In January of 2017, Donald Trump relinquished as much control of the Trump Organization as the general public knows up until this point. Whether he divested himself completely will likely be discovered during the evidentiary period of a lawsuit that a judge ruled could proceed against Trump back in July, but as far as anyone is concerned right now, full control was handed over to three men just before the inauguration.
Two of those men are Donald Trump’s sons, Eric and Don Jr.
Unfortunately for everyone in the Trump family and everyone connected to the Trump Organization, the third man is Allen Weisselberg, who was made CFO of the organization. This morning it was announced first in the Wall Street Journal that Weisselberg has been granted immunity in exchange for testimony in the Michael Cohen case, which if you watched literally any news during this entire week, you now know involves Cohen having sat in on a conversation between father and son regarding the now-infamous Trump Tower meeting that resulted in the conspiracy with Russia that sparked the meat of the Mueller probe.
Immunity is unlike a plea deal, which can sometimes involve coercion on the part of prosecutors — not that Mueller’s team has been accused of any such thing — but rather is a promise to a witness that they will never be prosecuted for any crimes they are implicated in. That’s generally the result of prosecutors knowing in advance that a witness may have played either an unwitting or unwilling part in a crime they otherwise would not have committed.
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This is devastating news for the Trump family, as Weisselberg is perhaps the longest-serving “lieutenant” of the Trumps, having begun his association with them more than 40 years ago as an accountant for the President’s father, Fred.
Weisselberg is one of the only people on the planet that knows the details of the Trump family trust.
The immunity deal is likely the result of Cohen’s plea deal, in which he implicated the Trump Organization as a witting participant in payoffs that would constitute campaign violations directly intended to affect the outcome of the 2016 election.
Featured image via Wikimedia Commons