World News

Trump says indictment against his company like a 'communist dictatorship' and slams NY prosecutors for 'misconduct'

DONALD Trump has said the indictment against his company is like a "communist dictatorship" as he slammed New York prosecutors for "misconduct."

The former president told his supporters at a rally on Saturday night: "It's reminiscent of a communist dictatorship targeting your political opponents."

Trump's company and Allen Weisselberg, 73, pleaded not guilty on Thursday over an alleged 15-year tax fraud scheme.

The alleged crimes are linked to the company showering its top executives with lavish perks such as apartments, cars and prep school tuition.

Trump said on Saturday: "Fabricating charges to try and silence them, abusing the justice system, and leaking out information on a daily basis in the press to engage in flagrant character assassination.

"Radical Left New York City and state prosecutors who have allowed crime to skyrocket … are now outrageously and shamefully continuing the greatest witch hunt. That's what they do. They go and target me."

Trump told the crowd in Florida: "The people who talk about democracy are literally destroying it before our very eyes."

He also accused prosecutors of "misconduct", calling their efforts "fascist and authoritarian" and likening it to "the kind of persecution … that you would see in a Third World nation."

Trump said it is "unprecedented, unheard of, and totally unacceptable in America for prosecutors to run for office on a promise to 'get' their political enemies."

Donald Jr, who is an executive vice president at the Trump Organization, had already said the case was the “political persecution of a political enemy”.

He told Fox News: “This is what Vladimir Putin does. Just ask Navalny. That’s what happened in New York. It’s the equivalent of Russia, Russia, Russia."

Don Jr accused prosecutors of deliberating announcing the charges days before the July 4th weekend and accused officials of trying “to destroy a man’s life and reputation”.

In a statement, the former president said last week: "The political Witch Hunt by the Radical Left Democrats, with New York now taking over the assignment, continues. It is dividing our Country like never before!"

Weisselberg was seen Thursday with his hands cuffed behind his back while wearing a face mask.

During the hearing, Weisselberg was forced to hand over his passport as attorneys believe he is a flight risk.

Prosecutor Carey Dunne described a 15-year scheme "orchestrated by the most senior executives," including Weisselberg, that was "sweeping and audacious."

Trump was not charged at this stage of the probe that is being jointly pursued by District Attorney Cyrus Vance and New York Attorney General Letitia James.

Both Democrats, and Dunne asserted politics played no role in the decision to bring charges.

Both the Trump Organization and Weisselberg entered pleas of not guilty, with the finance boss leaving the building uncuffed. He was released without having to post bail.

Weisselberg turned himself in at the district attorney's office at roughly 6.20am on Thursday, accompanied by his lawyer Mary Mulligan.

In a statement on Weisselberg's behalf, Mulligan said: "Mr Weisselberg intends to plead not guilty and he will fight these charges in court."

Following the news, the Trump Organization issued a statement praising the finance mogul as "loving and devoted" before slamming the DA.

Weisselberg used to work in accounting under Trump's father Fred's tenure back in the 1970s before he died back in 1999.

He managed a prized ice rink in the heart of Central Park and chief financial officer, served as vice president of Trump Hotels & Casino Resorts in 2000, and was a board member and treasurer of the Donald J. Trump Foundation.

Eric Trump, the former president's 37-year-old son and executive vice president of the family business, called the indictment "an absolute abuse of power and a political vendetta" in conversation with the Daily Mail.

"They are petrified my father will run again in 2024," he added. "After five years, hundreds of subpoenas, three and a half million pages of documents, and dozens of witnesses, this is what they have?"

Weisselberg became a focus of the probe when investigators discovered he allegedly let his son have access to a Trump apartment without paying much or anything for it, according to the AP.

Part of their inquiry has been to question Weisselberg's ex-wife, Jennifer, who reportedly turned over stacks of tax records and other documents to investigators.

She recalled in a New York Times interview: "They're like Batman and Robin."


    Source: Read Full Article