Saturday, August 25, 2018
He’s one of the longest-serving employees in Donald Trump’s family real-estate business. Through triumphs, scandals and bankruptcies, he was there.
Allen Weisselberg was handling the books when Fred Trump ran the company in the early 1970s. He was handling them when his son Donald made his mark with Trump Tower in the early ’80s, then teetered on personal bankruptcy in the ’90s. And he was there when Trump transformed the business around his TV celebrity in the new millennium and went on a global licensing spree.
Now the private and loyal Weisselberg is in the spotlight as the latest Trump confidant, and perhaps the most significant, to strike a deal with federal investigators for protection and to tell what he knows. Federal prosecutors have granted the Trump Organization’s chief financial officer immunity in the federal probe of former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen as the president lashes out at people “flipping” to the feds.
“Weisselberg knows everything about Trump entities that have taken in money and spent it,” said Trump biographer Michael D’Antonio, who writes frequently about the president’s businesses. “All of this would come into play if Trump was being audited or investigated for financial crimes.”
Two people with knowledge of the situation told The Associated Press about the deal Friday, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter publicly. One of them said the immunity agreement was restricted to Weisselberg’s grand jury testimony last month in the Cohen case, specifically the allegations that Cohen paid hush money to two women who claimed affairs with Trump.
Whether the 71-year-old is continuing to help prosecutors was unclear. Asked if Weisselberg was cooperating further, one of the sources declined to comment.
Cohen pleaded guilty to tax and campaign finance violations Tuesday.