New York Officials Subpoena Michael Cohen As Part of Trump Foundation Probe

Michael Cohen
Michael Cohen / Reuters
August 22, 2018

Former Donald Trump lawyer Michael Cohen has been subpoenaed for information relating to a probe into possible criminal violations by the Trump Foundation.

In June, New York state tax officials opened an investigation into whether the Trump Foundation violated state law regulating how charities use and report contributions, days after New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood sued the Trump Foundation for "repeated and willful self-dealing transactions."

Both probes came after a 2016 Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington Post piece alleged the Trump Foundation frequently enriched Trump himself, spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to renovate Trump properties.

NBC reported Wednesday that as Lanny Davis, Cohen's attorney, was waiting to go on the air for an appearance on MSNBC's "Rachel Maddow Show," he said Cohen "has information about improprieties in the Trump charitable foundation that would be of interest to the New York attorney general," but he did not offer specifics.

A spokesperson for New York's tax department confirmed to the Associated Press later that day that they had issued a subpoena of Cohen in reaction to the comments made by Davis.

Cohen pleaded guilty in federal court Tuesday to several counts of tax fraud, bank fraud and violating campaign finance laws. During his allocution, Cohen made the bombshell allegation that he made illegal payments to Stormy Daniels for campaign purposes and did so at the direction of a federal candidate. While Cohen did not refer to Trump by name, the court filing refers to an Individual-1, who by January 2017 had become president of the United States.

Trump responded on Twitter, tweeting "If anyone is looking for a good lawyer, I would strongly suggest that you don’t retain the services of Michael Cohen!"