Trump's former lawyer subpoenaed in Trump Foundation probe

Investigators in New York state issue subpoena to Michael Cohen as part of their probe into the Trump Foundation.

Ben Ariel,

Michael Cohen
Michael Cohen

Investigators in New York state have issued a subpoena to President Donald Trump’s former attorney Michael Cohen as part of their probe into the Trump Foundation, an official with Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo's administration confirmed to The Associated Press on Wednesday.

The subpoena was issued after Cohen's attorney said his client has information of interest to both state and federal prosecutors.

"We can confirm that a subpoena has been issued to Michael Cohen for relevant information in light of the public disclosures made yesterday," said James Gazzale, a spokesman for the state's tax department.

If evidence of alleged crimes is found, the matter could be referred to prosecutors, who could pursue criminal charges and seek the release of Trump's tax returns.

In 2016, then-New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman opened an investigation into the Donald J. Trump Foundation “to make sure it’s complying with the laws governing charities in New York,” he said at the time.

In October that year, Schneiderman ordered the Trump Foundation to stop raising funds in the state.

The state's investigation follows current Democratic state Attorney General Barbara Underwood's lawsuit alleging Trump illegally tapped his Trump Foundation to settle legal disputes, help his campaign for president and pay for personal and business expenses, which included spending $10,000 on a 6-foot portrait of himself.

The attorney general's office is seeking $2.8 million in restitution and other unspecified penalties in its civil suit. It said that it had referred to its findings to the IRS and the Federal Election Commission for possible further action.

Trump announced before being sworn in as president that he would dissolve the charity to avoid potential conflicts of interest as he prepares to enter the Oval Office.

The subpoena for Cohen comes a day after he pleaded guilty in Manhattan federal court to campaign-finance violations and other charges, saying he and Trump arranged the payment of hush money to adult film star Stormy Daniels and a former Playboy model to influence the election.

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