Donald Trump‘s former personal attorney, Michael Cohen, was interviewed on Friday for an eighth time by New York prosecutors investigating the former president’s finances.
Cohen met with investigators at the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office amid a swirl of new activity in the the criminal inquiry, including fresh subpoenas and face-to-face meetings with key witnesses.
Afterward, Cohen told reporters he had a ‘comprehensive meeting’ with prosecutors, offering them his full cooperation.
They are interested in speaking with Cohen because he can explain the culture of the company and the relationships between Trump, his family, and Allen Weisselberg, the chief financial officer of the Trump Organization.
Michael Cohen, the former personal lawyer for Donald Trump, met for the eighth time with top officials in the Manhattan District Attorney’s office on Friday
Michael Cohen, former personal attorney for Donald Trump, arrives at the Manhattan District Attorney’s office, on Friday morning
Michael Cohen speaks with members of the media after leaving the Manhattan district attorney’s office on Friday
‘I´m going to continue to cooperate and provide more information as it’s requested,’ Cohen said who once professed that he would take a bullet for Trump
The investigation includes an examination of whether Trump or his businesses lied about the value of assets to gain favorable loan terms and tax benefits.
Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. also is scrutinizing hush-money payments paid to women on Trump´s behalf.
Cyrus Vance’s probe originally focused on payments made before the 2016 election to two women, porn star Stormy Daniels and Playboy model Karen McDougal, who said they had sexual encounters with Trump, which the president has denied.
But Vance, a Democrat, suggested in recent court filings the probe had broadened to focus on bank, tax and insurance fraud, as well as falsification of business records or other schemes to defraud.
Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance has been conducting a criminal investigation of Trump and the family company, the Trump Organization (file photo from February 2020)
Michael Cohen walks after leaving the Manhattan district attorney’s office on Friday afternoon
Micheal Cohen and his Lawyer Lanny Davis leaves Cy Vances offices in regard to the probe in to former President Trumps finances
Cohen, the former personal lawyer for former U.S. President Donald Trump, met with prosecutors for the eighth time
Cohen’s in-person meeting came less than two weeks after he last met with District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr.
Trump has called the case politically motivated harassment.
Vance’s office is now in possession of eight years of Trump’s tax records after a lengthy legal battle.
In a recent interview, investigators asked Cohen about Trump´s Seven Springs estate as part of an inquiry into whether the value of the 213-acre Westchester County property was improperly inflated to reduce his taxes.
Prosecutors asked about individuals involved in the appraisal of the estate and benefits derived from its valuation, including a $21 million income tax deduction.
A 2012 Trump financial document values the property at $291 million, but local agents estimated the property would trade for around $50 million or less.
The Trump Organization acquired the property in 1995 for $7.5 million.
Michael Cohen, former personal attorney for Donald Trump, arrives at the Manhattan District Attorney’s office
Prosecutors have increased the frequency of their interviews with Cohen since they began in the fall of 2019 soon after the district attorney’s office subpoenaed Trump’s accountant for his taxes
Over the years, the organization has made several attempts to develop the property with ideas to build a golf course along with plans to build nine homes.
Eventually such efforts were abandoned in 2015 as the Trump Organization decided to create a conservation easement to a land trust.
It would leave a portion of the property untouched and completely undeveloped from which a tax break could be earned.
By making such a ‘donation’, the Trumps would have been allowed make a tax deduction based on the value of the property.
The higher the valuation of the property, the larger the tax deduction allowed.
Also in the spotlight: The New York AG is investigating whether there was a tax fraud involving the Seven Springs Estate in Bedford, Westchester County, north of New York City.
A 2011 Trump financial document values the Seven Springs property at $261 million, but local agents estimated the property would trade for around $50 million or less
Trump granted a conservation easement of about 158 acres to the North American Land Trust.
It was appraised at $21.1 million, according to the filings but now investigators are looking to see whether the value was artificially inflated.
Cohen was released to home confinement last year amid coronavirus fears, and his recent meetings have been conducted via video conference.
Vance announced last week that he would leave office at the end of the year and not seek reelection.
He recently hired former mafia prosecutor Mark Pomerantz – who, as a federal prosecutor, oversaw the prosecution of Gambino crime boss John ‘Junior’ Gotti – as a special assistant district attorney to assist in the wide-ranging probe of Trump´s finances.
Cohen pleaded guilty in 2018 to multiple tax evasion counts, two counts of unlawful campaign contributions and making a false statement to Congress. He is pictured on Friday
Cohen worked for Trump for about a decade and once said he would take a bullet for Trump
Prosecutors are interested in speaking with Cohen because he can help explain the culture of the company and the relationships between Trump, his family, and Allen Weisselberg, the chief financial officer of the Trump Organization