NEW YORK (AP) — Former President Donald Trump’s inaugural address clocked in at just 16 minutes.
Closing arguments are slated for Thursday in his company’s criminal tax fraud case? Prosecutors and defense lawyers say those could take seven hours or more.
Those projections speak to the complexity of the case, which stems from longtime Trump Organization finance chief Allen Weisselberg's 15-year scheme to avoid taxes on company-paid perks including an apartment and luxury cars.
The speeches are a chance to recap key witnesses and evidence before the jury deliberates next week. Prosecutors said they might spend four or five hours summarizing the case. Defense lawyers said they’ll likely need at least three hours.
Seven witnesses testified, chief among them Weisselberg, who pleaded guilty in August to dodging taxes on $1.7 million in extras. Prosecutors charged the company because is said Weisselberg was a “high managerial agent” acting on its behalf and that it also benefitted from his scheme.
Trump Organization lawyers argue Weisselberg acted on his own, without Trump or the Trump family’s knowledge. If anything, they said, the company's accountant should've caught any fraud. Trump is not charged. If convicted, his company could be fined more than $1 million.
Although there were just 10 days of testimony, the trial has stretched on since Halloween.
That’s partly because Jeffrey McConney, the Trump Organization comptroller called as the first prosecution witness, tested positive for COVID-19 early on, halting the trial for eight days.
Here’s a refresher on what’s happened so far.
EXECUTIVES ADMIT TAX DODGE SCHEME
Prosecutors built their case around Weisselberg, who testified as part of a plea deal in exchange for a promised sentence of five months in jail, and McConney,...