The ex-wife of a Trump Organization executive has spoken “multiple times” with investigators from the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, she told NBC News, as the probe into Donald Trump’s financial dealings intensifies.
Jennifer Weisselberg said it appears investigators have been seeking information related to the role of Allen Weisselberg, the Trump Organization’s chief financial officer and the father of her ex-husband.
Allen Weisselberg, whose relationship with Trump spans decades, is likely the one person outside of the family who has the most complete understanding of the Trump Organization’s inner financial workings.
“He discusses everything with him,” Jennifer Weisselberg said, speaking in her first broadcast interview. “And Donald trusts him to continue the legacy the way his father set things up.”
Jennifer Weisselberg said she has turned over documents to Vance’s investigators. But she declined to go into detail on her discussions with them, citing the sensitive nature of the probe.
“I think it’s important that I don’t compromise the investigation,” said Weisselberg, a former ballet dancer whose 14-year marriage to Barry Weisselberg, the longtime manager of the Trump-run ice rink in Central Park, ended in a contentious divorce in 2018.
The probe into possible financial crimes committed by former President Donald Trump entered a new phase late last month when investigators obtained millions of pages of documents, including eight years of tax returns, from Trump’s accounting firm. Trump had fought the release for more than a year, but the Supreme Court cleared the way for the documents to be handed over to Vance’s office.
Among the avenues of inquiry is a Central Park apartment where Jennifer said she and her former husband lived, rent-free, for several years. She said Trump offered the apartment as a wedding gift around the time the pair got married in 2004.
“I wrote them a thank you note,” said Jennifer Weisselberg, who lost custody of the couple’s two children but is still fighting her ex-husband in court.
As Bloomberg News first reported, the property was in fact a corporate apartment owned by the Trump Organization, an arrangement that could have legal implications if it was not properly accounted for.
Jennifer Weisselberg said they only paid for utilities — about $400 a month. The apartment was sold in 2014 for $2.85 million, according to New York City housing records. The signature on the deed is: Donald J. Trump.
Jennifer Weisselberg said she was completely in the dark over the arrangement but now sees it as part of what she described as the Trump Organization’s strategy of ensuring the loyalty of its employees.
“They control people by compensating you with homes and things,” Weisselberg said. “It's not easy to walk away when they provide your home.”
Alan Garten, the Trump Organization’s general counsel, did not respond to a request for comment.
Jennifer’s ex-husband Barry has long managed the Wollman Rink in Central Park, which has been operated by the Trump Organization for more than three decades. Following the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that he was ending the city’s contract with the Trump Organization.
Barry’s younger brother, Jack, works at one of the Trump Organization’s largest lenders, Ladder Capital.
Jennifer Weisselberg said the Trump Organization was at the center of the Weisselberg family’s universe.
“It absolutely defines who they are,” she said.
“Allen would not take an hour or day off if Donald was in the office because I think he felt like he had to be there all the time,” Jennifer Weisselberg added.
Allen Weisselberg, she said, defined his worth by what Trump “thinks about him, about saving him money regardless.”
A lawyer for Allen Weisselberg, Mary Mulligan, declined to comment.
Barry Weisselberg’s lawyer, Peter Stambleck, did not respond to a request for comment.
Jennifer Weisselberg said she wanted to speak out for the sake of her two children.
“I have no reason to be here except that I am not a woman who is willing to live a life of secrecy, out of fear, any longer,” she said.
“They will out resource me in the courts forever, and I have tried to be graceful, and I have tried to handle this privately. And they are not agreeing to do so at all. What choice do I have?”