The civil fraud trial that could deal a crushing blow to Donald Trump has taken a dramatic turn, as the judge, Arthur Engoron, seems to be waiting for a bombshell revelation before issuing his verdict, Reuters reported on Sunday, February 4.
Engoron was supposed to rule on penalties against Trump by January 31, 2024, for committing fraud. But he has mysteriously delayed the judgment, leading to speculation that he has an ace up his sleeve.
That ace may be Allen Weisselberg, Trump’s former chief financial officer who allegedly lied on the stand to protect his longtime boss.
If Weisselberg flips and admits to perjury, it would give Engoron a powerful weapon to use against the ex-president.
According to inside sources, Weisselberg is currently negotiating a plea deal where he would confess to intentionally misleading Engoron during his testimony.
For the judge, Weisselberg’s flipped testimony could be the smoking gun needed to justify huge fines and bans against Trump.
“Why has Judge Engoron not issued his decision on the Trump civil fraud? One reason could well be the news that the Trump chief financial officer may be pleading to lie to Judge Engoron in a way to help Trump. And the Judge is waiting for that to support his decision against [Trump],” said former prosecutor Andrew Weissmann.
In September, Engoron already found Trump liable for fraud. Now the judge must decide on penalties sought by NY Attorney General Letitia James, who wants Trump banned from real estate and forced to pay back $370 million.
James recently uncovered more troubling discoveries about Trump’s finances, giving Engoron added ammunition.
A court-ordered monitor revealed Trump failed to disclose over $40 million in payments to himself and undervalued his company’s management fees by $1.6 million.
“My observations suggest misstatements and errors may continue to occur, which could result in incorrect or inaccurate reporting of financial information to third parties,” the monitor warned Engoron.
With Weisselberg’s flipped testimony, these financial irregularities, and his initial liability ruling, Engoron seems armed to the teeth to finally convict Trump of fraud and impose severe punishments.
The judge likely realizes he has Trump on the ropes. Now, in the 11th hour, Engoron appears to be waiting for Weisselberg’s perjury admission to come through before dropping the hammer and ending Trump’s years of evading legal consequences.
All signs point to an impending and dramatic final showdown where Engoron lays waste to Trump’s financial empire. For the judge, Weisselberg’s flipped testimony may be the ultimate coup de grâce.