Weisselberg, Lawyers Appear in N.Y. Courtroom: Trump Update

The Trump Organization’s longtime chief financial officer, Allen Weisselberg, and lawyers for the company will appear in a lower Manhattan courtroom Thursday to respond to charges from the Manhattan district attorney.

Weisselberg’s lawyer has already indicated he will plead not guilty to the charges, which will be unsealed after the hearing. Former President Donald Trump has called the prosecution a “witch hunt,’ and the Trump Organization issued a statement that Weisselberg was “being used by the Manhattan district attorney as a pawn in a scorched earth attempt to harm the former president.”

15-Year Tax Fraud (2:34 p.m. NY)

Carey Dunne, a lawyer with the Manhattan District Attorney’s office, says the alleged fraud began in 2005. “As spelled out in the indictment, this was a 15-year-long tax fraud scheme,” he says. The investigation is not about politics, he says. It is ongoing.

Charges, Pleas

Trump’s CFO is charged with grand larceny in the second degree. As expected, he pleads not guilty. The Trump Organization is charged with a scheme to defraud. It also pleads not guilty.

Judge Starts the Hearing (2:21 p.m. NY)

Judge Juan Merchan is presiding over the arraignment in state supreme court. It’s not clear if he will serve as the judge for the full case or just for this hearing.

Weisselberg Appears in Court (2:15 p.m. NY)

Weisselberg came into the courtroom wearing handcuffs. He appears distressed as his handcuffs are removed.

Lawyers for the CFO and for the company are in the room, as are Manhattan District Cyrus Vance and New York Attorney General Letitia James.

Charges Over $1.7 Million in Comp (2:13 p.m. NY)

The charges against the CFO relate to $1.7 million in compensation since 2005, a person familiar with the matter said.

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