On MSNBC Wednesday, Andrew Weissman, a former prosecutor on special counsel Robert Mueller's team, broke down the significance of the new forensic accountants the Manhattan district attorney has hired in connection with their investigation of outgoing President Donald Trump's finances.
"What do you make about the news of Cyrus Vance hiring FTI Consulting?" asked anchor Mehdi Hasan. "How big a deal is it? Should Trump be worried?"
"We don't know yet whether in terms of the Manhattan district attorney's office will make its case, but if there is something there, if there is a there there, then yes, you would be worried if you were Donald Trump, his family, and his companies," said Weissman. "The forensic accountants that are reported to have been hired are true experts ... in fact, I know them pretty well because not only do they have former FBI agents and analysts there, they have one of the lead forensic accountants that worked for the special counsel investigation is actually at FTI."
"They are really good at detecting fraud and following and tracing money, and particularly good at attribution," continued Weissman. "What I mean by that is if somebody sets up sort of offshore accounts, uses fake or sham names, they're really good at tracing money flows so that they can attribute that money to a particular person. And the reason that's important is if you're not paying taxes on it and you can show that that's income, then you can make a criminal case. And that's exactly, for instance, what we did in the Paul Manafort case, which was we traced all of his bonds across the globe with the help of spectacular forensic accountant. So I suspect that's exactly what Manhattan is going to try to do here."