On Friday it was reported that Allen Weisselberg and the Trump Organization will be criminally indicted as soon as this week. Prosecutors clearly want Weisselberg to flip on Donald Trump and the Trump family, but as of yesterday, Weisselberg is still insisting he won’t cooperate. This has the defeatists insisting Weisselberg will indeed never cave, and that he’ll decide to just go rot in prison for the rest of his life. Here’s the thing though.
What do Paul Manafort, Steve Bannon, and Roger Stone have in common? They all allowed themselves to be criminally convicted in order to remain loyal to Donald Trump. But here’s what else they all have in common: they all did it because they knew Trump would end up pardoning them in return.
But Allen Weisselberg isn’t getting pardoned. Trump didn’t pardon him on his way out the door when he had the chance. Legal experts say that even if there were a “secret” pardon in place, it wouldn’t hold up legally after all this time. And these are state level charges anyway, meaning a Trump federal pardon wouldn’t be relevant.
In other words, Allen Weisselberg – who turns 74 this year and is potentially looking at sentencing guidelines of up to seven years – is going to spend the rest of his life behind bars. Prison ages a person prematurely. Weisselberg will likely never get out. No one is going to come to his rescue. The only person who could pardon him is New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, and that’s obviously not happening.
So unlike some other Trump henchmen who knew they merely needed to bide their time until Trump could abuse the power of the presidency to bail them out, Allen Weisselberg’s life is over unless he cuts a deal against Trump. That doesn’t mean he’ll do it. But it does mean that Weisselberg is facing an entirely different calculus than anyone who’s come before him.
This is before getting to the fact that prosecutors are also targeting two of Weisselberg’s sons. Is he willing to throw their lives away, in addition to throwing his own life away, just to try to protect Donald Trump? And once Weisselberg sees the Trump Organization indictment, he’ll likely realize that Trump is so screwed, remaining quiet won’t save Trump anyway.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report