New York federal prosecutors weighed whether to charge the Trump Organization’s chief financial officer, Allen Weisselberg, with perjury following his testimony during their investigation of the former president’s personal attorney Michael Cohen, according to a new report.
Four people familiar with prosecutors’ thinking explained that Weisselberg was granted limited immunity during the investigation, as CNN reports. He was involved in the organizations’ effort to reimburse Cohen for hush-money payments.
People familiar with the matter said federal prosecutors ultimately questioned their move to grant Weisselberg immunity. Prosecutors then considered charging him with perjury after they suspected he lied in his testimony.
Additionally, prosecutors questioned whether they could withdraw his immunity. The outlet notes, citing two people familiar with the investigation, prosecutors were “skeptical of Weisselberg’s testimony, particularly his description of how the company reimbursed Cohen and categorized it in the company’s books as legal expenses.”
In the end, prosecutors decided against either keeping Weisselberg from his immunity or prosecuting him, as CNN points out.
A lawyer for Weisselberg, Mary Mulligan, responded, “Allen cooperated fully in the SDNY’s extensive investigation. The SDNY charged Michael Cohen with campaign finance and tax violations, and then closed its investigation more than two years ago.”
Weisselberg pleaded not guilty to tax-related charges after being indicted by a grand jury last month, as IJR reported. He pleaded not guilty to the 15 charges, including tax fraud, conspiracy, grand larceny, and falsifying business records. He and the Trump organization have denied wrongdoing.
New York Attorney General Letitia James released a statement responding to the indictment, saying, “Today is an important marker in the ongoing criminal investigation of the Trump Organization and its CFO, Allen Weisselberg.”
She added, “In the indictment, we allege, among other things, financial wrongdoing whereby the Trump Organization engaged in a scheme with Mr. Weisselberg to avoid paying taxes on certain compensation. This investigation will continue, and we will follow the facts and the law wherever they may lead.”
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