Prosecutors in the Manhattan District Attorney’s office are reportedly investigating one of the Trump Organization’s longest tenured executives for his role in facilitating hush moneys doled out to adult film star Stormy Daniels.
Allen Weisselberg, 72, the chief financial officer of the Trump Organization who currently runs the President Donald Trump’s private business along with Trump’s two adult sons is suspected of crating fraudulent receipts to improperly invoice the payments to Daniels as legal expenses, according to a Thursday report from ProPublica. Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance has convened a grand jury tasked with examining whether Weisselberg and others in the top echelons of the Trump Organization should be charged with falsifying business records.
Weisselberg was granted immunity last year for helping federal prosecutors in the Southern District of New York investigate the hush money payment as a violation of federal campaign finance law, which ultimately was one of the offenses that resulted in the president’s former personal attorney Michael Cohen three-year prison sentence.
Weisselberg’s immunity, however, only extended to the federal investigation and does not restrict state authorities from pursuing prosecution.
Prosecutors from Vance’s office have traveled to Otisville minimum-security prison three times to interview Cohen in relation to the case. Chris Conroy, the chief prosecutor of the Major Economic Crimes bureau, and several other attorneys from the office reportedly visited with Cohen as recently as Oct. 30.
Cohen last year told congressional investigators that at President Trump’s (“Individual 1”) direction, he and Weisselberg came up with the plan for how to pay Daniels the money and prevent her from discussing her alleged affair with the president in the weeks before the 2016 election. Cohen said he fronted the money, which he sourced from his personal accounts, and was then paid back in installments by the Trump Organization as part of a monthly “legal retainer.”
Weisselberg, President Trump, and Donald Trump Jr. all signed at least one of the Cohen checks. Though ProPublica’s sources said the president’s children are not currently in Vance’s “crosshairs,” Law&Crime previously noted that Trump Jr. could potentially be implicated in the hush payment scheme, given his signature on a check.
Vance’s office is also facing significant time constraints to charge Weisselberg. As the last hush payment was dated Dec. 5, 2017, the two-year statute of limitations for falsifying business records is set to expire next month.
[image via Timothy A. Clary/AFP/Getty Images]