- 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.”
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.
-The ReidOut (@thereidout) May 19, 2021
“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.