Veteran senior Trump Organization official Allen Weisselberg has been subpoenaed to testify before a federal grand jury in the criminal probe of former Trump fixer Michael Cohen, the Wall Street Journal reported Thursday.
Prosecutors in the Southern District of New York are investigating Cohen for a host of financial matters, including the hush money payments he made to women on Trump’s behalf. Sources familiar with the investigation told the Journal that Weisselberg is considered a witness in that investigation.
Weisselberg has worked at the Trump Organization since the 1970s, working his way up to become executive vice president and chief financial officer. He currently runs the business with Trump’s two adult sons. Weisselberg also served as the treasurer for the troubled Donald J. Trump Foundation, which was sued by the New York Attorney General for engaging in “repeated and willful self-dealing transactions to benefit Mr. Trump’s personal and business interests.”
The longtime ally of the president cropped up in a newly-released audio recording of Cohen and Trump discussing how to buy the rights of a former Playboy model’s account of her alleged 2006 affair with Trump. On the tape, which was made public by Cohen’s attorneys, Cohen said he spoke to “Weisselberg about how to set the whole thing up.”
Cohen ultimately set up and dissolved an LLC without ever making any payments to AMI Inc., parent company of the National Inquirer, for Karen McDougal’s story.
But, as the Journal reported, Weisselberg did set up a $35,000 monthly retainer to Cohen through the Trump Organization that was used to reimburse him for the $130,000 he gave to adult film star Stormy Daniels to keep her from publicly discussing her alleged liason with Trump. A source told the newspaper that Weisselberg did not know about the payment to Daniels when he set up the retainer arrangement with Cohen.