Former Daughter-in-Law of Targeted Trump Exec Explains How the Trump Organization 'Controls' Its Employees
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.
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.
"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:
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.
Bring it Jennifer https://t.co/aDIcXEc8qR— Equity 4 all citizens (@Equity 4 all citizens)1616179697.0
https://t.co/07KHCVbBcG https://t.co/PDFojuKWMC— Breathfart News (@Breathfart News)1616171108.0
Alan Weisselberg has been flanked and now surrounded. his sons are in deep trouble, and he needs to start cooperati… https://t.co/uwLd7vnMHq— campskunk (@campskunk)1616165324.0
@duty2warn @2annihilation The brave among us will save us.— Laura St Denis (@Laura St Denis)1616168013.0
Cohen, meanwhile, is on his eighth interview with criminal prosecutors, leading some to believe criminal indictments are on the way.
Is it just me, or does this feel a little like they're onto something! 😆🤣🤣 https://t.co/iVMUoc6rS6— Realist60 🏃🏻♂️🥦🥑🌶🍓🍅🍆🏃🏻♂️ (@Realist60 🏃🏻♂️🥦🥑🌶🍓🍅🍆🏃🏻♂️)1616090793.0
Tick tock https://t.co/K1yU4oB2m1— Frank Funaro (@Frank Funaro)1616072950.0
He’s singing like a bird, and how I yearn to hear that song. https://t.co/35FO9ctSpc— Van Badham (@Van Badham)1616072716.0
@kaitlancollins https://t.co/I39xRX4zmd— Lulu (@Lulu)1616072409.0
@kaitlancollins Michael Cohen and Allen Weisselberg should have a lot to contribute to an investigation into the Trump family business.— 🇺🇸Phil Riggan (@🇺🇸Phil Riggan)1616072359.0
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.