Jonah E. Bromwich, William K. Rashbaum, Ben Protess and Maggie Haberman at NYT:
On Thursday, prosecutors from the Manhattan district attorney’s office announced charges against the Trump Organization and its chief financial executive, Allen H. Weisselberg, alleging a scheme lasting over a decade in which Mr. Weisselberg failed to pay taxes on close to $2 million worth of perks and bonuses as the company benefited from helping him do so.
While there is no indication that Mr. Trump himself will face criminal charges anytime soon, the district attorney, Cyrus R. Vance Jr., has said that “the work continues,” and the former president will remain the focus of the investigation as prosecutors exert pressure on Mr. Weisselberg to cooperate. Mr. Trump has escaped numerous law enforcement inquiries over the better part of three decades, and he could well do so again. Even so, the case brought by Mr. Vance on Thursday has already struck at the heart of Mr. Trump’s public image — the business of the businessman — in a way no other investigation has done.
The fallout could be significant. An indictment against a company — let alone a conviction — can jeopardize relationships with banks and business partners. The former president is facing down hundreds of millions of dollars in loans that need to be repaid, and the legal threat to his business could deal a blow to his finances.
And the charges could play into Mr. Trump’s decisions about his political future. In the past, his grievances have served as both personal motivation and political tool, and as he fought Mr. Vance’s subpoenas for his tax returns all the way to the United States Supreme Court, he added the investigation to the laundry list of legal troubles he recited for supporters. Indeed, some Republicans close to the former president believe he will now be better insulated from those he calls “New York radical-left prosecutors” if he campaigns for president in 2024, and aides said that anger over the indictment could well motivate him to run.
But several allies and advisers believe he would not risk losing another general election. On Wednesday, shortly after the indictments were filed, Mr. Trump said at a Fox News town hall that he had made a final decision on whether to run. He did not say what the decision was.