Michael Cohen took credit for former Trump Org. CFO's guilty plea, saying he provided key evidence

·2 min read
Michael Cohen
Michael Cohen.Drew Angerer/Getty Images
  • Allen Weisselberg, the former Trump Organization CFO, pleaded guilty to tax fraud on Thursday.

  • Michael Cohen, Trump's former lawyer and fixer, took credit for the guilty plea.

  • He said he had provided evidence that led to Weisselberg's prosecution.

Michael Cohen, Donald Trump's former personal attorney, took a victory lap after Allen Weisselberg's guilty plea on Thursday, saying he had provided key evidence that took down the former Trump Organization CFO.

In a Thursday interview with CNN, Cohen discussed Weisselberg's guilty plea in a Manhattan court, in which he admitted he and the Trump Organization schemed to dodge payroll taxes. He was sentenced to five months in jail and pay back $2 million.

"He had no other choice but to plead guilty," Cohen told CNN. "He was looking at 15 years based upon crimes I had provided them with documentation on, and proved without a doubt that he would have been found guilty."

Cohen said he believed Weisselberg had gotten off relatively lightly, pointing to the 36-month jail sentence he was given in 2019 after pleading guilty to tax fraud and campaign-finance crimes committed while working for Trump. Cohen ultimately spent 13 months in prison and the rest of the reduced sentence under house arrest.

As part of his deal with prosecutors, Cohen provided evidence about potential tax crimes committed at the Trump Organization which he said implicated Weisselberg, who has worked for the Trump family for decades.

The crimes related to valuable off-the-books company perks, which Weisselberg admitted to organizing as a tax dodge.

As part of his guilty plea, Weisselberg will now have to provide evidence about the Trump Organization's business practices at an upcoming trial, but is not expected to cooperate with a prosecutors in a way that could implicate Trump, Reuters reported. 

But Cohen was skeptical that Weisselberg would be able to avoid providing evidence that could implicate others, including Trump.

"They are going to ask him questions, and they already know the questions that they want to ask, and the questions they are going to ask if he answers them truthfully, and if he doesn't, he's really a fool," Cohen said of Weisselberg, "because he's looking at spending the rest of his life behind bars, will ultimately implicate other people, not just Donald [Trump], but other people at the Trump Organization and in their business circles as well."

Weisselberg's prosecution came as part of an investigation by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg into the Trump Organization's business practices, which was reportedly reduced in scope after the former district attorney, Cyrus Vance, left office.

A parallel civil inquiry is being conducted by New York Attorney General Letitia James.

Read the original article on Business Insider