New York prosecutors are reportedly investigating Donald Trump’s one-time bodyguard Matthew Calamari as part of the probe into the Trump Organisation’s employee perks that may have run afoul of tax laws.
Calamari is currently the chief operating officer for the Trump Organization after initially serving for years as Trump’s bodyguard. Trump spotted Calamari taking down a couple of hecklers at a tennis tournament while working security in 1981 and hired him.
Calamari is so loyal to the former president that he once said he would kill for Trump, per the 1993 biography Lost Tycoon: The Many Lives of Donald J. Trump by Harry Hurt.
“I love the guy,” Calamari once told Bloomberg in an interview.
According to The Wall Street Journal, investigators are examining Calamari’s Trump Organization compensation package as part of a probe to determine if employees were paid, in part, with perks like homes and cars as a way for the company and workers to avoid paying taxes. Prosecutors have also been examining pay arrangements for the Trump Organisation’s Chief Financial Officer Allen Weisselberg and his family.
Although neither Calamari nor Weisselberg have been accused of any wrongdoing, prosecutors in the office of Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. have been pressuring Weisselberg to cooperate in the investigation of the Trump Organization.
So far, there’s no evidence prosecutors have been successful with Weisselberg, the Journal reported.
Last month, prosecutors encouraged Calamari and his son, Matthew Calamari Jr., who also works for the Trump Organization as the corporate director of security, to hire their own attorney, sources told the Journal.
Vance’s office has been working in coordination with the office of New York Attorney General Letitia James, which has launched a broader criminal probe. Vance’s investigators are examining possible bank, insurance and tax fraud by the Trump Organization and its officers.
When Trump’s former attorney Michael Cohen testified before Congress in 2019, he said both Weisselberg and Calamari were aware of instances when Trump inflated the value of assets to insurance companies.
Trump, who has denied all wrongdoing, said the investigations were politically motivated.