Administration

Michael Cohen: Trump’s ‘biggest fear’ is ‘a massive tax bill,’ possible fraud charges

President Trump’s former attorney and longtime fixer, Michael Cohen, says in a new interview that his former boss’s undoing lies in scrutiny of his financial dealings.

In an interview with Yahoo News following the publication of information about Trump’s tax returns in The New York Times, Cohen says that the president’s “biggest fear” is ending up with a fine or other punishment over the means by which he avoided paying federal income tax for around a decade.

“His biggest fear is … he will end up with a massive tax bill, fraud penalties, fines, and possibly even tax fraud,” Cohen told the news outlet.

“Donald Trump’s financial records are the Rosetta Stone for understanding the depth of his corruption and crimes,” he continued. “The more it is unraveled, the more he will unravel. It’s the reason he’s fought so hard to keep it under wraps.” 

Cohen’s remarks echo others he has made since leaving Trump’s employ and pleading guilty to campaign finance violations over his work to authorize payments to Stormy Daniels, an adult-film star who came forward shortly before the 2016 election with allegations of an affair with the president.

His allegations surrounding Trump’s finances were previously revealed in a hearing held by the House Oversight and Reform Committee last year, during which Cohen alleged that his former boss had lied about his income for tax purposes.

In that hearing last year, Cohen also alleged that Trump was not under IRS audit, as he has claimed, and could release his tax returns publicly at any time despite the president’s long-standing insistence that the files are under review.

“I asked for a copy of the audit so that I could use it in terms of my statements to the press, and I was never able to obtain one,” he told the committee in 2019.

The Times investigation published over the weekend revealed the scope of the president’s avoidance of federal income taxes and indicated that he paid just $750 in federal taxes — less than many Americans — during his first year in the White House.

Trump responded to the investigation at a press conference Sunday, calling it “totally fake news” and claiming that the IRS treats him “very badly.”

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