Allen Weisselberg, longtime chief financial officer of the Trump Organization, has been granted immunity by federal prosecutors as part of their investigation into President Donald Trump's former personal attorney, Michael Cohen, NBC News reported Friday, citing multiple people with knowledge of the matter.
On Tuesday, without using Weisselberg's name, federal prosecutors accused him in a document of instructing an unidentified Trump Organization employee to reimburse Cohen for hush-money payments to one of two women who claimed they had extramarital affairs with Trump.
The immunity grant to Weisselberg, who is referred to as "Executive 1" in the Manhattan federal court documents, adds to the legal woes of the president.
In pleading guilty Tuesday to campaign finance violations, Cohen claimed Trump directed him to make the payments in the months before the 2016 election. Also Tuesday, Trump's former campaign chief, Paul Manafort, was convicted in a separate case brought by special counsel Robert Mueller. On Thursday, Trump friend David Pecker, chairman of publishing giant American Media Inc., received immunity as part of the Cohen investigation.
Pecker shared information with prosecutors about the payments to former Playboy model Karen McDougal and porn star Stormy Daniels in exchange for immunity, including details about the president's knowledge of the payments. The White House denies Trump had affairs with the women.
Weisselberg's ties to the president go back decades. He has overseen the Trump Organization's finances, was treasurer of the Trump Foundation, the president's charity, and has managed Trump's private trust alongside the president's eldest sons, Eric Trump and Donald Trump Jr. He was reportedly subpoenaed by prosecutors earlier this year to testify before a grand jury as part of that inquiry.
Trump and his attorneys have denied any wrongdoing, and Trump had pushed back angrily against Cohen's plea bargain. In a Fox News interview this week, the president said it should be "illegal" for people facing criminal charges to make deals with the government.
"It's called flipping, and it almost ought to be illegal," Trump said of Cohen's move. "It's not a fair thing."