Fri. Feb 23rd, 2024

Attorneys respond to judge’s inquiry about whether a former Trump Org. executive lied at trial

By 37ci3 Feb 8, 2024



The former president’s lawyer Donald Trump In a filing on Wednesday, the judge said he was seeking comment on whether the ex.The Trump Organization An executive who lied on the stand during the former president’s civil fraud trial was “unprecedented, inappropriate and disturbing.”

The complaint — a response to Judge Arthur Engoro’s request for comment from former Trump Organization Chief Financial Officer Allen Weisselberg about sleeping on the stand during Trump’s tax fraud trial — comes later. The New York Times reported last week that Weisselberg was negotiating to plead guilty to perjury.

“The article simply provides no principled basis for the Court to reopen the record or question the veracity of Mr. Weisselberg’s testimony in this case,” said attorney Clifford Robert, who appeared to respond to Engoro’s request on behalf of all the defendants. Except for Weisselberg and former Trump Organization senior vice president Jeffrey McConnell. Attorneys for Weisselberg and McConney will file separate filings, Robert noted.

In a separate letter, Trump’s attorney, Alina Habba, said she had not spoken to the New York district attorney’s office “regarding any matter discussed in the New York Times article.”

“Furthermore, out of an abundance of caution, I consulted with my ethics counsel and was informed that I am precluded by my professional ethical obligations from providing any further details,” said Habba, who serves as Weisselberg’s civilian counsel. “No negative inference should be drawn from my failure to respond.”

Trump’s lawyer, Chris Kise, said in a statement that “court decisions should be made based on evidence in court, not media speculation.”

Weisselberg’s attorneys did not immediately respond to NBC News’ requests for comment.

The other parties did not add additional comments beyond the documents they filed Wednesday night.

Attorney General Kevin Wallace also responded to Engoro’s request for comment, saying the New York Attorney General’s Office was not directly involved in any negotiations between the Manhattan district attorney and Weisselberg regarding his alleged sleeping on the stand. The letter states that attorneys of the General Prosecutor’s Office have been appointed to work with the District Prosecutor’s Office.

The New York Attorney General’s Office argued in a nine-page letter to Engoro that developments related to Weisselberg sleeping on the stand should not delay Engoro’s decision.

Wallace added that the court has already held the defendants accountable and should take necessary measures to prevent future fraud, including the appointment of a monitor with industrial bars and strong supervision. Wallace also said that if the alleged perjury by Weisselberg was widespread and called into question the veracity of the testimony of other witnesses and the defendants, the court could consider it later.

Engoron emailed both parties in the case earlier this week asking about Weisselberg’s status. The Whatw York Times said he was close to pleading guilty to lying on the stand during his testimony in the case.

“As the presiding judge, the trier of fact and the credibility judge, I certainly want to know if Mr. Weiselberg now changes his mind and admits under oath that he lied in my courtroom.” the judge wrote asking both sides to report to him by 5pm on Wednesday.

The judge said he intends to disregard all of Weisselberg’s testimony in his sentencing, which is expected in the coming days.

There is no jury in this case, so ultimately it is up to Engoron to decide how to view Weisselberg’s testimony.

Weisselberg admitted his guilt In 2022, he and the Trump Organization were both indicted by the Manhattan district attorney’s office on separate charges in a related criminal case. In that case, Weisselberg pleaded guilty to tax fraud charges and was sentenced to five months in prison after testifying against the company. His testimony did not implicate Trump in any wrongdoing, but two of his company’s subsidiaries were prosecuted and criminally prosecuted. $1.6 million in fines.

Among the $370 million in financial penalties that Attorney General Letitia James seeks to collect in the fraud case is a $2 million severance payment the company paid Weisselberg after he was released from prison.



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