Wednesday, February 28

Trump executive Weisselberg expected to reach plea deal

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Allen Weisselberg, the longtime chief financial officer of former president Donald Trump’s company, is expected to reach a plea deal in a criminal case against him, according to two people with knowledge of the matter. Weisselberg was indicted last year on felony charges including tax fraud.

The specific terms of any plea agreement were not immediately clear. One of the people with knowledge of the matter, who spoke Monday on the condition of anonymity, said they expected Weisselberg to be sentenced to about five months behind bars. The person also said Weisselberg is not expected to help with an ongoing inquiry into Trump, who is facing legal scrutiny from multiple directions.

Weisselberg was charged with more than a dozen felony counts when he was indicted last year, among them grand larceny and criminal tax fraud. Before the indictment, a person familiar with the investigation into Trump’s finances had said prosecutors hoped to convince Weisselberg to testify against the former president as part of a deal that would reduce his own legal jeopardy from him.

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Attorneys for Weisselberg declined to comment on the case’s status Monday, as did the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office. The expected plea deal was first reported by the New York Times. A hearing in the case is scheduled for Thursday.

Weisselberg and the Trump Organization were indicted last year in a case alleging a plot to avoid taxes by concealing executive pay. Prosecutors called it “a sweeping and audacious illegal payments scheme,” while Trump and his attorneys assailed the case as politically motivated. Weisselberg and the company had pleaded not guilty.

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News of a potential deal in his case came as ongoing investigations into Trump have continued to dominate headlines. A week earlier, with Trump in New York preparing to be deposed in a civil probe of his business, FBI agents searched his South Florida club for government documents and came away with nearly a dozen sets of classified or top-secret material.

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The Justice Department’s criminal probe into efforts to overturn the 2020 election is investigating his actions as part of that effort. And in Georgia, prosecutors conducting a criminal probe into efforts to overturn the election have said former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who has served as Trump’s lawyer, is a target of that inquiry, his attorney said Monday.

In Manhattan, District Attorney Alvin Bragg has faced pressure over his office’s long-standing investigation into Trump.

Two key prosecutors involved in the case suddenly quit in February, upset they were not approved to seek an indictment against the former president, while a grand jury agreed to hear evidence against him was believed to have expired in the spring.

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