House Intel Will Call Trump Org Moneyman Allen Weisselberg to Testify
The intelligence committee has indicated for months it intends to follow Trump’s money. Allen Weisselberg keeps the Trump Organization’s receipts.
The House Intelligence Committee intends to call the Trump Organization’s chief financial officer to testify, The Daily Beast has learned.
Allen Weisselberg received renewed congressional attention after disgraced Trump fixer Michael Cohen on Wednesday repeatedly mentioned the Trump Org CFO as crucial to various aspects of dubiously legal practices by President Donald Trump, from the Stormy Daniels hush-money payments to potential insurance fraud.
“The committee anticipates bringing in Mr. Weisselberg,” a Democratic committee aide told The Daily Beast.
Cohen, in marathon testimony to the House Oversight Committee on Wednesday, didn’t directly tie Weisselberg to the Trump camp’s interactions with Russia, the central preoccupation of the House intelligence committee.
But Weisselberg is uniquely positioned to address questions about financial transactions or relationships that concern potential foreign leverage over Trump–which new intelligence committee chairman Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) has indicated for months that he intends to investigate. Trump famously called any effort by Special Counsel Robert Mueller to look into Trump's finances a “red line” that would trigger Mueller’s firing, and Schiff has stepped into the gap.
Soon after the Democratic victory in November’s House elections, the Democrats on the committee moved to hire money-laundering and forensic accounting specialists to aid their attempts to track Trump’s money. At the time, an Illinois Democrat on the panel, Rep. Mike Quigley, told The Daily Beast that Trump’s financial ties to Deutsche Bank–an institution long suspected of money laundering–appeared to be “an obvious point of investigation.”
And earlier this month, Schiff substantially expanded the probe’s focus from what it was under Republican management. Schiff announced that the committee will investigate whether “any foreign actor” holds leverage over Trump, his family, associates, or the Trump Organization, including financial leverage; and whether they were at any time at risk of or vulnerable to “foreign exploitation, inducement, manipulation, pressure or coercion”–as well as if Trump and his team have acted, while in government, “in service of foreign interests.”
The intelligence committee’s interest in Weisselberg is unlikely to affect the oversight committee’s similar interest. Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD), the chairman of the oversight committee, indicated Thursday that Weisselberg was among witnesses named by Cohen whom the panel would likely move to interview. A representative for Cummings did not immediately respond to an inquiry, but a different Democratic staffer said the committee still plans on calling Weisselberg in.
Weisselberg is unique in the Trump orbit. In addition to being the Trump Organization CFO, he’s the Trump family accountant. According to the Wall Street Journal, prosecutors with the Southern District of New York granted Weisselberg, a Delphic oracle of financial information about Trump, limited immunity in its successful probe of Cohen over the Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal hush-money payments.
“Allen is the one guy who knows everything,” a former Trump Organization official told The New Yorker’s Adam Davidson, who described Weisselberg as “the person in the company who knows more than anyone.”