The Trump Organization’s chief financial officer surrendered to authorities on Thursday, as he and Donald Trump’s namesake company prepare to face the first criminal charges from a probe that has hovered over the former president for years. Allen Weisselberg, a longtime Trump business lieutenant who helped run Trump’s real estate empire during his presidency, and the Trump Organization are expected to be arraigned later in the day in the probe by the district attorney.
The New York attorney general’s office says it is investigating the Trump Organization “in a criminal capacity”. A spokesman for the state’s top prosecutor, Letitia James, said the inquiry into Mr Trump’s property company was “no longer purely civil”. Ms James has been scrutinizing the ex-Republican president’s financial dealings before he took office. The Trumps deny wrongdoing and say the inquiry by a Democratic prosecutor is a political vendetta.
Donald Trump has suggested he may run for president again in 2024 – amid an angry attack on Joe Biden in his first major address since leaving the White House. He dismissed suggestions he may start a new party, saying “we’re not interested in them”. “We all knew the Biden administration was going to be bad, but none of us even imagined just how bad they would be,” he said.
Former White House adviser Steve Bannon and rapper Lil Wayne are among the people being pardoned or granted clemency by Donald Trump in the final hours of his presidency. The outgoing president granted clemency to 143 people on Wednesday. “Bannon has been an important leader in the conservative movement and is known for his political acumen,” the White House said in a statement.
Donald Trump has called for “no violence” ahead of what the FBI has warned are “armed protests” being planned at all 50 state capitals ahead of Joe Biden’s inauguration – as removal vans were spotted outside the White House. One group has vowed an uprising will take place and government offices will be stormed if attempts are made to remove Mr Trump from office.
President Donald Trump on Wednesday evening announced 26 new pardons, including for longtime ally Roger Stone, former campaign chairman Paul Manafort and White House senior adviser Jared Kushner’s father, Charles. The pardons of Manafort and Stone reward two of the most high-profile and widely condemned former advisers of the President, both of whom were indicted by special counsel Robert Mueller.
President Trump has pardoned four security guards from the private military firm Blackwater who were serving jail sentences for killing 14 civilians including two children in Baghdad in 2007, a massacre that sparked an international outcry over the use of mercenaries in war. The Nisour Square massacre was one of the lowest episodes of the US-led invasion and occupation of Iraq.
Donald Trump maintains a bank account in China where he pursued licensing deals for years, according to a report that could undermine the president’s election campaign claim that he is tough on Beijing. Tax records reviewed by the New York Times showed a previously unreported bank account in China controlled by Trump International Hotels Management. The account paid $188,561 in taxes in China between 2013 and 2015.
Donald Trump’s teenage son Barron tested positive for coronavirus but had no symptoms, according to first lady Melania Trump. Barron, 14, tested positive after both of his parents contracted the virus, Mrs Trump said in a personal post on the White House website. She said that after she and her husband were diagnosed with the virus, her mind “went immediately to our son”.
US President Donald Trump has completed his course of treatment for Covid-19 and can return to public engagements this weekend, his physician has said. Dr Sean Conley said the president had responded “extremely well” to medication and had “remained stable”. Mr Trump later said he would probably take another Covid test on Friday and hoped to hold a rally over the weekend.