Court Battles

Michael Cohen interviewed by prosecutors about Trump’s finances

New York prosecutors on Thursday reportedly interviewed President Trump’s former personal attorney Michael Cohen for hours regarding the president’s finances.

The Associated Press, citing three people familiar with the meeting, reported that the interview conducted by the office of Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. focused partially on Trump’s relationship with Deutsche Bank.

The sources spoke to the AP on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly about the investigation.

The interview marks at least the second of Cohen by the district attorney’s office as part of a grand jury investigation into Trump’s business activities. Cohen worked for Trump until 2018, and has since become a key critic.

The probe in Manhattan started in 2018 to focus on alleged payments given to two women who claimed to have had affairs with Trump but later expanded to focus on the president’s larger business activities.

People familiar with the matter told the AP that the former Trump lawyer and personal “fixer” has been asked to look at documents from the Trump Organization and offer insight into the corporate structure.

While Vance has so far declined to release specifics regarding the ongoing investigation, the AP reported that he referred to media reports of what prosecutors in court filings called “extensive and protracted criminal conduct at the Trump Organization.” 

The articles referenced in the court documents include a 2017 article about commercial mortgage lender Ladder Capital. The lender provided more than $250 million in loans to Trump’s company. The AP noted that Trump Organization Chief Financial Officer Allen Weisselberg’s son, Jack Weisselberg, is a director of Ladder Capital.

The White House did not immediately respond to The Hill’s request for comment about the Cohen interview. The White House declined to comment when contacted by the AP, with the newswire reporting that a request for comment was also sent to Cohen’s attorney.

In addition to Vance’s probe, Trump also faces an ongoing civil investigation by New York Attorney General Letitia James (D) into whether the Trump Organization intentionally fabricated the value of assets to receive more beneficial loans and tax benefits. Cohen is also cooperating with that investigation, according to the AP. 

 

Cohen in 2018 was sentenced to three years in federal prison after pleading guilty to nine counts of campaign finance violations, tax evasion and false statements.

He was released to home confinement in May 2020 amid the coronavirus pandemic before being sent back to jail for a short period. He was again released to home confinement in July after a judge ruled his re-imprisonment had been a form of retaliation.

Trump and his allies have repeatedly aimed attacks at the investigations by Vance and James, claiming they are nothing more than a politically-motivated “witch hunt.”

Tags Allen Weisselberg civil investigation Criminal investigation Cyrus Vance Jr. Deutsche Bank Donald Trump Grand jury Letitia James Manhattan Michael Cohen New York The Associated Press Trump investigation trump organization

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