Manhattan DA Accelerates Criminal Probe Of Trump Business Activities

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Although the Trump Organization and its chief financial officer, Allen Weisselberg, have already been criminally charged by New York City authorities for a years-long scheme to avoid taxes on high-dollar perks for company executives, the criminal investigation of the Trump company by Manhattan authorities is continuing. Now, The Wall Street Journal reports that “Manhattan prosecutors are moving to advance their criminal investigation into former President Donald Trump’s business affairs, fighting with his company over evidence and continuing talks with the lawyer of a Trump Organization executive who hasn’t been charged.”

Specifically, that “fight” over particular pieces of evidence has involved a closed-door court hearing last week covering certain documents that have been subpoenaed by the office of Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance, according to the Journal report. Trump’s side has resisted handing over the materials. The range of subpoenaed documents was not immediately clear, but “it includes a broad swath of financial documents,” the Journal says, based on revelations from sources. Throughout the legal travails of Donald Trump, one constant has certainly been his side’s resistance to cooperating with duly proceeding investigative efforts. In one of the perhaps most high-profile examples of that resistance, though, Vance’s team eventually won out — despite Trump’s best efforts, prosecutors obtained (among other materials) years of his tax returns.

As for prosecutors’ talks with the lawyer of another Trump company executive, investigators have been in touch with the lawyer for Matthew Calamari Sr., “partly to determine whether his cooperation would be helpful,” the Journal says. For some time, the publication explains, Calamari has “lived in an apartment at Trump Park Avenue and has driven a Mercedes leased through the Trump Organization” — and these are exactly the sorts of perks to top executives at the Trump Organization that drove the charges against Weisselberg and the company. Taxes weren’t paid on many of these company perks, despite their status as income for the recipients.

Matthew Calamari Jr., who also works at the Trump Organization, lives in another Trump building — Trump Parc East — and attorney Nicholas Gravante Jr. is representing both father and son amid ongoing proceedings, although it’s unclear whether appropriate taxes might’ve been paid on whatever benefits that the Calamaris received. Still, original charging papers from local prosecutors did reference two Trump employees — whose names weren’t mentioned — who “received substantial amounts of compensation in the form of lodging in New York City and the payment of automobile leases.” Meanwhile, prosecutors also said in a recent court filing that an un-indicted co-conspirator in the case against Weisselberg was Jeffrey McConney, another top official at the Trump Organization.