Trump CFO Allen Weisselberg Caught Between Rock Named Tish James And Hard Place Named Cy Vance
Last night, CNN broke the news that New York Attorney General Letitia James's office is putting the screws to longtime Trump CFO Allen Weisselberg in an effort to get him to flip on his boss. Knock knock, buddy, it's your friendly neighborhood prosecutors, here for a little chat!
Weisselberg has had his hands in every bit of Trumpland fuckery for 40 years, and his prints are all over some of the most memorable episodes from the Trump presidency. From setting up the LLC to buy Karen McDougal's story from the National Enquirer to reimbursing Michael Cohen after he fronted the cash to keep Stormy Daniels quiet about her affair with Trump, and every interesting real estate deal and questionable property valuation in between, Weisselberg knows about it. If there are bodies in Trumpland, we've heard, particularly from Michael Cohen, that Weisselberg can tell prosecutors exactly where to dig for 'em!
We're pretty sure he's going to fold eventually, because he's done it twice before. Not in spectacular Michael Cohen style, vowing to "take a bullet" for Trump and then trying to build a second career out of trashing his former idol. But when the chips were down, Weisselberg took a deal for limited immunity from the Southern District of New York to testify about the National Enquirer plot. Similarly, he cooperated with AG James's predecessor Barbara Underwood in her investigation of the Trump Foundation, which led to it getting shut down.
After which he trotted right back to his office in Trump Tower, which tells you that he's both extraordinarily loyal and completely essential to the company.
"His whole worth is 'Does Donald like me today?' It's his whole life, his core being. He's obsessed. He has more feelings and adoration for Donald than for his wife," the CFO's former daughter-in-law Jennifer Weisselberg told the New Yorker.
The problem with centering your whole life on a deeply flawed character like Donald Trump is that your whole life is at risk if he goes down. And in Weisselberg's case, that means his dipshit son Barry Weisselberg may also be in jeopardy. Because Barry spent his entire adult life running the Wollman skating rink for the Trump Organization, and if, as has been reported, he accepted hundreds of thousands of dollars of perks in lieu of salary, then he may have a tax problem prosecutors can use to beat him over the head with until his father cries uncle.
On top of that, Barry's pissed off ex-wife Jennifer is trying to burn it all to the ground by supplying a never-ending stream of documents to Vance and James, which saves prosecutors the trouble of even having to get a subpoena. All of this adds up to big trouble for Weisselberg, and he knows it. CNN reports that Bryan Skarlatos, a prominent tax attorney, is joining criminal defense lawyer Mary Mulligan on Weisselberg's legal team.
We all know where this is going. Prosecutors have enormous power, and while it's delightful to think that maybe, finally Trump will get something that's coming to him, let's not kid ourselves that this isn't a frightening use of state power in service of political goals. If Trump had never run for president, no one would give a shit if he slipped his rink manager a free apartment without mentioning it to Uncle Sam and the New York Department of Finance.
Let's not kid ourselves that the AG would be looking at ancient mortgage applications for a guy named Ronald Crump. The former president's insane blarping notwithstanding, he does kind of have a point when he whines that "they only go after Donald Trump." It just happens to be ridiculous coming from a guy who got elected promising to send his former opponent to jail, then proceeded to corrupt the Justice Department to protect his friends, while attempting to sic it on his enemies.
So be happy! And be appalled! Embrace the cognitive dissonance.
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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.