Judge inquires about potential plea bargain for Weisselberg in Trump embezzlement case.

Judge in Trump Civil Fraud Trial Seeks Guidance on Potential Perjury Charge Against Former CFO

The judge presiding over former President Donald Trump’s civil fraud trial in New York is considering how a potential perjury charge against Allen Weisselberg, the former chief financial officer of the Trump Organization, may impact his final ruling. Judge Arthur Engoron has asked for guidance from lawyers for Trump and the New York Attorney General’s Office after a report in the New York Times revealed that Weisselberg is in talks to plead guilty to lying on the stand.

Weisselberg’s testimony in the civil case, in which he is also a defendant, was abruptly cut short in October after Forbes published an article alleging that he had lied under oath. The magazine reported that financial statements had falsely inflated the value of Trump’s penthouse apartment in Trump Tower. Weisselberg testified that he had not focused on the valuation of the apartment, but the Forbes article claimed that his emails from years earlier showed he had played a key role in supporting the false valuation.

According to the New York Times, Weisselberg has been in negotiations with the Manhattan district attorney to plead guilty to perjury for his testimony. A source with knowledge of the matter confirmed these negotiations to CBS News. Weisselberg had previously pleaded guilty in connection with the district attorney’s 2022 criminal tax fraud case against the Trump Organization, in which the company was found guilty of 17 felony counts. The New York Attorney General’s Office declined to comment, and attorneys for the defendants did not respond to requests for comment.

In his letter to lawyers, Judge Engoron noted that the Forbes story focused on Weisselberg’s testimony about the Trump Tower apartment, but he also suggested that other aspects of Weisselberg’s testimony could be called into question if he admits to perjury. The judge indicated that he may conclude that Weisselberg’s entire testimony was not credible. He has given attorneys until Wednesday to submit a letter detailing any information they have on the matter that would not violate professional ethics or obligations.

Judge Engoron also requested guidance on how to address this matter, including the timing of his final decision. The judge’s ruling could have significant implications for the outcome of the civil fraud trial.  

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