The Manhattan district attorney's office started investigating the Trump Organization three years ago, and sources tell the Wall Street Journal the first criminal charges against it will come tomorrow. Those sources say the Trump Organization and Allen Weisselberg, its CFO, will likely be charged Thursday with tax-related crimes. A focus of the probe has been on whether Weisselberg and others illegally avoided paying taxes on corporate perks like cars and housing that they got through the job. Among the standout details:
- A source tells NBC News the charges are expected to be filed around 2pm ET Thursday.
- Former President Trump isn't expected to be charged, and a lawyer for Trump backed that up in comments to CBS News on Tuesday, with Ronald Fischetti saying Manhattan DA Cyrus Vance Jr. confirmed to him none of the charges are related to Trump.
- CBS reports the Trump Organization's legal team is expected to immediately move to dismiss any charges. The network puts it like so: "The legal team believes the threat to the Trump Organization posed by prosecution is disproportionate to the alleged misconduct, and feel prosecutors would be unable to prove that the company's leadership—including the former president—had any specific knowledge of improper benefits granted to employees."
- Trump has spoken out on this issue, this week saying the case revolves around "things that are standard practice throughout the US business community, and in no way a crime."
- Former prosecutors did tell the Journal that it's unusual for a person or company to be charged solely on the issue of taxes due on employee benefits, "although such charges are used as part of larger cases." The probe does have a wider view, with the DA's office looking into whether there was a pattern of assets being either overvalued or undervalued on financial documents in order to manipulate the numbers in the organization's favor.
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