Donald Trump’s chances of prosecution have “increased” after a New York jury found the Trump Organization guilty of tax evasion, according to legal analyst Glenn Kirschner.
The jury found Trump’s company guilty of all 17 counts it faced, as the organization faces a fine of up to $1.6 million. The former president, however, was not personally charged in the case, although prosecutors claimed he “knew exactly what was going on with his top leadership.”
Although he avoided charges in the tax evasion case, the guilty verdict could still cause problems for the former president, as Trump still faces other lawsuits and investigations in New York that could lead to a guilty verdict, according to Kirschner, a former U.S. prosecutor.
New York Attorney General Letitia James is suing Trump and his company, alleging they engaged in “years of financial fraud to obtain a myriad of economic benefits.” She also accused Trump of falsely inflating his net worth by billions of dollars.
Trump also faces a separate investigation from the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, which successfully tried the Trump Organization. The investigation appeared to intensify on Monday after Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg announced the hiring of Matthew Colangelo, who led a separate investigation into Trump, according to The New York Times.
Kirschner tweeted that he thinks Tuesday’s verdict indicates that Trump now faces a greater chance of being personally sued in one of those cases.
“Two important points to remember: 1. this likely spells the end of Trump Org, and 2. it increases the chances of a New York lawsuit against Trump himself, given that the prosecution has argued that “the evidence shows that Trump is ‘explicitly ‘okay with tax evasion’,” Kirschner tweeted.
Other legal analysts also weighed in on the guilty verdict. Joyce White Vance, also a former federal prosecutor, tweeted that the decision made Colangelo’s hiring “timely”.
“Today’s guilty verdict makes Matthew Colangelo’s move to the Manhattan district attorney’s office very timely. At the NY AG office, he oversaw the dismantling of Trump’s ‘charity’ organization. At the DOJ, he oversaw complicated tax and civil lawsuits. He has an excellent reputation,” she wrote.
“This is a significant verdict: The Trump Organization is found guilty of serious criminal fraud charges,” tweeted former federal prosecutor Renato Mariotti. “It will give New York Attorney General Tish James even more leverage in his civil suit, which is seeking extraordinary remedies that would cripple the business.”
Trump had not publicly commented on the guilty verdict at the time of publication. However, he took to Truth Social earlier Tuesday to blow up the lawsuit against the Trump Organization as a “witch hunt,” falsely accusing the Manhattan District Attorney’s office of failing to bring a case for murder in court in six years.
The guilty verdict came after more than a day of jury deliberation. Prosecutors largely built their case on the testimony of Allen Weisselberg, the former chief financial officer of the Trump Organization who pleaded guilty this year to conspiring to avoid paying employee benefits taxes.
Weeks earlier, Trump had announced his candidacy for the 2024 presidential election, but his campaign was marred by a series of legal entanglements.
Trump suffered multiple court losses last week after his former legal counsel testified as part of the Justice Department’s investigation into his conduct surrounding the Jan. 6, 2021, siege on the U.S. Capitol. A federal court also overturned a ruling authorizing a special master to investigate classified documents found at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence, delivering what analysts called a “massive DOJ victory.”
Newsweek contacted Trump’s office for comment.