Late last month, it was reported by the Wall Street Journal and NBC News that Allen Weisselberg, chief financial officer of the Trump Organization, had agreed to cooperate with federal investigators who are looking into the payment of hush money to women who allege they had affairs with Donald Trump.
“Weisselberg, whose relationship with Trump dates back decades, is also the treasurer of Trump’s charity, helped prepared Trump’s tax returns and is the only non-family member to serve as trustee of the trust that holds the President’s interest in his own companies.
“A former Trump Organization employee told CNN that Weisselberg being subpoenaed was the ‘ultimate nightmare scenario for Trump’ because Weisselberg knows ‘anything and everything’ about the finances of the Trump Organization.”
And it’s the “anything and everything” that must have Trump terrified now that he knows Weisselberg is about to spill his guts to a grand jury. Why? Because it could well result in the U.S. Attorney’s office for the Southern District of New York seeking to seize all of the Trump Organization’s assets under criminal forfeiture law.
If indeed Trump has received, spent, or invested money from illegal activities or tried to hide assets given to him by Russian oligarchs or members of the Russian mafia, that would allow Trump and his company to be charged under the RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations) Act, which has been used to prosecute mobsters such as John Gotti. And the RICO statute allows for assets to be seized.
Laurence Tribe, a professor at Harvard Law School and one of the most respected legal experts in the country, had this to say earlier this year on the matter:
I’ve not yet explored this, but I’d welcome those who are expert in RICO and other avenues for prosecuting corrupt organizations and freezing their assets to RT and explain. Even if a sitting POTUS were held unindictable, an open Q, his nest of companies could be a sitting duck. https://t.co/ts2hHY0wVR
— Laurence Tribe (@tribelaw) January 27, 2018
In other words, if assets are acquired through illegal means or were part of a larger conspiracy such as money laundering (which Trump has long been suspected of being a party to), the feds have the right to take those funds and not return them until after the trial and possible acquittal of a defendant.
There’s nothing in the world that means more to Donald Trump than money. But his greed and the company he’s kept for decades could wind up leaving him and his family penniless. How’s that for karma?