It’s not a good time to be the president of the United States’ personal lawyer. Trump’s personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, recently faced a round of raids from the FBI, who went through his home, office, and hotel room looking for information related to an array of issues, from his personal business as a taxi mogul to the massive hush money payment he dished out to adult film star Stormy Daniels on behalf of the president.
It’s that taxi business of his that is now causing more problems for him — the state of New York has now slapped a massive addition onto the total amount of taxes owed by taxi businesses belonging to him and/or members of his family, leaving him facing a bill that totals some $282,000. It’s not as though he can just dish out hush money to get out of this case.
This month, the state of New York added some $185,000 total onto the previous amount owed by 16 different Cohen family taxi businesses, but the president’s personal lawyer, according to Bloomberg, says that he’s innocent of the charges. According to Cohen, the taxes are actually owed by disgraced New York taxi mogul Evgeny “Gene” Freidman, who this June faces a trial on charges of illegally pocketing fare surcharges. Friedman operated hundreds of cabs around New York City, including the ones owned by Cohen.
Besides the taxi issue, Cohen is also facing scrutiny, as mentioned, over the hush money payment he facilitated on behalf of his boss to adult film star Stormy Daniels covering an alleged affair with the man who is now president. That’s not even the only hush money payment he facilitated on behalf of a big time Republican — he also negotiated a massive hush money deal sending $1.6 million to a Playboy model from now former deputy finance chair of the Republican National Committee Elliott Broidy.
In addition to the Broidy and Trump cases, Fox News host Sean Hannity was revealed by the Cohen team to be a client of his during a court hearing soon after the initial raids of Cohen’s belongings.
Predictably, the president reacted with rage to the raids on Cohen, proclaiming attorney-client privilege to be “dead,” even though that privilege does not extend to cover instances of crimes being committed. Although the president claimed at one point to have no knowledge of the hush money deal with Daniels, he eventually let on that he did know about it, and there are questions about the legality of that secret payment since it was meant to prop up the Trump campaign.
In follow-up reactions to the federal scrutiny of his “fixer” — which was eventually revealed to be a full-fledged criminal investigation — the president attempted to distance himself from Cohen. For instance, during an appearance on Fox & Friends, the president made sure to emphasize that Cohen is a “businessman,” adding to that a claim that he has had overall nothing to do with those business endeavors.
Those business endeavors, which occupied Cohen before he joined up with the Trump Organization, are the starting point for the compounding tax issues he’s facing reported by Bloomberg. Besides the cabs in New York, Cohen reportedly also owns nearly two dozen cabs over in Chicago.
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