Former President Donald Trump isn’t taking well to new criminal charges in New York against his company and its chief financial officer, Allen Weisselberg. The charges allege a wide-reaching fraud scheme, with Weisselberg alone accused of evading taxes on over $1.7 million in income across recent years, stretching back to the mid-2000s. Trump, meanwhile, characterized the New York proceedings as a “witch hunt” — sticking to some of the same language that he has used for years against investigative efforts targeting him.
As Trump angrily put it:
‘The political Witch Hunt by the Radical Left Democrats, with New York now taking over the assignment, continues. It is dividing our Country like never before!’
Trump Organization, longtime chief financial officer Allen Weisselberg plead not guilty to tax crimes charges.
Trump: "The political Witch Hunt by the Radical Left Democrats, with New York now taking over the assignment, continues. It is dividing our Country like never before!"
— Yamiche Alcindor (@Yamiche) July 1, 2021
It’s remarkable for Donald Trump — Donald Trump — to accuse someone else of “dividing our Country.” What would he call the riot at the Capitol that he inspired with his lie that last year’s presidential election was somehow rigged for Joe Biden? A moment of national unity? How would he describe his years of petulant rhetoric against his political opponents, who he’s referred to with a dizzying array of pejoratives? A national testament to bipartisanship?
As summarized by the Associated Press, New York authorities allege that “from 2005 through this year, the Trump Organization and Chief Financial Officer Allen Weisselberg cheated the state and city out of taxes by conspiring to pay senior executives off the books by way of lucrative fringe benefits and other means.” The Weisselberg family received high-dollar perks from the Trump company, like apartment space, private school tuition for one of Allen’s grandchildren, and Mercedes cars, and these items “were listed on internal Trump company documents as part of Weisselberg’s employee compensation but were not included on his W-2 forms or otherwise reported, and the company did not withhold taxes on their value,” the Associated Press adds. Weisselberg now stands accused of owing authorities over $900,000 in taxes.