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Former Daughter-in-Law of Targeted Trump Exec Explains How the Trump Organization 'Controls' Its Employees

MSNBC // TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP via Getty Images)

At a 2019 hearing, Trump's attorney-turned-critic Michael Cohen testified before the House Oversight and Reform Committee ahead of his prison sentence.

The widely-publicized hearing offered lots of opportunities for political grandstanding, but it also allowed for some actual information to slip through.

One such moment came during questions from then-freshman Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), in one of her first hearings.

Watch below.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Questions Michael Cohen On Insurance Fraud At Hearing | NBC News www.youtube.com

The Congresswoman asked who would be able to corroborate Cohen's sworn testimony that Trump inflated his assets to insurance companies.

Cohen replied:

"Allen Weisselberg, Ron Lieberman, and Matthew Calamari."

When asked who would know if Trump devalued his assets in order to pay less in taxes, Cohen said:

"Allen Weisselberg."

The name was little-known to the public before the Cohen hearing, but Weisselberg—the Chief Financial Officer of the Trump Organization—immediately became the subject of scrutiny in relation to Trump's long-concealed financial dealings.

Now, nearly two years later, Weisselberg plays a key role in Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance's investigation into Trump's business dealings.

Attorneys are reportedly working to "flip" Weisselberg, hoping to enlist him in making sense of the millions of pages of documents recently released to them from Trump's accounting firm, Mazars, after a lengthy court battle.

As part of that effort, Manhattan attorneys have reportedly interviewed the ex-wife of Weisselberg's son Barry, Jennifer Weisselberg, who's proven to be a forthcoming witness. Barry Weisselberg also runs a Central Park ice rink owned by the Trump organization.

In the 2019 hearing, Cohen said that Trump demands unconditional loyalty from anyone with whom he crosses paths. Jennifer Weisselberg opened up about how Trump maintains that loyalty in a recent interview with NBC News.

She told the outlet:

"They control people by compensating you with homes and things. It's not easy to walk away when they provide your home."

According to Jennifer Weisselberg, she and Barry Weisselberg lived in a ritzy Central Park apartment offered them as a "wedding gift" from Trump. She says they lived there rent-free, only paying utilities.

She told the New Yorker:

"They pay you with apartments and other stuff, as a control tactic, so you can't leave. They own you! You have to do whatever corrupt crap they ask."

Some are hoping that Ms. Weisselberg's cooperation with investigators will eventually lead to Trump's downfall.




Cohen, meanwhile, is on his eighth interview with criminal prosecutors, leading some to believe criminal indictments are on the way.





Readers may want to hold off on getting their hopes up. According to Cohen himself, Trump is an expert at covering his bases and leaving room for plausible deniability.