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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The immunity deal for the Trump organization's chief financial officer leaves no doubt: This has been, unequivocally, the worst week of Donald Trump's presidency.

Why it matters: For the first time, I’m hearing real fear and concern in the voices of Trump allies. 

The big picture: The warning lights of growing legal jeopardy are flashing red. His former lawyer and campaign manager are going to jail, the lawyer has implicated him in a federal crime, and now his CFO and the head of the National Enquirer have been given immunity to share what they know.

The latest:

  • Trump organization CFO Allen Weisselberg has been granted immunity to talk to federal prosecutors about the payments former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen made during the 2016 campaign to two women who had affairs with Trump, per the Wall Street Journal.
  • That follows the news of another immunity deal with David Pecker, CEO of American Media, Inc., which publishes The National Enquirer, over the same issue. Pecker was friendly with Trump, and the Associated Press reports that the National Enquirer had a safe with records of damaging stories about Trump that were bought and buried — a practice called "catch and kill."
  • And Cohen's guilty plea set the stage by accusing "Individual-1" — guess who — of ordering him to pay the hush money to keep the women from talking about the affairs. That would be a violation of campaign finance law.

All of this goes way beyond the Robert Mueller investigation. This is now in the hands of federal prosecutors, and they can keep going regardless of what happens with the Russia probe — including, possibly, digging into Trump's business affairs.

  • Unlike Cohen, who was involved in quixotic projects and sleazy side deals to hush up women, Weisselberg has true and deep visibility into the Trump Organization.

What we don't know: The Weisselberg immunity deal might not mean he's ready to spill a lot of secrets. Any good white collar lawyer would request immunity for their client. We don't even know for sure that federal prosecutors are looking for anything in the Trump organization, other than evidence of campaign violations.

  • A top Washington white collar attorney tells me: “Could be really big deal but unclear if it’s limited to past Cohen stuff which culminated in his plea or if it’s ongoing. But clearly prosecutors thought he had something of value in return for giving immunity. There had to be some 'showing' by his counsel to get the immunity.”

The bottom line: Trump's legal peril is getting worse, not better.

Go deeper:

Trump organization CFO Allen Weisselberg gets immunity

David Pecker granted immunity in Cohen investigation

GOP fears Cohen set road to impeachment

Go deeper

Nathan Bomey, author of Closer
2 hours ago - Economy & Business

Tesla delays Cybertruck until 2023

Tesla debuts the Cybertruck in Hawthorne, Calif., on Nov. 21, 2019. Photo: Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images

Tesla is at risk of falling behind on one of the most critical products in the American auto industry: pickups.

Why it matters: Pickups are the most profitable segment in the business and account for the first, second and third best-selling vehicles in the country. Without a serious pickup strategy, Tesla could miss out on a huge source of future income.

Defense taking steps to mitigate civilian harm after botched airstrikes

Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin speaks during a news conference at the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia on Sept. 1, 2021. Photo: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin issued a directive Thursday to improve the U.S. military's approach to civilian harm mitigation and response, calling it a "strategic and a moral imperative."

Why it matters: The Pentagon has faced criticism for years for amassing civilian casualties in its missions, especially in the Middle East. New York Times investigations have found systemic failures in efforts to prevent civilian deaths, as well as a cover-up of a 2019 airstrike that killed dozens of women and children in Syria.

4 hours ago - World

Mapped: The world's most and least corrupt countries

Expand chart
Data: Transparency International; Map: Jared Whalen/Axios

The most corrupt governments in the world are in South Sudan, Syria and Somalia, according to Transparency International's annual index, while the "cleanest" are in Denmark, Finland and New Zealand.

  • Breaking it down: The U.S. is 27th, China 66th, India 85th, Brazil 96th and Russia 136th. Scroll over the map to see each country's ranking.