Michael Cohen, the former attorney for Donald Trump, claimed that he met for two and a half hours on Tuesday with Manhattan prosecutors who are reopening an old case involving payments made to a porn star to keep her quiet about an alleged extramarital affair.
Cohen claimed he had been “directed not to divulge” any attendees or to go into specifics about the prosecutors’ areas of interest.
Cohen added that I have a lot of faith in the staff they spoke with yesterday and their breadth and depth of understanding on this and other issues.
In 2018, Cohen entered a guilty plea to federal allegations that he broke campaign finance laws by paying Stormy Daniels, a porn star, and Karen McDougal, a model, so that they wouldn’t make accusations.
The Manhattan office of the U.S. attorney decided not to bring charges against Trump for the hush money transfers.
To determine whether state laws were breached, the Manhattan district attorney’s office started looking into the payments.
During the term of former Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr., who moved the investigation’s emphasis to the Trump Organization’s commercial activities, no charges were brought against Trump. Last month, the firm was convicted of tax evasion and fined $1.6 million.
Following that conviction, Vance’s replacement as district attorney, Alvin Bragg, declared that the Trump investigation was entering its “next chapter,” though he made no further mention of this.
Returning to hush money payments would bring the full investigation circle.
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Democrat Bragg has expressed renewed enthusiasm in pressing additional accusations, possibly against Trump.
He has also expressed worry about divulging too much about the investigation, claiming that doing so could jeopardize future cases.
Bragg’s office expressed fears that publishing his book next month could “materially affect existing criminal investigations” in a letter to Simon & Schuster and Mark Pomerantz, the federal prosecutor who previously led the office’s Trump inquiry, on Wednesday.
According to Bragg’s office, Pomerantz did not obtain the necessary permission before authoring “People v. Trump, An Inside Account,” He may have broken the law if he “unlawfully converted classified government material for his profit.”
After a disagreement with Bragg throughout the case last year, Pomerantz departed the district attorney’s office.
He most recently co-founded the non-profit Free + Fair Litigation Group with former Trump prosecutor Carey Dunne and former NBA players union Executive Director Michele Roberts.
“I am satisfied that all of my actions concerning the Trump investigation, including the authoring of my forthcoming book, are consistent with my legal and ethical commitments,” Pomerantz said.
Regarding Cohen, he met with Manhattan prosecutors more than a dozen times early in the inquiry, three of those meetings taking place while he was incarcerated in federal jail.
His first meeting since Bragg assumed office last year was on Tuesday.
In a recent interview, Bragg stated to The Associated Press that his office is still looking into Trump and his businesses and that no decision has been reached regarding whether to press charges against the former president.
Bragg declared, “We’ll follow the facts and keep doing our job.
Republican Trump has criticized the investigation as being politically motivated.
In part, because he didn’t want to jeopardize the trial or trigger defense motions for a mistrial, according to Bragg, the probe slowed down while the Trump Organization case was ongoing.
Now that the trial is finished, we’re going on to the next phase, which might allow us to do things that aren’t entirely clandestine — like talking to people outside the office to gather additional evidence,” Bragg said.
As the trial was coming to a close last month, Bragg hired a former U.S. Matthew Colangelo, an assistant attorney general, who will be in charge of the Trump and other white-collar investigations. Colangelo and Bragg collaborated on cases involving Trump in the state attorney general’s office.
As Cohen mentioned in his testimony to Congress in 2019, Manhattan prosecutors are also looking into whether Trump deceived banks and tax authorities about the worth of assets.
Letitia James, the attorney general of New York, has filed a civil case.