Former President Trump on Saturday condemned the fraud and conspiracy charges filed against the Trump Organization and its chief financial officer (CFO), Allen Weisselberg.
During a rally in Sarasota, Fla., Trump accused New York City prosecutors of “prosecutorial misconduct,” adding, “They’ve mobilized every power of government to come after me, my family, my wonderful employees and my company solely because of politics.”
“It’s a terrible, terrible thing,” he told a crowd of supporters gathered at the Sarasota County Fairgrounds.
According to an indictment unsealed Thursday, prosecutors allege that Weisselberg helped himself and “other Trump Organization executives” gain access to unreported income and that the company had been paying for his Manhattan apartment rent, living expenses, a relative’s private school tuition and the lease on a Mercedes.
Prosecutors also say that the CFO had avoided paying taxes on roughly $1.7 million in income between 2005 and 2017.
Weisselberg has pleaded not guilty to the charges, including tax fraud, conspiracy, grand larceny and falsifying business records. He and the Trump Organization have denied any wrongdoing.
Trump previously expressed his dissatisfaction with the charges in a Thursday statement, saying, “The political Witch Hunt by the Radical Left Democrats, with New York now taking over the assignment, continues.”
“It is dividing our Country like never before!” the former president added.
Trump in a Thursday phone interview with ABC News’s John Santucci called the charges a “disgrace,” accusing prosecutors of pressuring Weisselberg to turn against him, saying, “They want him to lie against Trump.”
The former president, who also used the Sarasota rally to repeat his false claim that widespread fraud led him to lose the 2020 election, hinted at the possibility of running again in 2024 as well.
“We are looking at the election, more than looking at it,” Trump said Saturday, prompting cheers from the Florida crowd.
Another possible 2024 contender and staunch Trump ally, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R), was not in attendance at Saturday’s rally. His office said earlier in the day that his “duty” was to be in Surfside, Fla., assisting in the ongoing response to the condo building collapse that has left 24 people dead and 124 still unaccounted for.
Via The Hill