Let's Talk About Don Jr. And His Mob Lawyer Alan Futerfas!
HFS, this week! All the pieces are falling into place, aren't they? Manafort got convicted, Cohen pleaded guilty to violating campaign finance laws on Trump's order, David Pecker's flipping, and now we find out that Allen Weisselberg, who's done Trump's books for forty years, was just granted immunity by federal prosecutors.
Which leads us back to a question that's been nagging us. What the hell is this from yesterday's Times story about Pecker flipping?
The Trump Organization did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Alan Futerfas, an outside lawyer for the organization, also did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
When did Alan Futerfas become a lawyer for the Trump Organization? A year ago, when Futerfas was hired to represent Don Junior personally, we assumed that the only attorney willing to take that weaselface's money was a mob lawyer out of New York.
This week Don Jr. also lawyered up for some reason. His attorney, Alan Futerfas, seems like a competent guy with no obvious skeletons that would impede a security clearance. But he runs a four-lawyer shop in New York, representing mobsters and white collar criminals. He may not be a brawler like [former Trump personal attorney Marc] Kasowitz, but he's no DC insider either. And he's going up against Robert Mueller, who has unlimited investigative authority, bottomless funds, and the best prosecutors in the country. As the NRA might say, that's like bringing a knife to a gunfight!
Look, lots of really, really good lawyers do criminal defense. And Futerfas is a hell of a talented guy. But a billion dollar company with real estate in dozens of countries is hiring a small, private law firm out of New York that specializes in organized and white collar crime to defend it in the DC-based Russia investigation?
That makes no damn sense, unless ...
Unless Futerfas's real job was in New York. Unless Don Junior worked out last year that hiding a $420,000 pornstar payoff in the Trump Org's books potentially violated about 10 different federal and state laws. (Particularly if that money made its way somehow from the campaign to Trump Org coffers, before being forwarded to Michael Cohen for non-existent legal work.) Unless someone wised him to the fact that the cosy arrangement the Trump Family had enjoyed with the National Enquirer for decades might look to some federal investigators like a conspiracy to commit campaign finance violations. Unless his ladyfriend Kimberly Guilfoyle kicked him in the dick and said, "Hey, dipshit! Find yourself a lawyer who knows his way around a RICO defense!"
Maybe Alan Futerfas was always the guy who was going to deal with the fallout from the campaign finance fuckery in New York. In the beginning, when he was theoretically representing Don Junior personally for issues arising from the campaign, his firm was paid upwards of $200,000 by the RNC.
Or maybe he was hired to represent Don Junior on his Russian issues, and he took one look at the Playmate payoffs and told Junior he was about to be in DEEP SHIT with the New York Attorney General, the Manhattan District Attorney, and probably every person who ever put a nickel into a Trump-branded property. Who knows?
But it is a hell of a coincidence that an attorney who made his bones defending the mafia is representing a president who's going on television to denounce RATS and FLIPPERS and screaming that cooperating witnesses should be ILLEGAL. Almost like they knew in advance that on top the fallout from the Russia investigation they were likely to face investigations for cooking the Trump Org books, filing a false tax return, fuckery in the Trump "charitable" foundation, and a massive conspiracy to violate campaign finance laws.
But we're just spitballing here!
Hey, who was it who said two weeks ago that Allen Weisselberg was just the "bookkeeper" when Michael Cohen released the tape of him scheming with Trump to buy the Karen McDougal story from AMI? Tell us, WaPo!
The transcript and the audio also show that Cohen told Trump he had discussed buying the rights to McDougal's story with Allen Weisselberg, the chief financial officer of the Trump Organization.
Futerfas disputed that Tuesday.
"The notion that Mr. Cohen would have spoken to Mr. Weisselberg about a proposition he had yet to even make to the president does not ring true," he said. "Mr. Weisselberg is a bookkeeper who simply carries out directions from others about monetary payments and transfers. There would be no reason for Mr. Cohen to have any conversation with Mr. Weisselberg prior to him recommending and obtaining approval for the purchase he was suggesting." [Emphasis added.]
UH HUH. Almost like he knew what was coming, and wanted to discredit a potential witness. Probably a coincidence, right?
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Liz Dye lives in Baltimore with her wonderful husband and a houseful of teenagers. When she isn't being mad about a thing on the internet, she's hiding in plain sight in the carpool line. She's the one wearing yoga pants glaring at her phone.