Second Grand Jury Convenes In New York Case Against Trump

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In July, Trump Organization officials like Chief Financial Officer Allen Weisselberg became embroiled in a criminal inquiry into the business owned by the twice-impeached ex-president who never won the popular vote. Enough evidence was gathered against the former president’s business for a grand jury to determine that it should be charged and tried for tax fraud.

On Thursday, a second grand jury was convened.

The new grand jury will also be hearing about evidence against the Trump Organization and people involved with the company and will determine whether or not there’s enough evidence to charge them with additional crimes.

According to The Washington Post:

‘One person familiar with the matter said the second grand jury was expected to examine how former president Donald Trump’s company valued its assets. The people familiar spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe private legal proceedings.

‘That appears to be a separate issue from the one described in indictments from the first grand jury, which has dealt with allegations that Weisselberg and other Trump executives evaded taxes on their pay by systematically hiding some of their compensation from the IRS. Both Weisselberg and the two companies have pleaded not guilty.’

It is unclear what type of charges the grand jury will be hearing, and there is no indication at this time that any Trump family members are being charged with any crimes. However, the business itself is critical to the family members’ ability to earn and amass more wealth, making the story of its slow dismantling for more than a decade of crimes committed a contentious one with the Trumps.

‘The seating of the new grand jury does not signal that any other Trump entities or executives will be charged. The second grand jury could end its term without indicting anyone…In the past, Trump and his family have criticized Vance’s investigation — and a separate civil inquiry into his business by New York Attorney General Letitia James (D) — as motivated by politics and not the law.

‘“This type of targeting and harassment violates every ethical guideline of a prosecutor. It’s wrong,” Eric Trump, the president’s son, told The Washington Post last year.’

The case reviewed previously by the first grand jury indicated that more than 15 years of tax fraud had taken place in the Trump Organization, who provided employees in top leadership positions with perks, like high-dollar apartments in various Trump Tower buildings, rather than high salaries. At tax time, those perks weren’t mentioned in business filings.

‘In charging papers, prosecutors alleged that the Trump Organization effectively kept two sets of books. In one — for internal use — it carefully tallied the value of benefits given to executives as part of their compensation: apartments, cars, furniture, tuition payments, even money for holiday gifts.

‘But in the documents that the Trump Organization sent to tax authorities, prosecutors said, those benefits were omitted. Prosecutors said the result was that the Trump Organization and its executives avoided taxes on their full compensation: CFO Allen Weisselberg, they said, avoided paying more than $900,000.’