Tabloid exec granted immunity in Trump hush-money probe

Larry Hoffman
August 28, 2018

Through triumphs, scandals and bankruptcies, he was there.

This means Weisselberg will not be put in jail even if he has committed a crime while he was working for Trump.

Trump has given shifting explanations of his knowledge of the payment, most recently saying that it came out of his own pocket, which wouldn't necessarily preclude it from being a campaign violation.

Cohen's lawyer, Lanny Davis, spent recent days walking back his bombshell assertions that his client could tell the special counsel that Trump had prior knowledge of a meeting with a Russian lawyer to get damaging information on Hillary Clinton. Cohen said he made the payments at Trump's direction. What they found was passed on to NY judicial authorities.

A spokeswoman for the attorney general declined to comment. Alan Futerfas, an outside lawyer for the organization, also did not immediately respond to a request for comment. An assistant said both were out of the office Friday.

The $150,000 payment to former Playboy model Karen McDougal by National Enquirer publisher American Media Inc and the $130,000 payment to porn actress Stormy Daniels far exceeded permissible campaign limits.

"I just think the whole thing is a waste of taxpayer money and a way to harass the president", she said.

After suggesting to CNN last Wednesday that "Cohen was an observer and was a witness to Mr. Trump's awareness of those emails before they were dropped", Cohen told the Post, "there's a possibility that is the case".

Weisselberg then forwarded that e-mail to another employee, writing: "Please pay from the Trust".

The "Trust" refers to the entity that Trump set up after the election to hold his assets.

Under a reorganization plan announced before Trump's January 2017 inauguration, the business was placed into a trust controlled by Weisselberg and the president's two adult sons, Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump.

The identities of executive 1 and 2 are still unknown.

Moreover, the "Cohen Knows" angle is also what Sciutto and Bernstein repeated endlessly on CNN's airwaves. There is nearly no chance the Democrats will have such a large majority, and under the current political climate, it would seem impossible that more than one or two Republicans would break ranks-even if the president (as he put it) "shot someone on Fifth Avenue".

Drumbeat of bad news:US President Trump returns to the White House after the Ohio Republican Party State Dinner this weekend.

Weisselberg has worked for the Trump family for more than four decades, including as treasurer for the Donald J. Trump Foundation.

It was a bruising week for Trump, with a trio of men who are intimately familiar with his secrets and business dealings now cooperating with prosecutors.

Former federal prosecutor Renato Mariotti noted that immunity deals such as the one granted to Pecker and Weisselberg typically mean there will be more cooperation down the road.

In addition to his title as chief financial officer, Weisselberg holds executive positions at many Trump entities, including director of the Donald J. Trump Foundation, which is being sued by the NY state attorney general for allegedly tapping donations to settle legal disputes among other illegal uses.

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.

"I think he has constitutional defenses to the investigation being conducted by Mueller", Dershowitz said.

He added that it was a rare trip for him. "He's my boss. I went".

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