Donald Trump has a lot of headaches lately, but the latest almost certainly makes him miss the days when people were appalled at his choice of dinner guests or that he wanted the Constitution “terminated.” On Tuesday, a grand jury found two separate Trump Organization companies guilty on all 17 counts of fraud and other crimes of which it had been accused. When news broke, many expected him to angrily throw around some more ketchup. Perhaps he did, but he also put out a statement in which he made a predictable move: He blamed it all on someone else.
That person was Allen Weisselberg, the Trump Organization’s former chief financial advisor. Prosecutors had argued that Weisselberg had received fringe benefits over the course of 15 years, all in an attempt to evade paying taxes. He wound up playing ball with authorities, which no doubt enraged Trump, as unceasing loyalty, even in the face of financial and legal ruin, is all he asks of his minions. And so when Trump needed to yet again point a finger away from himself, it landed on Weisselberg.
Trump issues a statement reacting to the verdict, blaming everything on Allen Weisselberg pic.twitter.com/xA9TiAP1EB
— Ron Filipkowski (@RonFilipkowski) December 6, 2022
“Disappointed with the verdict in Manhattan, but will appeal,” Trump wrote in a press release entitled “MANHATTAN WITCH HUNT!” “After looking at millions of pages of documents, over many years, much to the detriment of record setting murder and other forms of violent crime that are taking place in New York City, the Government was able to get an employee to ‘plea’ in order for a very reduced sentence.”
Trump went on:
This case was about Allen Weisselberg committing tax fraud on his personal tax returns, etc., with he and every witness repeatedly testifying that President Trump and the Trump Family knew nothing about his actions, which he admits were done solely for his own benefit, and with no benefit to the two companies.
Why would Corporations, which knew nothing about Weisselberg’s personal tax returns, be prosecuted for that person’s conduct? There was RELIANCE by us on a then highly respected and expensive accounting firm, and law firm, to do this work. The accounting firm also did his personal returns, which we are not even allowed to legally view.
He then dragged the city of his birth, over which he once lorded as a master of real estate and flamboyance — and which has now all but expelled him. “New York City is a hard place to be ‘Trump,’ as businesses and people flee our once Great City!” he wrote. (People aren’t fleeing New York City, despite flailing rightwing attempts to paint it as a Sodom and Gomorrah.)
Trump himself was not indicted in the trial, and he won’t be serving time for it anytime soon. Still, he is very much not in the clear.