- Prosecutors haven’t spoken with Trump’s personal lawyer since indicting the ex-president’s company in July.
- It’s common for the DA’s office to talk to accused white-collar criminals before bringing indictments.
- Trump’s lawyer Ronald Fischetti says the DA presented “no evidence” that Trump should be charged.
- See more stories on Insider’s business page.
A lawyer for Donald Trump told Insider that prosecutors in the Manhattan District Attorney’s office haven’t spoken to him since indicting the former president’s namesake company in July.
It’s a sign that Trump won’t be indicted anytime soon as part of Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr.’s long-running investigation into the Trump Organization, Ronald Fischetti said.
Fischetti spoke to Insider Monday following a court hearing stemming from the investigation. Fischetti said he had only one meeting with prosecutors from the DA’s office, in late June. Members of Vance’s team – led by Fischetti’s former law partner, Mark Pomerantz – “had nothing,” in Fischetti’s telling of the meeting.
“There’s no evidence that anyone has brought forth, or talked to me about, or showed me, that he should be charged,” Fischetti said.
A representative for the Manhattan DA’s office declined to comment.
It’s common for prosecutors to meet with attorneys for people they plan to accuse of white-collar crimes ahead of bringing a criminal indictment. Fischetti is representing Trump in a personal capacity in the case, and he said attorneys representing the company and its CFO were also present in the June meeting.
On July 1, prosecutors announced charges against the Trump Organization and its CFO, Allen Weisselberg. They alleged that Weisselberg, over the course of 15 years, dodged paying taxes on $US1.7 ($AU2) million worth of income. Prosecutors said the company gave Weisselberg perks like apartments, cars, and tuition payments for family members without paying the appropriate taxes on them.
Weisselberg and attorneys for the Trump Organization pleaded not guilty to the charges. On Monday morning, New York State Supreme Court Judge Juan Merchan set a motion schedule that would permit defense attorneys to review the 6 million pages of evidence prosecutors supplied in advance of an expected trial in August or September 2022.
Fischetti met with prosecutors in June
At the June meeting with members of the DA’s office, Fischetti said he gave “a very long and detailed” presentation demonstrating what he described as a lack of evidence to tie Trump personally to the tax evasion scheme prosecutors alleged.
“They have said nothing about the president knowing about this,” Fischetti told Insider. “They have no tape recordings, they have no email, they have no text. They have no documents. They have nothing!”
The special grand jury investigation into the Trump Organization remains ongoing. Bryan Skarlatos, an attorney for Weisselberg, said in court Monday that he expected the grand jury to bring “other indictments” as his team continued to review documents. Weisselberg’s two sons, Barry and Jack Weisselberg, are also reportedly under investigation for receiving untaxed benefits.
Nicholas Gravante, an attorney representing Trump Organization COO Matthew Calamari, who is also under scrutiny, told Insider he’s met several times with prosecutors since the July 1 indictment. Gravante has already secured immunity for Matthew Calamari Jr., the elder Calamari’s son who is also the head of security for the Trump Organization, and who received a subpoena to testify for the grand jury.
At the end of the June meeting, Fischetti said, Pomerantz “gave his word” that the DA’s office would reach out if they planned to charge Trump personally.
“I have not heard from them since that meeting,” Fischetti said, adding: “I’m waiting for the phone to ring. As of now, he’s not charged and I have had no communications with the DA’s office.”
Fischetti said prosecutors made no mention of two other subjects that were reportedly part of the Manhattan DA’s investigation: Whether the company illegally kept two sets of books in order to secure favorable tax, loan, and insurance terms, and whether it broke campaign finance laws in facilitating a hush-money payment to Stormy Daniels.
Fischetti told Insider the DA’s office should drop its investigation, saying it unfairly casts a cloud on the former president’s reputation.
“Never have I ever seen a case like this in 50 years. It’s ridiculous,” he said. “And now’s the time I’m speaking out. This thing should end right now.”