Law enforcement is on hold as the Trump Company trial is progressing faster than expected

According to presiding judge Juan Merchan, prosecutors must establish that Mr. Weisselberg acted for interests other than his own – that he was trying to benefit the company, whether he was successful in doing so or not. Depending on how Justice Merchan explains this concept to the jury and how carefully the jurors analyze his instructions, one or more of them could conclude that Mr. Weisselberg acted only for himself, resulting in an acquittal or hanging of the jury would lead.

Defense attorneys have tried to stress that Mazars USA has a responsibility for not alerting the Trump organization to the illegality of the plan. They seem to think that some jurors could be convinced that the Trump Organization was not at fault and that responsibility rested solely with Mr. Weisselberg, Mr. McConney, the Controller – who is immune from prosecution after being tried before the grand jury testified – and Mr. Bender.

On Monday, they questioned Mr. Bender about his relationship with the Trump Organization, Mr. Trump and associates, including Mr. Weisselberg and the company’s controller, Mr. McConney. Mr. Bender testified to a relatively close relationship with the company, by far its largest customer, and said he attended Mr. Trump’s wedding and the wedding of Mr. Weisselberg’s son.

They were so close that Mr. Bender was able to let off steam with a lively email exchange, which Mr. Weisselberg also participated in. It was triggered when Mr. Bender sent a blank email with the subject “ALLEN CAUSING ME KRIEF”.

When Mr. Weisselberg responded, saying that his questions about company accounts were “nothing personal, just business,” Mr. Bender fired back in all caps, “I KNOW IT’S NOT PERSONAL BUT I AM THE BEST INVESTMENT YOU HAVE.”

The defense asked Mr. Bender to testify about a document that showed him calculating two different scenarios that would determine how much money Mr. Weisselberg made and how much tax he paid. One considered part of the program in which executives reported part of their compensation as if they were independent contractors; In this scenario, Mr. Weisselberg took home more money and paid less tax. The document seemed to indicate that Mr. Bender knew about this part of the plan.

On Friday, Mr. Weisselberg had testified that Mr. Bender never told him he was committing a criminal offense by filing his tax returns without disclosing the benefits received. He said if he had been told certain practices were illegal he would not have engaged in them.

Source