Prosecutors Just Subpoenaed The Trump Organization’s Longtime CFO
The Manhattan district attorney’s investigation into whether the Trump Organization violated state laws has been heating up for some time, and The Times’ report indicates a heightened focus on Weisselberg, who is a longtime confidant of former President Donald Trump.
Manhattan DA Cyrus Vance Jr. has had the Trump Organization in his sights since allegations first surfaced that members of the real-estate company may have helped facilitate illegal hush-money payments in 2016 to women who claimed to have had affairs with Trump in the 2000s.
Trump’s former lawyer and fixer, Michael Cohen, pleaded guilty in 2018 to violating campaign-finance laws while doling out the hush-money payments, which he said were made “at the direction of and with the knowledge of” Trump, who was a presidential candidate at the time. Cohen later testified to Congress that Weisselberg was aware of the payments.
Since then, the DA’s investigation has widened to examine whether the Trump Organization falsely inflated or deflated the value of its properties for loan and tax purposes, respectively. According to The Times, prosecutors subpoenaed Weisselberg’s bank records in an effort to get him to cooperate with their inquiry.
In addition to being the Trump Organization’s longtime chief financial officer, Weisselberg also has a decades-long knowledge of the intricacies of Trump’s financial dealings.
“He knows where the bodies are buried” and is therefore a crucial witness in the investigation, Jeffrey Cramer, a former federal prosecutor, told Insider in an earlier interview.
Investigators are also pursuing other avenues to get to the CFO. Jennifer Weisselberg, who was married to the elder Weisselberg’s son Barry for 14 years, told Insider’s Jacob Shamsian that she turned over seven boxes of documents that she got in her divorce. Barry Weisselberg also works for the Trump Organization, managing the Wollman ice skating rink in Manhattan.
“They picked up documents many times. They ended up taking seven boxes of my documents and scanning them, going through them,” Jennifer Weisselberg said, adding that “they took depositions, they took checks, routing numbers, bank-account [information], and things like that.”
Vance’s probe has ramped up significantly in the last few months, as Jennifer Weisselberg told Insider. And in February, prosecutors notched a major victory when the Supreme Court forced the former president to hand over thousands of pages of his financial information to the DA’s office.
“They mean business now,” one source told The New Yorker’s Jane Mayer. The person believed Vance’s investigation had stagnated while Trump was in office and prosecutors were fighting a court battle to get his taxes. But now, the source told Mayer, prosecutors’ questions have become “very pointed – they’re sharpshooting now, laser-beaming.”
Vance’s investigation is one of several state and federal investigations looking into various aspects of the former president’s dealings. The New York attorney general is also scrutinizing the Trump Organization, while two grand juries in Georgia’s Fulton County are looking into whether the Trump campaign tried to manipulate the 2020 election results in the state.