Trump Criminal Probe Grows To Cover Suspect Salary Payments

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As part of his ongoing Trump criminal probe, Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance is investigating compensation that Barry Weisselberg received in his work for the Trump Organization, as outlined in a new report from The Washington Post. Barry — the son of longtime Trump family ally Allen Weisselberg — spent years managing the Wollman Rink on behalf of the Trump Organization, which ran the Central Park ice skating rink under a New York City contract that local authorities moved to terminate after the Capitol rioting. According to testimony that Barry provided as part of divorce proceedings, he received an annual salary of over $200,000, plus other benefits.

Some of those other benefits included some $40,000 in yearly bonuses from 2015 to 2017 and free Trump Organization-owned apartment space for the Weisselberg family. Now, as explained by the Post, these “payments and perks, as well as other financial support provided to Weisselberg and his family, have drawn new scrutiny from [Vance]… as a potentially key component of his ongoing criminal investigation into the former president’s business activity and finances.” This past Thursday, Jennifer Weisselberg — Barry’s ex-wife — provided sizable amounts of evidence to Vance’s team after facing a grand jury subpoena for the materials.

The subpoena demanded “all of the records [Jennifer] possessed for her ex-husband’s bank accounts and credit cards plus his statements of net worth and tax filings,” according to the Post. Investigators have been examining whether the sizable financial benefits from the Trump Organization to the Weisselbergs were reported appropriately to tax authorities. According to the Post, when questioned during his divorce proceedings about whether taxes were paid on a company-owned apartment where the Weisselbergs lived, Barry claimed he didn’t know, and he said that he had “no idea” about any tangible basis for the amount of his bonuses.

As summarized by the Post, during those divorce proceedings, Barry “said that before being elected president, Trump had been the one to decide his salary, along with his father.” In other words, the ex-president could have been personally involved in a scheme to spread the wealth among Trump family allies without paying appropriate taxes. Authorities have been trying to get Allen Weisselberg to flip and become a cooperating witness, as Jennifer has been.