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Former President Trump and Trump Organization chief financial officer Allen Weisselberg at Trump Tower in New York City in 2017. Photo: Timothy A. Clary/AFP via Getty Images

The New York attorney general's office has begun a criminal tax investigation into Trump Organization chief financial officer Allen Weisselberg, CNN first reported Wednesday.

Why it matters: Weisselberg has not been accused of any wrongdoing, but investigators are pushing for him to cooperate with them in their investigation into former President Trump's organization, per CNN and the New York Times.

  • The office of New York Attorney General Letitia James (D) announced on Tuesday a criminal investigation into the Trump Organization, working with the Manhattan district attorney's office while also keeping open its civil inquiry into the company's financial records.
  • The investigation is looking into potential bank, tax and insurance fraud.

The big picture: Investigators from the Manhattan District Attorney's Office last month reportedly seized financial records from Jennifer Weisselberg, the former daughter-in-law of Allen Weisselberg.

  • James' investigators are looking at "whether taxes were paid on fringe benefits" from Trump gave him, "including cars and tens of thousands of dollars in private school tuition for at least one" of Weisselberg's grandchildren, the Times reports.
  • Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance's office is examining the CFO's Trump Organization role, personal finances and benefits allegedly given to his son Barry Weisselberg, who is also a Trump Organization employee, according to CNN.

What they're saying: James' office declined to comment and representatives for the Trump Organization did not immediately respond to Axios' request for comment. Trump said earlier Wednesday that the investigation "is in desperate search of a crime."

"These investigations have also been going on for years with members and associates of the Trump Organization being viciously attacked, harassed, and threatened, in order to say anything bad about the 45th President of the United States."
— Trump

Go deeper: Donald Trump's legal troubles become criminal

Go deeper

Updated May 19, 2021 - Politics & Policy

New York AG announces criminal investigation into Trump Organization

Former President Trump leaves Trump Tower in Manhattan, New York City, on Tuesday. Photo: James Devaney/GC Images

The New York attorney general's office said Tuesday night it has informed the Trump Organization that its investigation into the company "is no longer purely civil in nature" and is now also a criminal one.

Why it matters: The attorney general's office is now working with the Manhattan district attorney's office, which has been investigating the Trump Organization for potential bank, tax and insurance fraud.

May 19, 2021 - Podcasts

Donald Trump's legal troubles become criminal

The New York Attorney General's office announced late Tuesday night that its investigation into The Trump Organization has expanded from a civil one into a criminal one.

Axios Re:Cap goes deeper with David Fahrenthold, a Washington Post reporter whose beat is the Trump family's business interests, to learn how the investigation started, why it's turned criminal and what big questions remain unanswered.

Andrew Giuliani announces run for New York governor

Andrew Giuliani during a press conference in New York City on May 18. Photo: Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images

Andrew Giuliani, the son of former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, announced Tuesday that he is seeking the Republican nomination for governor of New York in 2022, according to NBC News.

Why it matters: Giuliani could face New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo in a general election. Cuomo is expected to run for reelection despite facing an impeachment investigation stemming from multiple sexual misconduct allegations, and a federal probe into his handling of the coronavirus pandemic in nursing homes.