New York State has opened a criminal investigation into former US President Donald Trump (photo November 2020)
A Democratic prosecutor nearing the end of his term, a loyal Trump family lieutenant and a lawyer determined to sink his former boss: AFP details some of the players in New York’s criminal investigation into Donald Trump .
The 66-year-old Democrat has been a Manhattan District Attorney since 2010. He was the first to launch a criminal investigation into the Republican ex-president.
Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance (pictured May 2020) has doggedly pursued Donald Trump, won a years-long battle to obtain his tax records and committed significant human and financial resources to the politically sensitive investigation
Vance, whose father was US Secretary of State under President Jimmy Carter, has sometimes been accused of reluctance to persecute the rich and powerful.
He postponed filing charges against disgraced producer Harvey Weinstein before receiving a landmark conviction last year.
However, Vance has doggedly pursued Trump, first by winning a years-long battle to obtain his tax records and second by dedicating significant human and financial resources to the politically sensitive investigation.
He has announced that he will not run for a fourth term when his current term ends in December, and many observers expect him to come out with a bang by filing the first indictment against a former US president.
The Democrat became the first black woman to become a New York State Attorney General in 2018.
Since then, the 62-year-old has built a reputation as a combative and independent prosecutor, filing numerous civil lawsuits against major corporations, most notably tech giants, and the National Rifle Association (NRA).
In addition to Donald Trump, Letitia James (pictured in August 2020) is also investigating New York Governor Andrew Cuomo over sexual harassment allegations and his response to the coronavirus pandemic
While Trump was in the White House, James launched dozens of civil actions against his administration.
She is also investigating powerful Democratic Governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo, over sexual harassment allegations and his response to the coronavirus pandemic.
James has been mentioned as a possible successor to Cuomo, especially if her investigation forces him to resign.
Allen Weisselberg: CFO of the Trump Organization
The 73-year-old is the Trump Organization’s long-serving chief financial officer and one of the family’s most loyal servants.
He started out as an accountant for Trump’s father’s company before joining the Trump Organization as a financial controller in the 1980s, when Donald established himself as a real estate mogul in Manhattan.
Allen Weisselberg, pictured behind former President Donald Trump and his son Donald Jr. in January 2017, has been the Chief Financial Officer of the Trump Organization since the 1980s.
Weisselberg has been there for all of Trump’s entrepreneurial adventures, including when his Atlantic City casinos went bankrupt.
According to Barbara Res, former executive vice president at the Trump Organization, “Weisselberg thought Trump was a god,” she told the Daily News.
Investigators believe that Weisselberg knows all of Trump’s family secrets and has been pressuring him for months to cooperate with their investigation.
Observers are closely watching whether Weisselberg will turn against his former boss.
Jennifer Weisselberg: ex-daughter-in-law of Allen Weisselberg
Earlier this year, investigators from the Manhattan District Attorney’s office were seen carrying boxes of documents and laptops from Weisselberg’s Manhattan apartment.
She was married to Allen Weisselberg’s son, Barry, from 2004 to 2018.
In an interview with DailyMail.com in June, she said the former president is a “kind” and “generous” man who, out of kindness and goodwill, helped pay for her children’s private school, rather than avoiding taxes.
If there has been any illegal activity within the Trump organization, it’s thanks to her former in-laws who still work for the company, she told DailyMail.com in an exclusive interview.
Until 2018, the mother of two was married to Barry Weisselberg, who manages Trump’s Central Park ice rinks, and her father-in-law was Allen Weisselberg, who became the chief financial officer when Trump became president.
“Allen took care of the finances and Donald is just a little naive,” Jennifer said.
‘It is demonstrable that his trusted CFO moves’ [Trump] and his children in a bad legal position.’
She is also set to testify before the grand jury.
Earlier this year, investigators from the Manhattan District Attorney’s office were seen carrying boxes of documents and laptops from Weisselberg’s Manhattan apartment. She was married to Allen Weisselberg’s son Barry (right) from 2004 to 2018
Jeff McConney: Senior Vice President Trump Organization
McConney was known as the man in the Trump organization who would hand over important documents to Trump and CFO Allen Weisselberg before meetings and be responsible for reducing checks for large payments.
He was the first high-profile member of Trump’s business empire known to testify before the New York Grand Jury deciding whether to indict Trump.
Trump’s fixer Michael Cohen told: The everyday beast: ‘Think of The Trump Organization as a small, one-stop-shop.
‘donald’ [Trump] would be the chairman. All [Weisselberg] would be the branch manager. Jeff [McConney] would be the cashier. Every transaction was booked through McConney.
Concerns for prosecutors are that McConney is seen as a Trump loyalist and, as The Daily Beast reported, someone who hates left-wing politics.
Trump’s ex-personal attorney was sentenced to three years in prison in 2018 for tax evasion and violating campaign finance laws related to Trump’s 2016 victory.
Cohen was one of Trump’s closest accomplices for a decade, once boasting that he was willing to “take a bullet” for the real estate mogul who became president.
Michael Cohen, pictured in March 2021, openly delights in former boss Donald Trump’s legal troubles on Twitter and via his podcast
However, he turned against his former boss and decided to team up with federal investigators in Manhattan.
During a Congressional hearing in February 2019, Cohen alleged, among other things, that Trump had regularly undervalued or overvalued his assets, both in banks and insurance companies.
Cohen openly delights in Trump’s legal troubles on Twitter and through his podcast ‘Mea Culpa’.