According to ABC News, one of the Trump Organization’s most senior managers has been summoned to testify before a special grand jury investigating whether former President Donald Trump should face charges.
Jeffrey McConney, a 35-year veteran of the Trump family business, is senior vice president and controller.
According to the sources, McConney, who works for the Trump Organization as a senior vice president and controller, is the first employee of the former president’s firm to be invited to testify, and his evidence indicates that prosecutors have dug deep into the business’s finances.
“I’d like to throw out one more name, which is Jeff McConney, because I don’t think that’s gotten enough attention because last week the reports were that he went into the state grand jury and he is the controller of the Trump Organization,” said Robert Mueller prosecutor Andrew Weissman. “So, again, all speculation, but clearly you’re looking for an insider. That’s why there is so much focus on Allen Weisselberg trying to get somebody who is on the inside who would know where every penny went. Well, that’s the controller as well as the CFO. So if Jeff McConney is cooperating, that is really bad news potentially for Weisselberg and for the Trump Organization and other individuals up to and including the former president.”
“In other words, Manhattan may have found their insider, because it would be unusual to put somebody like McConney into the state grand jury, where he would be given immunity as soon as he testifies automatically, if they didn’t think that he had something useful to provide,” added Weissman.
McConney was the first employee of the former president’s corporation to testify, according to ABC News.
Daniel R. Alonso, former chief assistant district attorney in Manhattan, said, “Complex accounting issues are crucial to this investigation, as is the knowledge and intent of the people at the Trump Organization involved in these transactions.”
“In any case like that, the two most important people — whether as targets or witnesses — are the company’s CFO and the company’s controller,” Alonso stated.
In his 2004 book, “TRUMP: Think Like a Billionaire: Everything You Need to Know About Success, Real Estate, and Life,” Trump referenced McConney. Trump relates a conversation he claims he had with McConney in the late 1980s in which Trump pushed McConney to constantly scrutinize invoices and never accept a contractor’s initial bid in a chapter headed “How to Stay on Top of Your Finances.”
“Jeff got the message,” Trump wrote, “and is doing a terrific job. He looks out for my bottom line as if the money were his own.”
One of the investigations of the former president’s business practices is being led by Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance.
Vance began looking into Trump’s business operations after hearing evidence from Michael Cohen, the former president’s personal attorney and fixer, before Congress.
One of the main questions being investigated is whether Trump exaggerated the worth of his properties to acquire bank loans and then deflated them when calculating his tax liability.
Compensation for senior staff is another area that is being scrutinized.
Because Vance is stepping down at the end of the year, he only has a limited amount of time to file charges.
It was revealed last month that he had constituted a grand jury and was in the process of informing possible witnesses.
Vance has been looking into the Trump Organization’s chief financial officer Allen Weisselberg’s financial dealings as part of his investigation, specifically what perks and benefits he received from the Trumps in addition to his salary, and whether any such compensation was properly taxed.
“If, as has been reported, the DA is targeting Allen Weisselberg, it’s a logical step to seek testimony from the controller, who presumably reports to him and works with him every day,” Alonso said.
Jennifer Weisselberg, Weisselberg’s former daughter-in-law said that she was questioned by the district attorney’s office about everything from school fees and automobiles to the family apartment she resided in that the Trump Organization reportedly paid for.
“Some of the questions that they were asking were regarding Allen’s compensation at the apartment at Trump Place on Riverside Boulevard,” Jennifer Weisselberg stated in an interview last month.
Vance’s office announced in February that it had received Trump’s tax returns after a lengthy court struggle.
Trump had defied precedent by refusing to release his tax returns during his administration.
Since then, the former president has dismissed the inquiry as more of the same, which he had to deal with while in office.
“This is a continuation of the greatest Witch Hunt in American history,” Trump said recently.
“This is purely political, and an affront to the almost 75 million voters who supported me in the presidential election, and it’s being driven by highly partisan Democrat prosecutors.”