UWS Private School Subpoenaed in Trump Investigation

Columbia Grammar & Preparatory School (CGPS) is located at 5 West 93rd Street, between Central Park West and Columbus Avenue. Photo by Jim.henderson via Wikimedia Commons

Whether it was a supporter or not, it would be hard to argue that the short-lived Trump administration was not definitively chaotic. The daily news cycle was steeped in everything Trump related, his Twitter and his tendency to mock and tease. The clutches of the administration often gave the impression that little was left untouched, nothing too sacred. Some would say the firmament was for good, others would compare it to scorched earth.

Regardless of where you stand on all things Trump, the fact is, his latest claw has hit the Upper West Side and Columbia Grammar & Preparatory School.

Established in 1764, the West 93rd Street school prides itself on establishing its diverse student body for global success through a “rigorously comprehensive college preparatory curriculum with healthy social and emotional development.” Famous former students include author Herman Melville, actress Sarah Michelle Gellar, lyricist Lorenz Hart and former Yankees owner Jacob Ruppert. This is also the institution that has delayed Melania Trump from moving to Washington with son Barron to follow the 2016 election.

Donald Trump was the father of Columbia Grammar & Prep. And as things seem to be going on in Trump Land, it was perhaps only a matter of time that his connection to the school would be part of the ongoing and multi-faceted criminal investigation by the Manhattan District Attorney. The Wall Street Journal was the first to report this story.

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It’s no secret that the former Fifth Avenue resident and Queens resident is the subject of not only the Manhattan DA investigation, but also the Attorney General of New York for various financial crimes. The first revolves around “whether Mr. Trump and the company falsely manipulated property values ​​to obtain loans and tax breaks.” Attorney General Letitia James is investigating Trump for tax fraud. The state of Georgia has also launched a criminal investigation into its attempts to influence the outcome of the state’s overall election results.

Previous financial investigations involving Donald Trump have not gone so well in recent years in particular.

A “shocking pattern of illegality” led to a $ 2 million fine for the Trump Foundation, in addition to its dissolution for misconduct with Mr. MAGA himself, admitting personally abusing funds to be used for charitable purposes in December 2019 .

Last year, a federal lawsuit ended in a $ 25 million award to the victims of Trump’s “mock college.” Michael Cohen pleaded guilty to tax evasion and facilitating hush money with campaign funds on behalf of the former president in 2018. At the direction of his father, Eric Trump pulled money from a childhood cancer charity and forwarded it to several other charities in 2017, “Of which there were many had ties to Trump’s family members or interests, including at least four groups who subsequently paid to run golf tournaments on Trump courses. ”

The list continues with a cast of disgraced Trump officials including Michael Flynn, Paul Manafort, Roger Stone, George Papadopoulos and Rick Gates.

The Upper West Side twist involves a potential tax-evasion scheme involving Trump and another loyalist.

New York prosecutors are investigating whether the former host of a reality TV show or his organization paid Columbia Grammar & Preparatory School tuition for the children of Barry Weisselberg, former manager of the Trump Wollman Rink in Central Park and son from Allen Weisselberg, the longtime CFO of the Trump Organization. .

Jennifer Weisselberg, the mother of the children, is part of the New York investigations and reported that “more than $ 500,000 in tuition was paid with checks issued by Trump or Allen Weisselberg.” Mrs. Weisselberg reported to the New York Times that her ex-husband would collect the tuition checks directly from the Trump organization as part of his compensation.

The school’s administration has been subpoenaed and must include tuition fee documentation. Allen Weisselberg’s bank records have also been subpoenaed in what is believed to be an attempt to persuade him to cooperate in the ongoing investigation.

During his tenure in the White House, Trump was a fan of (derisive) nicknames and often used them to describe those who disagreed with him. Soon the studies will be completed and he could have one of his own: Teflon Don or Don the Con?

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