Addressing a crowd in Sarasota, Florida, on the night of July 3, Donald Trump seemingly acknowledged the primary facts in the New York prosecutor’s case against the Trump Organization and its Chief Financial Officer. However, he still recognized the charges as a political attack targeted at him.
Speaking to his supporters, he stated that “every company” hands out “fringe benefits.” Yet, he condemned prosecutors for pursuing the charges and said they were “reminiscent of a communist dictatorship targeting your political opponents.” The remarks are the former President’s most significant take on the charges after they were announced last week in the first criminal case against the Trump Organization.
On Thursday, July 1, an indictment by the Manhattan district attorney’s office was unveiled. The former President’s namesake company and its CFO Allen Weisselberg were charged with 10 counts and 15 felony counts respectively in connection to an alleged scheme dating back to 2005. The scheme was said to have compensated Weisselberg and other Trump Organization executives in a way that was ‘off the books.’ The charges included falsifying business records, conspiracy, scheme to defraud and criminal tax fraud.
Weisselberg was also charged with offering a false instrument for filing and grand larceny. He pleaded not guilty to the charges. During his rally, Trump brought up Weisselberg’s apartment and tuition fees for his grandchildren and car lease.
“They go after good hard-working people for not paying taxes on a company car. Company car. You didn’t pay tax on the car, or a company apartment, you used an apartment because you need an apartment, because you have to travel too far where your house is, didn’t pay tax, or education for your grandchildren,” Trump stated. “But they indict people for that. But for murder, and for selling massive amounts of the worst drugs in the world that kill people left and right, that’s OK. Think of it, think of how unfair it is,” he added.