Mueller Was Investigating Cohen Long Before Raids

Judge releases documents with new details about federal investigation
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 19, 2019 9:46 AM CDT
Cohen Was Under Scrutiny Long Before Raids
The investigation of Michael Cohen began in July 2017, documents show.   (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File)

Robert Mueller began investigating Michael Cohen at least nine months before FBI agents in New York raided his home and office, according to documents released Tuesday, per the AP. The series of heavily redacted search warrant applications and other documents revealed new details about the timing and depth of the probe into Cohen, who ultimately pleaded guilty to tax fraud, bank fraud, campaign finance violations, and lying to Congress. The records show the inquiry into President Trump's former attorney had been going on since July 2017—far longer than previously known—and illustrate just how "quickly and quietly" Cohen's investigation was moving, per the Washington Post. A big part of its focus was Cohen's taxi businesses and misrepresentations he made to banks as part of a scheme to shed $22 million in debt he owed on taxi medallion loans.

Prosecutors were also interested in money that was flowing into Cohen's bank accounts from consulting contracts he'd signed after Trump won office. Some of those payments were from companies with strong foreign ties, including a Korean aerospace company and Columbus Nova, an investment management firm affiliated with Russian billionaire Viktor Vekselberg. Cohen was ultimately not charged with failing to register as a foreign agent. Lanny Davis, an attorney for Cohen, said the release of the search warrant "furthers his interest in continuing to cooperate and providing information and the truth about Donald Trump and the Trump organization to law enforcement and Congress." (Cohen thinks Trump still owes him money.)

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