The former daughter-in-law of the Trump Organization's indicted financial chief is being silenced as she fights to keep custody of her children.
Jennifer Weisselberg, the ex-wife of Trump employee Barry Weisselberg, has spoken with investigators about the alleged tax fraud scheme that landed accountant Allen Weisselberg under indictment and is willing to speak with journalists, but she's under a judge's gag order, reported The Daily Beast.
"Defendant, Jennifer Weisselberg, shall refrain from having any discussions or interviews whatsoever with the press about the parties' children… the custody proceeding… or her motivation for giving interviews insofar as it concerns the children," reads the order signed by New York County Supreme Court Justice Lori Sattler.
The gag order doesn't prohibit her from speaking to investigators, but three sources say it's part of a broader campaign of witness intimidation that includes demands by her ex-husband's attorney for court-mandated mental health evaluations and drug tests intended to harm her reputation before she testifies at a potential criminal trial.
"What we have here is a concerted effort to keep my client quiet," said her former attorney Aimee Richter at a hearing in May. "So it's come full circle; lost her children, lost all her money, she is going to lose where she's lived for the last year and… now, she's losing her right to speak."
The Trump Organization and its chief financial officer were charged June 30 with criminal tax fraud, falsifying business records, and scheming to defraud the government, based in part on Jennifer Weisselberg's testimony in her divorce proceedings and in follow-up conversations with law enforcement.
Karen Rosenthal, a court-appointed attorney who's independently representing the children's interests in the custody case, asked the judge to prevent Jennifer Weisselberg from discussing the couple's living arrangements and other details after she gave interviews about her knowledge of the Trump Organization.
"It's a silencing tactic," said Zoe Applbaum, who's been monitoring the case as a volunteer for the nonprofit STEPS to End Family Violence. "They're bullying her and they're being completely one-sided. They're putting her in the hot seat so Barry doesn't have to be."