AFP New Delhi, Delhi, India
Feb 23, 2019, 07.01 AM
US President Donald Trump's former personal lawyer Michael Cohen met last month with federal prosecutors in Manhattan and provided information about potential irregularities in the Trump family business, the New York Times reported on Friday.
The newspaper, citing people familiar with the matter, said prosecutors in the Southern District of New York also asked Cohen questions about Imaad Zuberi, a venture capitalist and donor to the president's inaugural committee.
Cohen, a former employee at the Trump Organization, provided the prosecutors with information about insurance claims filed by the company over the years, the New York Times reported. There was no indication that Cohen implicated Trump in the possible irregularities, the newspaper said.
James Margolin, a spokesman for the US Attorney in Manhattan, declined comment. Amanda Miller, a spokeswoman for the Trump Organization, did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Cohen did not reply to a request for comment.
The meeting with Cohen indicates prosecutors are interested in matters at the Trump Organization that go beyond its role in the illegal hush payments before the 2016 presidential election made to women who claimed to have had affairs with Trump, the New York Times said.
Cohen pleaded guilty to arranging the payments in violation of campaign finance laws and other crimes last year in the same district. He is due to start a three-year prison term in May.
The New York Times said Cohen was also asked by the prosecutors about Zuberi, who contributed $900,000 to Trump's inaugural committee and separately wrote Cohen a $100,000 check that was never cashed.
A spokesman for Zuberi, Steve Rabinowitz, said his client wrote the check to Cohen as a retainer. Cohen had proposed representing Zuberi in possible real estate investments in New York but Zuberi never signed the contract, he said.
"Zuberi never pursued Cohen it was the other way around," Rabinowitz said.
Rabinowitz said Zuberi has not been questioned by federal prosecutors about the inaugural or his dealings with Cohen.
Cohen, a former employee at the Trump Organization, provided the prosecutors with information about insurance claims filed by the company over the years, the New York Times reported.