On Thursday 2/28, the Daily Beast reported that Allen Weisselberg, the C.F.O. of the Trump Organization, will soon be called to testify before the House Intelligence Committee.
It now seems likely—at long, long last—that Weisselberg will be a central focus of the many sprawling investigations of Donald Trump and his businesses by the Democratic-controlled House.
Weisselberg has been Trump’s primary accountant since Trump entered his father’s business, in 1973.
Journalists who cover Trump’s finances have heard, from source after source, some variation of “I don’t know, but Allen does” about questions regarding Trump’s unorthodox accounting practices.
Weisselberg is obsessively private but he did give a deposition in a Trump Foundation lawsuit that revealed his willingness to engage in practices that appear far outside financial norms.
It seems likely that Weisselberg knows more than any other person—including Trump himself—about the specifics of how Trump made his money and who supported him financially.
It is impossible to imagine a thorough investigation of Trump’s potential conflicts of interest without a full accounting from Weisselberg.
To that end, here are the questions that I believe investigators and oversight-committee members might find worth asking.
—Can you please walk us through a detailed explanation of the Trump Organization’s finances, with verifiable numbers for the total income generated and total costs incurred?
Please include each of its five-hundred-plus lines of business.
Let’s start with the last ten years.
—Can you please walk us through President Trump’s current assets and his current liabilities, and help us come to an accurate estimate of his current net worth and annual cash flow?
—In the audio tape of Michael Cohen and Donald Trump discussing the paying of hush money to Karen McDougal, Cohen told Trump, “I’ve spoken to Allen Weisselberg about how to set the whole thing up.”
This seems to refer to the setting up of an anonymous shell company for the purposes of secretly sending a payment without any link to Trump.
What advice did you give Cohen about setting this up?
—Was setting up anonymous shell companies a regular practice of yours or of the Trump Organization?
Have you set up other anonymous shell companies for Trump?
If so, what are their names?
What were their purposes?
What money came into or flowed out of them?
Did Donald Trump direct you to form these anonymous L.L.C.s?
Was he aware of their formation and secretive purpose?
—Michael Cohen gave the House Committee on Oversight and Reform summary financial records from 2011 to 2013.
They show the Trump Organization’s liquid cash and securities position growing dramatically over these years, even though the company was, simultaneously, spending several hundred million dollars in cash on golf properties.
It appears that the Trump Organization acquired at least four hundred million dollars in cash at a time when it made no major sales and experienced no major change in its income-generating businesses.
Where did that money come from?
—Did the Trump Organization receive any money from L.L.C.s and other corporate entities that have not been previously disclosed to the I.R.S. and other tax authorities?
—Did the Trump Organization or Donald Trump, personally, receive significant amounts of money (a million dollars or more) not previously disclosed from any business or person?
If so, were any of these people from the former Soviet Union?
—Did the Trump Organization or Trump, himself, act as an intermediary for wealthy oligarchs from the former Soviet Union or elsewhere to place money, acquired through corruption and other illegal means, into the U.S. and U.K. banking systems undetected?
—Is Donald Trump the true and only beneficial owner of all of the properties and other assets he claims to be under his sole ownership?
Does he have side letters or other complex corporate structures in which some other entity or person is a true beneficial owner or person in substantial control?
—In Donald Trump’s public disclosures to the Federal Election Commission for 2015 and 2016, and his disclosures to the Office of Government Ethics for 2017, he conflates “income” with gross revenue.
Income is revenue minus costs.
If we subtract costs, how much actual income does the Trump Organization and Donald Trump, himself, generate?
Please provide numbers for the company over all and for each of the lines of business.
—Over the past decade, President Trump has primarily invested his own cash in golf courses.
Golf courses are often a money-losing proposition.
Why this shift to golf?
Why pay for it solely out of his own money?
Why invest so much in a handful of properties?
Did other people give money to pay for these courses?
If so, who, and how much, and through which entities?
—President Trump has claimed that he would not be involved in the Trump Organization’s operations while in office.
Has he been involved in the organization’s operations since he became President?
How often have you spoken with him since he took office?
What matters have you discussed?
—For the past seventeen years, your son Barry has been the property manager of the Trump Wollman Rink.
Did you help him obtain his job at the rink?
—Your other son, Jack, is a senior executive at Ladder Capital, one of the few U.S.-based investment firms that has lent money to Trump in the last decade.
Did you work with your son on these loans?
Were any assurances made that the money would be secured by third parties?
If so, who are those third parties?
—Of the matters we have discussed today, how aware were Ivanka Trump, Donald Trump, Jr., and Eric Trump?