Former President Donald Trump issued a furious statement Tuesday after his company was convicted of tax fraud and other crimes that Manhattan’s district attorney characterized as part of a long pattern of “greed,” “lies” and “cheating.”
The Trump Organization was convicted on all 17 counts after a day of jury deliberations, the culmination of a three-year investigation into the company’s practice of awarding off-the-books gifts and other forms of compensation to executives. The DA’s prosecution leaned heavily on the company’s former chief financial officer, Allen Weisselberg, who pleaded guilty to 15 counts in August in association with the scheme.
Weisselberg’s plea deal mandated he pay restitution and testify at the trial in October. He is expected to receive a reduced jail sentence and may serve as little as 100 days.
The Trump Organization conviction could result in up to $1.6 million in fines, a relatively small amount for the company. Trump himself wasn’t charged, but the outcome may impact his recently announced bid for the White House in 2024 and bear on the ongoing criminal investigation into his behavior and business practices in Manhattan.
Still, the former president lambasted the jury’s decision, opting for one of his favored phrases to declare the trial a “WITCH HUNT!”
“Disappointed with the verdict in Manhattan, but will appeal,” the former president said in a statement. “After looking at millions of pages of documents, over many years, much to the detriment of record setting murder and other forms of violent crime that are taking place in New York City, the Government was able to get an employee to ‘plea’ in order for a very reduced sentence.”
Trump continued to slam Weisselberg, saying his former finance chief had committed “tax fraud on his personal returns.” The Trump Organization also released a statement saying it was “simply preposterous” it should be held responsible “for an employee’s actions, to benefit themselves, on their own personal tax returns.”
The former president added that the investigation into his business was the “continuation of the Greatest Political Witch Hunt in the History of our Country.”
“New York City is a hard place to be ‘Trump,’ as businesses and people flee our once Great City!” he added.