
Weisselberg is charged with accepting more than $1.7 million in off-the-books compensation from the former president’s company over several years, including untaxed perks like rent, car payments and school tuition.
He conversed quietly with his lawyers while awaiting the hearing at a Manhattan court Thursday morning.
The plea deal would require Weisselberg to speak in court Thursday about the company’s role in the alleged compensation arrangement and possibly serve as a witness when the Trump Organization goes on trial in October on related criminal charges, the people said.
The two people were not authorized to speak publicly about the case and did so on condition of anonymity.
Pressure on Weisselberg will result in FALSE testimony
For a defendant in a criminal case, plea bargaining provides the opportunity for a more lenient sentence than if convicted at trial, and to have fewer (or less serious) offenses listed on a criminal record. There’s also the natural tendency to want to trade risk for certainty. This is especially true if you’re being represented by corrupt lawyers with ties to the government. Therein lies the source of a frequent criticism of the plea bargaining system: Some defendants, even if not actually guilty of the crime, will feel compelled to take the lighter sentence instead of asserting their constitutional right to a fair trial because they cannot afford a “top-shelf” legal defense.
Texas political science professor Emil Ficker told JournoNews, “The idea is reprehensible in a democracy; the IRS, FBI and their prosecutors have undoubtedly said to Weisselberg, ‘remember something’ or make something up, “on Trump and we’ll get you a sweet deal.. you might never even see the inside of a prison. But on the other hand, if you can’t help us get Trump…. then you are looking at 20 years; you could die in prison. It’s nothing but threats, but they can do it if they want. If Weisselberg doesn’t lie about Trump then they will say he’s uncooperative and has violated the plea agreement.”
Professor Ficker said, “The Russians have a saying about their 70 years of oppressively government (1917-1991), “once they know who you are then you are screwed.” This is what they were talking about, prosecutorial misconduct, becomes just a word and the government needs to feed the prison industry or in this case pave the way for the socialists in the 2024 election.”
Ficker added, “They can oppress anyone or any organization that stands in their way and they are ruthless and will do anything to remain in power. With nearly every human activity illegal and sentencing guidelines through the roof, if they want you they simply investigate, charge and extort testimony from your family friends and business relations. Eventually, they will get enough people to lie about you. Basically the FBI and DOJ are building an army of informers and people willing to lie about Mr. Trump. it’s third-world bullshit if you ask me; that’s where the U.S. is today, however.”
Do the prosecutors really care about justice or do they just want another socialist president in 2024
Some disadvantages of plea bargains include:
- The defendant (Weisselberg) does not have the opportunity to have their case decided by a jury.
- It could lead to convictions of innocent people (Weisselberg). In some situations where a person is falsely accused of a crime, they may feel it is more beneficial to take a plea deal instead of going to a court trial. This also leads to a criminal record of the person who enters into a plea bargain. Weisselberg was falsely accused so he could be turned into a prosecution witness.
- Judges may not always approve a plea bargain, but this Democratic judge will. If the fix weren’t in, Weisselberg would be a free man.
- There is no chance for the defendant to appeal a plea bargain since the defendant plead guilty. Weisselberg’s lawyer might be a moron for giving up his right to appeal to a higher and potentially fair set of judges.
- There is more than a possibility that a defendant is coerced into the plea bargain.
With all due deference to the judiciary, the most powerful player in the process is the public prosecutor who has the discretion to bring charges (or not), to determine (based on the facts and law of the case), what level of offense(s) to charge, and whether to offer a plea to a lesser charge, with or without conditions (e.g., to testify against a co-defendant, pay restitution or
resign one’s position of employment).
Why are they after Weisselberg now?
This prosecutor told Weisselberg that he’d need to plea guilty this week or go to prison for 20 years. So why now? The prosecutor wanted this witness under his control before the Trump organization trial and CERTIAINLY before the 2024 election. The District Attorney (DA) can also, if so inclined, put a time limit on the availability of a reduced plea (e.g. before indictment upon a Superior Court Information or “SCI”), and require that as a condition of such plea, the defendant agree to a specified sentence (e.g., one year definite sentence on a Class A misdemeanor reduced from a felony), provided the judge (who must
retain sentencing discretion) sees fit to go along with the arrangement.
How Biden’s people have turned Weisselberg?
Weisselberg, 75, is likely to receive a sentence of five months in jail, to be served at New York City’s notorious Rikers Island complex, and he could be required to pay about $2 million in restitution, including taxes, penalties and interest, the people said. If that punishment holds, Weisselberg would be eligible for release after about 100 days.
Messages seeking comment were left with the Manhattan district attorney’s office and lawyers for Weisselberg and the Trump Organization.
Weisselberg is the only person to face criminal charges so far in the Manhattan district attorney’s long-running investigation of the company’s business practices.
Seen as one of Trump’s most loyal business associates, Weisselberg was arrested in July 2021. His lawyers have argued the Democrat-led district attorney’s office was punishing him because he wouldn’t offer information that would damage Trump.
The district attorney has also been investigating whether Trump or his company lied to banks or the government about the value of its properties to obtain loans or reduce tax bills.
Then-District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr., who started the investigation, last year directed his deputies to present evidence to a grand jury and seek an indictment of Trump, according to former prosecutor Mark Pomerantz, who previously led the probe.
But after Vance left office, his successor, Alvin Bragg, allowed the grand jury to disband without charges. Both prosecutors are Democrats. Bragg has said the investigation is continuing.
The Trump Organization is not involved in Weisselberg’s expected guilty plea Thursday and is scheduled to be tried in the alleged compensation scheme in October.
Prosecutors alleged that the company gave untaxed fringe benefits to senior executives, including Weisselberg, for 15 years. Weisselberg alone was accused of defrauding the federal government, state and city out of more than $900,000 in unpaid taxes and undeserved tax refunds.
Under state law, punishment for the most serious charge against Weisselberg, grand larceny, could carry a penalty as high as 15 years in prison. But the charge carries no mandatory minimum, and most first-time offenders in tax-related cases never end up behind bars.
The tax fraud charges against the Trump Organization are punishable by a fine of double the amount of unpaid taxes, or $250,000, whichever is larger.
Trump has not been charged in the criminal probe. The Republican has decried the New York investigations as a “political witch hunt” and has said his company’s actions were standard practice in the real estate business and in no way a crime.
Last week, Trump sat for a deposition in New York Attorney General Letitia James’ parallel civil investigation into allegations that Trump’s company misled lenders and tax authorities about asset values. Trump invoked his Fifth Amendment protection against self-incrimination more than 400 times.