Last week the news surfaced that Donald Trump had removed Allen Weisselberg from one of his various companies. Last night the other shoe dropped when multiple major newspapers reported that Trump has now removed Weisselberg from dozens of his companies. So here we go.
Trump is, ostensibly, trying to insulate himself by painting Weisselberg as some kind of rogue operative who was acting on his own. If Trump were still on Twitter, we’d all be expecting him to tweet any minute now that he had no idea Weisselberg was cooking the books, or that he barely knew Weisselberg. This is, after all, what Trump does to most of his underlings once they’ve been caught committing crimes for him.
There was some expectation that perhaps Trump might double down on Weisselberg, in the hope of keeping him in the fold, so he doesn’t become resentful and cut a plea deal. After all, Trump did precisely that when Rudy Giuliani first got into legal trouble a couple years ago; Giuliani presumably knows most of Trump’s dirty secrets. But by all accounts Trump has finally cut off Giuliani this month, so perhaps it’s not surprising that he’s in the process of cutting off Weisselberg as well.
This all suggests that Donald Trump is either in too deep to figure out how to keep protecting his secret-keepers, or that he’s too broke to keep them afloat, or he’s too far gone psychologically to understand what a threat they are to him.
Even the “Weisselberg will never flip no matter what” crowd surely has to be reconsidering its position now that Trump is removing Weisselberg from his underlying companies – particularly if Trump ends up ousting Weisselberg from the Trump Organization itself.
New York prosecutors surely saw this coming. It’s no doubt why they indicted not just Allen Weisselberg, but the Trump Organization itself, for these crimes. Trump probably just unwittingly did prosecutors a favor. By beginning the process of ousting Weisselberg, he’s unofficially admitting that Weisselberg is guilty. He’s also giving prosecutors a strong new argument for convincing Weisselberg to flip: Trump is selling you out anyway.
The principal officers of the Trump Organization are Donald Trump and his kids. Is he going to start scapegoating them next? Even if so, it still doesn’t change the fact that it’s his company, his business decisions, his money, his name. Trump is running out of people to throw under the bus – and it’s not going to stop him from getting indicted.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report