Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg has reportedly begun to pressure former Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg to flip on Trump as part of his escalating investigation into the former president’s hush money payments to an adult film star during his 2016 campaign.
According to Bloomberg, prosecutors from the DA’s office have threatened Weisselberg, who’s already serving five months in jail for Trump Org tax fraud, with additional charges unless he cooperates with their probe.
Bragg was initially hesitant to pursue an indictment against Trump when he took over as Manhattan DA, due to what he considered to be insufficient evidence.
But then, this past November, the New York Times reported that the district attorney was reexamining hush money payments former Trump advisor Michael Cohen made to porn star Stormy Daniels to keep her quiet about her alleged affair with the former president. In December, Bragg hired a new senior counsel, signaling that the office might be taking another look at Trump and his business practices.
We’re now seeing more movement on these fronts: CNN reported on Thursday that Trump Org controller Jeffrey McConney was set to testify before a New York grand jury about the hush money payments.
The district attorney’s office has also revisited Cohen, who was sentenced to three years in prison for his role in the hush money payments back in 2018. Cohen told CNN that he was interviewed for two and a half hours by investigators who also wanted access to his phone.
“Most recently, they asked for my cell phones because they want to be able to extract from it the voice recordings that I had had with Keith Davidson, former attorney to Stormy Daniels before Michael Avenatti,” he said, “as well as a bunch of emails, test messages and so on, that way it could be used as evidence if in fact they proceed forward, which I suspect they are.”
On Monday, the Times reported that Bragg’s office had begun sharing evidence with a grand jury about the payments, potentially laying the groundwork for criminal charges against Trump down the line. The Times spotted David Pecker, former publisher of The National Enquirer, entering a Lower Manhattan building where the jury was convened with his lawyer. The Enquirer reportedly played a role in brokering the deal with Stormy Daniels.
Bragg’s office has also reportedly started contacting staffers from Trump’s 2016 campaign.