Michael Cohen said he believes Trump will ‘flip on all of them,’ including his children, in the New York investigation into his company

Michael Cohen and Donald Trump
Michael Cohen and Donald Trump.

  • Michael Cohen said he believes Trump will “flip” on everyone as NY investigators probe his company.
  • The state attorney general and Manhattan district attorney’s office are conducting a criminal inquiry into the Trump Organization.
  • “I think Donald Trump is going to flip on all of them, including his children,” Cohen told MSNBC’s Joy Reid.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Donald Trump’s former longtime lawyer and fixer said Wednesday that he believes the former president will “flip” on everyone, including his own family members, as New York investigators tighten the screws on the Trump Organization.

Michael Cohen’s comments came after a spokesperson for New York attorney general Tish James said in a statement that James’ office is now investigating the Trump Organization “in a criminal capacity,” as opposed to a civil probe. James will join forces with the Manhattan district attorney’s office – which is conducting its own separate inquiry into the Trump Organization – in the matter.

Speaking to MSNBC’s Joy Reid, Cohen said he believes that while legal scholars and the public wonder whether investigators will be able to flip people close to Trump like his former lawyer Rudy Giuliani and the Trump Organization’s CFO Allen Weisselberg, Trump himself will ultimately be the one to switch sides.

“I think Donald Trump is going to flip on all of them, including his children,” he said, adding, “I really believe that Donald Trump cares for only himself and he realizes that his goose is cooked.”

Read more: Secret Service protection would follow Donald Trump if he goes to prison, former agents say

Cohen served as Trump’s personal lawyer for more than a decade before federal prosecutors zeroed in on him as part of an investigation into hush-money payments made to women who claimed to have had affairs with Trump in the 2000s.

In 2018, Cohen pleaded guilty to several felonies including wire fraud, tax evasion, and campaign finance violations that he said he carried out at Trump’s direction. He also pleaded guilty to one count of lying to Congress as part of the special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 US election.

He has since been cooperating with prosecutors in several ongoing investigations and has met multiple times this year with Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr., whose investigation into the Trump Organization began as a result of Cohen’s congressional testimony in 2019. Cohen, who is serving out a three-year prison sentence for his crimes, said his meetings with prosecutors in Vance’s office were “not good news” for Trump.

After CNN reported this week that the state attorney general’s investigation had taken on a criminal component, Cohen tweeted out an edited image of Trump behind bars.

“Soon enough, Donald and Associates will be held responsible for their actions,” he said.

During his MSNBC appearance Wednesday evening, Cohen said Trump will try to shift blame for any wrongdoing to everyone but himself, adding that the former president will blame Weisselberg, his accountant, his appraiser, and even his own children.

“This is the problem, it’s never ever Donald Trump. It’s always somebody else,” Cohen said.

A spokesperson for Trump did not respond to Insider’s request for comment.

New York’s investigations into Trump are examining whether his sprawling real-estate company violated state laws when it facilitated an illegal hush-money payment to the adult film actress Stormy Daniels shortly before the 2016 election. According to earlier court filings, investigators suspect the Trump Organization committed tax and insurance fraud including, among other things, by artificially inflating and deflating the value of Trump’s assets for loan and tax purposes.

Weisselberg is said to be a key focus for investigators as they dig into Trump’s finances. And last month, the FBI raided the property of Trump’s most recent defense lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, as part of a separate federal investigation into Giuliani’s dealings in Ukraine.

Trump, for his part, released a lengthy statement Wednesday attacking the pair of New York investigations as partisan and politically motivated.

The 909-word statement is the longest one Trump has released since he was banned from social media and left office.

“This is something that happens in failed third world countries, not the United States,” the former president lamented.

“If you can run for a prosecutor’s office pledging to take out your enemies, and be elected to that job by partisan voters who wish to enact political retribution, then we are no longer a free constitutional democracy,” Trump, who frequently called for the prosecution and imprisonment of his political opponents while in office, added.

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NY attorney general’s office opens criminal tax investigation into Trump Organization CFO: CNN

allen weisselberg donald trump
In this Jan. 11, 2017 file photo, Allen Weisselberg, center, stands between President-elect Donald Trump, left, and Donald Trump Jr., at a news conference in the lobby of Trump Tower in New York.

  • The New York attorney general’s office and the Manhattan district attorney’s office are investigating Allen Weisselberg.
  • Investigators are aiming to find leverage against the longtime Trump aide, CNN reported.
  • Prosecutors’ attempts to sway Weisselberg could ramp up legal pressure on Trump and his family.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Both the New York attorney general’s office and the Manhattan district attorney’s office are looking into the taxes and personal finances of Allen Weisselberg, a top Trump Organization officer, in an attempt to find leverage that could convince the longtime Trump employee to cooperate with authorities, according to a new CNN report.

The news comes one day after the New York attorney general’s office announced its investigation into the Trump Organization was no longer “purely civil in nature,” and had become a criminal probe – one that has been ongoing since at least March according to the New York Daily News.

New York Attorney General Letitia James and Cyrus Vance Jr. who leads the Manhattan district attorney’s office, are coordinating on the criminal investigation into Weisselberg, who has not been accused of any wrongdoing.

James’ office has been investigating Weisselberg’s personal finances for several months, according to CNN, but people familiar with the probe told the outlet the investigation could expand to include actions he took in his role at the Trump Organization.

Those investigators are now working with Vance’s office, which has been looking into the Trump Organization, the former president’s tax returns, and more recently, company perks the organization extended to employees.

The district attorney’s office is also looking into Weisselberg’s finances and benefits he and his son received from Trump, CNN reported.

Prosecutors’ attempts to sway Weisselberg could ramp up legal pressure on Trump and his family.

Trump responded to the team-up on Wednesday, calling the investigation a “political and partisan Witch Hunt.” But even before Vance and James’ offices began cooperating, their investigations had been in progress for more than two years.

Prosecutors are said to be exploring the possibility there was a policy at the Trump Organization to offer employees benefits and perks instead of salaries in order to keep payroll taxes low, CNN reported.

Investigators are also said to be looking into rent payments on Weisselberg’s Manhattan apartment.

Documents shared by Weisselberg’s former daughter-in-law, Jennifer Weisselberg, sparked the attorney general’s criminal investigation into the longtime Trump aide, according to CNN.

Jennifer Weisselberg has been cooperating with prosecutors since September.

Her attorney Duncan Levin told Insider on Wednesday they have been in contact with prosecutors from both offices and have been in contact with the criminal division of the attorney general’s office “for a while now.”

“So it does not come as news to us that criminal investigators from the attorney general’s office are involved in this probe,” he said. “Jennifer continues to be cooperative with both offices and responsible to them for whatever they need.”

Jennifer Weisselberg was married to Alan Weisselberg’s son, Barry Weisselberg, for 14 years. Barry managed some Trump Organization businesses for years, though it is unclear if he is still a Trump Organization employee.

Jennifer and Barry’s excessive spending habits during their marriage is what initially attracted attention from investigators in both offices, according to CNN. During a 2018 divorce deposition obtained by the news outlet, Barry testified the couple’s lifestyle was mostly funded by his father, Allen.

Jennifer told CNN investigators have previously questioned her about perks she received during her marriage, including rent-free apartments owned by Trump. Prosecutors are also said to be looking into tuition payments made by Alan Weisselberg for the couple’s children.

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