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WORLD | 25-08-2018 12:17

Judicial actions cause problems for US President Trump

Depending on the extent of the immunity granted to Weisselberg it could be a major development in the ongoing investigations surrounding the president.

US President Donald Trump’s finance chief, a close confidant who has worked for the family’s real estate business since the early 1970s, has been granted immunity in the federal probe of former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen, media outlets reported Friday.

Depending on the extent of the immunity granted to Trump Organization chief financial officer Allen Weisselberg, which was not immediately known, it could be a major development in the ongoing investigations surrounding the president. The 71-year-old Weisselberg is likely to have knowledge of every major personal and business deal Trump has been involved in since his career as a real-estate mogul began.

The Wall Street Journal and NBC News were the first to report on anonymous sources that Weisselberg got immunity to talk to federal prosecutors in the investigation of hush money Cohen paid to two women who claimed affairs with Trump. Cohen pleaded guilty to tax and campaign finance violations Tuesday. And while not named in the Cohen case, Weisselberg is believed to be one of two Trump executives mentioned in the suit who reimbursed Cohen and falsely recorded the payments as legal expenses.

Weisselberg’s deal comes on the heels of several media reports Thursday that Trump’s friend David Pecker, the CEO of National Enquirer publisher American Media Inc., had also been granted immunity in the Cohen probe, as well as the firm’s chief content officer, Dylan Howard. The Associated Press reported this week that the tabloid kept a safe containing documents about hush-money payments and damaging stories it killed as part of its cozy relationship with Trump leading up to 2016 presidential election.

In Cohen’s court appearance in Manhattan to enter his guilty plea Tuesday, Cohen admitted to making payments of US$150,000 to McDougal and US$130,000 to porn star Stormy Daniels “at the direction” of Trump for the “principal purpose of influencing the election.”

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