Michael Cohen Interviewed For Probe Into Trump Organization’s Handling Of Hush Money Payments
President Donald Trump‘s former personal lawyer Michael Cohen has been interviewed several times by New York prosecutors in recent weeks as part of the district attorney’s office’s inquiry into the Trump Organization’s handling of hush money payments.
New York District Attorney Cyrus Vance‘s office interviewed Cohen at the federal prison in Otisville, New York where Trump’s former fixer is serving a three-year sentence for several charges related to campaign finance violations that include payments to two women with whom the president had extramarital affairs years prior.
Vance’s office launched its probe in August and subpoenaed both the Trump Organization and American Media Inc. (AMI), the parent company of The National Enquirer, the tabloid that infamously sent stories about Trump and his alleged affairs to Cohen before publishing. Two women, porn star Stormy Daniels and former Playboy model Karen McDougal, claimed last year that they were paid money to stay silent about their alleged respective sexual relationships with Trump during the 2000s in the months leading up to the 2016 election.
American Media — whose chairman and CEO David Pecker is a close friend of Trump’s — reached a non-prosecution deal with the Southern District of New York in December 2018. AMI confessed to paying $150,000 in coordination with Trump’s campaign in oder to stop McDougal’s allegations about her affair with the former Apprentice star from becoming public. The company also announced in April that the Enquirer is up for sale.
Earlier this year, Cohen testified before Congress about the illegal work he performed for Trump for more than a decade, including the hush money payments. The former personal lawyer also revealed the role the Trump Organization played in the president’s illicit actions and pleaded guilty to lying to lawmakers about his involvement in a plan to build a Trump Tower in Moscow in 2016. However, many lawmakers and political pundits have slammed Cohen for what they perceive as his lack of credibility.
— Darrin Bell (@DarrinBellArt) September 12, 2019
The development regarding Cohen also comes as House Democrats continued to subpoena Trump and his businesses. Lawmakers have already filed lawsuits to gain access to the Trump family’s bank and tax documents, including loan records for projects tied to the Trump Organization.
New York prosecutors also claimed Cohen received $$420,000 from the Trump Organization as reimbursement for his his $130,000 hush money payment to Daniels. The differential is believed to have covered taxes and a bonus. Trump’s former personal lawyer was also reportedly instructed to send the Trump Organization invoices for monthly payments of $35,000 over the course of a year. The Trump Organization was not charged in this matter.
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