Here’s what Allen Weisselberg, the Trump family’s longtime money man, could tell Congress
The Trump Organization’s longtime chief financial officer may be called to testify before Congress after President Donald Trump’s longtime fixer and personal attorney, Michael Cohen, repeatedly named him while testifying about financial crimes allegedly committed by the president and at the president’s direction.
The House Intelligence Committee plans to call Allen Weisselberg to testify, according to multiple news reports. During a House Committee on Oversight and Reform hearing on Wednesday, Cohen testified that Weisselberg had first-hand knowledge of criminal acts committed by the president, and alleged that Weisselberg himself participated in tax violations, campaign-finance violations, insurance fraud, and other financial crimes.
Weisselberg likely knows Trump’s business practices better than anyone: He started as an accountant for Trump’s father, Fred Trump, a real estate developer, in the 1970s and has held financial roles within the Trump family’s inner circle since. Weisselberg helped run Trump’s failed casino in Atlantic City in the early 2000s. He was also treasurer of the president’s charitable organization, the Trump Foundation, which dissolved in 2018 after prosecutors found it was used to fatten Trump’s business and campaign coffers.
The office of the Special Counsel Robert Mueller is reportedly investigating the foundation for receiving improper donations from foreigners, and lawmakers, including Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA), have signaled they want to initiate an investigation after Cohen’s Oversight Committee testimony. Cohen said Trump used foundation funds to improperly purchase a portrait of himself and inflate its selling price.
The Trump Organization and its finances are also under investigation by the Southern District of New York. Prosecutors are looking into whether company executives may have violated campaign finance laws, the New York Times reported. Weisselberg has reportedly been a focus of that inquiry.
Weisselberg, according to Cohen, signed some of the checks that reimbursed Cohen for hush-money payments made to women who claimed they had affairs with the president. Cohen also said the president’s son, Donald Trump Jr., and President Trump himself signed such checks.
Cohen was sentenced in December to three years in jail after pleading guilty to what the judge described as “veritable smorgasbord of criminal conduct” — including tax dodging, lying to banks, and campaign-finance violations related to those hush-money payments. Weisselberg was granted immunity for his cooperation in that case.
Cohen made other claims about illegal business practices by Trump through the Trump Foundation and Trump Organization, which Weisselberg could have insight into.
Cohen claimed Trump directed the Trump Foundation to refund a fake bidder he paid to purchase a portrait of himself at an auction in the Hamptons in 2013. He also claimed that Trump inflated his net worth to lenders, inflated property values to insurers, and deflated property values for tax dodging purposes.
Weisselberg, along with Eric Trump and Don Jr., has also managed Trump’s private trust.