Former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen asked back for 8th interview in criminal probe as DA Vance prepares exit


Senior officials in the Manhattan district attorney’s office this week asked ex-President Donald Trump’s former personal lawyer Michael Cohen to return for what would be his eighth interview with the office, which is conducting a wide-ranging criminal probe related to the Trump Organization.

A person familiar with the case said that Cohen, while being questioned for the seventh time by officials via a video conference earlier this week, was asked to make himself available soon for an in-person interview in DA Cyrus Vance Jr.’s office.

Cohen, who now is an avowed enemy of Trump, agreed to do so, the person said.

Cohen declined to comment to CNBC, as did Vance’s spokesman, Danny Frost. A Trump Organization spokeswoman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The interest in speaking repeatedly with Cohen comes as Vance has beefed up his investigative team, recently won access to Trump’s financial records, and reportedly expanded the scope of his probe to look at Trump’s longtime chief financial officer, Allen Weisselberg, and Weisselberg’s sons.

One of those sons works for the Trump Organization, running the company’s Central Park ice skating rinks. The other works for Ladder Capital Finance, which has lent Trump’s company nearly $300 million in connection with four buildings in Manhattan. Vance is known to be eyeing how the Trump Organization valued its buildings.

Those developments, as well as Vance’s long-expected announcement Friday that he will not seek reelection this fall, have increased speculation that the district attorney will seek to indict Trump or officials at his company in coming months.

Vance’s probe originally was focused on how the Trump Organization accounted for hush-money payments that Cohen either made or facilitated to two women, porn star Stormy Daniels and Playboy model Karen McDougal, before the 2016 presidential election.

Cohen, when he pleaded guilty to campaign finance violations and other crimes in 2018, told a federal judge that he arranged those payments at the direction of Trump to keep the women quiet about their allegations of having sex with Trump. The former president denies the women’s claims.

Cohen later testified to Congress that the Trump Organization would inflate and deflate the value of real estate assets in order to either win favorable loan and insurance terms or to reduce the amount of taxes owed on them.

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