The Trump Organization could be in a perilous financial situation heading into a trial in New York this fall, according to a biographer of former President Donald Trump.
Tim O’Brien, who wrote the 2005 biography TrumpNation, made a Saturday appearance on MSNBC, where he discussed the Manhattan District Attorney Office’s ongoing tax fraud investigation against the Trump Organization. Initially, he noted how much the case hinges on the recent testimony of Allen Weisselberg, the company’s former chief financial officer.
“Weisselberg, if he is found to have lied during that testimony, could face as much as 15 years in prison instead of a five-month sentence he will get otherwise,” O’Brien explained to host Ali Velshi. “So he is going to be mightily incented to answer every question that the prosecutors asked him about a wide range of financial issues in the Trump Organization.”
O’Brien continued, noting that little could have happened at the organization “without having Donald Trump signing off on it.” Furthermore, he explained that while the investigation is a civil and not criminal case, it could still “wind up with the Trump Organization being put out of business.”
The Trump Organization, O’Brien added, is already in a “vulnerable” financial position due to the effects of the pandemic.
“It is already in a very vulnerable position,” he said. “Donald Trump is in the worst business you can imagine during the COVID era: urban real estate, and essentially tourism and hotel businesses, and he’s got a lot of debt against those businesses and he is personally going to need a substantial amount. He’s also flailing possibly financially. I think a lot of this is going to come to a head in the fall.”
Similar claims to O’Brien’s were made earlier this week by former federal prosecutor and MSNBC legal analyst Andrew Weissman, who claimed that “once Allen Weisselberg pleads guilty, it’s over for the Trump Organization.” He also noted, like O’Brien, that the former president would mostly see “huge” financial consequences as a result of the case.
The Trump Organization and Weisselberg were first indicted last year on charges related to the Manhattan DA’s investigation. The company is accused of funneling off-the-book payments to top executives, including roughly $1.7 million to Weisselberg.
Newsweek reached out to Trump’s office for comment.