The RNC paid more than $121,000 toward Trump’s legal fees amid the criminal investigation in New York.
The Manhattan DA and New York AG are investigating Trump over his financial practices.
The party said “it is entirely appropriate” for the RNC to assist Trump by paying his legal fees.
The Republican National Committee put more than $121,000 of funding towards former President Donald Trump’s legal fees as he faces a criminal investigation over his financial practices in New York.
In October, the committee made two payments totaling $121,670 to the law firm of Ronald Fischetti, a criminal defense attorney Trump hired in April of this year amid the years-long investigation by the Manhattan District Attorney’s office into the Trump Organization and the former president’s business dealings.
One payment of $58,240 was made on October 6 and another payment of $63,430 was made on October 13, per FEC filings seen by Insider.
Though the party’s executive committee approved the payments in recent weeks, the requests for the legal funds came over the summer, a person familiar with the matter told The Washington Post.
In May of this year, Manhattan DA Cyrus Vance Jr. announced he was convening a grand jury as his office investigates whether the Trump Organization violated state tax laws “by keeping two sets of books — one for favorable tax and loan rates, and the other to pay little in taxes,” Insider’s Sonam Sheth and Jacob Shamsian reported.
The inquiry into Trump and his company’s finances is wide-ranging and has been underway for more than two years.
The office of New York Attorney General Letitia James is also investigating the Trump Organization’s finances, as well as the former president’s personal finances, to determine if the company falsely inflated the value of Trump’s assets for the purpose of loans and tax benefits.
Another source familiar with the committee’s discussions regarding paying Trump’s legal bills told The Post that the RNC approved the decision because James had made past remarks targeting the former president.
The source added that the organization is not paying legal fees related to the probe looking at Trump’s role in the January 6 riot.
Representatives from Trump’s office, Fischetti’s law firm, and the RNC did not immediately return Insider’s request for comment.
“As a leader of our party, defending President Trump and his record of achievement is critical to the GOP,” the party said in a written statement to The Post. “It is entirely appropriate for the RNC to continue assisting in fighting back against the Democrats’ never-ending witch hunt and attacks on him.”
New York Attorney General Letitia James on Monday ordered the shutdown of two cryptocurrency lending platforms for “unlawful activities” and directed the investigation of three others.
All the firms were unnamed. The two platforms were instructed to cease all activities within 10 days from October 18 for “unlawfully selling or offering for sale securities and/or commodities” as required by New York’s Martin Act, which mandates offerers to register, the letter said.
Meanwhile, the three others were requested to give more information about how they operate, such as what they do with cryptocurrencies deposited in their platforms. Details should include all wallet addresses and entities that provide custody, according to a separate letter. The attorney general also sought clarification on whether the platforms accept fiat currency or accept tether as collateral.
“Cryptocurrency platforms must follow the law, just like everyone else,” James said in a statement. “My office is responsible for ensuring industry players do not take advantage of unsuspecting investors.”
She also discussed in detail the state’s Martin Act, which encompasses a broad list of instruments that should be declared as securities. This includes “any stocks, bonds, notes … or negotiable documents of title, or foreign currency orders, calls or options therefor hereinafter called security or securities.”
“The nature and function of the most common virtual currency lending products or services demonstrate that they fall squarely within any of several categories of ‘security’ under the Martin Act,” the statement said.
The state attorney general’s office has been ramping up its crackdown on virtual currencies. For instance, crypto-trading platform Coinseed in June announced it will close down after being sued by James in February for selling “worthless” tokens and moving investor money without permission.
Cryptocurrencies have been at the center of a tense period as global regulators bring their heads together on how best to increase oversight of the $2.6 billion industry.
But they have had success getting information from his second-in-command: Trump Organization controller Jeffrey McConney.
McConney has testified at least twice to a grand jury empaneled by the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office. The Manhattan prosecutors, along with the New York State Attorney General’s office, are investigating the Trump Organization’s finances and examining whether the company broke tax, insurance, or bank laws.
Prosecutors have sought to “flip” Weisselberg into cooperating with the investigation. Several witnesses, including Michael Cohen and Jennifer Weisselberg, his former daughter-in-law, believe he ultimately will – if he hasn’t already. But there’s no public indication the executive is cooperating just yet.
“Knowing that it went through Jeff McConney, who provided the original information, then he told me it’s okay to sign, I would go ahead and sign these things,” Weisselberg said in the interview.
McConney helps manage the Trump Organization’s finances
The 66-year-old McConney is a staunch Trump supporter by all accounts. He’s a “rank-and-file Republican voter” and sometimes wears Trump-branded neckties, according to The Daily Beast. His home in Marlboro, New Jersey, is a short drive away from Trump’s golf club in Colt’s Neck.
Barbara Res, who oversaw Trump Organization construction projects in the 1980s and 1990s – and who also thinks Weisselberg may flip – told Insider that McConney handled billing when they overlapped at the company.
“We were spending money, and someone had to go over what we were spending,” Res said.
McConney was eventually promoted to be the company’s controller and a senior vice president. In an interview he gave to state investigators in 2017, which was reviewed by the Daily Beast, he said his team oversaw paperwork for bank loans, tracked checks, maintained tax documents, and prepared Trump’s personal financial statements. McConney also helped prepare tax returns for the Trump family’s charity organization, Weisselberg told investigators in 2017.
The interviews McConney and Weisselberg gave to the New York Attorney General’s Office were for an investigation into the Trump Foundation. The charity shuttered in 2019 after the investigation found that Trump used its funds to advance his political career and for his own personal gain.
“Anything and everything that could go wrong did go wrong,” McConney said.
He has links to Trump’s 2016 campaign
According to Weisselberg, McConney jumped to help Trump’s campaign for president.
In January 2016, Weisselberg and McConney tagged along as Trump skipped a Republican debate and instead hosted a fundraiser for veterans’ charities.
“I asked Jeff McConney if he’d like to go with me. And he said sure,” Weisselberg told investigators in 2017. “So he grabbed the checkbook.”
McConney worked with Brad Parscale, then the digital director of Trump’s campaign, to set up a fundraising website. He also worked with Cory Lewandowski, Trump’s campaign manager at the time, to select charities to direct money to, emails obtained by investigators and reviewed by Insider show.
McConney’s son arguably gave Trump the biggestcontribution of all: Instructions for using Twitter.
“The moment I found out Trump could tweet himself was comparable to the moment in ‘Jurassic Park’ when Dr. Grant realized that velociraptors could open doors,” the younger McConney said. “I was like, ‘Oh no.'”
McConney testified twice for the Manhattan grand jury, and is reportedly referenced in charging documents
Prosecutors brought McConney to testify for grand jurors twice, in July and September.
At least one of those times, according to disclosures from the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, McConney had complied with a subpoena. The Trump Organization previously asked courts to block prosecutors’ subpoenas, including for documentation related to McConney’s work, but the Supreme Court ruled in February that it had to comply.
Under New York state law, witnesses who are subpoenaed to testify in front of grand juries automatically receive “transactional immunity,” which blocks prosecutions for crimes related to the activity they testify about. However, if McConney came to a cooperation agreement with prosecutors prior to being subpoenaed, they may still be able to bring charges against him.
Patricia Pileggi, an attorney representing McConney, didn’t respond to Insider’s requests for comment.
McConney also reportedly made an appearance in 2017 charging documents federal prosecutors in New York brought against Cohen. In 2016 Cohen, who at the time worked as a lawyer for the Trump Organization and for Trump personally, paid off two women who said they had affairs with the then-presidential candidate to ensure their silence ahead of the election.
A newly revealed interview with Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg sheds light on his relationship with the company’s controller.
Weisselberg testified that he’d sign documents Jeffrey McConney prepped without even reading them, according to a transcript obtained by The Daily Beast.
McConney has testified in the Manhattan DA investigation that led to criminal charges against Weisselberg.
Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg trusted his colleague Jeffrey McConney so much that he once said he’d sign whatever McConney put in front of him without bothering to read it.
Now McConney has testified in a Manhattan grand jury investigation that led to criminal charges against Weisselberg and the company. As the Trump Organization’s controller, he is the person most knowledgeable about the company’s finances, aside from Weisselberg himself.
Details about Weisselberg’s and McConney’s relationship emerged in an interview Weisselberg gave to the New York State Attorney General’s office in October 2017. The Daily Beast obtained a full transcript of the interview through a Freedom of Information Act request and published it Wednesday. Previously, only a portion of the transcript was publicly available in court filings.
The interview was taken as part of the New York AG’s investigation into how the Trump Foundation misused funds for former president Donald Trump’s personal use and to advance his political career. Weisselberg, who was the foundation’s treasurer, explained how it made donations and processed payments in the full transcript.
In the interview, representatives for the attorney general’s office pointed to papers with Weisselberg’s signatures. Weisselberg testified that he didn’t read several of those documents, but signed them anyway because McConney already reviewed them.
“Knowing that it went through Jeff McConney, who provided the original information, then he told me it’s okay to sign, I would go ahead and sign these things,” Weisselberg said in the interview.
Weisselberg said he and McConney had a shorthand way of working after years of being colleagues, and that the two didn’t have written policies in place for how to handle financial documents. In addition to his role at the Trump Organization, McConney also acted as an accountant for the Trump Foundation and helped build a website for a foundation fundraiser coordinated with the Trump campaign, Weisselberg testified.
McConney worked with a third-party tax firm for his Trump Foundation work, Weisselberg told the AG’s office. As treasurer for the purported charitable entity, Weisselberg ultimately signed off on whatever McConney put in front of him.
“Jeff McConney worked with me for a long time. He used to work for a CPA firm,” Weisselberg testified. “He knew exactly what they were requesting. And I relied upon him to do the right thing and give him the right information.”
Trump ultimately admitted to wrongdoing following the AG’s investigation in 2019. He was forced to dissolve the foundation and ordered to pay millions in fines.
Jeffrey McConney testified in another Trump investigation that’s still ongoing
The DA’s office filed indictments against the company and Weisselberg in July, accusing them of a wide-ranging scheme to evade taxes on income and benefits like apartments. Weisselberg and attorneys for the company pleaded not guilty to the charges.
“I probably didn’t know at that time that we probably shouldn’t be using foundation funds for this type of thing… we made a mistake,” McConney told an investigator, as quoted by The Daily Beast.
McConney also addressed Trump’s donation to a PAC supporting former Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, who declined to pursue an investigation into the scandal-ridden and now-defunct Trump University. The donation was not initially reported to the IRS.
“We found out we made the contribution to… a political organization as opposed to a charitable organization,” McConney said, as quoted by The Daily Beast. He added: “Anything and everything that could go wrong, did go wrong, with this one request.”
The Trump Foundation settled the civil lawsuit with the New York Attorney General’s office in 2019, paying $2 million in restitution before dissolving. As part of the settlement, Trump and his children Ivanka, Eric, and Donald Jr., have all been barred from sitting on the board of New York state charities.
ABC News reported that McConney testified for the Manhattan grand jury in June. The grand jury is expected to last through at least November, and is reportedly examining whether employees of the Trump Organization took perks without paying the appropriate taxes on them; whether the company misrepresented property values for favorable tax, loan, and insurance rates; and if it broke state laws by facilitating a hush-money payment to adult film star Stormy Daniels.
Complications from that arrangement arose in recent weeks, as court records show her landlord is trying to evict her – a measure she claims is retaliation for her cooperation with prosecutors.
Allen Weisselberg’s arrangement has allowed her to live in an apartment building managed by one of his friends in the real estate business, she said. The friend, real estate mogul Lawrence Gluck, permitted her to live in the unit without requiring her or Allen Weisselberg to show any proof of income, she said.
Rental agreements typically require tenants and guarantors to show pay stubs or tax forms demonstrating income of at least 40 times the monthly rent amount. Jennifer Weisselberg said the arrangement allowed Allen Weisselberg to avoid showing pay stubs from the Trump Organization.
She also said she preferred to live in a different apartment building, but Allen Weisselberg forced her to live in that location because of Gluck’s closeness to himself and to now-former president Donald Trump.
“I found several other apartments,” Jennifer Weisselberg told Insider. “And he said, ‘No, you’re going to have to move. I called Larry Gluck, and because Donald and Larry and I have a long history of doing real estate together for decades. He’s going to allow me to be the guarantor without having to show any actual financial documents.'”
Allen Weisselberg took the measures to ensure no one would see Trump Organization payroll documents, she said.
An attorney for Allen Weisselberg declined to comment.
It’s “highly unusual” for a landlord to agree not to scrutinize a tenant and guarantor’s income to rent out an apartment, according to Samuel Himmelstein, a New York City-based tenant’s rights lawyer.
“I’ve never seen a situation where the landlord didn’t scrutinize the income of the guarantor in that situation,” Himmelstein said. “Because then he’d potentially have two people who weren’t able to cover the rent.”
The Trump Organization CFO was worried about federal prosecutors, according to Jennifer Weisselberg
Allen Weisselberg was worried about becoming ensnared in the investigation himself, his former daughter-in-law said.
“It’s because he didn’t want to share financials during the SDNY investigation,” Jennifer Weisselberg told Insider. “He doesn’t want them out there.”
In sentencing memos filed that December, federal prosecutors made clear that Cohen acted at Trump’s direction. As president of the United States, Trump was immune from federal prosecution at the time. Since Trump left office in February of this year, neither federal prosecutors in Manhattan or any other division of the Justice Department have given any public indication that they seek to charge him in the case, as Insider’s C. Ryan Barber and Warren Rojas previously reported.
Allen Weisselberg has worked with the Trump family for more than 40 years, overseeing their personal finances in addition to his role as the Trump Organization’s CFO. Prosecutors have been seeking his cooperation to help guide them through the possibly hundreds of thousands of pages of financial documents they already subpoenaed from the company.
Jennifer Weisselberg has been cooperating with investigators from both offices since last fall. She’s given interviews with investigators several times, she said, and handed over “several boxes of documents” stemming from her divorce, which include financial documents related to the Trump Organization. She told Insider that prosecutors have asked her about how the Trump Organization and Allen Weisselberg operate, and have pressured family members in order to get Weisselberg to “flip.”
It’s not clear whether Allen Weisselberg has already agreed to cooperate with prosecutors, and whether he has been asked to testify in front of the grand jury. Prosecutors typically strive to secure a cooperation agreement with witnesses before calling them before a grand jury, so that the witnesses don’t receive immunity for their testimony.
Jennifer Weisselberg says her former father-in-law is behind an effort to evict her
The legal complications stemming from Jennifer and Allen Weisselberg’s unusual rent agreement have reached a new phase in recent weeks.
In early 2020, as the coronavirus pandemic struck, Jennifer Weisselberg said she lost her job managing musical theater acts and fell behind on rent payments for the apartment.
In November, Columbus Manor LLC, the entity that owns the Upper West Side apartment building, sued Jennifer and Allen Weisselberg and alleged they owed $54,450 in unpaid rent that had accrued since February 2020. The company is owned by Stellar Management, which is run by Lawrence Gluck.
Jennifer Weisselberg told Insider that in April, her building manager told her that her back pay was “made whole.” She said the manager, Trevor Matwey, said the back pay was made by a law firm directly through Stellar Management and he could not produce a receipt for her. She told Insider that she believed Allen Weisselberg made the payment.
“They won’t show me proof that it’s been paid,” Jennifer Weisselberg told Insider. “Trevor Matwey in the management office said, ‘Jenn, you’re good to go. All of the back pay has been worked out. You’re good. You don’t owe anything.'”
After the lawsuit was withdrawn and believing her rent had been paid, she said she signed papers to renew her lease for May. But on May 18, Columbus Manor LLC filed a new lawsuit, naming only Jennifer Weisselberg as the defendant. The new lawsuit claimed that her lease expired on April 30, that “no renewal is required” for the lease, and that she should be evicted.
Jennifer Weisselberg told Insider that, because she believes the rent has been made whole, she should not be evicted from her apartment. She believes Allen Weisselberg is behind the eviction lawsuit from Stellar Management because she has cooperated with the investigations into the Trump Organization and spoken to the media about it.
The new lawsuit says that Jennifer Weisselberg should further owe the real estate company the agreed-upon $6,050 monthly rent for the apartment until she leaves the premises. It does not mention the $54,450 the company previously said she owed.
Columbia Manor LLC is seeking to evict Jennifer Weisselberg through an ejection order in New York state court. Himmelstein told Insider that landlords rarely file for eviction through that mechanism without also seeking back rent.
“Typically, the landlords seek possession of the apartment and they also seek the back rent,” Himmelstein said. “So is it unusual that they didn’t also sue for the back rent? Yes, that’s unusual.”
A representative for Gluck and Stellar Management said they would not comment on an individual tenant’s financial situation. Kevin Cullen, the attorney leading the eviction litigation against Jennifer Weisselberg, declined to comment. Matwey didn’t respond to requests for comment.
Jennifer Weisselberg told Insider that she expects to be able to remain in her apartment for now because of New York state’s eviction moratorium, which runs through September. She expects she’ll owe thousands of dollars more in legal fees to fight the lawsuit.
She said she has already liquidated part of her 401(k) to pay for ongoing civil litigation with her ex-husband over matrimonial disputes, which she believes Allen Weisselberg controls and finances. The attorney representing Barry Weisselberg in the case didn’t respond to Insider’s request for comment.
Jennifer Weisselberg said that the eviction is yet another way her former father-in-law has exerted control over her – and Barry’s – lives. In earlier interviews with Insider, she described how the Trump Organization arranged for the couple to receive perks like apartments and tuition payments in lieu of a regular salary to avoid taxes and influence their decisions.
“It’s so controlling,” she told Insider in March. “Because if you want to leave and make the same money – you live there. If you want to leave, where are you going to live?”
The CEO of Kodak unlawfully traded stock in the company while negotiating a confidential $655 million loan with the White House in the beginning of the pandemic, New York Attorney General Letitia James said this week.
The AG said she filed a petition with the New York County State Supreme Court to have Kodak CEO Jim Continenza publicly testify about his purchase of 46,737 shares of Kodak early last summer.
Continenza made the purchase while he was leading secret discussions with the Trump White House and the federal government for a $655 million loan to enable Kodak to repurpose assets to purchase chemicals that would make COVID-19 medicines, James said.
“Just over a month after Continenza’s stock purchase, Kodak signed a public letter of interest with the federal government for the loan – which by then had grown to $765 million – causing Kodak stock to soar,” said James. “The day after the news was announced, Kodak’s stock price reached a high of $60 per share – more than 27 times what Continenza had paid for the stock mere weeks earlier. “
Kodak shares spiked as much as 2,190% in the two days after the loan announcement on July 28. Kodak also gained as much as 26% the day before information about the loan was made public.
In a public response to James, Kodak said Continenza was not in possession of material non-public information and his stock purchase was pre-approved by Kodak’s General Counsel in accordance with Kodak’s insider trading policy. The CEO has purchased Kodak stock in “virtually every open window period and has never sold a single share,” the company said.
“In addition to being wrong on the facts, the Attorney General’s novel and highly problematic legal theory that seeks to impose liability in the absence of intent would have a chilling effect on directors and executives of every public company, who could never invest in their own companies without fear of having good-faith decisions, pre-approved by counsel, second-guessed by regulators and charged as insider trading,” said Kodak.
However, James said that Continenza’s trading wasn’t in compliance with the policy.
“Kodak’s insider trading policy requires pre-clearance to be sought by email at least one day prior to the trading and for the requester to ‘receive’ a ‘response’ approving the trading – neither of which occurred,” the AG said.
Kodak disclosed James’ threatened lawsuit last month. James is the latest to investigate the Kodak loan. The US international Development Finance Corp reviewed the loan in 2020 but found no wrongdoing, according to the Wall Street Journal. The SEC also opened an investigation last summer that is ongoing, according to Kodak’s filings.
In addition, criminal investigations are underway into the insurrection at the US Capitol and Rudy Giuliani’s efforts in Ukraine to dig up dirt on Trump’s 2020 presidential election rival, Joe Biden. Both present potential legal risks for Trump, although there’s no evidence those prosecutors are currently targeting him.
Trump has dismissed all allegations against him – in the criminal probes as well as a litany of civil ones – as politically motivated.
Here’s a rundown of the evidence that’s been made public in each case so far, as well as clues to where the prosecution is headed.
As the most knowledgeable person about Trump’s finances, Allen Weisselberg could guide prosecutors and a jury through the documents in Vance’s possession if he cooperates.
Pressuring officials to manipulate election results
What did Trump do?
On January 2, two months after Trump already lost the 2020 presidential election, including the electoral college votes in Georgia, Trump called Brad Raffensperger, the state’s top election official.
In the call, Trump falsely said he was the true winner of the election, that thousands of dead people voted, and spouted various other conspiracy theories about how the election was conducted. Trump told Raffensperger to “look very carefully” at shredded ballots, something that did not happen, said he wanted to “find 11,780 votes” and that Raffensperger should “work out on these numbers” and “come to a resolution.”
In a separate phone call in December with Frances Watson, the lead elections investigator in Raffensperger’s office, Trump also leveled false accusations about Georgia’s election process and told her that “When the right answer comes out, you’ll be praised.”
What have prosecutors done so far?
Fanni Willis, the district attorney in Fulton County, which includes Atlanta, is examining whether Trump’s calls amounted to an illegal attempt to manipulate election results.
In a letter to state election officials, Willis said her investigation will assess “potential violations of Georgia election law prohibiting the solicitation of election fraud, the making of false statements to state and local government bodies, conspiracy, racketeering, violation of oath of office, and any involvement in violence of threats related to the election’s administration.”
Part of his efforts involved the ouster of Marie Yovanovitch, the US’s former ambassador to Ukraine, who Giuliani appeared to believe stood in the way of Ukraine launching an investigation into Biden ahead of the 2020 election.
At the time, Trump denied all wrongdoing regarding his attempts to pressure Ukraine’s president into investigating Biden.
Federal prosecutors in Manhattan are investigating Giuliani’s conduct and have seized electronic communications from him. They may be examining whether his Ukraine meddling was done at Trump’s behest, though there’s no public indication that Trump himself is a subject of the probe.
What have prosecutors done so far?
The investigation into Giuliani stems from a separate case regarding two of his associates, Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, who prosecutors say participated in illegal election finance schemes and tried to influence US-Ukraine relations.
Jennifer Weisselberg said Allen Weisselberg, her former father-in-law and the longtime chief financial officer of the Trump Organization, will flip on Donald Trump.
Weisselberg was speaking to CNN Thursday about the New York investigations into the Trump Organization and the former president. Interviewer Erin Burnett asked her directly: “Will Allen Weisselberg flip on Trump?”
She responded with a simple “yes,” prompting Burnett to note there was “no hesitation” with her answer.
Weisselberg was married to Allen Weisselberg’s son, Barry Weisselberg, from 2014 to 2018. Trump and his wife attended their wedding and Weisselberg was also present at Trump’s inauguration. Since September she has been cooperating with prosecutors who are investigating Trump’s finances, and has turned over several boxes of documents and a laptop.
Trump is under two investigations in New York. The New York attorney general’s office announced Tuesday it is investigating the Trump Organization “in a criminal capacity,” as opposed to a civil one. The Manhattan district attorney’s office is also conducting a criminal investigation into whether the Trump Organization committed tax and insurance fraud, among other crimes.
Weisselberg also told Burnett that while attending Trump’s inauguration in 2017 it felt “dangerous” for him to become president.
“The amount of power given to a president – I just think it’s irresponsible to give somebody who is self-serving and narcissistic that much power when it’s inevitably always to benefit themselves,” she said.
When asked why she is cooperating with prosecutors now, Weisselberg said it’s because “it’s so horrifying that Donald Trump could be president again, knowing what I know.”
Andrew Weissmann, who served as a top prosecutor on Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation, has said that authorities probing the Trump Organization are likely focusing on whether business records were falsified.
In an Wednesday interview with MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell, Weissmann discussed the Tuesday announcement by the New York Attorney General that its investigation into former President Donald Trump’s businesses was now criminal in nature.
CNN reported that the New York AG was looking into Weisselberg’s personal taxes, while the Manhattan District Attorney was focusing on his work at the Trump Organization, both in an attempt to find leverage that could convince him to cooperate with prosecutors.
“Allen Weisselberg is clearly in the sights of the Manhattan office and the New York attorney general because they clearly want him to flip,” Weissmann said Wednesday.
“So getting him [Weisselberg] to flip is important,” continued Weissmann, adding that the former CFO “faces two types of liability. He faces liability for the work he did as part of the Trump Organization, but also he could face liability with respect to his own personal taxes.”
“And, of course, there has been reporting of him receiving or being the beneficiary of substantial sums to pay for school tuition,” Weissmann said, referring to reports that investigators were examining whether Weisselberg or his family’s tuition payments allowed him to avoid paying taxes.
“And the issue is going to be how is that reported by the Trump Organization? How is that reported by Allen Weisselberg? How was it reported by others, and did they do the right thing?”
Weissmann then discussed the specific legal instruments prosecutors could use in the investigation.
“There is a tax statute and a false-statements statute in New York law that is quite broad and makes it a crime to submit falsified or have falsified business records, particularly if you’re doing that in aid of another crime,” he said.
“So, for example, if you have false Trump Organization business records and you’re doing that to aid in either a federal or state tax scheme, you can be charged with that very broad false-statements charge under New York law, and that is a felony.”
Weisselberg was the finance chief at the Trump Organization for 40 years, and has not formally been accused of any wrongdoing. Insider has contacted Weisselberg’s attorney for comment.
If the investigations resulted in criminal charges, Weissmann said he thinks Trump would likely say “that he was not aware of certain facts and certain valuations and blame underlings.”
The Trump family has claimed that the investigations were politically motivated and have denied any allegations of wrongdoing.
Weissmann served as a lead prosecutor on the Mueller investigation that wound up in 2019 declining to reach a judgment on whether Trump obstructed justice, and finding there was insufficient evidence to bring conspiracy charges against Trump. It also resulted in charges being filed against 34 people.