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Michael Cohen, Trump's former "fixer," meets with Manhattan D.A. investigators

Michael Cohen meets with N.Y. prosecutors
Former Trump attorney Michael Cohen meets with Manhattan prosecutors 03:33

Michael Cohen, former President Donald Trump's ex-attorney and "fixer," met Tuesday afternoon with investigators from the Manhattan District Attorney's Office, the latest sign that its years-old investigation into Trump may be picking up steam.

Cohen confirmed that he was asked for an interview by investigators for the D.A., Alvin Bragg, as he arrived for 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 hasn't met with investigators since the current district attorney took office more than a year ago. "This is my first time meeting with Alvin Bragg."

The interview comes four days after two Trump Organization companies were sentenced to pay a combined $1.6 million penalty stemming from a December conviction on 17 criminal counts related to tax fraud.

A spokesperson 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 appears that I'll probably be meeting with them again."

"They're professional, and they're going to be doing their job," Cohen said.

The Manhattan District Attorney's Office has been investigating Trump and his company since 2018, at first 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., ultimately became a sweeping probe of Trump's finances that included a successful Supreme Court battle for his tax returns. 

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

Weisselberg entered a guilty plea and was sentenced to five months in jail. The company went to trial 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 home confinement at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, and finished serving his sentence in November 2021.

Trump's Former Fixer Is Unleashed, And Ready To Make Money
Michael Cohen, former personal attorney to former President Donald Trump, leaves from 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 businesses. We now move on to the next chapter." He did not provide any details on what that "next chapter" might entail.

The D.A.'s investigation into Trump appeared to have slowed in early 2021 when several top prosecutors working on the probe 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 for any charges we may bring for me not to talk about them at this time," Bragg said.

Cohen's 2019 congressional testimony about Trump sparked multiple investigations, including the Manhattan criminal 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 who were previously interviewed by investigators and have 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 said repeatedly that 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, said Bragg's office never appeared to be backing away.

"The fact is that the communications to us from the D.A.'s office have consistently been that the investigation is ongoing. So it doesn't come as much of a surprise to us that the D.A.'s office is actively doing witness interviews," Levin said.

The latest movement in the Manhattan D.A.'s investigation comes as Trump is facing legal peril on multiple fronts. A special grand jury in Fulton County, Georgia, earlier this month completed its seven-month inquiry into Trump's activities following the 2020 election, delivering to the district attorney there a lengthy report and potentially charging recommendations. The report has not been released to the public. And in Washington, D.C., 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 retrieve them.

Trump has repeatedly decried all three investigations, calling them a "witch hunt," and claiming that prosecutors were determined to indict him out of political animus.

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

"They seemed very focused on just gathering facts," said Levin, who is a former Manhattan prosecutor. "They never seemed to be pushing the investigation in a particular direction."

Jericka Duncan contributed reporting.

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