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Prosecutors have "mounting amount of evidence" against Trump, Michael Cohen says

Michael Cohen sits down with CBSN
Michael Cohen sits down with CBSN 16:52

President Trump's former personal attorney, Michael Cohen, says he is "not interested" in a presidential pardon — and claims Mr. Trump is going to face legal issues of his own soon after leaving the White House.

"It has to do with his finances, it has to do with his tax returns, it has to do with his properties, it has to do with the personal financial statements that he had made and provided in order to obtain loans," Cohen said on CBSN Thursday. 

A number of investigations could cause legal trouble for Mr. Trump after he leaves office in January, including potential congressional inquiries as well as probes by the attorneys general of New York and Washington, D.C. and the Manhattan district attorney.

Cohen said he had been questioned by the state attorney general's team and the district attorney's office and claimed investigators are "well-prepared" with their evidence to "move relatively quickly" in their probes.

"I do believe that there is a mounting amount of evidence that they will be prosecuting upon," Cohen said. "Some of it of course is civil, and other parts of it are criminal."

Cohen pleaded guilty in 2018 to charges of fraud, campaign violations and lying to Congress and was sentenced to 3 years in prison. He was granted home confinement due to the pandemic earlier this year.  President Trump has repeatedly blasted Cohen as a known liar, but Cohen says he has documents to back up his claims.

There is currently only one publicly known investigation that could lead to criminal charges for Mr. Trump, led by Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. It initially targeted hush-money payments made during the 2016 campaign to adult film star Stormy Daniels, but Vance's office has since indicated in court filings that it has widened to look at possible crimes as wide-ranging as fraud and tax evasion.

However, the timeline of Vance's investigation is unclear. His seat is up for grabs in 2021, and the case is unlikely to be resolved until a new district attorney is in office.

Cohen declined to comment on any specifics of what he told investigators, but said "I know what it is that they're looking for" and asserted that they already have a "multitude of evidence" built up. 

Asked about the president's mindset, Cohen, who worked as Mr. Trump's "fixer" for years before their public rift, said: "What he is right now is very, very nervous and he is very scared because in 27 days he knows that Joe Biden is going to be sworn in, and that's when there's going to be a plethora of litigation and subpoenas that are going to be flying around that he cannot control anymore."

Cohen admitted to lying for the president to cover up what he now calls Mr. Trump's "dirty deeds."

"When I started to realize that I was being used by Trump and the administration as his scapegoat, I didn't want to end up being remembered in history as the villain of Donald Trump's story," Cohen said on CBSN.

Unlike Mr. Trump's associates Paul Manafort, Roger Stone and Michael Flynn, among others, Cohen has not received a pardon from the president — and he "didn't expect one," either.

"I truly believe that those who were accepting Trump's filth will have the stench of corruption following their name and their family's names for decades to come," he said. "It's just another disgraceful Trump act."

The president began announcing various pardons and commutations Wednesday evening. Among the first were Flynn, who briefly served as national security adviser before pleading guilty to lying to the FBI, and former Trump campaign staffer George Papadopoulos. Pardons for Stone and Manafort were announced the next evening.

All four of those Trump allies, like Cohen, were indicted on charges stemming from the Mueller investigation.

Graham Kates contributed to this report.

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