- The Washington Times - Monday, June 28, 2021

A lawyer for former President Donald Trump said Monday that the Manhattan district attorney does not plan to charge Mr. Trump in the first indictment expected this week and will not indict the Trump Organization on charges related to allegations of hush-money payments and manipulation of real estate values.

Ronald Fischetti, a New York attorney representing Mr. Trump, said Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. made the disclosure at a meeting last week. The first indictment is expected to come down later this week.

“They just said, ‘When the indictment comes down, he won’t be charged,’” Mr. Fischetti told Politico.

But Mr. Fischetti did not rule out the possibility of Mr. Trump being charged at a later date, noting the investigation is “ongoing.”

Danny Frost, a spokesperson for Mr. Vance, declined to comment when contacted by The Washington Times. 

Mr. Trump, in a statement, slammed the investigation as a partisan political probe.

“Having politically motivated prosecutors, people who actually got elected because they will ‘get Donald Trump,’ is a very dangerous thing for our Country. In the end, people will not stand for it. Remember, if they can do this to me, they can do it to anyone!” he said in a statement.

“After hundreds of subpoenas, over 3 million pages of documents, 4 years of searching, dozens and dozens of interviews, and millions of dollars of taxpayer funds wasted, they continue to be ‘in search of a crime’ and will do anything to frighten people into making up the stories or lies that they want, but have been totally unable to get,” Mr. Trump continued. 

As Mr. Fischetti tells it, Mr. Vance will bring charges against the Trump Organization and individual employees related to alleged failures to pay taxes on corporate benefits and perks. Those perks include cars, apartments and tuition payments for executives’ children.

Mr. Trump in his statement defended the perks as “standard practice throughout the U.S. business community, and in no way a crime.”

Mr. Fischetti said the Trump Organization will not be charged on allegations that it made “hush money” payments to adult film actress Stormy Daniels and former Playboy model Karen McDougal, who have both claimed affairs with Mr. Trump before he was elected.

Mr. Trump has denied the affairs.

Mr. Fischetti said there was “not a word” about the payments during his meeting with Mr. Vance’s team.

The probe reportedly had been expanded to include the Trump Organization’s valuation of a property in Westchester County, New York. Mr. Vance and New York Attorney General Letitia James were said to be investigating whether the Trump Organization artificially inflated the property’s value to fraudulently obtain loans and tax benefits.

According to Mr. Fischetti, however, the only charges that will be handed down will arise from allegations the company didn’t pay taxes on executive perks.

“We asked, ‘Is there anything else?’” he told Politico. “They said, ‘No.’”

“It’s crazy that that’s all they had,” he continued, slamming the potential charges as small.

“It’s like the Shakespeare play, ‘Much Ado About Nothing,’” Mr. Fischetti told the outlet. “This is so small that I can’t believe I’m going to have to try a case like this.”

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