Citing their ethical obligations, lawyers for the defendants in Donald Trump’s civil fraud trial declined to provide details about “rumors of any kind” involving former Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg and urged Judge Arthur Engoron to make a decision solely based on the evidence presented at trial, after Engoron asked them to weigh in on public reports that Weisselberg was engaged in plea talks with the Manhattan DA’s office to resolve a potential perjury charge.
In a letter submitted to Judge Engoron Wednesday, defense attorney Clifford Robert urged the judge to strictly consider the record from the trial in his final decision, describing his request to provide information about Weisselberg based on a New York Times article “unprecedented, inappropriate and troubling.”
“The Article simply does not provide any principled basis for the Court to reopen the record or question the veracity of Mr. Weisselberg’s testimony in this case. Indeed, we respectfully submit that the Court’s request for comment on this speculative media account is unprecedented, inappropriate, and troubling,” Robert wrote.
In a separate letter, Alina Habba — who represents Weisselberg in the civil case but is not his criminal defense lawyer — declined to provide any information about the potential perjury and argued that no further action was needed on the matter.
“The New York Times article is neither admissible nor reliable, and it should not be considered in Your Honor’s determination as to the merits of this case,” Habba wrote. “We urge you to render your decision based solely on the evidence now before you.”
“Court decisions are supposed to be made based on the evidence at trial, not on media speculation,” defense attorney Chris Kise said in a statement.