Michael Cohen, Trump’s former “fixer,” meets with Manhattan D.A. investigators

Michael Cohen, former President Donald Trump’s former lawyer and “fixer,” met Tuesday afternoon with investigators from the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, the latest sign that its year-old investigation into Trump may be picking up steam.

Cohen confirmed that he was asked for an interview by investigators for DA Alvin Bragg when he arrived at the meeting at a government office building in downtown Manhattan.

“They’re calling me in for the 14th time, so we’ll 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.”

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

A spokesman for Bragg declined to comment Tuesday.

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

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“They’re professionals and they’re going to do their job,” Cohen said.

The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office has been investigating Trump and his company since 2018, initially focusing on alleged “hush 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 probe into Trump’s finances that included a successful Supreme Court battle over his tax returns.

The Trump Organization companies and former CFO Allen Weisselberg were indicted in the tax fraud case in July 2021. Trump was not personally charged and has denied wrongdoing.

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

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

Trump's former fixer is unleashed and ready to cash in
Michael Cohen, former personal attorney for former President Donald Trump, leaves federal court in New York on Monday, Nov. 22, 2021.

Jefferson Siegel/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Last Friday, Bragg said the company’s sentencing “closes this important chapter of our ongoing investigation into the former president and his companies. We now move on to the next chapter.” He gave no details on what the “next chapter” might entail.

The DA’s investigation into Trump appeared to have stalled in early 2021 when several top prosecutors working on the investigation resigned.

Bragg declined to discuss both Daniels and Cohen during an interview with CBS News on Friday.

“I’m not going to confirm or deny any of the threads that we may be looking at. It’s just important to any charges that we may make, for me not to talk about them at this time,” Bragg said.

Cohen’s 2019 congressional testimony about Trump sparked several investigations, including the Manhattan probe 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 previously interviewed by investigators and has heard from them again in recent days, according to a source.

In the fall, investigators began reexamining some of the investigation’s earliest threads, including the alleged payments to Daniels, according to another source.

Bragg has repeatedly said the investigation remained active. Duncan Levin, an attorney for Jennifer Weisselberg, the former CFO’s ex-daughter-in-law, who turned over boxes of evidence in 2021, Bragg’s office never apparently said to retire.

“The fact is that the communication to us from the DA’s office has consistently been that the investigation is ongoing. So it doesn’t come as a huge surprise to us that the DA’s office is actively interviewing witnesses,” says Levin.

The latest move in the Manhattan DA’s investigation comes as Trump faces legal jeopardy on several 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 onerous recommendations. The report has not been published. And in Washington, DC, a special counsel is reviewing Trump’s handling of sensitive government documents found at his Mar-a-Lago home and possible obstruction of efforts to recover them.

Trump has repeatedly dismissed all three investigations, calling them a “witch hunt” and claiming prosecutors were determined to indict him out of political ill will.

Levin said that in his meetings with Manhattan investigators, “it was not my conclusion that they were in any way focused on impeaching former President Trump.”

“They seemed very focused on just gathering the facts,” said Levin, who is a former Manhattan prosecutor. “They never seemed to push the investigation in any particular direction.”

Jericka Duncan contributed reporting.


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