Michael Cohen denounces unraveling Manhattan’s criminal investigation into Trump

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“I was disappointed. I was discouraged. And I was upset,” Cohen told CNN+’s Kasie Hunt in an interview that aired Thursday on “The Source.” “I was disappointed, because no one should be above the law.”

The office of Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg has investigated Trump and the Trump Organization and whether they have misled lenders, insurers and others by providing them with false or misleading financial statements about property values.
Bragg informed the two top prosecutors leading the criminal investigation in February that he was not ready to approve an indictment, forcing the prosecutors to resign, a person familiar with the investigation told CNN. CNN previously reported that the resignation followed weeks of internal debate within the office about the strength of the case, with some prosecutors believing there is enough evidence to press charges.

Cohen, who expected to be a key witness in the case, said he was troubled by Bragg’s decision because he gave “so much time” to investigators and submitted more than 10,000 documents.

Bragg’s office has maintained that the investigation is ongoing and has added lawyers to the team. Danielle Filson, a spokeswoman for Bragg, told CNN: “A team of experienced prosecutors works every day to monitor the facts and the law. We cannot or cannot comment on an ongoing investigation at this time.”

Cohen told CNN+ that he had met the district attorney’s office 15 times — the last time falling about two months before Bragg’s decision.

When asked how detailed the researchers’ questions had become, he replied, “Every time I met them, it got more and more and more detailed. So it started at 35,000 feet. And by the last time of our meeting, we were down to maybe five feet.”

Cohen told CNN+ that researchers had focused on finance, including tax and insurance-related questions.

He also added that he had never spoken to Bragg since taking office in January, but had spoken to Bragg’s predecessor, Cy Vance, several times. He added that he has never appeared before the special grand jury, whose term expires at the end of next month, but could be extended.

Cohen testified before Congress in 2019, alleging that Trump inflated and devalued assets in his favor. He pleaded guilty to nine criminal charges, including lying to Congress. Bragg’s decision took into account Cohen’s potential role as a witness. The defense could use Cohen’s conviction and public criticism of Trump to discredit him as a witness.

When pressed by CNN+, Cohen said Bragg’s office had discussed his credibility with him and that he provided documentary evidence because he “didn’t want anyone to question my credibility.”

Cohen said he lied to Congress to minimize Trump’s connections to Russia at Trump’s request, adding: “If that’s what’s going to make me a convicted liar, I’ll throw my hands in the air and say then I am a condemned liar.”

Trump has called the investigation a “sham” and that his company has assets that “in many cases” are “much more valuable than what was in our financial statements.”

The office of New York Attorney General Letitia James is also conducting a civil investigation into Trump and his real estate company, asking for statements from Trump, Donald Trump Jr. and Ivanka Trump, who have appealed their fight to quash the request.

Cohen told CNN+ that he has spoken to the civil investigation several times and that he would “absolutely” speak to the attorney general’s office again if asked.

Cohen also weighed in on Russia’s war in Ukraine, telling CNN+ that he believes the US attitude would have been very different had Trump — who had often praised Russian President Vladimir Putin — been president.

“I think Trump would not have provided Ukraine with anything, there would be no missiles, no stingers, no spear, no ammunition, nothing, no, no, no aid,” he told CNN+, adding: “If Donald is in office I’d even bet he would send forces to help Putin in this.”

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