The man who knows “where all the financial bodies are buried” in President Donald Trump’s namesake organization may now lead prosecutors in the Southern District of New York directly to them.
Allen Weisselberg, the Trump Organization’s chief financial officer who also serves as the treasurer of the Trump Foundation, has been granted immunity by prosecutors in their ongoing investigation of Trump’s longtime personal lawyer and fixer, Michael Cohen. The significance of his flip, paired with Cohen’s recent plea deal, cannot be overstated: It took slightly more than a year for two of the president’s longest-serving employees, considered by many to be the last who would ever turn on him, to cooperate with federal investigators—and, in Cohen’s case, directly implicate Trump in a crime. But the news also marked a turning point in the legal assault on Trumpworld: SDNY prosecutors may now pose a more immediate threat to the president than Special Counsel Robert Mueller does.
That Weisselberg would be offered immunity is not shocking; he was called to testify in the case before a grand jury earlier this summer. But his acceptance is another matter. Earlier this week, Cohen pleaded guilty to eight criminal counts including campaign-finance violations tied to hush-money payments he claimed to have made to two women “in coordination and at the direction of” Trump for the purpose of influencing the 2016 presidential election. Also this week, news reports revealed that two other longtime Trump associates had been granted immunity in the case: David Pecker, the CEO of American Media (AMI) and a longtime friend of the president’s, and Dylan Howard, AMI’s chief content officer. AMI controls the National Enquirer, a tabloid reportedly involved in burying the women’s stories.