How About We Just Go Ahead And Subpoena Allen Weisselberg?

Remember how interesting the deposition of Allen Weisselberg, longtime Trump money man and CFO of the Trump Organization, was?

Well, it looks like it might be time to revisit the excerpts from that deposition for clues as to what might be about to come down the pike, because now, Weisselberg has been subpoenaed to testify before a federal grand jury as part of the Michael Cohen criminal probe.

To be absolutely clear: that isn’t great. Or maybe it is. Maybe it’s fantastic. Or “tremendous” to employ a Trumpism. It all depends on who you’re pulling for in the ongoing race between Donald Trump and his past misdeeds, which are gaining on him and “snipping at his heels” like some annoying lawmaker trying to convince him not move ahead with tariffs.

Allen was mentioned twice in the secret recording of the conversation Cohen had with Trump regarding payments to Karen McDougal, the Playboy model who said she had an affair with then-candidate Trump. That recording was made public earlier this week on CNN.

Here are the references to Weisselberg: 

I’ve spoken to Allen about how to set the whole thing up. I spoke to Allen about it, when it comes time for the financing.

Weisselberg is considered a witness in the Cohen case and as the Wall Street Journal (who broke the story) notes, “it’s unclear if he’s already testified, or what prosecutors want to ask him.”

What is clear, however, is that this is dangerous territory for the President.

Timothy O’Brien (who interviewed Weisselberg for a 2016 book called “TrumpNation: The Art Of Being The Donald“) explained why on Wednesday, in “New Cohen Tape Surfaces A Bigger Trump Fish“.  To wit, from that piece:

Weisselberg isn’t a bit player in Trumplandia and his emergence on the Cohen-Trump recording – as someone possibly facilitating a scheme apparently meant to disguise a payoff – should worry the president. Weisselberg has detailed information about the Trump Organization’s operations, business deals and finances. If he winds up in investigators’ crosshairs for secreting payoffs, he could potentially provide much more damaging information to prosecutors than Cohen ever could about the president’s dealmaking.

Weisselberg, on the other hand, has worked for the Trump family since the 1970s, and knows more about the Trump Organization’s history and finances than nearly anyone. Almost 71 years old, he joined the company after graduating from college and worked for the president’s father, Fred, as an accountant. He has since become the Trump Organization’s chief financial officer and one of the president’s closest business confidants.

Right. And as our friends over at Wonkette detailed earlier this month, Weisselberg’s 2017 deposition (part of a cache of documents posted by New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood in connection with the Trump Foundation lawsuit) was pretty entertaining. Let’s review (via Wonkette):

New York requires the board of every non-profit meet once a year. Which the Trump Foundation failed to do, but don’t blame Mr. Weisselberg, since he never even knew he was on the board. He just signed the tax return without looking at it, like CPAs always do LOL.

And who asked him to grab the Foundation checkbook and get on a plane bound for Iowa in January 2016 so Trump could pose with those gigantic prop checks? Mr. Weisselberg just can’t recall!


Was it Corey Lewandowski, Trump’s campaign manager? MAAAAAAYBE!


But even if it was, Corey was moonlighting as a charitable fundraiser, and asking him to bring the Foundation’s checkbook to a campaign event had nothing at all to do with the campaign.


And how did it come about that Jeff Mooney, who worked for Mr. Weisselberg at the Trump Organization, got dispatched to set up a fundraising website? Mr. Weisselberg has no idea! He just knew there was some independent contractor fella named maybe “Brad Pascal” working with Mooney to set it up.



Donald Trump’s top deputy for the past forty years is saying that he didn’t know who Brad Parscale was in October of 2017? He went out of his way to say under oath to New York state investigators that he passed this project off to some independent contractor whose name he can’t even remember?

If that’s any indication of how Allen’s testimony in the Cohen probe is going to go, well then everyone is in for a lot of laughs.

Does this have to bode ill for Trump? Well, yes. Because as everyone on the planet who has ever known the President is out suggesting on Thursday, Weisselberg actually knows where the proverbial bodies are buried, unlike Cohen who, by comparison anyway, was just a “low-level” guy (à la George Papadopoulos).

“We don’t even know if there was anything illegal about the whole thing — much less if Weisselberg would have been involved in any illegality so the idea that Weisselberg might flip on Trump is premature, at best”, the Washington Post notes, before stating the obvious, which is this:

But the fact that there was reason to subpoena him is big. That means he has to answer investigators’ questions, save for ones where he might invoke the Fifth Amendment or attorney-client privilege. It also means the probe has clearly expanded into Trump’s business, which constituted Trump’s previously expressed red line.

Ah, yes – the infamous “red line” from the July 2017 New York Times interview:

Asked if Mr. Mueller’s investigation would cross a red line if it expanded to look at his family’s finances beyond any relationship to Russia, Mr. Trump said, “I would say yes.” He would not say what he would do about it. “I think that’s a violation. Look, this is about Russia.”

Of course that “red line” has been crossed (at least in spirit) by Mueller on any number of occasions since that interview was published, so it’s a little late now when it comes to citing that as a reason to move against the special counsel probe or any other investigation that comes about as a result of it.

As far as Weisselberg’s subpoena is concerned, former Justice Department official Harry Litman had this to offer on Thursday:

[It’s] significant because it indicates that the probe encompasses the welter of transactions done under the umbrella of the Trump Organization, with possible criminal liability for the organization itself. Moreover, it means investigation into possible abuse of the organizational structure to serve Trump’s personal purposes.

You get the idea. The walls appear to be closing in.

On Thursday afternoon, after the Wall Street Journal story hit, the Washington Post’s White House bureau chief Philip Rucker spoke to a former Trump Organization employee over the phone. Here’s what that employee said:

Alan knows everything and anything about all the financials. He knows every dollar that goes in and every dollar that leaves.

Nothing further.

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One thought on “How About We Just Go Ahead And Subpoena Allen Weisselberg?

  1. Trump, Allen who? Oh yea, that Allen, sure he was my dad’s accountant but I don’t remember him. He was a low level guy.

    Donnie the walls are getting just a little bit tighter today. Drip…..

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