The Russian anti-corruption activist was poisoned with Novichok nerve gas by Russian security forces and is currently serving a three-year prison sentence, which he protested with a hunger strike.
“This is the political persecution of a political enemy”, he declared, before mistaking the name of the leader of the Russian opposition.
“That’s what Vladimir Putin is doing. Ask Navatny.
He then called the charges by the Manhattan district attorney’s office on Thursday a “banana republic thing.”
Mr. Weisselberg, who has worked for the Trump family since 1973, pleaded not guilty when arraigned on the 15 count indictment.
Prosecutors allege that the Trump Organization and Mr. Weisselberg carried out a 15-year tax evasion scheme to channel more than $ 1.7 million in untaxed “indirect employee compensation” to the executive.
Mr Trump’s company is accused of failing to notify U.S. tax authorities of the payments.
“It was orchestrated by the most senior executives, who were financially benefiting themselves and the company, by securing secret pay increases at the expense of state and federal taxpayers,” said Carey. Dunne, Deputy District Attorney, to the judge at the hearing.
Donald trump Jr and Eric Trump, the former president’s second son, both helped run the business while their father was in the White House.
No charges have been laid against Mr. Trump or any of his children, although the investigation is still ongoing.
Mr. Trump described it as a politically motivated “witch hunt” damaging his reputation and his business.
Mr Weisselberg was released after surrendering his passport and is due to appear in court again in September.
German doctors concluded that Mr Navalny was probably poisoned after falling ill on a flight from Siberia to Moscow, and he was eventually transferred out of the country for treatment.