“We have strong reason to believe there could be other indictments coming,” attorney Bryan Skarlatos told the judge at a pre-trial hearing in Manhattan criminal court. According to Skarlatos, the indictments could stem from newly discovered evidence found in the basement of an unnamed co-conspirator.
“It was represented to us by the [district attorney’s office] that this package includes documents found in a co-conspirator’s basement that are tax documents,” Skarlatos said, according to CNN.
Weisselberg was indicted in June and is facing trial for allegedly avoiding paying more than $1.7 million in taxes over 15 years through what Carrey Dunne, general counsel for the Manhattan District Attorney, described as a “sweeping and audacious illegal payments scheme.” Weisselberg is the only person indicted so far for the plot, and he has pled not guilty. He has been charged with 15 counts of financial crimes, including federal tax fraud, falsifying business records, grand larceny, and scheme conspiracy.
The scheme allegedly involved Trump Organization executives evading tax penalties because the company compensated them with untaxed benefits that were not reported to the IRS. Weisselberg’s compensation, for example, included an apartment on New York’s Upper West Side, two Mercedes-Benz cars and private school tuition for two members of his family. This allowed the organization to not pay additional payroll taxes. The Manhattan DA has been investigating the Trump Organization since 2018. Other people under investigation include Weisselberg’s two sons as well as Trump Organization COO Matthew Calamari, Sr., and his son, Matthew Calamari, Jr. and the former president.
In court, Skarlatos argued that his team needed more time to go through some 6 million pages of documents prosecutors are entering into evidence, and he said that the new indictments could further complicate matters. But New York State Supreme Court Justice Juan Manuel Merchan told Skarlatos that Weisselberg should already be familiar with the documents, which he likely saw or created while working at the Trump Organization.
Merchan then told attorneys on both sides they had until next spring to file motions and responses. He also speculated on a potential start date for Weisselberg’s tax fraud trial: late August or early September 2022, just in time for the midterm elections.
But, according to reporting from The Daily Beast’s Jose Pagliery, three sources close to the investigation say a trial may not happen if they can get Weisellberg to testify and help build their case against Trump.