In the wake of the expiration of the grand jury empaneled to hear evidence in Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s investigation into Trump financial executive Allen Weisselberg and the Trump Organization, a former deputy to ex-Manhattan DA Cy Vance suggested that it may have been former Trump attorney Michael Cohen who, with his big mouth, may have inadvertently caused Bragg to back off from his desire to prosecute former President Donald Trump.
“Based on the motions, it seems unlikely that the DA would ever use Cohen as a witness against Weisselberg,” Daniel R. Alonso told the New York Daily News.
“But could he be a witness against Trump?” he asked. “To start with, he has enormous credibility issues, not only because he has lied in the past and been convicted of it, but also because he has a strong motive to see Trump’s downfall.”
Back in November, Cohen bragged to the Daily News that he had played a key role in the indictment of Weisselberg and complained that his cooperation didn’t get him a reduction in his three-year sentence to federal prison for lying to Congress and committing a variety of financial crimes.
“Despite providing over 400 hours of testimony that led to 18 different investigations — including [Trump’s] tax returns, including indictments of Weisselberg and others — they basically rode me door to door,” said Cohen, who has described himself as Trump’s “fixer.”
Attorneys for Weisselberg jumped on the statement, arguing that Cohen is a “vengeful” witness and, because of his prominent role in the DA’s case, the indictment against their client should be dismissed.
Attorney Mary Mulligan, in January, wrote that the DA “effectively embedded Mr. Cohen — a veritable orchard of tainted fruit — in its ranks, involving him in the prosecution from its outset to indictment (and beyond).”
What changed? Manhattan DA’s grand jury on Trump Org probe set to end this week https://t.co/8qjqxcCW5B
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During the two years of Cohen’s involvement, said Mulligan, prosecutors “up and down the ranks, including DA Vance himself, thanked Mr. Cohen for his cooperation.”
But, in a May 24 court filing, prosecutors claimed Cohen lied to the The News.
Cohen “is not on the prosecution team, never testified in the grand jury, and has no basis to opine on what testimony” led to the 2021 indictment on tax evasion against Weisselberg and the Trump Organization, Assistant District Attorney Solomon Shinerock wrote.
Though the DA’s office did acknowledge the information Cohen provided was used in the broader probe of Trump, they firmly say he was not connected to the Weisselberg case.
Citing more than a dozen sit-downs with the DA’s office, Cohen called “bullsh*t” and claimed he had “every right” to believe he was the reason charges were brought against Weisselberg and the Trump Organization.
“I brought the whole mishegas, the whole bullsh*t to the surface,” he insisted.
While the DA may have slowed the Trump probe, his office promised it is still ongoing and stated Bragg will explain his decision on whether or not to indict Trump once he makes it.
The trial of Weisselberg and the Trump Organization is set to commence in late summer.
As for Cohen, it appears he will be serving his full sentence.
Manhattan federal prosecutors declined to consider “The Fixer” a cooperator in 2018 because he refused to do what was required of him to receive a sentence reduction: tell the truth about all his past crimes.
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