Donald Trump’s wallet is in for a new world of pain, according to a new letter by the judge in his $370 million New York bank fraud case.
That’s thanks to Allen Weisselberg, the former chief financial officer of the Trump Organization, who is reportedly negotiating a plea deal with Manhattan prosecutors that would require he admit he lied on the stand during the trial, according to The New York Times.
“As the presiding magistrate, the trier of fact, and the judge of credibility, I of course want to know whether Mr. Weisselberg is now changing his tune, and whether he is admitting he lied under oath in my courtroom at this trial,” Engoron wrote.
“I do not want to ignore anything in a case of this magnitude,” Engoron added.
Engoron has asked the legal teams to respond by 5 p.m. Wednesday.
Ultimately, Engoron noted, he might use the news as reason to invoke “falsus in uno”—which would discount the credibility of Weiselberg’s entire testimony.
“If you’re going to issue a ruling and if it turns out Weisselberg lied, that’s going to harm the Trump Organization when it comes time for the verdict,” former federal prosecutor Elie Honig told CNN on Thursday.
Weisselberg was a key witness out of the 40 odd people who took the stand during the bank fraud trial, in which Trump is accused of massively overinflating his net worth in order to broker better (and fraudulent) deals with banks and insurance companies.
The Times reported that prosecutors seemed particularly focused on claims Weisselberg had made on October 10 about Trump’s penthouse at Trump Tower, which had been overvalued on his financial statements by inaccurately reporting it as three times its actual size.
Engoron ruled prior to the start of the trial that James had proved that Trump committed fraud. What remains to be seen in Engoron’s verdict is just how much dough Trump will have to cough up as recompense for his scheme, which was likened by the judge to Bernie Madoff’s Ponzi scheme. The court has also floated the possibility of stripping the Trump Organization’s licenses to do business in the state.