Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg granted immunity
GB news 24 desk//
Allen Weisselberg, the longtime chief financial officer of the Trump Organization, entered an immunity deal with federal prosecutors in exchange for his testimony about Michael Cohen, the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday.
Cohen, Donald Trump’s former personal lawyer, pleaded guilty to eight felonies in federal court on Tuesday. His plea deal described how Cohen had submitted false invoices to the Trump Organization as a way of being reimbursed for hush payments Cohen made to women who had alleged affairs with Trump.
Weisselberg’s knowledge of the inner workings of the Trump Organization may be second only to Trump’s. He has served as executive vice-president and chief financial officer of the organization for decades. After he was elected, Trump said he was leaving the business in the hands of Weisselberg and his sons.
Prosecutors reached a similar immunity deal with David Pecker, the publisher of National Enquirer magazine, the Journal reported on Thursday.
It was not clear whether Weisselberg and Pecker testified as part of investigations targeting someone other than Cohen. In court on Tuesday, Cohen said that Trump had directed him to make the payments, which violated campaign finance laws.
The testimony implicated Trump in the crime, legal analysts said, although few believe the sitting president could be indicted.
Trump accused Cohen of lying and more broadly has dismissed the investigations of his campaign as a “witch-hunt”.
If prosecutors are not investigating Trump directly, they are investigating at least one member of the Trump campaign, according to documents in the Cohen case, in connection with the payments.
Cohen was prosecuted by the US attorney’s office for the southern district of New York, acting on a referral by special counsel Robert Mueller. A third team of prosecutors, in the Manhattan district attorney’s office, said on Thursday that they were beginning an investigation of whether the reimbursements for the hush payments broke state law.
Separately, the New York state attorney general has filed a civil lawsuit against the Donald J Trump Foundation, Trump’s purported charity.
It was not clear whether Weisselberg’s deal required him to offer testimony in matters not pertaining directly to the Cohen case. Trump had previously said that for Mueller to investigate his businesses would be a “red line”.