Opening arguments are set to begin Monday in the high-profile criminal case against the Trump Organization, the former president’s family-run company that helped make him a household name.
Donald Trump is listed as a possible witness in the New York trial, where prosecutors will argue that the company he ran for decades engaged in a 15-year scheme to compensate top executives “off the books” in order to help them — and the company — avoid paying taxes.
Trump, who has not been charged with any wrongdoing, has blasted the investigation into the company he’s run for decades as a politically motivated “witch hunt.”
Presiding over the case, acting New York Supreme Court Justice Juan Merchan, told potential jurors last week that in addition to the former president, his three oldest children — Donald Trump Jr., Ivanka Trump, and Eric Trump — could be called as witnesses. All three have held key positions at the company.
Jury selection wrapped up Friday. The panel is made up of four women and eight men, with six alternates for what’s expected to be a monthlong trial.
The star witness for prosecutors will be Allen Weisselberg, the company’s longtime chief financial officer who is currently on paid leave from the Trump Organization. He was indicted alongside the Trump Organization last year after a yearslong investigation into the company’s financial practices by the Manhattan district attorney’s office. Weisselberg, 75, pleaded guilty to 15 felony charges in August.
No other individual has been charged in the case.
As part of his plea deal, Weisselberg agreed to pay nearly $2 million in taxes, interest and penalties, in addition to testifying “truthfully at the upcoming trial of the Trump Organization.” If he does not do so, prosecutors said he could face a sentence closer to what he originally faced if convicted at trial — 5 to 15 years in prison.
Weisselberg is expected to take the stand next week.
The judge told potential jurors the case involves allegations that the company “devised and operated a long-term scheme to fail to report income on tax forms.”