Trump Organization executive Allen Weisselberg represents an existential threat to former President Donald Trump -- and his three oldest children, a Trump biographer explained on CNN on Thursday.
The New York Times is now reporting that Manhattan prosecutors are focusing on Trump's top money man, Allen Weisselberg, who, for more than two decades, served at the Trump Organization's financial gatekeeper," CNN's Brianna Keilar reported Thursday.
For analysis, Keiler interviewed Trump biographer Tim O'Brien.
"How central is Allen Weisselberg to the former president's dealings?" Keiler asked.
"He's as central as anyone can be, Brianna. He grew up in the Trump Organization. Donald Trump's father, Fred Trump, hired Allen in the 1970s to become the accountant, sort of the chief accountant for Fred Trump's company. He and Donald are the same age, they grew up together in the company, and -- Donald Trump eventually made Allen his chief financial officer," O'Brien explained.
"He knows where all the financial bodies are buried," he continued. "There wasn't a deal that went through the Trump Organization that Allen Weisselberg didn't sign off on. In that regard he was much more crucial to the president's thinking than any of his children were, and really almost any other adviser in the organization."
"And he knows where the money is, and in the midst of a financial fraud investigation, that means he's as about, as existential a thread to the president as he could be," he explained.
Keiler asked if Weisselberg might flip.
"Well that question, that's the, you know, billion dollar question, Brianna, is, 'will he cooperate?' It is a classic prosecutorial tactic to begin squeezing people at the bottom of the ladder in order to get to the top, and if you get to Allen Weisselberg and he flips then you get to Donald Trump. I would suspect that there's more than just an interest in speaking to Allen Weisselberg here. He's a cog in a machine."
"They are street smart. They have historically been loyal to one another, but are not sophisticated. If Allen Weisselberg's loyalty to Donald Trump evaporates, then you're going to see a series of other people possibly start to cooperate and that could get, put a lot of pressure on Trump and his children," said O'Brien.
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