- Weisselberg has worked for Trump for decades
- He was subpoenaed to appear before the grand jury investigating Michael Cohen, it was reported last month
- Began working for Trump’s father, Fred, in the 1970s
- Cohen spoke to Weisselberg about negotiations with former Playboy model Karen McDougal
- Cohen’s attorney identified Weisselberg as the person Cohen sent invoices to
- After paying porn star Stormy Daniels $130,000 Cohen submitted invoices as a lawyer on ‘retainer’ with the company
- News comes after National Enquirer CEO David Pecker was revealed to have gotten an immunity deal
- Cohen’s plea raieed the possibility that he, too, may cooperate
- Cohen’s fees were ‘grossed up’ for tax purposes so he wouldn’t see them diminished, and he got an additional $60,000 bonus
- Charging document mentions an ‘Executive-1’ as well as ‘Executive-2’ who signed off for approval
- The company inaccurately put them down as ‘legal expenses’
- Weisselberg runs the Trump Organization with Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump
- Trump blasted the ways prosecutors get witnesses to ‘flip’ in an interview that aired Thursday
Federal prosecutors granted an immunity deal to Allen Weisselberg, the chief financial officer of the Trump Organization, in their probe that secured a guilty plea from Trump lawyer Michael Cohen, it was revealed Friday.
Weisselberg is the executive who runs the Trump Organization along with Don Jr. and Eric under a trust created by the president after the 2016 election.
He is both a bookkeeper and a key executive running the organization who is familiar with major aspects of the organization.
The Wall Street Journal reported his immunity deal – just a day after it was revealed National Enquirer publisher David Pecker has received an immunity deal himself. Both men were involved in talks to secure a $150,000 payment for a former Playboy model who claims she slept with Donald Trump.
Cohen spoke to Weisselberg about negotiations with former Playboy model Karen McDougal.
‘I’ve spoken to Allen Weisselberg about how to set the whole thing up. So, I’m all over that. And, I spoke to Allen about it,” Cohen told Trump in a tape recording from September 2016 obtained by CNN.
And Weisselberg was identified as the executive from whom Cohen sought reimbursement from company funds after using a home equity loan to pay $130,000 to porn star Stormy Daniels.
It was not immediately clear what was the extent or nature of the immunity deal he secured. Weisselberg was subpoenaed to appear before the grand jury investigating Cohen earlier this year.
His grant of immunity may have been related to cooperation in limited matters relating to Cohen. But word of the immunity deal raised immediate prospects that prosecutors had secured the cooperation of someone with intimate knowledge of how the Trump Organization operates.
Weisselberg began working for Trump’s father, Fred, in the 1970s. He also worked on the board of the Trump Foundation – the subject of a probe in New York, while serving on the board of the Miss Universe pageant, which Trump previously owned.
The elder Trump hired him as an accountant right out of college.
“He is deeply passionate, fiercely loyal and has stood alongside my father and our family for over [three] decades,’ Ivanka told the Wall Street Journal in a 2016 profile of him. A former Trump executive said in the article Weisselberg would handle household expenses, along with purchases of boats and planes, for Trump.
Authorities in New York State have subpoenaed Cohen in connection to their own probe of the Trump Foundation.
Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigators handed off the Cohen case to the Southern District of New York. Previous reports have shown investigators have shown an interest in some Trump Organization business that Weisselberg may conceivably have information about, such as discussion of a Trump Tower Moscow during the 2016 campaign.
News of Weisselberg’s immunity deal comes a day after it was revealed American Media Inc. publisher David Pecker received immunity. Pecker’s firm paid McDougal $150,000 and promised magazine covers and work in exchange for the ‘life rights’ of her story about an affair with a married man.
Cohen communicated with the chief financial officer of the Trump Organization when successfully seeking reimbursement for his $130,000 payment to porn star Stormy Daniels, his attorney revealed this week.
Both Daniels and McDougal claims they had affairs with Trump, which he denies.
Cohen lawyer Lanny Davis mentioned Weisselberg, the powerful Trump Organization CFO, in an interview onCNN Wednesday, after government charging documents revealed that two different executives had knowledge of the payments.