Manhattan prosecutors at the office of District Attorney Cy Vance have subpoenaed personal financial records of Allen Weisselberg, a longtime Trump ally who serves as the Trump family business’s Chief Financial Officer. Reports have outlined a plan from prosecutors to try and get Weisselberg to flip against Trump, who is under criminal investigation by the office, but it’s unclear whether — even at this point — Weisselberg is willing to share potentially incriminating information. His work with the Trumps stretches back decades, having first worked with Donald’s father, Fred Trump.
According to the Times, the records that are the subject of the demands from Vance’s team include Weisselberg’s personal bank records, although it’s unclear at present whether prosecutors have found or plan to charge Weisselberg with any wrongdoing. Potential criminal charges against Weisselberg or one of his family members who have worked in the Trumps’ orbit could drive the accountant to cooperate with prosecutors — that’s the theory, anyway.
According to the Times, Manhattan prosecutors “are also seeking a new round of internal documents from the Trump Organization, including general ledgers from several of its more than two dozen properties that the company did not turn over last year.” These documents could provide a critical vantage point from which to examine whether the Trump Organization was truthful in its statements to lenders and tax authorities. The Trump family business is suspected of potentially fraudulently adjusting valuations of its assets in an effort to secure financial benefits like tax breaks and favorable loan terms. Former longtime Trump fixer Michael Cohen infamously outlined some of these issues during public testimony to the House Oversight Committee.
The Times adds that Vance’s team “has also subpoenaed records from several banks where Mr. Trump or his company had accounts, including JPMorgan Chase and Capital One,” and like the rest of the documents in question, this material could help prosecutors build their case against Trump and his business. Trump, of course, has consistently denied doing anything worthy of the prosecutors’ scrutiny, and he’s characterized the efforts from Manhattan authorities as politically motivated — but there’s no particular indication that Trump’s assessment of the situation is on point. A duly proceeding investigation in response to duly documented behavior isn’t political persecution.
Notably, Cohen has long since flipped against Trump, and he has met with Vance’s team over half a dozen times. He’s currently on home confinement over criminal charges that he faced because of his role in a hush money scheme targeting women with whom the ex-president had affairs, but he said during a recent teleconference appearance on television that he believes that prosecutors have “more than” enough evidence to bring criminal charges against Trump, should they choose to pursue them.