Some of Trump's longtime allies are flipping on him, but he's sure the CFO of the Trump Organization — who has an immunity deal — isn't one of them. At least not yet.
While several members of Trump’s inner circle have been making deals with investigators lately — and possibly implicating Trump in various crimes — Trump’s confident that at least his longtime CFO Allen Weisselberg hasn’t turned on him.
In an interview with Bloomberg, Trump praised Weisselberg as “a wonderful guy.” When asked whether Trump was worried that Weisselberg flipped on him, Trump answered “100 percent he didn’t.”
Last week, the Wall Street Journal reported that Weisselberg, who has worked for decades at the Trump Organization, was granted immunity to testify before a grand jury in the federal criminal investigation into Trump’s longtime personal lawyer Michael Cohen. Cohen pleaded guilty last week to several felonies and admitted that he committed those crimes at Trump’s direction.
Weisselberg was responsible for the Trump Organization’s reimbursement to Cohen for the $130,000 payment he made to Stormy Daniels right before the 2016 election to keep her quiet about her affair with Trump.
CFOs are “often the key witness for the prosecution in putting a case together that has a financial element to it,” Widge Devaney, a former federal prosecutor, told the Wall Street Journal.
A former Trump Organization employee told NBC that Weisselberg “knows where all financial bodies are buried within the Trump organization.”
News of Weisselberg’s immunity deal broke one day after reports that another longtime Trump ally — David Pecker, the CEO of American Media, which publishes the National Enquirer — had also been granted immunity.
Pecker has reportedly told investigators about Trump’s knowledge of the various deals Cohen made on his behalf to keep stories of Trump’s extramarital affairs quiet right before the election. The Trump team worked with Pecker for years to bury damning stories about Trump.
Now three of the men involved in those cover-ups to protect Trump are talking to investigators.
Thus far, reports only indicate Weisselberg spoke to prosecutors in New York, who are separate from the investigation Robert Mueller is leading into Trump.
But nothing precludes Mueller from speaking with, or even granting additional immunity to, Weisselberg in order to learn more about the financial situation of the Trump Organization.
“Mueller has reportedly been interested in the finances and business activities of the Trump Organization, including a failed attempt to build a Trump Tower in Moscow,” reports Vox. “And Weisselberg might have some answers.”
Numerous people in Trump’s inner circle have already pleaded guilty to an assortment of crimes and are actively assisting the Mueller team’s investigation. The group includes Michael Flynn, Trump’s former national security adviser; Rick Gates, Trump’s former deputy campaign chair; and George Papadopoulus, a Trump campaign adviser.
Last week, after Cohen’s guilty pleas, Trump complained in an interview with Fox News that it’s “unfair” that people can cooperate with investigators and should “almost” be “outlawed” and “illegal.”
And that was before we learned that two more of his longtime allies were cooperating with investigators as well.
For now, Trump is “100 percent” confident Weisselberg didn’t rat him out, but with so many people dishing dirt on Trump, perhaps his confidence is misplaced.
Published with permission of The American Independent.