Trump Organization CFO switches up legal team as trial nears

Mark Kauzlarich/Bloomberg via Getty Images

(NEW YORK) — Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg has switched up his legal team as the longtime employee of former President Donald Trump prepares to go to trial on charges of tax evasion.

The Manhattan district attorney indicted Weisselberg and the Trump Organization last July following a nearly two-year investigation into the financial dealings of Trump, his company, his family, and his associates.

Attorney Nick Gravante, who represented two other Trump Organization employees who avoided charges in the Manhattan DA’s probe, has now joined Weisselberg’s defense team, Gravante confirmed to ABC News Wednesday.

“If there was a deal to be reached in this case, there has been plenty of time to do it,” Gravante said. “My mission now is to lead this trial team and win, and that’s what I intend to do.”

According to the indictment, beginning in 2005, Weisselberg allegedly concealed “indirect compensation” by using payments from the Trump Organization to cover nearly $360,000 in upscale private school payments for his family, and nearly $200,000 in luxury car leases.

“This was a 15-year-long tax fraud scheme,” said Carey Dunn, general counsel for the Manhattan DA’s office, when the charges were announced. “It was orchestrated by the most senior executives.”

Weisselberg has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

The charges are a “disgrace” and “shameful,” Trump told ABC News after the indictment was unsealed, calling Weisselberg “a tremendous person.”

Gravante has represented longtime Trump employee Matt Calamari, who was under investigation by the Manhattan DA until prosecutors ultimately decided not to move forward with charges.

A trial date for Weisselberg has not been set, but is expected to be sometime this fall.

The Manhattan district attorney’s office declined to comment on Weisselberg’s change of counsel.

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