Prosecutors Flip Ex-Trump Employee In NY Criminal Investigation

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Manhattan prosecutors are hosting ex-Trump lawyer Michael Cohen for an eighth interview as part of their wide-ranging criminal investigation into the Trump family business, according to a new report from CNBC. Cohen spent considerable time as a close Trump ally, but in the time since, he has vocally advocated against Trump, including through testimony at a Congressional hearing where he outlined the Trump Organization’s practice of fraudulently adjusting valuations of its assets in order to secure to financial benefits.

The exact date of Cohen’s imminent eighth interview was not immediately clear as of this weekend, but a source told CNBC that “Cohen, while being questioned for the seventh time by officials via a video conference earlier this week, was asked to make himself available soon for an in-person interview” with Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance’s team, as summarized by the outlet. Vance himself participated in Cohen’s recent seventh interview with the team, as did recent team addition Mark Pomerantz, who’s a former top official at the Manhattan U.S. Attorney’s Office’s criminal division, where his work included handling organized crime cases.

Besides Pomerantz’s recent joining, other recent developments include a U.S. Supreme Court conclusion that allowed Vance’s office to obtain significant troves of ex-President Trump’s financial records, including his tax returns. Trump fought for awhile in court to block a subpoena from Vance’s office for records from Trump’s longtime accounting firm Mazars USA, but Trump’s effort repeatedly failed, and after the Supreme Court’s recent conclusion against him, Vance’s team “promptly obtained those documents,” according to CNBC.

Vance is investigating issues including those alleged fraudulent adjustments to the valuations of the Trump Organization’s assets, and pieces of the business that have figured in the investigation so far range from the Trump business’s Seven Springs estate in Westchester County, New York, to the infamous Trump Tower in Manhattan. Vance’s investigation has included a look at Trump ties to Ladder Capital, a firm that has lent the Trump company almost $300 million overall. Jack Weisselberg, a son of longtime Trump Organization Chief Financial Officer Allen Weisselberg, works at Ladder. Prosecutors are reportedly angling to flip Allen, who has wide-ranging knowledge of the Trump business’s operations.

According to a recent report from CNN, “people familiar with the matter say [Vance] is likely to decide on whether to charge a case or close the investigation by the end of the year.” That same CNN report explained how Vance’s team could expand the scope of conduct that would be subject to potential criminal charges by applying a provision of New York law that allows for an expansion of a statute of limitations. Under that provision, statutes of limitations can expand if defendants were “continuously” out of the state, like Trump was as president.