Manhattan DA Ramps Up Pressure On Trump’s Longtime CFO

(FILES) In this file photo taken on January 11, 2017, US President-elect Donald Trump along with his children Eric (L) Ivanka and Donald Jr.(R) arrive for a press conference at Trump Tower in New York, accompanied by... (FILES) In this file photo taken on January 11, 2017, US President-elect Donald Trump along with his children Eric (L) Ivanka and Donald Jr.(R) arrive for a press conference at Trump Tower in New York, accompanied by Allen Weisselberg (2nd R), chief financial officer of The Trump Organization. - As US President Donald Trump's former lawyer Michael Cohen delivered hours of riveting testimony to a US House committee on February 27, 2019, one name came up again and again: Allen Weisselberg. Weisselberg, 71, is the publicity-shy chief financial officer of the Trump Organization and one of the real estate tycoon's oldest and closest advisors. (Photo by Timothy A. CLARY / AFP) (Photo credit should read TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP via Getty Images) MORE LESS
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March 4, 2021 8:27 a.m.

The Manhattan district attorney is digging into the personal and financial affairs of the Trump Organization’s chief financial officer, questioning both the extent of Allen Weisselberg’s loyalty and looking at a Trump-owned apartment formerly occupied by one of Weisselberg’s sons, the Washington Post reported late Wednesday

One person familiar with the investigation told the Post that questioning led by recently-recruited prosecutor Mark Pomerantz is now aimed at “flipping” Weisselberg into a witness against former president Donald Trump.

Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance has not formally accused Trump or Weisselberg and his family of wrongdoing, but the developments on the fresh focus on Weisselberg could point at an effort by prosecutors to unlock the depth of knowledge of the Trump Organization that has been closely guarded by the company’s longstanding chief financial executive.

The New York Times reported earlier this week that Vance’s focus on Weisselberg has included questions related to his sons Barry and Jack, as part of what could be an effort to pressure the CFO. Barry Weisselberg manages the Trump Organization’s Central Park ice rinks. Meanwhile, Jack works for a company that has previously extended loans to the Trump Organization.

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The person with knowledge of the case told the Post that investigators were trying to “cast a wide net . . . looking to shake the tree a little bit.”

People familiar with the investigation also told the Post that investigators have examined Weisselberg’s role in helping to assess the value of Trump buildings as the company sought to obtain loans or property-tax reductions.

Vance has also shown interest in details regarding a Trump-owned luxury apartment where Barry lived for several years rent-free, according to a Bloomberg News report. The apartment could be subject to income tax. Prosecutors have been examining parts of Barry Weisselberg’s tax returns, the Post’s sources said.

A person familiar with thinking at the Trump Organization said company executives are confident in their property value assessments, and added that there is broad confidence in Weisselberg’s loyalty even as investigators probe the CFO’s feelings about Trump as well as levels of loyalty within the company.

While it is not clear if the elder Weisselberg has provided recent testimony in the case, it wouldn’t be the first time Weisselberg has provided testimony to government investigations into Trump.

Weisselberg also accepted an immunity deal by providing details related to former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen’s reimbursement for hush-money payments made to two women alleging previous affairs with Trump while he campaigned in the 2016 presidential race. 

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