New York subpoenas Cohen in Trump Foundation probe

By Danielle Haynes
Michael Cohen's lawyer said his client has information "of interest" to federal and New York state investigators. Photo by Corey Sipkin/UPI
Michael Cohen's lawyer said his client has information "of interest" to federal and New York state investigators. Photo by Corey Sipkin/UPI | License Photo

Aug. 22 (UPI) -- New York state issued a subpoena to President Donald Trump's former personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, for information related to its investigation into the Donald J. Trump Foundation, state officials said Wednesday.

The New York State Department of Taxation and Finance subpoenaed Cohen after his lawyer, Lanny Davis, said Tuesday that his client had information "of interest both in Washington and New York state."


CNBC and the Democrat & Chronicle in Rochester, N.Y., confirmed the subpoena.

"We will be working with the New York Attorney General and the Manhattan District Attorney, as appropriate," James Gazzale, a spokesman for the Department of Taxation and Finance said in a statement. "We can't comment further on this investigation."

Cohen on Tuesday pleaded guilty to paying two women to keep silent about affair allegations with Trump in order to influence the 2016 presidential election. His plea agreement included five counts of tax evasion, and one count each of excessive campaign contribution, causing an unlawful corporate contribution and false statements to a bank.


Cohen said he paid $130,000 to adult film star Stormy Daniels -- also known as Stephanie Clifford -- shortly before the 2016 presidential election for her to keep quiet about an affair she said she had with Trump after he married first lady Melania Trump. Cohen said he made the payment "at the direction of the candidate," referring to Trump. Cohen said he also paid former Playboy Karen McDougal, who also said she had an affair with Trump.

The New York Department of Taxation and Finance opened an investigation into the Trump Foundation, the president's charitable organization, in July to determine whether he broke the law by transferring assets or misrepresenting tax liability and tax assignment.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the investigation is moving forward in the form of a review by the state tax department as well as a civil case by the attorney general's office.

New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood filed a lawsuit against the Trump Foundation in June, citing a "pattern of illegal conduct" by the organization for more than a decade -- including unlawful political coordination with Trump's presidential campaign, repeated and willful self-dealing transactions to benefit personal and business interests, and violations of basic legal obligations for non-profit foundations.


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