The Trump Organization’s chief financial officer, Allen Weisselberg, has been subpoenaed to appear before a federal grand jury in New York, ABC News has confirmed.
Weisselberg’s name came up earlier this week on an audio recording that captured then-nominee Donald Trump talking with his former attorney Michael Cohen about a payment to acquire the rights to the story of a former Playboy model who had claimed she and Trump had an affair, which the Trump campaign later denied.
On the recording, Cohen is heard saying "I’ve spoken to Allen Weisselberg about how to set the whole thing up…" Later in the recording, Cohen is heard reminding Trump he "spoke with Allen" about the financing of the payment to the publisher of the National Enquirer for the rights to Karen McDougal’s story.
Weisselberg is one of Trump’s longest-serving employees and intimately familiar with the Trump Organization’s financial transactions. Word of his subpoena to testify before a grand jury that is deciding whether to return an indictment against Cohen was first reported by the Wall Street Journal.
The timing of the subpoena and testimony was not made clear.
Prosecutors in the US Attorney's office for the Southern District of New York have been investigating Cohen for months, though he has not been charged with any crime and has repeatedly denied any wrong doing. The New York investigation into Cohen came after prosecutors on Special Counsel Robert Mueller's team alerted the Department of Justice to evidence related to Cohen that would fit more into the jurisdiction of the New York Southern District, and less so into the special counsel's purview.
Reached by ABC News, the Trump Organization declined to comment.
The US Attorney’s office for the Southern District of New York, which is leading the criminal investigation of Cohen, declined to comment.
Weisselberg was deposed last year by the New York attorney general’s office for its separate civil lawsuit against the Trump Foundation for potential fraud. A portion of the transcript makes clear Weisselberg’s loyalty to Trump:
"It doesn’t matter what I thought. He’s my boss. I went."
Weisselberg has been a fixture within the Trump Organization for decades and worked for the president's father, Fred Trump, before ultimately joining the Trump Organization. He is looked at as the gate keeper to all financial data for the president, his family and the company they run.
He was one of a few select aides that was featured in an episode of Trump's "The Apprentice" during an early season of the show.