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NY Civil Lawsuit & Criminal Trial Against Donald Trump & Family

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  • TopHatter
    Judge sets Trump’s hush money trial for April 15, rejecting further delay

    NEW YORK — A New York judge scheduled former President Trump’s hush money trial to begin April 15, enabling his first criminal trial to still take place this spring after a last-minute delay.

    Trump, who has looked to postpone all four of his criminal cases, requested the judge punt the trial for at least two additional months over new documents that were recently turned over.

    Judge Juan Merchan rejected that request during a hearing on Monday, ruling in favor of Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg (D) by refusing to push the trial deeper into the campaign season.

    Merchan also rejected Trump’s assertion that Bragg’s office has committed discovery violations.

    “The court finds that the people have complied and continue to comply with their discovery obligations,” Merchan ruled.

    Trump’s trial had long been scheduled to begin on Monday, but Merchan delayed it until mid-April after a last-minute curveball led Bragg’s office to consent to a one-month postponement.

    The scheduling hiccup came after the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York turned over more than 100,000 pages of records in recent weeks. The parties have traded blame for why the documents did not come to light earlier.

    Merchan’s announcement that he would not delay the trial further and begin jury selection on April 15 came during a Monday hearing to sort out the recent document kerfuffle.

    Bragg charged Trump last year with 34 counts of falsifying business records over reimbursements to his then-fixer, Michael Cohen, who paid porn actress Stormy Daniels $130,000 just before the 2016 election to stay quiet about an alleged affair with Trump.

    Trump, who acknowledges the reimbursements but denies the affair, pleaded not guilty.

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  • TopHatter
    Court agrees to block collection of Trump's massive civil fraud judgment if he puts up $175M

    NEW YORK (AP) — A New York appeals court on Monday agreed to hold off collection of former President Donald Trump’s more than $454 million civil fraud judgment — if he puts up $175 million within 10 days.

    If he does, it will stop the clock on collection and prevent the state from seizing the presumptive Republican presidential nominee's assets while he appeals. The appeals court also reversed other aspects of a trial judge's ruling that had barred Trump and sons Eric Trump and Donald Trump Jr. from serving in corporate leadership for several years.

    In all, the order was a significant victory for the ex-president as he defends the real estate empire that vaulted him into public life.

    The development came just before New York Attorney General Letitia James, a Democrat, was expected to initiate efforts to collect the judgment.

    Trump, who was attending a separate hearing in his criminal hush money case in New York, posted on his Truth Social platform that he would post a bond, securities or cash to cover the $175 million sum.

    “This also shows how ridiculous and outrageous” trial Judge Arthur Engoron’s judgment was, Trump wrote.

    James' office, meanwhile, noted that the judgment still stands, while collection is paused.

    “Donald Trump is still facing accountability for his staggering fraud. The court has already found that he engaged in years of fraud to falsely inflate his net worth and unjustly enrich himself, his family, and his organization,” the office said in a statement.

    Trump’s lawyers had pleaded for a state appeals court to halt collection, claiming it was “a practical impossibility” to get an underwriter to sign off on a bond for such a large sum, which grows by the day because of interest. The Trump attorneys had earlier proposed a $100 million bond, but an appellate judge had said no late last month.

    The ruling was issued by the state’s intermediate appeals court, the Appellate Division of the state’s trial court, where Trump is fighting to overturn a judge’s Feb. 16 finding that he lied about his wealth as he built the real estate empire that launched him to stardom and the presidency.

    After James won the judgment, she didn't seek to enforce it during a legal time-out for Trump to ask the appeals court for a reprieve from paying up.

    That period ended Monday, though James could have decided to allow Trump more time.

    James told ABC News last month that if Trump doesn't have the money to pay, she would seek to seize his assets and was "prepared to make sure that the judgment is paid.”

    She didn't detail the process or specify what holdings she meant, and her office has declined more recently to discuss its plans. Meanwhile, it has filed notice of the judgment, a technical step toward potentially moving to collect.

    Seizing assets is a common legal option when someone doesn’t have the cash to pay a civil court penalty. In Trump’s case, potential targets could include properties such as his Trump Tower penthouse, aircraft, Wall Street office building or golf courses.

    The attorney general also could go after his bank and investment accounts. Trump maintained on social media on Friday that he has almost $500 million in cash but intends to use much of it on his presidential run. He has accused James and New York state Judge Arthur Engoron, who's also a Democrat, of seeking “to take the cash away so I can’t use it on the campaign.”

    One possibility would be for James' office to go through a legal process to have local law enforcement seize properties, then seek to sell them off. But that's a complicated prospect in Trump's case, noted Stewart Sterk, a real estate law professor at Cardozo School of Law.

    “Finding buyers for assets of this magnitude is something that doesn’t happen overnight,” he said, noting that at any ordinary auction, “the chances that people are going to be able to bid up to the true value of the property is pretty slim.”

    Trump's debt stems from a monthslong civil trial last fall over the state's allegations that he, his company and top executives vastly puffed up his wealth on financial statements, conning bankers and insurers who did business with him. The statements valued his penthouse for years as though it were nearly three times its actual size, for example.

    Trump and his co-defendants denied any wrongdoing, saying the statements actually lowballed his fortune, came with disclaimers and weren't taken at face value by the institutions that lent to or insured him. The penthouse discrepancy, he said, was simply a mistake made by subordinates.

    Engoron sided with the attorney general and ordered Trump to pay $355 million, plus interest that grows daily. Some co-defendants, including his sons and company executive vice presidents, Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump, were ordered to pay far smaller amounts. Monday's ruling also puts those on hold if the $175 million bond is posted.

    Under New York law, filing an appeal generally doesn't hold off enforcement of a judgment. But there's an automatic pause if the person or entity posts a bond that covers what's owed.

    The ex-president's lawyers have said it's impossible for him to do that. They said underwriters wanted 120% of the judgment and wouldn't accept real estate as collateral. That would mean tying up over $557 million in cash, stocks and other liquid assets, and Trump's company needs some left over to run the business, his attorneys have said.

    Trump's attorneys asked an appeals court to freeze collection without his posting a bond. The attorney general's office objected.

    Special treatment for certain people. The rich a have one set of rules, and regular people have another.

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  • TopHatter
    “Dumbest thing he could've done”: Experts say Trump’s Truth Social brag could backfire in court

    Former President Donald Trump claimed on Truth Social that he has tons of cash days after his lawyers asked a court to stay his $454 million New York fraud judgment because he could not secure a bond.


    Trump’s claim came days after his lawyers told a court he was unable to secure a bond to appeal the $454 million fraud judgment against him.

    “Trump now claims that he has almost $500 million in cash, but his lawyers recently told the appellate court that he has no means to post a $454 million bond,” tweeted former federal prosecutor Renato Mariotti. “One of them is lying, and you can expect the court to ask Trump’s lawyers about this.”

    “This is so dumb—now he can’t claim hardship to get a stay. AG Tish James can help herself, including to this supposed money!” wrote CNN legal analyst Norm Eisen.

    Former Watergate prosecutor Nick Akerman agreed that the post was “the dumbest thing he could have possibly done.”

    “That is a direct admission by him that he has the money,” he told CNN in a clip flagged by Mediaite. “Now, keep in mind, even with this operating money or cash that he supposedly has, if he doesn’t pony up and put up a bond, Letitia James is going to be able to go in and basically put restraining orders on all of his bank accounts. Everything that relates to him and all of that money is going to be tied up and frozen. So if he’s really got that money, he’s got to put it up.”

    Either a bluff or a house of cards...Either way, it'll be interesting to see if Barbara Jones knows where this magic pile of money came from.

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  • Albany Rifles
    I can't help myself...
    Click image for larger version  Name:	Letitia James.JPG Views:	0 Size:	882.2 KB ID:	1606065

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  • TopHatter
    Originally posted by Monash View Post
    So what's next? Liens on his NYS property holdings to cover the $464 mill he owes?
    Several options and they all involve seizing Trump's holdings anywhere in the United States. Including Mar-a-Lago.

    His only hope is the appellate court grants him a stay or a reduction in the next couple of days.

    The other alternative would be declaring personal bankruptcy, which would utterly devastate his self-image and his projected image. Like "setting off a nuke" devastate.

    Edit: The Bulwark seems to think that the court will blink and not seize Trump's properties if he can't come up with the full bond, by dint of his being the Republican candidate for President just 8 months before the election.

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  • Monash
    So what's next? Liens on his NYS property holdings to cover the $464 mill he owes?

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  • tbm3fan
    Originally posted by TopHatter;n1606048

    Donald J Trump, under oath, deposition April 2023:

    "Not really because I don't -- you know, it's doing great. I don't need the money. You probably see the cash. We have a lot of cash. I believe we have substantially in excess of 400 million in cash, which is a lot for a developer. Developers usually don't have cash. They have assets, not cash. We have, I believe, 400 plus and going up very substantially every month"[/I]
    LOL, once he gets on a roll the lies just flow out non-stop while getting bigger and bigger.

    I wonder if he has any fish stories?

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  • TopHatter
    New York AG pushes back on Trump's 'extraordinary' request to stay $464M fraud judgment

    New York Attorney General Letitia James is pushing back on Donald Trump's "extraordinary" request for a stay of his $464 million civil fraud judgment, arguing the former president's recent request was unreliable, procedurally improper and based on a flawed premise.

    "There is nothing unusual about even billion-dollar judgments being fully bonded on appeal," Senior Assistant Solicitor General Dennis Fan said in a filing this morning. "Defendants object to a possible 'fire sale' if they were to sell assets to generate cash to use as collateral for a bond or as a deposit —but the alternative would be to shift the risk of executing on defendants' illiquid assets to OAG."

    Earlier this week, Trump's lawyers argued that the former president is unable to secure a bond for the judgment – having been rejected by over 30 insurance companies – due to its size and his need to post properties as collateral.

    Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump speaks after voting in the Florida primary election in Palm Beach, Fla., March 19, 2024.

    The AG argued that the former president has failed to demonstrate his effort to secure a bond using properties as collateral, suggesting the issue is a product of Trump's doing because his "holdings are not nearly as valuable as defendants claim."

    "Defendants supply no documentary evidence that demonstrates precisely what real property they offered to sureties, on what terms that property was offered, or precisely why the sureties were unwilling to accept the assets," the filing said. "As far as the Court can infer, sureties may have refused to accept defendants' specific holdings as collateral because using Mr. Trump's real estate will generally need 'a property appraisal' ... and his holdings are not nearly as valuable as defendants claim."

    If Trump is unable to secure a single bond for the $464 million judgment, James said the former president could attempt to secure multiple smaller bonds – "$100 or $200 million apiece" – or consent to have his real-estate interests held by the Supreme Court to satisfy the judgment.

    New York Attorney General Letitia James speaks during a news briefing, Feb. 16, 2024, in New York.

    "The use of real estate as collateral for an appeal bond is hardly impossible as a general matter," the filing said.

    The AG's filing also criticized Trump's attempt to introduce two affirmations from both Trump Organization General Counsel Alan Garten — who James alleged was "personally involved in the fraudulent and illegal conduct that gave rise to the judgment in this case" – and Trump's broker Gary Giulietti. James characterized the two affirmations as "unreliable."

    "The affirmation from Gary Giulietti does not disclose that he was an expert witness for defendants at trial or that Supreme Court found Mr. Giulietti's trial testimony to lack credibility," the filing said. "Moreover, Mr. Giulietti has a 'personal financial interest in the outcome of the case,' because his company earns commission from the Trump Organization, including $1.2 million in 2022."

    Judge Arthur Engoron in February ordered Trump to pay $464 million in disgorgement and interest after holding him liable for doing a decade's worth of business with fraudulent financial statements that overvalued his real estate holdings and hyped his wealth. Trump was also barred from leading any New York company for three years. His sons Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump were also fined $4 million apiece and barred for two years. They denied any wrongdoing.

    Donald J Trump, under oath, deposition April 2023:

    "Not really because I don't -- you know, it's doing great. I don't need the money. You probably see the cash. We have a lot of cash. I believe we have substantially in excess of 400 million in cash, which is a lot for a developer. Developers usually don't have cash. They have assets, not cash. We have, I believe, 400 plus and going up very substantially every month"

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  • TopHatter
    Trump has failed to get appeal bond for $454 million civil fraud judgment, lawyers say

    Republican presidential candidate and former U.S. President Donald Trump holds rally in Richmond

    NEW YORK (Reuters) -Donald Trump has so far been unable to obtain a bond that would allow him to appeal a $454 million judgment against the former U.S. president in a New York civil fraud case without posting the full amount himself, his lawyers said on Monday.

    Trump must either find the cash or post a bond to prevent the state's authorities from seizing his properties while he appeals Justice Arthur Engoron's Feb. 16 decision ordering him and co-defendants to pay $464 million in penalties and interest for misstating property values to dupe lenders and insurers.

    In a court filing on Monday, the Republican presidential candidate's lawyers urged a mid-level state appeals court to delay enforcement of the judgment, arguing the amount was excessive.

    They said the defendants had so far approached 30 surety companies through four separate brokers to obtain a bond.

    "Enforcing an impossible bond requirement as a condition of appeal would inflict manifest irreparable injury on Defendants," Trump's lawyers wrote.

    The lawyers asked that he instead be allowed to post a $100 million bond while he appeals the judgment. A bonding company would be on the hook for any payout if Trump loses his appeal and proves unable to pay.

    Trump's lawyers included a statement by Gary Giulietti, an executive with insurance brokerage the Lockton Companies, which Trump has hired to help get a bond.

    Giulietti wrote that a bond for the full $464 million "is not possible under the circumstances presented," noting that many sureties would not issue bonds above $100 million and were willing to accept only cash or securities - not real estate - as collateral.

    Trump denied wrongdoing in the case, which was brought by New York Attorney General Letitia James in New York state court in Manhattan.

    Trump earlier this month posted a $91.6 million bond to cover an $83.3 million defamation verdict for the writer E. Jean Carroll while he appeals, in a case that arose from his branding her a liar after she accused him of raping her decades ago.

    30 different surety companies have looked at the so-called billionaire and fallen over themselves laughing

    But, but, but, he's a BILLIONAIRE right? Just ask him!

    Under oath, Trump declared he has "tons of cash". Raising bond would be "no problem", he and his lawyers declared.

    This turns out to be yet another Trump lie. He's now begging the Courts to reduce his bond obligation, and hope everyone forgets his vaporous "tons of cash".

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  • TopHatter
    Trove of New Docs Throws Wrench Into Trump’s New York Trial Timeline

    Donald Trump’s upcoming Stormy Daniels trial could be delayed by a month, after federal investigators turned up 100,000 new documents relevant to the case.

    “The people do not oppose a brief adjournment of up to 30 days to permit sufficient time for the defendant to review the [U.S. Attorney’s Office] productions,” Manhattan prosecutors wrote to the judge in a court filing on Thursday.

    The last-minute surprise throws a wrench into plans to put Trump on trial for much of April and May, given that he was forced to be in the courtroom in the first ever criminal trial against a former American president.

    The surprise episode is sure to spark some degree of confusion, given that local prosecutors have appeared poised for trial to begin March 25.

    However, the chaos stems in part from the fact that the investigation has a messy origin story. Back in 2017, federal prosecutors at the Southern District of New York investigated the way Trump secretly funneled a $130,000 hush money payment to the porn star Stormy Daniels. But with Trump still in office at the time, prosecutors only pursued criminal charges against the lawyer who coordinated the deal, Michael Cohen.

    The Manhattan DA picked up where the feds left off, indicting Trump on 34 felony counts last year for faking business records to hide the deal. As part of that investigation, county prosecutors requested whatever relevant records the feds could share about their probe.

    In a court filing on Thursday, the DA’s office revealed that SDNY turned over a whopping 73,000 pages of records since just March 4—and an additional 31,000 pages on Wednesday alone. The office notified the court that it expects the feds to turn over a third batch next week.

    It’s a stark development, given that lawyers usually receive evidence well ahead of a criminal trial—and this one of historic proportions is only 11 days away.

    By the DA’s own description, the bulk of the material appears to be documents and testimony that prosecutors at the Manhattan U.S. Attorney’s Office presented to the federal grand jury that examined the case—an investigation that included testimony from Trump’s right-hand money man, former Trump Organization chief financial officer Allen Weisselberg.

    The DA’s court filing attempted to lay the blame on Trump’s defense lawyers, saying that prosecutors “diligently sought the full grand jury record related to Cohen’s campaign finance convictions from the USAO last year” and received “a subset of the materials.” That evidence was turned over to Trump’s team in June 2023.

    But Trump’s lawyers “waited until” January 18 to independently seek the records from the feds and “consented to repeated extensions” every time the feds asked for a little extra time.

    “The timing of the USAO’s productions is a result solely of defendant’s delay despite the people’s diligence,” prosecutors wrote.

    Prosecutors stressed that they are “nonetheless… prepared to proceed to trial on March 25,” but alerted the judge that they “do not oppose an adjournment in an abundance of caution and to ensure that defendant has sufficient time to review the new materials.”

    Trump’s lead lawyer in the case, Todd Blanche, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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  • TopHatter
    Originally posted by JRT View Post
    Round and round the mulberry bush...

    Not a big deal, just a "process crime"

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  • JRT
    Round and round the mulberry bush...

    Originally posted by Forbes_News
    Sunday, 10 March 2024
    The Forbes Reporting That Sparked Criminal Charges For Trump CFO Allen Weisselberg
    (04 min, 06 sec)

    Allen Weisselberg pleaded guilty to two perjury counts on Monday. Forbes’ investigations into the size of the ex-president’s New York penthouse played a key role in exposing his lies.

    Read the full story on Forbes:

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  • Albany Rifles
    I give them 48 hours before the threats start...

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  • TopHatter
    Donald Trump will get juror names at New York criminal trial but they'll be anonymous to the public

    Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump departs after speaking at a Super Tuesday election night party Tuesday, March 5, 2024, at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Fla.

    NEW YORK (AP) — Donald Trump will be allowed to know the names of jurors at his upcoming New York hush-money criminal trial. The public will not.

    Manhattan Judge Juan Manuel Merchan ruled Thursday to keep the yet-to-be-picked jury anonymous, with limited exceptions for the former president, his defense lawyers, prosecutors, jury consultants and legal staffs.

    Only Trump's lawyers and prosecutors will be allowed to know the addresses of the jurors' homes and workplaces, Merchan said. Trump could risk forfeiting access to the names if he were to disclose them publicly.

    Jury selection is slated to begin March 25.

    The ruling, in response to a request from prosecutors, applies not only to jurors seated for the trial, but also prospective jurors who may be summoned to court but don’t make the cut, the judge said.

    It stops short of having a fully anonymous jury, as was the case in both of Trump's recent federal civil trials involving the writer E. Jean Carroll. In those trials, not even Trump nor his lawyers knew the jurors' names.

    Jurors’ names are typically public record, but courts sometimes allow exceptions to protect the jury, most notably in cases involving terrorism, organized crime or when there's been prior jury tampering.

    Despite the restrictions, Merchan said has no plans to close the courtroom for jury selection or at any other time in the trial.

    “Access to the courtroom by the public and the press will not be tempered in any way as a result of these protective measures,” Merchan wrote in a seven-page ruling.

    Trump is accused in the hush-money case of falsifying internal records kept by his company to hide the nature of payments to his former lawyer Michael Cohen, who paid porn actor Stormy Daniels $130,000 as part of an effort during Trump’s 2016 campaign to bury claims he’d had extramarital sexual encounters.

    Trump, the Republican presidential front-runner, is charged in New York with 34 counts of falsifying business records, a felony punishable by up to four years in prison, though there is no guarantee that a conviction would result in jail time. Barring a last-minute delay, it will be the first of his four criminal cases to go to trial.

    Last week, amid a slew of pretrial requests, the Manhattan district attorney’s office asked Merchan to restrict access to juror names and keep them from the public, citing what it said was Trump's “extensive history of attacking jurors in other proceedings."

    Among other things, prosecutors noted that Trump had made social media posts saying the jury that convicted his former adviser Roger Stone of obstructing a congressional investigation and other charges in 2020 was “totally biased,” “tainted,” and “DISGRACEFUL!”

    They also noted that he'd posted about the grand jury that indicted him in New York and referred to the special grand jury in Georgia that investigated his efforts to subvert his 2020 election loss to Joe Biden as “an illegal Kangaroo Court" and “a ‘Special’ get Trump Grand Jury."

    Putting guardrails up around access to juror names in the hush-money case and barring Trump from disseminating them were necessary steps to “minimize obstacles to jury selection, and protect juror safety," prosecutors said.

    Trump’s lawyers said they agreed with keeping jurors’ names from the public, but for different reasons. They cited what they called “extremely prejudicial pretrial media attention associated with this case” and disputed the prosecution's characterization of his previous comments about jurors.

    Prosecutors “do not identify a single example where President Trump mentioned — let alone attacked or harassed — any juror by name,” Trump's lawyers wrote in a response Monday. The only examples they cited were instances where those jurors identified themselves publicly and discussed their work as jurors with the media, Trump's lawyers said.

    Along with limiting access to juror names, prosecutors wanted Merchan to warn Trump that he’ll lose that privilege if he discloses names publicly or engages in harassing or disruptive conduct that threatens the safety or integrity of jurors.

    Merchan said he'll rule on that when he decides on the prosecution’s request for a gag order that would bar Trump from making public statements about jurors, witnesses and others involved in the case.

    If I was a juror on this trial, I'd immediately demand to be excused.

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  • TopHatter
    Former Trump CFO Allen Weisselberg pleads guilty to perjury in ex-president’s civil fraud case

    Allen Weisselberg, right, is escorted to Manhattan criminal court, Monday, March 4, 2024, in New York. Weisselberg, the former chief financial officer of the Trump Organization, surrendered to the Manhattan district attorney Monday morning for arraignment on new criminal charges, the prosecutor's office said.

    NEW YORK (AP) — Allen Weisselberg, the former chief financial officer of Donald Trump's company, pleaded guilty Monday in New York to perjury in connection with testimony he gave in the ex-president’s civil fraud case.

    Weisselberg, 76, pleaded guilty to two counts of perjury and will be sentenced to five months in jail — which would be his second stint behind bars after 100 days last year in an unrelated tax fraud case.

    The pleas related to testimony he gave at a July 2020 deposition in New York Attorney General Letitia James’ case against Trump, but in court Monday he also admitted, without pleading guilty, to lying on the witness stand at the former president’s civil fraud trial last fall.

    Prosecutors accused Weisselberg of lying under oath in the case about allegations that Trump lied about his wealth on financial statements given to banks and insurance companies.

    “Allen Weisselberg looks forward to putting this situation behind him,” his lawyer Seth Rosenberg said in a statement.

    After The New York Times reported last month that Weisselberg was in negotiations to plead guilty to perjury, Judge Arthur Engoron, who presided over the fraud trial, ordered attorneys to provide details related to the Times’ report.

    Trump is appealing Engoron’s judgment ordering him to pay more than $454 million in fines and interest for submitting fraudulent information about his asset values on years of financial records.

    Weisselberg's new criminal case comes just weeks before Trump is scheduled to stand trial on separate allegations that he falsified business records. That case involves allegations that Trump falsified company records to cover up hush money payments made during the 2016 campaign to bury allegations that he had extramarital sexual encounters. Trump has pleaded not guilty and denies wrongdoing.

    Former Trump lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen has said Weisselberg had a role in orchestrating the payments, but he has not been charged in that case, and neither prosecutors nor Trump’s lawyers have indicated they will call him as a witness. That trial is scheduled to begin March 25.

    Weisselberg’s case is separate from the criminal case that Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg brought against Trump last year.

    Weisselberg previously served 100 days in jail last year after pleading guilty to dodging taxes on $1.7 million in off-the-books compensation from the Trump Organization. He is still on probation. Prior to that he had no criminal record.

    He left New York City’s notorious Rikers Island in April, days after Trump was indicted in his New York hush money criminal case.

    Under that plea deal, Weisselberg was required to testify as a prosecution witness when the Trump Organization was put on trial for helping executives evade taxes. He did so carefully, laying out the facts of his own involvement in evading taxes but taking care not to implicate Trump, telling jurors that his boss was unaware of the scheme.

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