ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY…
1941: U.S. and Britain declare war on Japan, U.S. enters World War II.
Former President Donald Trump’s has vowed to appeal the Trump Organization’s tax fraud conviction, denouncing the verdict as a “political witch hunt.”
Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s office announced the all-count convictions of the Trump Organization “for engaging in a 15-year scheme to defraud, as well as for conspiracy, criminal tax fraud and falsifying business records.”
Trump issued a statement after the verdict, entitled “Manhattan Witch Hunt!”
“Disappointed with the verdict in Manhattan, but will appeal,” Trump said. “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.”
In August, former Trump Organization Chief Financial Officer Allen Weisselberg pleaded guilty to 15 counts related to the alleged scheme. Weisselberg was a key witness during the trial, having reportedly pleaded guilty in exchange for a five-month jail sentence.
“This case was about Allen Weisselberg committing tax fraud on his personal tax returns, etc., with he and every witness repeatedly testifying that President Trump and the Trump Family knew nothing about his actions, which he admits were done solely for his own benefit, and with no benefit to the two companies,” Trump’s statement read.
“This case is unprecedented and involved no monetary gain to these two Corporations. It is a 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!”
The Trump Organization reportedly faces fines of up to $1.6 million, with a sentencing hearing set for Jan. 13.
While Trump himself didn’t face any charges in this case, New York Attorney General Letitia James filed a separate $250 million civil suit against him in September. James alleges that Trump committed tax fraud and misrepresented company assets.
“Today’s guilty verdict against the Trump Organization shows that we will hold individuals and organizations accountable when they violate our laws to line their pockets,” James tweeted after the verdict. “I commend [Bragg] for this big victory, and I am proud of the role that my office played in securing it.”