Trump Organization CFO granted immunity in probe

Alicia Cross
August 26, 2018

According to the AP, Cohen began pushing the Enquirer in 2010 to promote the idea of a potential Trump presidency, and was involved with the outlet's decision to start questioning President Barack Obama's birthplace.

The Wall Street Journal first reported Weisselberg's immunity deal.

Cohen - who arranged hush-money payments shortly before the November 2016 USA presidential election to two women who said they had had sex with Trump in 2006 - on Tuesday pleaded guilty in NY to campaign finance violations and other criminal charges.

Weisselberg was mentioned by Cohen on a secret recording the lawyer made in which Cohen and Trump appeared to discuss reimbursing American Media for a hush-money payment to former Playboy model Karen McDougal, who has said she had an affair with Trump.

Lawyer and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani.

He said he had paid hush money to two women who alleged they had affairs with Mr Trump, at the direction of "the candidate" - a clear reference to Mr Trump. Commentators suggested that the conversation could be a "Pandora's box" for prosecutors.

"So that being a campaign contribution, and that is what basically Mr Cohen has already pleaded guilty to, the corporation is equally guilty, including those who operate the corporation", he added.

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Cohen's actions reflect a pattern of lies and dishonesty over a significant period of time", said Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani. Cohen may be inclined to cooperate knowing Mueller could recommend more lenient sentencing at his hearing on December 12.

Under a reorganization plan announced before Trump's January 2017 inauguration, the business was placed into a trust now controlled by Weisselberg and the president's two adult sons, Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump. Daniels was paid $US130,000, and McDougal was paid $US150,000.

Mr Cohen, who for a decade was Mr Trump's lawyer and fixer, admitted on Tuesday to breaking campaign finance laws and said the payments were an attempt to "influence" the election.

Democratic forces hoping to nail Trump for alleged Russian Federation collusion are now pinning their hopes on Michael Cohen, who was convicted on eight counts tax fraud. A third team of prosecutors, in the Manhattan district attorney's office, said Thursday that they were beginning an investigation of whether the reimbursements for the hush payments broke state law.

The Trump records were stored alongside similar documents pertaining to other celebrities' catch-and-kill deals, in which exclusive rights to people's stories were bought with no intention of publishing to keep them out of the news.

He went on to warn that such an impeachment might lead to an economic collapse, saying he believed the stock market would crash.

And Mr Trump has ordered his secretary of state Mike Pompeo to cancel a planned visit to North Korea because the regime is not making "sufficient progress" over denuclearisation. The president has denied both women's allegations.

It is unclear what exactly triggered the latest decision by Mr Trump.

Other reports by Free-Prsite

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