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Trump Organization CFO granted immunity to speak on payments made to Michael Cohen

Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg is a key figure in Donald Trump’s orbit.

world Updated: Aug 25, 2018 07:28 IST
Yashwant Raj
Yashwant Raj
Hindustan Times
Donald Trump,Trump Organization,Michael Cohen
Trump’s former personal lawyer Michael Cohen implicated Donald Trump saying the hush money paid to two women were made on Trump’s instructions and in coordination with him. (AP)

Allen Weisselberg, a long-time chief financial officer for the Trump Organization, has been granted immunity by federal prosecutors to speak about payments made to Michael Cohen, a former lawyer and fixer for President Donald Trump.

The news came hours after it was revealed that David Pecker, the owner of the tabloid National Enquirer that bought and killed negative or damaging stories about Trump, had also got immunity. AP has reported that he kept a safe of such stories and payments regarding Trump.

Weisselberg is a key figure in Trump’s orbit. When the president broke ties with Trump Organization to fulfil ethical requirements of the office, he handed over control of his financial assets and business interests to his two sons—Don and Eric Trump — and Weisselberg.

Weisselberg had been invited to testify before a grand jury earlier in the year and then spoke to prosectors, said The Wall Street Journal.

He figures as “Executive-1” in court papers filed by prosecutors in the guilty plea entered earlier in the week by Cohen on eight charges including campaign finance law violations in the payment of hush money to two women for keeping quiet about their affairs with Trump. Cohen implicated Trump saying the payments were made on his instructions and in coordination with him.

Karen McDougal, a former Playboy model, was paid $150,000 by National Enquirer for her story that never ran, and Stormy Daniels, a porn star whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, was paid $130,000 by Cohen through a front company. The payment to Daniels was reimbursement to Cohen by the Trump Organization as authorized by Weisselberg, who, the Journal reported, did not know the money was intended to pay Daniels.

First Published: Aug 25, 2018 07:13 IST