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New York state subpoenas Michael Cohen in Trump foundation probe

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Michael Cohen
Michael Cohen.
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  • Investigators in New York state have issued a subpoena
    to Michael Cohen as part of their criminal probe into the Trump
    Foundation.
  • As a close Trump confidant, Cohen could potentially be
    a significant source of information for investigators looking
    into whether Trump or his charity broke state law or lied about
    their tax liability.
  • New York state’s inquiry into the Trump Foundation’s
    activities originally began as a civil lawsuit filed by acting
    Attorney General Barbara Underwood in June.

Just a day after Michael Cohen pleaded guilty to eight felony
counts in the Southern District of New York, investigators in New
York state have issued a subpoena to President Donald Trump’s
former longtime lawyer as part of their criminal probe into the
Trump Foundation.

A spokesman for Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s tax department
confirmed the subpoena to The Associated Press on Wednesday.

The subpoena was issued after Cohen’s attorney said Cohen has
information that would be of interest to prosecutors at both the
state and federal level.

As a close Trump confidant, Cohen could potentially be a
significant source of information for state investigators looking
into whether Trump or his charity broke state law or lied about
their tax liability.

Anyone charged with a state crime could not be pardoned by the
president.

Messages left with attorneys for Cohen and Trump by the
Associated Press were not immediately returned Wednesday.

New York’s department of Taxation and Finance, which served Cohen
with the subpoena, is collaborating with the Attorney
General’s office
to determine whether there is enough
evidence to file a criminal case against the Foundation. 

New York state’s inquiry into the Trump Foundation’s activities
originally began as a civil lawsuit filed by acting
Attorney General Barbara Underwood in June, which accused Trump
and his three eldest children of engaging in “a
pattern of persistent illegal conduct” for over a
decade. 

The suit specifically accused the Foundation of violating
regulations around non-profits by engaging in self-dealing to
financially benefit Trump and his business interests, as well as
illegal coordinating with the Trump campaign. 

In July, the chief legal counsel for Cuomo announced his office
was prepared to provide the attorney general’s office with a
“criminal referral” if they
requested one.

The attorney general’s office has also sent referrals for
potential federal crimes committed by the Foundation to the
Internal Revenue Service and the Federal Elections Commission.

The Foundation has already paid over $300,000 in restitution and
penalty taxes, but the Attorney General’s civil suit is seeking a
total of $2.8 million in damages to the state, as well as the
dissolution of the Foundation altogether. 

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