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Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg

Regulation and Compliance > Litigation

Trump Tax Prosecutors Say Ex-CFO Has Stopped Meeting With Them

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Allen Weisselberg, the star witness in the criminal tax fraud case against the Trump Organization, has stopped meeting with prosecutors, they said in court during jury selection.

Prosecutor Joshua Steinglass made the statement in front of prospective jurors in New York State Supreme Court in Manhattan on Friday, prompting the defense to object and the judge to dismiss the potential jurors from the courtroom for a hearing outside their presence.

The defense lawyers complained that Steinglass had gone too far in telling the jury prospects that Weisselberg could be a reluctant witness because he is still employed by the company, though on a leave of absence.

Nicholas Gravante, a lawyer for Weisselberg, said Saturday that his client had been meeting with both prosecutors and defense lawyers ahead of the trial. The first indication that Weisselberg had stopped doing so came during prosecutors’ questioning of potential jurors on Thursday.

For the second time in the jury selection process this week, Steinglass asked the panel of prospects whether they would have trouble weighing the credibility of a witness who had pleaded guilty — as Weisselberg has — but was still on the firm’s payroll and had stopped meeting with prosecutors.

“Many of these witnesses still work for the Trump Organization, and their loyalties lie on that side of the courtroom,” Steinglass said, pointing to the defense table. “Some of them won’t even talk to us.” He said prosecutors may have to “to push them toward the truth.”

Steinglass’s questioning prompted lawyers for the company to object and the judge to send the potential jurors out of the courtroom so he could confer with both sides.

The case is People v. Trump Organization, 01473-2021, New York State Supreme Court (Manhattan).

(Photo: Jeenah Moon/Bloomberg)

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