Mueller has been conducting a broad investigation into Trump and his associates’ ties going far beyond Russia.
US President Donald Trump is coming under big pressure in the hush-money affair. Allen Weisselberg came in focus on Friday as a key figure from his corporate consortium. The Wall Street Journal, broadcaster NBC News and other US media reported that Weisselberg had been promised immunity in the investigation into Trump’s lawyer Michael Cohen. The chief financial officer had given the investigators information about Cohen, the newspaper wrote, citing people familiar with the case.
Probably the most challenging phase of his presidency for Trump had begun on Tuesday, when his longtime lawyer Michael Cohen pleaded guilty to a New York court and testified that he had paid Trump’s truce on two women claiming to have had an affair with him to have. The money should have been paid to avert damage from the election campaign of the then presidential candidate. It would thus be an election campaign contribution, which is subject to strict legal regulations.
The payments went to the porn actress Stormy Daniels and ex-playmate Karen McDougal and Cohen were later reimbursed by Trump.
Weisselberg Key figure for Trump’s corporate finances
According to NBC’s report, Weisselberg is the manager in the Trump organization who sent Cohen an invoice asking for settlement. That was the bill that led to the refund of silent money Cohen had previously paid. It should have gone to the payment of 130,000 dollars (112,000 euros) to Stormy Daniels. The Washington Post reported that Weisselberg had not known what the money was for and approved the reimbursement because of Cohen’s long-standing role as Trump’s adviser. The newspaper referred to a person who was familiar with the matter.
According to the reports, Weisselberg has instructed another manager of the Trump Organization to pay the bill. “Please pay from the Trust,” it said in an email, NBC News reported. The instruction included to declare the payment as “legal costs” and to use in the description the term “Package for January and February 2017”.
Weisselberg is considered a key figure in the financial perspective of Trump’s corporate consortium. He joined the organization in the 1970s when Trump’s father Fred ran the business. He is now one of the trustees to whom Trump transferred the affairs when he had made them president after his election. Insiders told CNN that Weisselberg knew every step of Trump’s business, from tax filing to company sales.
Also publisher got immunity
The Wall Street Journal wrote that Weisselberg had been summoned by a grand jury some time ago and then talked to investigators. However, the newspaper pointed out that she had not been able to clarify whether Weisselberg had told the investigators whether Trump had known of the hush money payments.
The Wall Street Journal reported earlier that investigators had granted immunity to Trump’s benevolent publisher David Pecker . Pecker met with the investigators and gave them details of the payments arranged by Cohen. It was also about Trump’s knowledge of the deal gone, the newspaper reported, citing persons familiar with the matter. With Pecker’s statement, the investigators now have statements from at least two people that Trump knew about the payments, the newspaper quoted one of the sources.