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Allen Weisselberg, chief financial officer of the Trump Organization, was reportedly granted immunity in the investigation into longtime Trump attorney Michael Cohen, the Wall Street Journal and other outlets reported Friday morning.
The development comes one day after it was reported that federal prosecutors also granted immunity to David Pecker, the tabloid executive at the center of the portion of the Cohen investigation dealing with hush money payments to two women with whom President Donald Trump allegedly had affairs.
Cohen on Tuesday pleaded guilty to eight charges and admitted he violated campaign finance laws at the direction of Trump.
The scope of Weisselberg’s cooperation and whether it goes beyond Cohen is unclear at this point. But the potential significance cannot be overstated. As Trump biographer and Bloomberg editor Tim O’Brien has noted, Weisselberg has been considered Trump’s financial gatekeeper since the 1970s and “knows more about the Trump Organization’s history and finances than nearly anyone.” Weisselberg was one of just three people—the other two being the president’s two eldest sons—who took control of the trust holding Trump’s financial assets after the election. From O’Brien:
Almost 71 years old, [Weisselberg] joined the company after graduating from college and worked for the president’s father, Fred, as an accountant. He has since become the Trump Organization’s chief financial officer and one of the president’s closest business confidants (alongside Jason Greenblatt, who was Trump’s in-house legal counsel before the president named him as a special diplomatic envoy to the Middle East).
Weisselberg also served as treasurer of the president’s troubled philanthropy, The Donald J. Trump Foundation, which the New York State Attorney General has sued for allegations involving “extensive and persistent violations of state and federal law.”
The news of Weisselberg’s and Pecker’s immunity deals comes amid Trump’s recent remarks lashing out at so-called “flippers.” In an interview that aired Thursday, the president suggested that “flipping”—that is, cooperating with law enforcement in exchange for leniency—should even be “outlawed.”