That puts tremendous pressure on that indicted. Cfo alan weisselberg who’s been fighting the case if he doesn’t flip. The legal filings today do not directly prove donald trump’s potential knowledge of those alleged crimes, even though they happened at the company he’s founded and run for a long time, but now a new witness is actually doing that. Drawing that link a daily beast report, says jennifer weisselberg, told prosecutors on this case that trump personally guaranteed the scheme to hide employee income through paying school costs a potential tax crime. She also says she personally saw trump do so in 2012, telling her then husband that, instead of a compensation raise, he would donald trump would cover tuition. And tonight i can tell you the beat reached out directly to jennifer weisselberg. She confirmed the same statement. The daily beast account of what she told prosecutors. She says she saw it. She says she told the da’s office about it. Now. This tuition for income arrangement may sound convoluted, but it’s actually quite important to the prosecution’s case, because they allege that for weisselberg the whole scheme boiled down to the fact that he was never paid in full. So the trump org would write down his compensation, but never basically complete it. Instead hiding it through these side payments. So you could really think of this simply like that old term paid in full or the movie paid in full or even the classic eric b and rakhim album paid in full.
But here the guy in charge of the books was paid off the books. He was never paid in full, the d.a says that’s a crime and they have the evidence to bust him for it now. What does this mean legally for the road forward? If prosecutors do have this eyewitness to trump’s involvement? Why isn’t that, in the indictment, why isn’t that even a reason to potentially charge trump if warranted well, there are two leading contenders for possible answers. One more developments may be coming later or two. This evidence that donald trump allegedly knew of tuition payments that alone doesn’t automatically prove legally that he was involved in hiding if those payments were properly counted. Now you might be thinking okay, ari, give me a break given his decades of tax. Dodging many many people would say donald trump’s, criminal intent in a scheme that he personally approved is a logical presumption and i’d say to you yeah. That may sound logical, but you need more than logic in court. You need evidence to prove it to a jury. Beyond a reasonable doubt, so with that framework in mind, we want to bring in former federal prosecutor john flannery, thanks for being here nice to be here. What is the significance of an eyewitness saying? Trump was in on the payment uh, and what more do you think? A prosecutor would want uh of evidence to tie that all together. Well, i i read one report, i don’t know if it was accurate or not that jennifer weisselberg also said that they were doing this to avoid paying taxes to evade paying taxes.
If true, that would be an additional move if this is coming out of trump’s mouth toward proving his intent for what this transaction was about. Now, as i understand it, he signed this and maybe more checks himself proudly taking care of a grandchild. I suppose fifty thousand dollars for the school each year now i wonder because the date reported in the the news is june, the 25th – and i think the indictment was june, the 30th and there is a uh, a statement in the 15th count to that indictment against Weisselberg that talks about donald trump’s, detailed, general, ledger and it’s talked about in the context of them obstructing justice by taking out removing from that ledger an event in september which may have to do with the payoffs for the for the ladies. If you will, but it also is telling us that these guys have a separate set of books which you’ve mentioned before, which are contradicting what they’re doing publicly, and that means that we have the kind of proof you don’t normally get in a paper case. I’Ve always said as a prosecutor in a paper case, you don’t catch the geniuses because it’s very hard to put together that trail, just as you suggest, but i think here what we may have is we may have checks. We have one or two witnesses. Her husband was supposedly present, we don’t know what’s going to happen with a former cfo. I think what we find ourselves is we’ve now inched into the family and into trump himself, and the walls are closing on him personally and what the indictment and this information suggests is.
Maybe that was the last meeting they had with her on june 25th, before this june 30th indictment and the fact that they have in the indictment. The fact of this other book is to tease us this general ledger that corresponds to donald trump. This teases us that other things may be seen coming down the road that track this and perhaps other misconduct using that general ledger, because it only suggests there’s one one element taken out in september 2016, which is during the presidential election, which is in much controversy with Mike cohen and so on, but it tells us something else about their investigation. Yeah. No, i think that’s all interesting. The way you tie it together and that they may have gotten very close. Anyone can do the quarterbacking and say well. They could have been more aggressive. Um we don’t know yet, where they’re going you’re, making the point that there’s a lot of paper that’s bad, but whether they have enough to feel that they have trump on intent.