will he cooperate?
The Trump Organization and CFO Allen Weisselberg pleaded not guilty to charges of fraud and tax crimes on Thursday, the latest in the Manhattan D.A.'s criminal probe into the company and its longtime executive. But now that the indictment is on the table, how might Weisselberg, organization executives, and even former President Donald Trump fare as the case progresses?
For one thing, the indictment places Trump himself in "greater criminal jeopardy than ever before," writes Vice News, "and raises the possibility that prosecutors might later seek to expand the case by alleging that more Trump Organization employees were involved in the scheme." The former president denies any wrongdoing.
Weisselberg's future may hinge on his decision to cooperate (or not cooperate) with prosecutors, since, as former U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara notes, the CFO's conviction appears likely. And the fact that he was "charged with conspiracy indicates that he faces years, not months, in prison," adds Jens David Ohlin, vice dean of Cornell Law School, per Vice. "Does that mean he will cooperate with New York prosecutors to spare himself?"
Legal analyst Daniel Goldman believes such a flip is unlikely, which might actually spare Trump.
But perhaps the prospect of "serious jail time & financial ruin" will convince Weisselberg to break under pressure.