Trump Organization faces trial in criminal tax case

Once jury selection was complete, Judge Juan Manuel Mercan said he expected the trial to last at least four weeks.

NEW YORK – Donald Trump’s company will go to court Monday in a criminal tax case, and the first task facing the court is a big one: Choose a jury made up of New Yorkers without strong views on the former president.

Manhattan prosecutors say the Trump Organization has helped top executives avoid income taxes on job perks like free-to-rent apartments and luxury cars.

Trump himself is not on trial and is not expected to testify. But the judge and attorneys in the case will likely find a way to keep people out of the jury if they have strong unshakable feelings about the Republican, who is unpopular in his hometown.

In the 2020 presidential election, 87% of Manhattan voters supported Democrat Joe Biden for president. Trump got 12% of the vote.

Once jury selection was complete, Judge Juan Manuel Mercan said he expected the trial to last at least four weeks.

The trial is expected to focus on the actions and testimony of Allen Weisselberg, the longtime Trump Organization chief executive, who pleaded guilty in August to receiving more than $1 billion in untaxed privileges, $7 million from the company.

Trump has criticized the investigation as a “political witch hunt.” The company’s lawyers have said that it strictly follows the rules.

If found guilty, the Trump Organization could be fined more than $1 million. A guilty verdict could impede the company’s ability to borrow funds and execute transactions.

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg inherited the power to prosecute when he took office in January. Bragg has taken a cautious approach to Trump, so far refusing to bring charges against him personally in the three-year investigation.

The jury selection process can take several days, especially if those on the team express reservations about their ability to be neutral.

However, getting a panel with an open mind can be crucial to avoid a mistake.

In the spring, another trial in a nearby federal court ended in turmoil because of tensions among jurors over political views. That case involved associates of former Trump adviser Steve Bannon, who allegedly defrauded a charity set up to help pay for a wall along the U.S. border with Mexico.

Eleven jurors in that case sent a letter to the judge requesting the dismissal of another juror for exhibiting anti-government bias and accusing all others of being partisan. freedom meaning. The judge refused and ultimately the jury could not agree on a verdict. Trump Organization faces trial in criminal tax case

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