Former Trump attorney Michael Cohen has had enough. He’s tired of waiting for the Manhattan District Attorney to indict his former boss. In an interview with The Daily Beast, Cohen said he’s done if the grand jury is dismissed without indictment when the clock runs out at the end of the month.
This leaves just nine days before the April 30th deadline for the grand jury to act.
Former Manhattan DA Cyrus Vance – known outside of NYC for his prosecution of high-profile cases like that of Harvey Weinstein – issued subpoenas in 2019, seeking proof of fraud in the Trump Organization’s financial dealings. He was working under the belief that Trump, and those working on his behalf, made false declarations of property values to defraud banks and evade taxes, believed to be going back 15 years.
Under Vance, the investigation appeared to be moving quickly despite Trump’s attempts to stall discovery and his repeated claims of being persecuted unfairly. Trump persistently accused the District Attorney’s office of being biased against him.
It was to no avail. The investigation would move forward, with or without Trump’s help.
Vance and his offices had the cooperation of Trump’s former “fixer”, Michael Cohen, and the courts ruled the Manhattan DA’s office could get copies of Trump’s tax returns. The Trump Organization’s Chief Financial Officer Allen Weisselberg agreed to co-operate with the investigation after his arrest. Weisselberg and Cohen were the DA’s star witnesses, being two people who were closest to Trump, with intimate knowledge of his shady business dealings. The case was built around their involvement and cooperation.
When Vance sent a memo to staff in March 2021, announcing his retirement at the end of his term in December, two of the lead attorneys still in the office – Carey Dunne and Mark Pomerantz – expected the investigation to continue under the new District Attorney, Alvin Bragg. Instead of speeding up, however, the investigation slowed. Frustrated, Dunne and Pomerantz resigned in protest over Bragg’s seeming lack of interest in continuing the prosecution.
Now, with an unmotivated DA in office, Weisselberg going back on his promise to co-operate, and is deciding to fight the indictment. What was once considered a slam dunk case was beginning to fall apart. Cohen, on the other hand, wants no part of a new investigation. When asked if he would continue cooperating with Bragg’s half-hearted investigation, Cohen replied:
“No. I spent countless hours, over 15 sessions—including three while incarcerated. I provided thousands of documents, which coupled with my testimony, would have been a valid basis for an indictment and charge. The fact that they have not done so despite all of this… I’m not interested in any further investment of my time.”
Given the animosity between Cohen and Trump, the former fixer must be incredibly frustrated that all his efforts to see his ex-boss face justice have resulted in no indictments to date.
Let’s hope that the pressure of his threat to withdraw his participation in the investigation lights a fire under District Attorney Bragg’s butt.
Original Source: Jose Pagliery at The Daily Beast
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