Trump's lawyers throw Allen Weisselberg under the bus at tax fraud trial
Donald Trump, Allen Weisselberg and Donald Trump Jr. (AFP)

It was something that both former Donald Trump lawyer Michael Cohen and Trump biographer Tim O'Brien predicted: lawyers for the Trump family threw Allen Weisselberg under the bus in court on Monday, reported Mother Jones.

"I think they're going to be worried about Allen Weissberg because Allen was Fred Trump's accountant before he was Donald Trump's CFO, and he knows where all the financial bodies are buried, and I think they're worried about his testimony to the point that they've already signaled they're going to accuse him of lying," said Trump biographer Tim O'Brien, who has been sued by Trump.

When the Trump family went to court Monday, the Trump Organization was described as a victim of Weisselberg.

“Weisselberg did it for Weisselberg!” said Trump attorney Michael van der Veen.

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Just like they told Cohen, Weisselberg was characterized as someone who was like family after working for 50 years with the Trumps. According to the lawyers, he abused their trust and betrayed them.

“Given the decades he was there and the projects he worked on and that he was with this family when times were good and when times weren’t so good—he was trusted by everyone, he was trusted to protect this company,” van der Veen told the jurors. “He was like family to the Trump family, and no employee was trusted more than he, but he made mistakes.”

No one in the Trump Org. knew that he was being given free cars, tuition for his grandchildren's private school and an apartment. No one was more surprised than the Trump family about the $1.7 million in perks.

“You were all here during jury selection and heard the D.A. repeatedly argue that Donald Trump was involved in or even knew what Allen Weisselberg was doing,” van der Veen said. “You will learn that Mr. Weisselberg hid what he was doing from the company and from the owners of the companies.”

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Meanwhile, Weisselberg is still on the Trump Org. payroll, despite the crimes that he committed against the company. The lawyer admitted that Weisselberg is on "paid leave" from the family business.

“Since his crimes were discovered, he has been treated like a close family member who made serious and even criminal mistakes,” van der Veen said. “We all know the Bible story of the prodigal son—a man who put his own personal goals and desires ahead of his family’s—and when it all falls apart, he is taken back in by the same family and allowed to move forward.”

Read the full write-up from Mother Jones.