Trump allies have 'fired' Allen Weisselberg's lawyer for being 'too friendly' with Manhattan DA: report

Trump allies have 'fired' Allen Weisselberg's lawyer for being 'too friendly' with Manhattan DA: report

Although former President Donald Trump hasn't been indicted on any type of criminal charge, many of his associates have — from Paul Manafort (Trump's first 2016 campaign manager) to Michael Cohen (Trump's former personal attorney and "fixer") to Steve Bannon (former White House chief strategist) to long-time GOP operative and self-described "dirty trickster" Roger Stone. Veteran television journalist Dan Rather has described them as Trump's "flock of felons."

Another is 75-year-old Allen Weisselberg, chief financial officer for the Trump Organization. After pleading guilty to financial crimes that included tax fraud and falsifying records, Weisselberg began serving a five-month sentence in January. That case was prosecuted by the Manhattan District Attorney's Office, now headed by Democratic DA Alvin Bragg, Jr.

Cohen, now a blistering critic of Trump, has been cooperating with Bragg's office in a separate case: the one involving hush money payments Cohen said he made to Stephanie Clifford, a.k.a. porn star Stormy Daniels, on Trump's behalf in 2016. And Cohen, who served time in federal prison, alleges that Weisselberg arranged for the Trump Organization to pay him $35,000 a month to reimburse him for the $130,000 he gave Daniels.

READ MORE:Alvin Bragg smacks down Jim Jordan: No 'legitimate basis for congressional inquiry'

In an article published by the Daily Beast on March 30, journalist Jose Pagliery reports that the Trump Organization has fired attorney Nicholas Gravante — who represented Weisselberg until recently — for being, according to sources, insufficiently "Trumpy" and "too willing to play ball with" Bragg.

"Gravante, one of the city's top criminal defense lawyers, aggressively advocated for Weisselberg last year and played a key role in securing a plea deal that helped the Trump Organization executive avoid a long sentence in state prison — by testifying at the tax fraud trial of the Trump Corporation and Trump Payroll Corporation," Pagliery explains. "Weisselberg's lukewarm testimony wasn't exactly friendly to Manhattan prosecutors, but it was enough to convince the jury to convict the companies, which were fined $1.6 million."

The reporter continues, "According to a source familiar with the dispute, Trump associates were bitter about Gravante's decision to have Weisselberg meet with Manhattan prosecutors to prepare his testimony for that trial, a move they saw as being too friendly with law enforcement…. Essentially, Gravante was so protective of Weisselberg that he was willing to have sit-downs with prosecutors to ensure the executive wouldn’t be in further legal jeopardy — even if that made the Trump Organization uncomfortable."

According to the Beast's sources, Seth L. Rosenberg has replaced Gravante as Weisselberg's attorney.

READ MORE:Donald Trump attacks 'racist' Alvin Bragg and 'horseface' Stormy Daniels in social media rant

Trump has been firing up his MAGA base by predicting that he will soon be arrested in connection with Bragg's investigation of hush money payments to Daniels. If Trump does face some type of criminal indictment, however, it won't necessarily come from the Manhattan DA's Office. He is also facing two federal criminal probes from the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and special counsel Jack Smith and a state-level probe from Fulton County, Georgia DA Fani Willis.

Pagliery notes, "Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg has a grand jury underway that could soon vote to indict the former American president for faking business records and skirting campaign finance laws. For years, local prosecutors have tried to figure out a way to criminally charge Trump himself over the way he approved paying $130,000 to the porn star Stormy Daniels in the weeks before the 2016 election to keep her quiet about their sexual affair — raunchy details that might have tanked his presidential campaign."

READ MORE:'Going full fascist': Morning Joe blasts Trump's latest 'dehumanizing' attack on Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg

Read the Daily Beast's full report at this link(subscription required).

Understand the importance of honest news ?

So do we.

The past year has been the most arduous of our lives. The Covid-19 pandemic continues to be catastrophic not only to our health - mental and physical - but also to the stability of millions of people. For all of us independent news organizations, it’s no exception.

We’ve covered everything thrown at us this past year and will continue to do so with your support. We’ve always understood the importance of calling out corruption, regardless of political affiliation.

We need your support in this difficult time. Every reader contribution, no matter the amount, makes a difference in allowing our newsroom to bring you the stories that matter, at a time when being informed is more important than ever. Invest with us.

Make a one-time contribution to Alternet All Access, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.

Click to donate by check.

DonateDonate by credit card
Donate by Paypal
{{ }}
@2022 - AlterNet Media Inc. All Rights Reserved. - "Poynter" fonts provided by