Trump Organization financial chief Weisselberg 'given immunity'


The detail came as several media outlets reported on Thursday (Friday NZ time) that federal prosecutors had granted immunity to National Enquirer chief David Pecker, potentially laying bare his efforts to protect his longtime friend Trump.

Cohen pleaded guilty on Tuesday to handling hush money for Mr Trump in violation of campaign finance laws.

According to prosecutors, Cohen sent an invoice to Executive 1, meaning Weisselberg, for "Payment for services rendered for the month of January and February, 2017", a payment that was really meant to reimburse Cohen for a payment to Stormy Daniels.

Calls and emails to the Trump Organization to reach Weisselberg and general counsel Alan Garten were not immediately answered.

The financial chief of President Trump's business empire has been granted immunity from prosecution as part of the investigation into illegal campaign payments, it was disclosed yesterday. Mr. Trump sold it in 2015 after owning it for almost two decades. Mr. Trump has been insistent that he had nothing to do with the payments and learned of them only after they were made.

"The only reason to do that would be to hide the nature of the payment and to make it tax deductible", Ware said.

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A cooperation deal between Weisselberg and prosecutors could be hugely damaging to Trump given the executive's longtime role in Trump's business affairs. Though George had no personal knowledge of Trump-specific catch and kills, he said that AMI generally paid hush money only if it believed it had something to gain. The Trump Organization recorded some of the payments to Cohen as tax-deductible legal expenses.

Mr Trump has repeatedly denied collusion with Russian Federation, and Russia denies involvement in the 2016 election.

The identities of executive 1 and 2 are still unknown.

Weisselberg is a key figure in Trump's orbit.

Mr Weisselberg is an unlikely player in the unfolding presidential drama, a low-profile employee who appeared in The Apprentice as a judge once but otherwise rarely drew the spotlight.

Trump's capacity for survival has surprised even some of Washington's most experienced political hands. Weisselberg was also treasurer of The Donald J. Trump Foundation, the president's nonprofit, which has been sued by the NY attorney general for alleged violations of state law.

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According to a new report from Vanity Fair's Gabriel Sherman, however, Pecker has now been granted legal immunity to spill dirt to investigators about allegedly illegal payments the president made to past mistresses during the 2016 presidential campaign.

"If there is nothing improper that went on there, Donald Trump has nothing to worry about", Toobin told CNN.

Prosecutors also reportedly granted immunity to Dylan Howard, chief content officer at American Media, for participating in the investigation.

Despite the momentary levity, though, Trump is increasingly frustrated and isolated as the investigations that have long dogged his White House plunge into the personal territory he once declared off-limits.

Weisselberg comes off in depositions in that case and others over the years as unobtrusive, loyal and undemanding.

Mr Trump and the Enquirer had deals dating back more than a decade, AP reports.

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