After Monday’s session, spokespeople for both Vance and James declined to comment. No charges were announced on Monday. Vance has convened a grand jury in Manhattan to vote on potential indictments in the investigation, but so far, no person or entity connected to Trump has been charged. It remains possible that none will be. Those familiar with the investigation spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the private meetings.
Trump issued a lengthy written statement Monday denouncing the prosecutors, saying they were seeking to punish him because of his politics. Trump did not specify what practices prosecutors were focused on, but said they were “things that are standard practice throughout the U.S. business community, and in no way a crime.”
In his statement, Trump also seemed to refer to prosecutors’ efforts to “flip” Allen Weisselberg, the Trump Organization’s longtime chief financial officer, and turn him into a witness against the former president.
Previously, people familiar with the probe said prosecutors were considering criminal charges against Weisselberg and against the organization as an entity.
“They continue to be ‘in search of a crime’ and will do anything to frighten people into making up the stories or lies that they want, but have been totally unable to get,” Trump said in his statement.
In interviews with Politico and the Associated Press on Monday, Trump’s attorney Ron Fischetti said he believed the charges would focus on whether the proper taxes were paid on benefits that the Trump Organization gave to its executives, such as free apartments or company cars. In a brief call with The Washington Post, Fischetti said he did not attend Monday’s meeting with prosecutors.
The Post previously reported that prosecutors view Weisselberg as a key potential witness in the ongoing investigations, but that they have become frustrated with what they view as a lack of cooperation from him. If Weisselberg was charged with crimes, he could face new pressure to offer testimony against his boss in exchange for a reduction in his legal risk.
Attorneys for the Trump Organization and for Weisselberg declined to comment on Monday.
Monday’s meeting was at least the second time that the Trump Organization’s attorneys had met with prosecutors to argue against an indictment. There had been a similar meeting on Thursday, which was first reported by the New York Times. Such meetings are common in financial investigations, allowing defense attorneys a chance to air any evidence they had not shared before.
The investigations of Trump’s company began more than two years ago, and have become the most wide-ranging examinations ever of the Trump Organization’s financial history. Prosecutors have examined a broad range of transactions, from hush-money payments made to adult-film star Stormy Daniels during the 2016 presidential campaign to benefits given to Trump executives to Trump’s dealings with lenders and tax authorities, according to court documents and people familiar with the investigations.
Trump left office in January facing investigations in several jurisdictions, as well as more than two dozen lawsuits. In recent U.S. history, the closest parallel is Bill Clinton. In his post-presidency, Clinton faced a four-year Justice Department investigation into pardons he had granted during his last days in office. That investigation ended with no charges, but — along with congressional probes of the same pardons — forced Clinton to pay substantial legal fees.
Trump has faced official inquiries in New York before: A previous attorney general, Eric Schneiderman (D), sued him for defrauding customers of Trump University, winning a $25 million settlement. In 2018, Schneiderman sued him again, for misusing money entrusted to a charity, the Donald J. Trump Foundation. The charity case ended with Trump paying a $2 million penalty.