© Provided by Salon Former President Donald Trump
The Trump Organization and its longtime CFO, Allen Weisselberg, were indicted Wednesday by a grand jury in Manhattan, according to various reports.
The indictments themselves will remain sealed until Thursday afternoon, according to the New York Times, citing sources familiar with the proceedings. The charges themselves have not been specified, though investigators have reportedly been looking into unpaid taxes on fringe benefits the Trump family business handed out to employees, including Weisselberg.
The Washington Post also reported that former President Donald Trump himself is not expected to be charged this week, nor is anyone else in the Trump family or organization. However, the escalation is sure to raise the pressure on Weisselberg, who prosecutors have long hoped will offer testimony against Trump in exchange for leniency in his own case. He has worked with Trump for nearly 40 years, and is widely considered to be the most important person within the Trump organization who is not related to the ex-president.
Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance, along with New York Attorney General Letitia James, has been building a sweeping investigation into Trump’s business dealings for nearly a year, and seems to have recently settled on Weisselberg as a target.
Investigators with both departments have reportedly spoken with Weisselberg’s former daughter-in-law, Jennifer Weisselberg, about the lavish, allegedly tax-free benefits he received while working for the Trump family — including several apartments, luxury cars and private-school tuition for at least one of his grandchildren, according to the Times.
Wednesday’s apparent indictment would represent the first criminal case ever brought against the Trump Organization — though the former president’s business empire has a history of settling civil suits, including one which resulted in a $25 million payment to end a case brought against Trump University over students who claimed to be victims of fraud.