Allen Weisselberg, Longtime Trump Organization CFO, Granted Immunity In Cohen Investigation
Trump Organization’s longtime CFO, Allen Weisselberg, was given immunity by federal prosecutors for providing information regarding the hush-money payments in investigations into President Donald Trump‘s former lawyer Michael Cohen, The Washington Post reported.
Weisselberg was subpoenaed last month and is accused of instructing a Trump Organization employee to reimburse Cohen for one of the payments, according to court files. Cohen pleaded guilty to violating campaign laws at Trump’s direction when he made the payments.
The news of Weisselberg’s immunity deal follows a Thursday report that David Pecker, CEO of American Media Inc. that publishes the National Enquirer, had also received immunity as part of the Cohen investigation. In a practice known as “catch and kill,” Pecker allegedly helped Cohen suppress potentially damaging stories about Trump. He also shared information about the hush-money payments, including details about Trump’s knowledge of it.
Weisselberg’s ties to the president go back decades. He has worked for the Trump Organization since the 1970s, working with the president’s father Fred Trump. But he did not only handle the finances of the company but also those of Trump himself. He is the accountant who filed the president’s tax returns and is the treasurer of the Donald J. Trump Foundation, which faces fraud charges by the New York attorney general.
“He plays an integral part in the Trump Organization’s growth and continued financial success,” Ivanka Trump said in an emailed statement to The Wall Street Journal in 2016. “He is deeply passionate, fiercely loyal and has stood alongside my father and our family for over [three] decades.”
In July, Cohen released an audio tape in which he and Trump discussed plans to buy Karen McDougal‘s story from the Enquirer. On the tape, Cohen told Trump that he planned to set up a company to finance the purchase of the rights from American Media and had consulted Weisselberg on the process of doing so.
Trump and the White House have repeatedly denied any wrongdoing. In a Fox News interview earlier this week, the president pushed back angrily, saying it should be “illegal” for people facing criminal charges to make deals with the government.
“It’s called flipping, and it almost ought to be illegal,” Trump said of Cohen’s move. “It’s not a fair thing.”