Michael Cohen, Trump’s former “fixer,” meets with Manhattan DA investigators

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Michael Cohen, a former attorney and “fixer” for former President Donald Trump, met on Tuesday afternoon with Manhattan District Attorney investigators, the latest sign that his years-old probe into Trump may be gaining momentum. .

Cohen confirmed that he was invited for an interview by prosecutor Alvin Bragg’s investigators when he arrived for the meeting at a government building in midtown Manhattan.

“They’re calling me for the 14th time, so let’s see what happens,” Cohen said, adding that he has not met with investigators since the current district attorney took office more than a year ago. “This is the first time I’ve met Alvin Bragg.”

The interview comes four days after two Trump Organization companies were ordered to pay a combined fine. $1.6 million fine stemming from a December conviction on 17 criminal charges related to tax fraud.

A spokesman for Bragg declined to comment on Tuesday.

After the approximately two-hour interview, Cohen declined to describe the conversation he had with investigators, but said, “It looks like I’ll probably be meeting with them again.”

“They are professionals and will do their job,” Cohen said.

The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office has investigated Trump and his company since 2018, initially focusing on alleged “hidden money” payments arranged by Cohen to adult film actress Stormy Daniels. The investigation, launched under Bragg’s predecessor Cyrus Vance Jr., eventually became a sweeping investigation of Trump’s finances, which included a successful Supreme Court battle over his tax returns.

Trump Organization companies and former chief financial officer Allen Weisselberg were indicted in July 2021 in the tax fraud case. Trump has not been personally charged and has denied wrongdoing.

Weisselberg pleaded guilty and was sentenced to five months in prison. The company went to trial and was convicted on all counts.

Cohen himself pled guilty to tax evasion and campaign finance charges in 2018 related to payments to Daniels and was sentenced to three years in federal prison. He was released to house arrest at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, and ended his sentence in November 2021.

Trump's former fixer is released and ready to cash in
Michael Cohen, former personal attorney for former President Donald Trump, walks out of federal court in New York City on Monday, November 22, 2021.

Jefferson Siegel/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Last Friday, Bragg said the company’s ruling “closes this important chapter in our ongoing investigation into the former president and his dealings. We now move on to the next chapter.” He didn’t provide details on what this “next chapter” might entail.

The prosecutor’s investigation into Trump appeared to have slowed down 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’m not going to confirm or deny any of the topics we may be looking at. It’s just important for any allegations we may come forward that I don’t speak about them at this time,” Bragg said.

Cohen’s 2019 Congressional testimony about Trump sparked multiple 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 have previously been interviewed by investigators and have heard from them again in recent days, according to a source.

In the fall, investigators began re-examining some of the initial threads in the investigation, including alleged payments to Daniels, according to another source.

Bragg has repeatedly said the investigation remains active. Duncan Levin, attorney for Jennifer Weisselberg, former daughter-in-law of the former CFO who turned into evidence boxes in 2021, said Bragg’s office never seemed to back down.

“The fact is, communications to us from the DA’s office have always been that the investigation is ongoing. So it’s not a surprise to us that the DA’s office is actively doing witness interviews,” Levin said.

The latest move in the Manhattan prosecutor’s investigation comes as Trump faces legal danger on multiple 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 potentially demanding recommendations. The report has not been released to the public. And in Washington, DC, a special counsel is reviewing Trump’s handling of classified government documents found at his Mar-a-Lago home and the 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 for political animosity.

Levin said that in his meetings with Manhattan investigators “I didn’t come to the conclusion that they were focused in any way on indicting former President Trump.”

“They seemed very focused on just gathering facts,” said Levin, a former Manhattan district attorney. “They never seemed to be pushing the investigation in a specific direction.”

Jericka Duncan contributed reporting.

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