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 April 13, 2024

Former Trump CFO's Testimony Neutralized By Alvin Bragg's Perjury Charges

As the trial against Donald Trump approaches, pivotal maneuvers by Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg could significantly impact the defense's strategy.

Newsweek reported that Trump faces a trial set to begin on Monday, where he stands accused of falsifying business records. These charges relate to a payment made to Stormy Daniels during his 2016 presidential campaign, an accusation Trump has vehemently denied as politically motivated.

Allen Weisselberg, previously seen as a potential defense witness for Trump, was prosecuted earlier by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, effectively neutralizing his credibility in the upcoming trial. Weisselberg, the former Chief Financial Officer of the Trump Organization, was charged with perjury among other crimes.

This means that Trump's job is going to be significantly more difficult thanks to Bragg's handling of Weisselberg.

The Path to Trump's Indictment and Weisselberg's Prosecution

In March 2023, Trump was officially indicted for his role in falsifying business records, specifically regarding a payment made to adult film actress Stormy Daniels. This indictment brought significant media attention and controversy, given Trump's high-profile status and the political implications of the case.

Glenn Kirschner, a former federal prosecutor and a critic of Trump, has commented extensively on the strategic prosecution of Weisselberg. According to Kirschner, Weisselberg's crimes warranted prosecution, but an equally significant motive was to prevent him from being a useful defense witness in Trump’s criminal trial.

Despite Weisselberg's extensive involvement in the Trump Organization’s financial dealings, his potential testimony was compromised by his own legal battles. In 2020, during a deposition related to a civil fraud lawsuit led by New York Attorney General Letitia James, Weisselberg falsely stated the size of Trump's triplex apartment in Manhattan, leading to his guilty plea on two felony counts.

Weisselberg's Legal Challenges and Their Implications

The consequences of Weisselberg's actions extend beyond his own legal troubles. His guilty plea was a component of a broader civil fraud lawsuit aimed at the Trump Organization for allegedly inflating asset values. This case resulted in significant findings against Trump, including a hefty fine and business restrictions imposed by New York Judge Arthur Engoron.

Trump's own legal responses have been robust, marked by an appeal against Judge Engoron’s judgment, which found him liable for financial fraud and imposed a fine of $355 million. The ruling also banned Trump from conducting business in New York for the next three years.

Weisselberg’s legal woes continued as he faced sentencing in a separate 2022 criminal tax fraud case. His involvement in long-standing financial misconduct at the Trump Organization led to his sentencing to five months in Rikers Island jail, further diminishing his potential usefulness to Trump’s defense.

Strategic Considerations in Trump's Upcoming Trial

Kirschner has speculated that even if the defense attempts to call Weisselberg, his credibility could be questionable due to his past criminal activities linked to financial fraud at the Trump Organization. This aspect makes his potential defense testimony less convincing.

The upcoming trial of Donald Trump not only encapsulates legal battles but also reflects deeper political divisions and the complexities of high-stakes legal strategies. The role of key figures like Weisselberg and their legal entanglements are central to the unfolding narrative of this high-profile case.

As the trial date looms, both the prosecution and defense are preparing for a case that could have wide-reaching implications, not only for Trump but for the political landscape in the United States.

Conclusion: Anticipating the Trial and Its Broader Impact

The trial of Donald Trump for falsifying business records is poised to begin, with significant figures like Allen Weisselberg already facing the consequences of their actions. This trial encapsulates not just legal scrutiny but also the intersection of law and politics at a high level. As proceedings commence, all eyes will be on the courtroom, where the strategies of both sides will be thoroughly tested against the backdrop of political and public scrutiny.

Written By:
Christina Davie

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