Economy

Trump Organization finance chief 'gets immunity' in Cohen probe

Trump Organization finance chief 'gets immunity' in Cohen probe”

On the tape, recorded two months before the 2016 presidential election, Cohen mentions that he has spoken to Weisselberg about setting up a corporation to process the payment.

Allen Weisselberg's immunity, given his decades-long proximity to the Trump Organization's business dealings, is great news for Robert Mueller, and awful news for Donald Trump, according to Bloomberg. Toobin argued that immunity for Weisselberg is "enormously significant", and said "investigators now have a basically complete window into the financial operations of the Trump Organization".

As the Inquisitr reported earlier today, Allen Weisselberg, the longtime chief financial officer of the Trump Organization, has been given immunity by federal prosecutors in their case against Trump's former lawyer, Michael Cohen. First, a blog and supermarket tabloid reported on the Trump-Daniels relationship in 2011, and then IN Touch magazine interviewed her. Cohen wrote a letter on behalf of Trump at that time, threatening to sue if the magazine published. "I know of stories of infidelities on the president's part, and also stories on the children, I mean, between the Trumps and the Kushners, they have more skeletons in the closet than the Adam's Family, as the old joke goes".

A cooperation deal between Weisselberg and prosecutors could be damaging to the president given the executive's longtime role in Trump's business affairs.

In the immediate wake of the news, legal analyst Harry Litman, a former USA attorney, told MSNBC there is now "a sense that the dam is breaking over the last week and people are rushing in from all sides". After he was elected, Trump said he was leaving the business in the hands of Weisselberg and his sons. "They should look hard at all of them".

It is not clear whether Weisselberg told government prosecutors that the president was aware of the payments.

That possibility raises the stakes significantly for Trump, threatening not just his political future but his wealth. Trump had previously said that for Mueller to investigate his businesses would be a "red line".

Cohen, who admitted this week that he arranged hush money payments before the 2016 U.S. presidential election to at least two women who said they had sex with the married Trump, pleaded guilty on Tuesday to campaign finance violations and other charges. The Trump Organization approved paying Cohen US$420,000 early previous year based on sham invoices he submitted to recoup the US$130,000 he paid to Clifford, according to court documents. But prosecutors said that there was no retainer.

Mr Trump said the money did not come from campaign finances and denied any crime. According to Ryan, the reimbursement exposes the company to laws banning so-called straw donors.

Whether that's true remains to be seen, New York University law professor Ryan Goodman argued.

In a separate development, the NY attorney general is moving to open a state criminal tax investigation into Cohen. What they found was passed on to NY judicial authorities. It's not known whether the documents were preserved. Post to legal expenses.

Cohen said the payment was made for the "principal objective of influencing [the 2016] election".

"I know stories involving, you know, marital discord", he said.



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