A newly revealed Allen Weisselberg interview sheds light on his close relationship to a witness in the Manhattan DA’s Trump Organization probe



donald trump jr allen weisselberg

Donald Trump, Allen Weisselberg, and Donald Trump Jr. in 2017. Timothy A. Clary/AFP via Getty Images

  • A newly revealed interview with Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg sheds light on his relationship with the company’s controller.

  • Weisselberg testified that he’d sign documents Jeffrey McConney prepped without even reading them, according to a transcript obtained by The Daily Beast.

  • McConney has testified in the Manhattan DA investigation that led to criminal charges against Weisselberg.

Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg trusted his colleague Jeffrey McConney so much that he once said he’d sign whatever McConney put in front of him without bothering to read it.

Now McConney has testified in a Manhattan grand jury investigation that led to criminal charges against Weisselberg and the company. As the Trump Organization’s controller, he is the person most knowledgeable about the company’s finances, aside from Weisselberg himself.

Details about Weisselberg’s and McConney’s relationship emerged in an interview Weisselberg gave to the New York State Attorney General’s office in October 2017. The Daily Beast obtained a full transcript of the interview through a Freedom of Information Act request and published it Wednesday. Previously, only a portion of the transcript was publicly available in court filings.

The interview was taken as part of the New York AG’s investigation into how the Trump Foundation misused funds for former president Donald Trump’s personal use and to advance his political career. Weisselberg, who was the foundation’s treasurer, explained how it made donations and processed payments in the full transcript.

In the interview, representatives for the attorney general’s office pointed to papers with Weisselberg’s signatures. Weisselberg testified that he didn’t read several of those documents, but signed them anyway because McConney already reviewed them.

“Knowing that it went through Jeff McConney, who provided the original information, then he told me it’s okay to sign, I would go ahead and sign these things,” Weisselberg said in the interview.

Weisselberg said he and McConney had a shorthand way of working after years of being colleagues, and that the two didn’t have written policies in place for how to handle financial documents. In addition to his role at the Trump Organization, McConney also acted as an accountant for the Trump Foundation and helped build a website for a foundation fundraiser coordinated with the Trump campaign, Weisselberg testified.

McConney worked with a third-party tax firm for his Trump Foundation work, Weisselberg told the AG’s office. As treasurer for the purported charitable entity, Weisselberg ultimately signed off on whatever McConney put in front of him.

“Jeff McConney worked with me for a long time. He used to work for a CPA firm,” Weisselberg testified. “He knew exactly what they were requesting. And I relied upon him to do the right thing and give him the right information.”

Trump ultimately admitted to wrongdoing following the AG’s investigation in 2019. He was forced to dissolve the foundation and ordered to pay millions in fines.

Jeffrey McConney testified in another Trump investigation that’s still ongoing

Now Trump is dealing with a separate legal headache: The Manhattan District Attorney’s criminal investigation into his company, which is being conducted in collaboration with the state attorney general’s office.

The DA’s office filed indictments against the company and Weisselberg in July, accusing them of a wide-ranging scheme to evade taxes on income and benefits like apartments. Weisselberg and attorneys for the company pleaded not guilty to the charges.

McConney – who also testified for the AG’s Trump Foundation investigation – is a witness in the Manhattan DA’s ongoing investigation as well.

He has already testified before the grand jury empaneled by the DA’s office. According to the Wall Street Journal, he is also the is “Unindicted Co-Conspirator #1” referenced in the July indictment.

Prosecutors have attempted to “flip” Weisselberg into cooperating in their long-running investigation, which is also examining other issues with the Trump Organization’s finances.

Read the original article on Business Insider


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