Trump’s stunning admission in unrelated case could be damning evidence in NY criminal probe: report

Trump testified that he oversaw payments that led Manhattan DA to charge Trump Organization with tax fraud

By Bob Brigham

Published April 27, 2022 11:30AM (EDT)

Donald Trump (JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images)
Donald Trump (JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images)

This article originally appeared on Raw Story

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Former President Donald Trump's iron-like grip on his family business may come back to haunt him in a New York investigation into the Trump Organization.

"In a lawsuit's never-before-seen testimony, Donald Trump admitted to personally overseeing the compensation of an executive whose corporate perks have been under scrutiny by the Manhattan district attorney, potentially strengthening the case against the former president and his company for tax fraud," The Daily Beast reported Tuesday. "Trump's sworn testimony was filed in New York state court on Tuesday, as part of a lawsuit against the Trump Organization over the way its security guards manhandled protesters outside Trump Tower in 2015."

In the Oct. 18, 2021 deposition, Trump was asked about Matthew Calamari, Sr., the Trump Organization bodyguard who rose to become the company's chief operating officer.

When asked who has "authority" over Calamari's compensation, Trump repeatedly said, "It would be me."

"That would potentially make Trump personally responsible for any tax dodging scheme, and more importantly, is useful evidence in the grand jury investigation that has yet to produce an indictment against him," The Beast reported. "For months, three sources familiar with the Manhattan DA's investigation have told The Daily Beast that investigators have been probing the way Calamari was paid off-the-books with allegedly untaxed perks, such as an extravagant corporate apartment at the Trump Park Avenue in New York City's expensive midtown and a Mercedes-Benz. Prosecutors went as far as having Calamari's son—corporate security director Matt Calamari Jr.—receive total immunity for potential crimes and testify before a grand jury."

Trump Organization chief financial officer Allen Weisselberg was indicted in a different "fringe benefits" case.

"In Calamari's case, Manhattan DA investigators have been asking about the corporate perks since at least February 2021, according to one witness who was interviewed by prosecutors. It was clear to several witnesses that prosecutors had hoped to leverage a long-standing feud between the Calamari and Weisselberg families, a Shakespearean drama over who's more loyal to the boss," The Beast reported. "Prosecutors could present these newly available statements to the grand jury as additional evidence tying Trump to whatever illegal payment scheme the DA's office is alleging took place at the Trump Organization."

The older Calamari had worked for Trump for four decades, after Trump was impressed by watching Calamari tackle hecklers at the 1981 U.S. women's semifinal tennis match.


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