Recently, a bombshell report broke from the New York Times indicating that the Chief Financial Officer of the Trump Organization, Allen Weisselberg, may be facing indictment in connection to the criminal investigation against the ex-president’s business as early as this summer. The new information has caused speculation surrounding whether or not Weisselberg will flip on Donald Trump to save himself and his family to reach a new fever pitch.
But according to one former White House lawyer, it may not be a simple decision for Weisselberg to make — as Donald Trump is notorious for throwing people who don’t serve him well straight under the bus.
Former acting Solicitor General Neal Katyal and ex-federal prosecutor Glenn Kirschner made an appearance on MSNBC with host Joy Reid on the heels of the New York Times report and warned the Trump Organization CFO that this whole thing is going to come down on him hard, whether he likes it or not.
Kirschner was quick to note that Donald Trump should be feeling the nerves right about now, as it’s clear that investigators have tons of evidence that could ultimately convince Weisselberg to flip on his long-time boss.
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“But there’s also a long game to be played here,” he explained. “I’ve had defendants who were not exactly like Weisselberg, but they were people that I desperately needed to bring on board to build my case against the bigger criminal fish, and they wouldn’t plead guilty. Allen Weisselberg may not plead guilty. So, here’s how we play the long game as prosecutors. We indict him. We try him. We convict him. And we sit down with him again after a jury has said, guilty, but before a judge has sentenced him. And we say, ‘What are you going to do now, chief? You still have an opportunity. We can still reduce your sentence somewhat, but guess what? You’re not going to get as good a deal as if you had come on board and cooperated upfront when you should have.’ So, there are still a lot of moving pieces to the Allen Weisselberg part of this equation.”
Reid questioned whether the attorneys thought it would be possible for Donald Trump to walk away from this all without seeing any true accountability or repercussions. Katyal doesn’t think that’s an option for the former president at this point.
“We’ll have to study this new reporting by the New York Times, but to me, it looks like the first domino for Donald Trump is starting to fall,” he answered. “And this has been an inexorable path since the Supreme Court, 9-0, said Trump Tax returns have to be turned over, so these financial records that you’re seeking about Trump are now in the hands of prosecutors. We know that those New York prosecutors have convened a grand jury. They’re going to sit for six months, three days a week.”
He also went on to note that prosecutors sent a letter to the ex-president’s organization, making an official note that their investigation had officially turned criminal. At this point, prosecutors will really only have to tell Weisselberg what will happen if he chooses not to cooperate with them.
“I think prosecutors here know one other thing, which is that Allen Weisselberg knows where all the keys to the kingdom are,” Katyal continued. “He knows everything. So, most normal companies have a compliance office that deals with all these questions. Not the Trump Organization. The Trump Organization’s compliance office was basically, like, a giant sharpie drawing of the presidential seal or something like that. So, it’s really all up to Weisselberg. And so, if they can flip Weisselberg, and I suspect they can because of that dynamic that Michael Cohen was just revealing, this kind of prisoner’s dilemma where if Weisselberg doesn’t cooperate, he’s got to worry that Trump may turn on him. Each of them has to worry about that and that becomes a race to get information and that’s why I think ultimately bad news for Trump.”
You can watch the MSNBC clip here:
Featured image via screen capture