(NewsSpace.com) – The New York state fraud trial of former President Donald Trump was embroiled in wrapped up in mid-January. Judge Arthur Engoron heard testimony from more than two dozen witnesses over nearly three months and is expected to make a ruling in the case in the coming weeks. However, there may be an issue in the case, and Engoron is determined to get to the bottom of it before he makes his decision.
Witness Allegedly Perjures Himself
One of the witnesses for Trump’s defense was Allen Weisselberg, who is not only one of the Trump Organization’s previous chief financial officers but also a co-defendant in the case. On February 1, The New York Times reported that Weisselberg was negotiating a deal with Manhattan prosecutors that would require him to admit he lied on the stand at Trump’s civil fraud trial. The falsehoods center around comments Weisselberg made in October, when he was asked if he paid attention to the valuation of Trump’s penthouse.
Engoron Demands Answers
Once Engoron got wind of the possible perjury, he emailed both the prosecution and defense teams. He said in order to do his job as “judge of credibility,” he “want[s] to know whether Mr. Weisselberg is now changing his tune, and whether he is admitting he lied under oath in my courtroom,” during the fraud trial.
The judge continued, saying that if Weisselberg had been found to lie on one thing, it could lead to him invoking “falsus in uno,” a legal principle that assumes that if a witness lies on one matter, they lose all credibility. Engoron said he wanted an answer from all parties involved by Wednesday, February 7, because he doesn’t “want to ignore anything in a case of this magnitude.”
How Does Cohen Factor Into This?
Clifford Robert, the attorney representing Trump’s sons, Don Jr. and Eric, asked the judge not to dismiss Weisselberg’s comments based on a “speculative media account,” saying the move would be “unprecedented, inappropriate, and troubling.” He also said that he shouldn’t dismiss the ex-CFO’s statements without first calling into question Michael Cohen’s testimony. Cohen, an ex-Trump fixer, admitted to lying on the stand in a different case and even backtracked on key testimony.
Chris Kise, Trump’s attorney, spoke to The Hill and accused the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office of “actively coordinating” with the attorney general’s office to nail Trump since they have “no actual evidence.”
Lawyers on both sides of the aisle have asked Engoron to disregard the reports in his ruling.
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