The chickens are coming home to roost for President Trump, and Michael Cohen is clucking loudly.
Convicted former Trump personal lawyer Michael Cohen just revealed to New York federal prosecutors that the Trump Organization participated in an insurance fraud scheme.
The Southern District of New York currently has a wide-ranging probe ongoing into Donald Trump’s criminal deeds in his hometown of Manhattan.
Cohen initially refused to “fully” cooperate with that Office before sentencing, but he is continuing to give them details about the Trump Organization’s scams. The Times reports:
“Michael D. Cohen, President Trump’s former lawyer and fixer, met last month with federal prosecutors in Manhattan, offering information about possible irregularities within the president’s family business and about a donor to the inaugural committee, according to people familiar with the matter.”
“Mr. Cohen, who worked at the Trump Organization for a decade, spoke with the prosecutors about insurance claims the company had filed over the years, said the people, who did not elaborate on the nature of the possible irregularities,” the newspaper reports.
While Donald Trump focused his rhetorical fire on Special Counsel Robert Mueller and the FBI, they were simultaneously feeding information to his local US Attorney’s office and the investigations into the president metastasized.
The SDNY’s investigation into the Trump Inaugural Committee reached a major milestone when copies of a subpoena revealed the scope of potential crimes, and news broke that a tape obtained from the FBI’s raid of Michael Cohen’s offices sparked the probe. The Times reports that Cohen is telling prosecutors more about the only individual referenced in that subpoena:
“The prosecutors also questioned Mr. Cohen about a donor to the president’s inaugural committee, Imaad Zuberi, a California venture capitalist and political fund-raiser, according to the people familiar with the matter, who were not authorized to discuss the confidential meeting.”
“Around the time that Mr. Zuberi contributed $900,000 to the committee, he also tried to hire Mr. Cohen as a consultant and wrote him a substantial check, one of the people said,” according to the paper.
Amazingly, Cohen didn’t cash the check for $100,000 from Zuberi, and didn’t go through with the “arrangement.”
Trump’s personal lawyer turned his boss’ presidential victory into a veritable carnival of corruption.
Michael Cohen got caught selling his services for a million dollars to the royal family of the Persian Gulf state of Qatar, whom he escorted to a meeting in Trump Tower while the unscrupulous inaugural was being planned.
A recent story by the Daily Memphian just revealed that Cohen used those connections to play both sides by charging an American member of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club to meet the Qataris and seek investment.
Cohen brought his Qatari friends to Tennessee real estate developer Franklin Haney’s yacht while they all visited Miami last year, just before the FBI raided his office, home, and hotel room.
Haney donated a million dollars to the Trump Inaugural and last April, he paid Cohen a $200,00 fee to help him obtain billions of dollars in equity from the cash-rich Qataris. He claims that Cohen did not act as a lobbyist for him, but at any rate, the would-be nuclear reactor owner severed the contract after the raid.
It is unknown if Cohen’s relationship with Haney is also under the SDNY’s microscope for improprieties.
Michael Cohen appears to be on a mission to devastate his former boss by providing federal prosecutors in New York and the Special Counsel’s office with further information about more of the President’s crimes.
Even worse for Trump, Cohen is set to testify to the House Oversight Committee in an open hearing next week, met with members of the Senate yesterday, and even had his prison reporting date extended by sixty days just so he could spend more time telling everything he knows to Congress.
Donald Trump knows exactly how damaging Michael Cohen’s revelations will be, which is probably why he has openly sought to obstruct him from speaking to House investigations in public.
But the reality is that no matter how politically damaging Cohen’s testimony will be next week, the impact of his revelations of insurance fraud and any further improprieties in the Trump Inaugural Committee scams will land more broadly than just the President and could put one of his closest associates on trial soon and threaten to topple the fortune that his father built by operating a racist housing empire.
Cluck away, Mr. Cohen, cluck away.