Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and tax law expert David Cay Johnston explained how New York state law will impact Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg's legal defense.
"David Cay Johnston was interviewed on MSNBC by Nicolle Wallace after Weisselberg pleaded not guilty.
"Donald is notorious for destroying records," Johnston said. "He tears up his calendar at the end of the month, we saw him tear up notes by a translator when he met with Vladimir Putin with no one else in the room but the translators. This shows that they kept two sets of books. That is a classic thing for prosecutors to do to show fraud and knowing intent to defraud, that you kept two sets of books."
He explained how a key potential defense is now unavailable for Weisselberg in New York.
"It is an affirmative defense if you're a bookkeeper or a clerk and you just do what you're told — unless you benefited from the fraud. Clearly the indictment says Allen Weisselberg was a primary beneficiary of this tax fraud, so he doesn't have that as a defense," he explained. "I think more broadly that by indicting the Trump organization, it's a further indication that they are looking at bringing a New York state racketeering charge, an Article 460 case, which would have very significant ramifications, including the power to get a receiver to take control of the Trump Organization."
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