Today we learned that Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg was granted immunity by federal prosecutors in exchange for his testimony before the Michael Cohen grand jury. Cohen has ended up pleading guilty, meaning that Weisselberg won’t have to testify against Cohen at trial. But an immunity deal means that Weisselberg will have to keep cooperating with prosecutors on anything they want, which means he has to give up all of Donald Trump’s dirty financial secrets. In other words, Trump’s whole life is over. So now what?
To be clear, everything is going to come out now. Special Counsel Robert Mueller just gained de facto access to decades worth evidence and documents and testimony about the criminal enterprise known as the Trump Organization. This helps explain why it was reported last night that the District Attorney for Manhattan is preparing criminal charges against top Trump Organization officials; if Michael Cohen’s cooperation helps make the case, then Weisselberg makes it a slam dunk.
Even though Donald Trump is still occupying the office of President of the United States, there is now nothing he can do to prevent the State of New York and the Manhattan DA from ripping apart his entire financial empire. Trump can’t stop them by firing anyone, because these people don’t answer to him, and he can’t stop it by pardoning anyone, because these are non-federal charges, which he can’t pardon. Not only is he headed to prison once he’s out of office, he may start losing his money and property to asset seizures while he’s still clinging to the office. And because three of his kids have their fingerprints all over the Trump Organization’s dirty dealings, they’re looking at prison too.
Donald Trump is going to spend the rest of his life in prison, penniless, and there is now nothing he can do to stop that. The only question is whether he’s willing to negotiate his exit from the White House in the kind of peaceful manner that results in leniency for his kids, or if he’s going to stubbornly try to remain in office while he’s forcibly ousted. How soon Trump is gone, and how horribly he wants this to end for him and his family, is up to him. But there’s no longer any question where this is headed.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report