The testimony of Allen Weisselberg, the former chief financial officer of the Trump Organization, came to an abrupt and unforeseen conclusion on Thursday afternoon. This occurred just after Forbes magazine claimed Weisselberg, a convicted tax offender, of committing perjury during a previous appearance as a witness.
During his testimony on Tuesday, Weisselberg maintained that he “never focused” on the task of determining the square footage of the ex-president’s Trump Tower triplex, which consists of three floors and is located in the building bearing his name.
On Thursday, Forbes reported that further emails, which are not presently in the possession of the attorney general, provide evidence that contradicts the prevailing understanding of the situation.
According to a reliable source affiliated with New York Attorney General Letitia James, her agency is already conducting an investigation into the recent report published by Forbes.
Shortly after the article was published, Justice Arthur Engoron of the Manhattan Supreme Court held a private discussion with the attorneys representing the state and the defense.
However, the specific topic of their confidential conversation has not been disclosed. Following that conversation, Weisselberg was granted permission to be absent for the remainder of the day, with the understanding that attorneys representing both parties retained the option to summon him again if necessary.
During the course of Tuesday, Weisselberg consistently attempted to disassociate himself from Trump’s inaccurate calculation of the square footage of his triplex, which was stated as 30,000 square feet instead of the accurate measurement of 10,996 square feet. Weisselberg repeatedly asserted that he had never prioritized or concentrated on this particular matter.
According to a publication by Forbes senior editor Dan Alexander, it has been observed that his previous correspondences and records as a reporter contradict the aforementioned denials.
Alexander highlights in his narrative that “Weisselberg absolutely thought about Trump’s apartment—and played a key role in trying to convince Forbes over the course of several years that it was worth more than it really was.”
According to Alexander, “Given the fact that these discussions continued for years, and that Weisselberg took a very detailed approach in reviewing Trump’s assets with Forbes, it defies all logic to think he truly believes what he is now saying in court.”
Earlier this week, former President Trump directed criticism towards Alexander on the Truth Social platform, specifically referring to him as a “psycho” and denigrating his news company as a “rag.” This came in response to Alexander’s decision to exclude Trump from its world billionaires list for the second time within a span of three years.
The aforementioned social media statements made by Trump were also published several hours subsequent to James submitting a collection of Forbes’ fact-checking emails with Weisselberg and other executives as evidence. Alexander, the individual whose name was credited on the article that reported the removal of Trump from Forbes’ list of billionaires, was among the staff members responsible for sending those electronic correspondences.
The judge in charge of overseeing the New York real estate trial involving former President Donald Trump previously expressed confidence in possessing a “tool” to address juries that, in his subjective assessment, render results that he deems unreasonable.
A video that is currently being circulated depicts New York District Judge Arthur Engoron expressing to a college audience that throughout his tenure as a judge, he has repeatedly observed juries arriving at verdicts that he himself finds perplexing.
“I’ve had situations where I’m like, oh my… heaven’s sake, how could they have thought that? Well, I have a tool that I can deal with that. It’s called… judgment notwithstanding the verdict. I can say there is no possible way that a reasonable jury would have reached that conclusion.” Engoron asserted that it is highly improbable for a rational jury to have arrived at such a judgment. He further emphasized his authority to dismiss the determinations made by a jury at his discretion.
Engoron acknowledged “I’m an impartial referee, but it’s hard to factor out my own emotions.”
When a party requests Engoron to dismiss a case on the grounds of its similarity to another case, he raised an objection based on sartorial considerations. “What if the defendant was wearing a red sweater instead of a blue sweater?”
View the video:
Judge overseeing Trump civil case in NYC:
“Juries get it wrong a lot…I have a tool – I can deal with that…I can say that there is no possible way that a reasonable jury would have reached that conclusion.” pic.twitter.com/iehPtIrcsF
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) October 3, 2023
Judge Engoron faced criticism on the initial day of President Trump’s real estate appeal hearing due to his overt display for television cameras and nonchalant gesture towards the courtroom audience.
This behavior has been interpreted by some as indicative of his preconceived notion on the ultimate verdict.
The ex-president and his legal counsel are currently engaged in a court battle to challenge a ruling made by Engoron, which determined that the assessed value of Mar-a-Lago is merely $18 million. This valuation is deemed equivalent to neighboring properties that are significantly smaller in size.
In his address to the press at the time, President Trump strongly criticized Judge Engoron and New York Attorney General Letitia James for their persistent pursuit of legal actions against him, characterizing it as a “witch hunt.”