Trump As A Potential Witness His Company’s Criminal Fraud Trial Begins In New York, Judge Says

Jury selection in the Trump Organization trial on New York state criminal fraud charges began Monday morning, and the judge told potential jurors that former President Donald Trump could be called as a witness in the case.

The company was indicted by a grand jury in July 2021. It faces 14 cases related to charges that it provided “indirect employee compensation” to officers. The high-end perks, which in at least one case covered an apartment and two luxury cars, were described by a prosecutor at a hearing last year as “secret pay increases at the expense of state and federal taxpayers”. was.

The company has denied wrongdoing and pleaded not guilty to all charges. trump The case has not been charged personally, although Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, a Democrat whose office is prosecuting the case, has said he is under investigation.

As proceedings were underway at the courthouse in lower Manhattan, the judge said potential witnesses in the case could include Trump, his children Donald Trump Jr., Eric Trump and Ivanka Trump, and his former personal attorney Michael Cohen.

Trump posted about the case on his social media site on Monday morning, calling it a “witch hunt” and saying it was going to trial two weeks before election day.

Also among the witnesses to be called by the government is Alan Weiselberg, the former chief financial officer of the Trump Organization, who in August entered into a guilty plea If.

Weiselberg’s deal with prosecutors calls for a sentence of five months at New York’s Rikers Island Prison, followed by five years of probation. He must also pay $1.9 million in past taxes and fines, and testify under oath as a witness in the company’s trial.

Weiselberg’s son, Barry Weiselbergwho also worked for the company, and their ex wife jennifer weiselbergAlso on the list of potential witnesses.

Cohen, a former Trump “fixer” who is now a enthusiastic critictold CBS News that he was unaware that he was on the witnesses list. Cohen said he met with officials from the Manhattan DA’s office for more than 100 hours during his investigation. Trump previously called Cohen a “fraud” and sought to expose Cohen’s 2018 guilty plea for publicity of finance charges and lying to Congress, for which he served. jail time and imprisoned at home.

The jury pool is being reduced to 12, plus 6 electives, from a group of approximately 130 people.

Trump, a Republican, has called the case a “political witch hunt,” but attorneys for the company would be unable to make that argument in court, Judge Juan Marchan said during a pre-September 12 hearing.

Merchan said he will not allow Defense attorneys are asked to “bring a selective prosecution claim by any means, or claim that it is a novel prosecution of some sort.”

The Trump Organization, Donald Trump and his three children – Don Jr., Ivanka and Eric Trump – are facing a different civil suit The petition, filed by the office of New York Attorney General Letitia James, alleges there are plans to enrich themselves by raising the values ​​of properties across the country. Trump and company denied all allegations in that case as well, and said in September through a lawyer that “there has been absolutely no wrongdoing.”

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