It would appear that Ivanka Trump, Donald Trump Jr., and Eric Trump are the likely targets of both state and federal level prosecutors in New York.
Coming off of arguably the worst week of his administration, it appears that there is more bad news for Donald Trump -particularly in regards to news that Trump Organization Chief Financial Officer Allen Weisselberg was granted immunity by federal prosecutors for the Southern District of New York (SDNY) in conjunction with their investigation of former Trump attorney Michael Cohen, who pleaded guilty to 8 federal felonies last week.
CNN reported the following ominous news this weekend regarding Trump’s predicament with Weisselberg:
“Follow the money.” Those three words — which first emerged in the Watergate scandal and have become the iconic call to arms for investigative journalists everywhere — tells you exactly why the news that Allen Weisselberg was granted immunity in the investigation into Michael Cohen is such a gigantic deal.
Former Nixon White House Counsel John Dean took to his Twitter account this weekend, responding to news that Weisselberg was granted immunity by federal prosecutors, tweeting:
- “Speaking of Weisselberg I think he invoked the 5th and prosecutors immunized him not to nail Cohen or Trump, but Trump’s kids: Eric, Ivanka and Don Jr., who may be in for sphincter-tightening experiences.”
Speaking of Weisselberg I think he invoked the 5th and prosecutors immunized him not to nail Cohen or Trump, but Trump’s kids: Eric, Ivanka and Don Jr., who may be in for sphincter-tightening experiences.
— John Dean (@JohnWDean) August 25, 2018
And remember, Dean has experience with investigations involving presidential campaigns. He was deeply involved in the Watergate scandal and was referred to as the “master manipulator of the cover-up” by the FBI. He eventually plead guilty and served as a key witness against the White House for prosecutors.
David Johnson, a 20+ year trial attorney currently practicing law in Silicon Valley and serving as Special Assistant Attorney General for the State of Washington weighed in as well, commenting:
- “They’re all in deep as trustees of the filthy non-profit; Jr & Kush for conspiracy with Russia; Jr lied to Congress (?); Jared extorted Yemen for 666 Park Ave.; Ivanka got IP from China and maybe laundered $$ w/diamonds; Eric CEO’d his non-profit for profit — Trump SoHo! etc etc.”
Indeed, there does seem to be ample reason for concern on the part of Team Trump.
The Hill reported about White House concerns regarding the Trump kids.
Anxiety is particularly acute in Trump World because of the sense that prosecutors could now have the president’s children in their crosshairs.
Three separate sources with knowledge of the Trump Organization told The Hill that when Trump was head of the company, any substantial invoices required his personal approval before being paid. He would often initial the invoices himself.
During the transition period after winning the presidency, but before being inaugurated, Trump created a trust to manage his assets, in which Weisselberg and the president’s adult sons, Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump, play central roles.
All three sources that spoke to The Hill were insistent that sign-off would be expected from one of the Trump sons when Cohen invoiced for the first two of 12 scheduled monthly payments of $35,000 in February 2017. The money was reimbursement for a payment of $130,000 to Daniels, as well as a $60,000 bonus and fees for other work.
If one of Trump’s children approved such an invoice, that could potentially leave them legally exposed. That, in turn, raises the specter of investigators burrowing further into Trump’s family business — and putting pressure on the president via his children.
A separate report by The Hill had this to say:
Martin London, a lawyer who represented former Vice President Spiro Agnew, said that President Trump should resign from office to keep federal prosecutors from prosecuting his family. “It’s only going to get worse,” London said Friday during an appearance on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”
“We don’t know a quarter of what’s in the pocket of the prosecutor,” London said of Mueller.
“If he has any interest at all in not only saving his skin, but the skin of his child, his children, his son-in-law, his grandchildren, his daughter — this is a time when he’s got to seriously think about that,” London said, referring to Trump. “Now, is he capable of that, of serious thinking? Frankly, I doubt it.”
And the problem is not limited to federal authorities. In June of this year, Vox reported that:
New York state Attorney General Barbara Underwood has filed a lawsuit against the Trump family’s charity, the Donald J. Trump Foundation, alleging “extensive and persistent violations of state and federal law.”
Underwood announced that the lawsuit would name the foundation as well as its directors — President Trump, Ivanka Trump, Donald Trump Jr., and Eric Trump. Alleging a “pattern of persistent illegal conduct, occurring over more than a decade.”