Michael Cohen, Trump’s former fixer, meets with investigators from the Manhattan District Attorney’s OfficeThank you for reading this post, don't forget to subscribe!
Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump’s former lawyer and “fixer,” met Tuesday afternoon with investigators from the Manhattan district attorney’s office, the latest sign that its long-running investigation into Trump may be gaining momentum.
Cohen confirmed that he had been asked for an interview by U.S. Attorney Alvin Bragg’s investigators when he arrived for the meeting at a government office building in midtown Manhattan.
“I’m being called for the 14th time, so we’ll see what happens,” Cohen said, adding that he hasn’t met with investigators since the current district attorney took office more than a year ago. “This is my first meeting with Alvin Bragg.”
The interview comes four days after two Trump Organization companies were ordered to pay jointlystemming from a December conviction on 17 criminal charges related to tax fraud.
A spokesman for Bragg declined to comment Tuesday.
After the roughly two-hour interview, Cohen declined to describe the conversation he had with investigators, but said, “It looks like I’ll probably meet with them again.”
“They’re professionals and they’re going to do their job,” Cohen said.
The Manhattan district attorney’s office has been investigating Trump and his company since 2018, initially focusing on alleged “hush money” payments arranged by Cohen to adult film actress Stormy Daniels. The investigation, which began under Bragg’s predecessor Cyrus Vance Jr., eventually grew into a wide-ranging probe into Trump’s finances that included a successful Supreme Court battle over his tax returns.
Trump Organization companies and former chief financial officer Alan Weiselberg were indicted in July 2021 in the tax fraud case. Trump has not been personally charged and has denied wrongdoing.
Weiselberg pleaded guilty and was sentenced to five months in prison. The company was brought to trial and convicted on all charges.
Cohen himselfon tax evasion and campaign finance charges in 2018 related to payments to Daniels and was sentenced to three years in federal prison. He was under house arrest at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and completed his sentence in November 2021.
Last Friday, Bragg said the company’s sentencing “closes this important chapter in our ongoing investigation into the former president and his businesses. We now move on to the next chapter.” He did not provide any details on what this “next chapter” might entail.
The prosecutor’s investigation into Trump appeared to have stalled in early 2021 when several top prosecutors working on the investigation resigned.
Bragg declined to discuss Daniels and Cohen during an interview with CBS News on Friday.
“I will not confirm or deny any of the threads we may be looking at. It’s just important for any allegations that we may make that I don’t talk about at this time,” Bragg said.
Cohen’s congressional testimony about Trump in 2019 sparked numerous investigations, including the Manhattan criminal investigation and a civil lawsuit filed by New York Attorney General Letitia James alleging widespread fraud at the company.
Cohen is one of at least two people who were previously interviewed by investigators and have heard from them again in recent days, according to a source.
In the fall, investigators began revisiting some of the earliest threads of the investigation, including the alleged payments to Daniels, according to another source.
Bragg has repeatedly said the investigation is ongoing. Duncan Levine, attorney for Jennifer Weiselberg, the ex-CFO’s former daughter-in-law, whoin 2021 said Bragg’s office never seemed to back down.
“It is a fact that the communications to us from the prosecutor’s office have consistently been that the investigation is ongoing. So it’s not a big surprise to us that the DA’s office is actively interviewing witnesses,” Levin said.
The latest move in the Manhattan DA’s probe comes as Trump faces legal jeopardy on many fronts. A special grand jury in Fulton County, Georgia, earlier this month concluded its seven-month investigation into Trump’s activities after the 2020 election, handing the district attorney there a lengthy report and potential charging recommendations. The report has not been released to the public. And in Washington, D.C., a special counsel is reviewing Trump’s handling of sensitive government documents found at his Mar-a-Lago home and possible obstruction of efforts to retrieve them.
Trump has repeatedly condemned all three investigations, calling them a “witch hunt” and claiming prosecutors were determined to indict him out of political animus.
Levin said that during his meetings with Manhattan investigators, “it was not my conclusion that they were in any way focused on the impeachment against former President Trump.”
“They seemed very focused on just gathering facts,” said Levine, who is a former Manhattan U.S. attorney. “They never seemed to push the investigation in a particular direction.”
Jerrica Duncan contributed to this report.
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