Cohen distances himself from business associate who struck plea deal
Michael Cohen, President Trump’s longtime attorney, downplayed his relationship on Wednesday with a taxi business mogul who has agreed to cooperate with government prosecutors.
Evgeny Freidman, who has done business with Cohen, agreed to cooperate with state and federal prosecutors as part of a plea deal on Tuesday, raising the specter that Cohen may cooperate with the special counsel’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election.
“I am one of thousands of medallion owners who entrust management companies to operate my medallions according to the rules of the NYC Taxi and Limousine Commission,” Cohen tweeted.
“Gene Freidman and I are not partners and have never been partners in this business or any other,” he continued, adding the hashtag “#MediaWrongAgain.”
“I am one of thousands of medallion owners who entrust management companies to operate my medallions according to the rules of the NYC Taxi and Limousine Commission. Gene Freidman and I are not partners and have never been partners in this business or any other.” #MediaWrongAgain
— Michael Cohen (@MichaelCohen212) May 23, 2018
The New York Times reported Tuesday that Freidman, a Russian immigrant nicknamed the “Taxi King,” has been partners with Cohen in the taxi business for years.
Freidman got five years of probation for pleading guilty Tuesday to a single count of evading $50,000 worth of taxes. He had faced four counts of criminal tax fraud and one of grand larceny, each carrying a possible sentence of up to 25 years.
Cohen is reportedly under investigation for bank fraud and campaign finance law violations.
The FBI raided his home, office and hotel room last month, in part following a referral from special counsel Robert Mueller, reportedly seizing financial records, communications between Cohen and his clients and documents related to nondisclosure payments to two women — including adult-film star Stormy Daniels — who alleged they had affairs with Trump.
Multiple outlets reported federal investigators were also focused on Cohen’s taxi business.