Trump Organization criminal case: Ex-president’s close ally ‘will flip on him’ says relative

Trump Organization criminal case: Ex-president’s close ally ‘will flip on him’ says relative
Jennifer Weisselberg claims her former father-in-law will co-operate with authorities

A key witness in the New York authorities’ criminal probe into the Trump Organization has said her former father-in-law, who is being interviewed by investigators, can be expected to “flip” on the ex-president.

Jennifer Weisselberg is the ex-daughter-in-law of Allen Weisselberg, the Trump empire’s longtime chief financial officer. In an interview with CNN’s Erin Burnett on Thursday, she restated her backing for the probe and predicted her former relative would not be standing by Donald Trump.

“There’s nothing going on that’s a ‘witch hunt’ or a ‘fishing expedition’,” she said. “That’s not true. They are guardians of the law, they are working hard as I am to tell the truth, and to see justice prevail … they need to be accountable for what they’ve done.”

“Will Allen Weisselberg flip on Trump?” asked Ms Burnett.

Her interviewee did not pause: “Yes.”

Ms Weisselberg was married to the son of the Trump CFO for the best part of three decades, divorcing him after Mr Trump became president.

While not a Trump Organization employee herself, she has become a major player in the case both because of her knowledge as a onetime close family member and by virtue of the trove of records she has reportedly turned over to investigators – among which she says are many communications involving her former father-in-law and the ex-president himself.

Allen Weisselberg, who is the longest-serving executive at the Trump Organization as well as one of its most senior figures, has reportedly been under criminal investigation for months by the New York attorney general’s office – this as prosecutors pursue a separate, broader investigation into the Trump family’s financial affairs and business practices.

Among other things, the probe is examining claims that the Trumps deliberately and illegally over- and under-valued various properties to obtain loans and reduce their tax obligations.

On CNN, Ms Burnett asked Ms Weisselberg why she is co-operating with the investigation so willingly when other Trump associates who’ve “flipped” on the ex-president have only done so after sustained and intense pressure from law enforcement.

“Because I think the truth matters,” she said, “and it’s become so much bigger … it’s so horrifying to think that Donald Trump could be president again knowing what I know, and I’m not afraid to tell the truth. And I respect the DA’s and AG’s investigation.”

Ms Weisselberg is not the only person to suggest that the New York cases might drive people involved to turn on each other.

Speaking to MSNBC’s Joy-Ann Reid, longtime reporter Tim O’Brien said that the former president himself might turn on other people under investigation – including his own family.

“I would put a question mark next to Ivanka,” he said, “and I would put an ‘undoubtedly’ next to everybody else.”

According to Mr O’Brien, who has reported on Mr Trump and his family for years, the governing principles of the Trump world do not foster mutual trust that can hold up under legal pressure.

“Loyalty is a one-way street in Trumplandia; it flows towards Donald Trump and it does not go in any other direction. He does not have emotional bonds with people. And if everyone around him now has to debate whether or not they want to face a criminal charge and the possibility of going to prison or getting a larger salary next year from Donald, I think they’re going to choose to rat out Donald the first chance they get.

“And I think that’s why it’s significant that Alan Weisselberg’s now under a criminal investigation, because it breaks open this huge crack in the façade of the Trump Organization.”