Faking 'ignorance' and 'gross negligence' may be Allen Weisselberg’s strongest defense: report
Although former President Donald Trump hasn't been charged with anything in connection with Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr.'s criminal investigation of the Trump Organization, the company's long-time chief financial officer, Allen Weisselberg, has. Journalist Jose Pagliery, in an article published by the Daily Beast on October 6, argues that Weisselberg's strongest defense against the tax fraud charges he is facing may be "gross negligence."
"Although his current legal strategy in his tax fraud case has yet to be revealed — with his lawyers merely describing the prosecution as 'flawed' — (Weisselberg's) past behavior shows that his primary defense has basically been gross negligence," Pagliery explains. "A disregard for oversight. Carelessness. Incompetence."
The Beast, according to Pagliery, "utilized a public records request to acquire a complete copy of a transcript of Weisselberg's day-long interview with government lawyers from the New York Attorney General's Office."
"Only snippets of the interview were previously available in publicly accessible court records, but we requested the files directly from the AG's office by citing the state's Freedom of Information Law and got them a week later," Pagliery reports. "The attorney general's office is currently teaming up with the Manhattan district attorney to criminally prosecute Weisselberg and the company for allegedly dodging taxes by giving employees expensive benefits off the books."
Pagliery adds that faking "ignorance" may be part of Weisselberg's strategy.
"When pressed about questionable behavior, Weisselberg repeatedly feigns ignorance, even to the point of incompetence," Pagliery observes. "However, those who know Weisselberg best — like his divorced daughter-in-law — say the real Weisselberg is a domineering figure who constantly ponders setbacks and devises contingency plans, keeping a watchful eye on every piece on the chessboard."
According to Pagliery, comments from Jennifer Weisselberg, the Trump Organization CFO's former daughter-in-law, indicate that Allen Weisselberg only pretends to be bumbler.
Jennifer Weisselberg told the Beast, "He's a liar. Allen is controlling. He has to know where every dollar goes. He can't handle not overseeing every dollar. And he's not going to sign something unless he knows what it says. He knows exactly what's going on. He doesn't want any loose ends."
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