Until this month, the trust had two trustees: Weisselberg, Trump’s longtime chief financial officer, and Donald Trump Jr. Eric Trump, the former president’s other adult son, was chairman of the trust’s advisory board.
But last week, the company told New Jersey there was now just one trustee.
“Donald Trump Jr. has assumed the positions previously held by Mr. Weisselberg,” the Trump Organization’s lawyer wrote. The company was notifying New Jersey because it wanted to remove Weisselberg’s name from two liquor licenses held by Trump’s golf clubs.
The Trump Organization has not responded to questions this week about what role — if any — Weisselberg plays at the company now.
A person familiar with the Trump Organization said this week that Weisselberg had resigned from every Trump subsidiary at which he had held a title.
Company executives have said in the past that the company is somewhat unstructured at the top, with top executives paying little attention to titles. It is possible that Weisselberg still wields informal power, even after giving up his role at the trust and subsidiaries.
But his departure from the trust is the most significant sign yet that Weisselberg is giving up his formal power at a company where he has worked since the 1970s. On paper, at least, he has left the Trump Organization — now struggling with political backlash, the covid-19 pandemic, and the indictments of two Trump subsidiaries alongside Weisselberg — in the hands of Trump’s two adult sons.
“Effective immediately, I, Allen Weisselberg, resign from each and every office and position that I hold” in the subsidiaries, Weisselberg wrote in a letter dated June 25. The letter was also submitted to New Jersey authorities, who released it to The Washington Post.
What followed was a two-page list. The list obtained by The Post was largely redacted, so that only a few company names were visible. But, from looking at other corporate records in the United States and Scotland, The Post has identified at least 59 Trump entities where Weisselberg has recently resigned from his positions.
On Wednesday, the state of New York released a letter it had received from the Trump Organization, reporting Weisselberg’s indictment to the state liquor authority. By law, companies that hold alcohol licenses in New York must notify the state if an executive listed on the licenses is arrested.
“Allen Weisselberg was recently arrested and charged...for alleged tax crimes,” read the letter, dated July 9, from a Trump Organization lawyer. “Mr. Weisselberg has pleaded not guilty. The matter is currently pending.”
The letter said Weisselberg had resigned from five entities that hold liquor licenses in the state.
The Trump Organization’s operations are run by a web of interconnected corporate entities, overseen by a small cadre of executives at Trump Tower in New York. For more than two decades, Weisselberg has been a key member of that leadership.
Weisselberg’s attorney, Mary Mulligan, declined to comment this week.
The resignation letter — and the reshuffling of responsibilities that has followed it — has shed new light on the impact of Weisselberg’s indictment on 15 felony counts in Manhattan on July 1.
New York prosecutors said Weisselberg had helped organize a 15-year “scheme to defraud,” in which the Trump Organization hid some of its executives’ pay from taxing authorities. Two Trump companies were also indicted. Former president Donald Trump has not been accused of wrongdoing.
Weisselberg pleaded not guilty and his lawyers said he would fight the charges, giving no indication he intends to cooperate with investigators.
The date of the resignation letter shows that Weisselberg seemed to anticipate the indictments. On June 24, Weisselberg’s lawyers made a last-ditch effort to talk prosecutors out of charging him. They failed.
The day after, Weisselberg signed his resignation letter.
The Trump Organization has not said why he resigned, and Weisselberg’s brief letter did not give a reason. But legal experts have said that this move could assuage potential concerns from regulators, vendors or lenders about dealing with a company whose officer had been indicted.
The shifts in leadership that have followed his resignation — detailed in other corporate filings — show that the Trump Organization appears to be increasingly reliant on Trump’s adult sons to manage a company facing several difficulties, including the indictments, the coronavirus pandemic and the toxic politicization of the Trump brand.
When Trump entered the White House in 2017, he kept ownership of his company but handed day-to-day leadership to a triumvirate: Weisselberg and his sons Eric and Donald Jr.
That arrangement showed up in corporate filings. At most subsidiaries, Weisselberg was listed as an officer alongside one or both of the sons. When Trump left office in January, Trump left that setup in place — largely declining to retake his old titles.
Now, as Weisselberg has resigned his roles at the subsidiaries, no new executive has stepped up to take his place.
Instead, corporate filings show, in most cases Trump’s sons just added Weisselberg’s old jobs to their own. On paper, their three-person leadership team shrank to just two.
Or, in some cases, one.
At one company connected to Trump’s golf club in Northern Virginia, Donald Trump Jr. is now “President, Vice President, Chief Executive Officer, Secretary, Treasurer [and] Chief Financial Officer,” according to papers the Trump Organization recently filed with the state of Virginia.
The filings also hint at one potential complication for that strategy: Donald Trump Jr. has become a well-known conservative activist and provocateur, buying a home in Florida and frequently speaking at pro-Trump events. His brother Eric has played a much larger role in running the company, according to people who know the Trump Organization well.
In the new corporate filings that laid out his larger role at Trump companies, Trump Jr. also said his mailing address is no longer Trump Tower, the company’s longtime headquarters.
Instead, he said, his mail should be sent “care of” a Trump golf course in Jupiter, Fla., close to his new home.