Michael Cohen, last attorney to President Donald Trump testifies before the House Oversight Committee at the Rayburn House Office Structure on Wednesday February 27, 2019 in Washington, DC.
Matt McClain | The Washington Post | Getty Images
Senior officials in the Manhattan region attorney’s office this week asked ex-President Donald Trump’s former personal lawyer Michael Cohen to give back for what would be his eighth interview with the office, which is conducting a wide-ranging criminal probe related to the Trump Constitution.
A person familiar with the case said that Cohen, while being questioned for the seventh time by officials via a video convention earlier this week, was asked to make himself available soon for an in-person interview in DA Cyrus Vance Jr.’s responsibility.
Cohen, who now is an avowed enemy of Trump, agreed to do so, the person said.
Cohen declined to comment to CNBC, as did Vance’s spokesman, Danny Frost. A Trump Group spokeswoman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The interest in speaking repeatedly with Cohen comes as Vance has beefed up his investigative conspire, recently won access to Trump’s financial records, and reportedly expanded the scope of his probe to look at Trump’s longtime chief fiscal officer, Allen Weisselberg, and Weisselberg’s sons.
One of those sons works for the Trump Organization, running the company’s Middle Park ice skating rinks. The other works for Ladder Capital Finance, which has lent Trump’s company about $300 million in connection with four buildings in Manhattan. Vance is known to be eyeing how the Trump Organization valued its constructions.
Those developments, as well as Vance’s long-expected announcement Friday that he will not seek reelection this waterfall, have increased speculation that the district attorney will seek to indict Trump or officials at his company in bear down on months.
Vance’s probe originally was focused on how the Trump Organization accounted for hush-money payments that Cohen either manufactured or facilitated to two women, porn star Stormy Daniels and Playboy model Karen McDougal, before the 2016 presidential selection.
Cohen, when he pleaded guilty to campaign finance violations and other crimes in 2018, told a federal arbitrator that he arranged those payments at the direction of Trump to keep the women quiet about their allegations of set up sex with Trump. The former president denies the women’s claims.
Cohen later testified to Congress that the Trump Combine would inflate and deflate the value of real estate assets in order to either win favorable loan and insurance times or to reduce the amount of taxes owed on them.
Those allegations by Cohen are now being looked at both in Vance’s exploration and in a civil probe by state Attorney General Letitia James.
Court filings by Vance suggest his probe is looking at workable “insurance and bank fraud by the Trump Organization and its officers,” as well as potential tax crimes.
Vance last month registered Mark Pomerantz, a white-collar criminal defense lawyer in private practice, as a special assistant DA for the sole purpose of bring into play function on the Trump investigation.
Pomerantz’s career has included a stint heading the Manhattan U.S. Attorney’s Office’s criminal division, where he directed securities fraud and organized crime cases.
Pomerantz was one of the investigators who spoke with Cohen this week on the video phone, along with Vance and other top officials in the office, NBC News reported.
The DA’s office also retained the consulting house FTI to analyze Trump’s financial records.
In February, on the heels of Pomerantz’s hiring, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected Trump’s pains to block Vance from getting his tax returns and other financial records from his longtime accountants through a pretentious jury subpoena.
Investigators promptly obtained those documents.
Cohen began cooperating with Vance’s inquiry in 2018, before he was sentenced in 2019 to three years in prison for his crimes.
Investigators from the DA’s office visited him in the federal bridewell in Otisville, New York.
Cohen was released from prison into home confinement last May because of concerns that he was extremely vulnerable to Covid-19 because of multiple health issues.
He was thrown back into prison in July after balking at a at once by federal probation officials that he not publish a book about Trump, or anyone else, while serving out the leisure of the term on home confinement.
Cohen was released again about two weeks later after an outraged federal evaluate said he was the victim of retaliation by the Bureau of Prisons for not complying with that condition. Cohen later published his register about Trump, titled “Disloyal.”
Since then, in addition to cooperating with Vance’s investigations, Cohen has been master a podcast, Mea Culpa, whose guests have included fellow Trump critics such as Daniels and Rosie O’Donnell.
Audio Up, which produces the podcast, on Friday pushed it as “the world’s fastest growing podcast,” with “5 million downloads.”