Politics

Allen Weisselberg Pleads Not Guilty

Trump Organization chief financial officer Allen Weisselberg arrives for his arraignment hearing in the New York State Supreme Court in New York, N.Y., July 1, 2021. (Brendan McDermid/Reuters)

Attorneys for former President Donald Trump’s organization and the company’s Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Allen Weisselberg pleaded not guilty to fraud and tax crimes charges Thursday.

The court read the accused Weisselberg’s charges to him during his arraignment after a grand jury disclosed the indictment against him and the Trump company for tax crimes. He is a long-time veteran of the Trump organization with intimate knowledge of its business activities.

Weisselberg’s attorney, Mary Mulligan, noted that the executive has said he intends to “fight these charges in court.”

Speaking to reporters on the courthouse steps after the arraignment, Mulligan alleged that the prosecution is politically motivated, noting that similar cases to Weisselberg’s are typically settled civilly rather than criminally.

The lawyer also questioned why the U.S. attorney’s office for the Southern District of New York (SDNY) decided to target Trump’s enterprise specifically, claiming that it didn’t target the financial firms considered complicit in and partially responsible for the 2008 housing crisis.

The Trump organization’s lawyers pleaded not guilty to an array of accusations introduced by the state of New York, including scheme to defraud, conspiracy, grand larceny, criminal tax fraud, offering a false instrument for filing, and falsifying business records.

Trump himself was not charged with a crime in the case.

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