The top prosecutor who led the investigation into the now-defunct Trump University explained why he thinks Trump Organization Chief Financial Officer Allen Weisselberg held a larger position at the company than his business card title revealed.
Former New York Assistant Attorney General Tristan Snell was interviewed by MSNBC chief legal correspondent Ari Melber on "The Beat."
"There are experts here who say money man only scratches the surface, he was at times basically the acting CEO," Melber noted. "What, if anything, can you tell us about that based on your knowledge and is that good or bad for him as he faces this heat?"
"Well, first off, you can find out a lot about an organization, about a company, about a target without actually having them cooperate with you. So we were able to get a lot of information on how the Trump Organization worked and Weisselberg's role in it despite the fact that we did not have Weisselberg's cooperation," Snell explained. "We never even felt like we needed to bring him in as a witness because we had already had enough knowledge of everything that we didn't really need Weisselberg, but we were still able to find the Trump Organization liable and a lot of why the judge in the Trump University case decided that Trump Organization was liable was because of Weisselberg's very heavy-handed day-to-day control of the organization."
"Very much he was the acting CEO. I would also say that he was basically the COO, the Chief Operating Officer of the Trump Organization, a role which has never really been filled, at least not that I know of in the past 20 years," he said, although Matthew Calameri has taken on the position since the end of the Trump University case.
"So the CFO, you know, they're the ones actually keeping the books and tracking the P&Is and seeing exactly what money is coming in, what money is going out, and making high-level decisions based on that. Weisselberg was doing more than that, he would decide which businesses would live and which businesses would die," he said "A lot of times it was Weisselberg who was the enforcer, he was not just the bean counter, he had a lot of power within the organization to determine what businesses were going to do what, which ones would go forward and which ones would be shut down."
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