Michael Cohen reveals Trump is subject of a previously undisclosed criminal investigation

Michael Cohen told a Democratic lawmaker that there are secret investigations into Trump occurring in New York

By Matthew Rozsa

Staff Writer

Published February 27, 2019 3:41PM (EST)

Donald Trump; Michael Cohen (AP/Getty/Photo montage by Salon)
Donald Trump; Michael Cohen (AP/Getty/Photo montage by Salon)

Michael Cohen, the former lawyer and fixer for President Donald Trump who has now turned on his erstwhile boss, told Congress during his hearing on Wednesday that there are secret investigations occurring into Trump in New York.

Cohen's comment occurred during a question he received from Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi, D-Ill., who wanted to learn more about the previous occasion when the lawyer had spoken with the president, according to CNBC. Cohen told Krishnamoorthi that the last time he had spoken to the president was "within two months" of the FBI raiding his home, office and hotel suite in April 2018.

Krishnamoorthi asked, "What did he or his agent communicate to you?"

Cohen responded, "Unfortunately, this topic is actually something that's being investigated right now by the Southern District of New York and I've been asked by them not to discuss and not to talk about these issues."

Krishnamoorthi then asked, "Is there any other wrongdoing or illegal act that you are aware of regarding Donald Trump that we haven't yet discussed today?"

Cohen replied, "Yes, and again, those are part of the investigation that's currently being looked at by the Southern District of New York."

This isn't to say that Cohen is on the best terms with the Southern District of New York. Although Cohen denies ever having wanted a White House job, the U. S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York wrote that "[Cohen] expected to be given a prominent role and title in the new administration. When that did not materialize, Cohen found a way to monetize his relationship with the president," according to The Washington Post.

"The words that he said today that would send a chill up my spine at the White House would be, 'I'm in constant contact with the Southern District,'" former New Jersey Gov. and U. S. Attorney Chris Christie told George Stephanopoulos of ABC News. "I mean, again, now they have Michael Cohen and Rick Gates."

He added, "They've got two tour guides now in there, George, and that's gotta be really concerning given what Michael Cohen said today and the fact that they again got no substantive defense from anybody."

While it is unclear what other investigations may be occurring in the Southern District of New York, Trump has reportedly expressed concern that the investigations there could put him in a "legal hellscape" even if he manages to emerge unscathed from the Robert Mueller report. Former Trump campaign adviser Michael Caputo, who is familiar with New York politics, has also predicted that Trump's primary legal woes could come from there.

"By my estimation, there will be a need for more attorneys, because I expect the harassment to double, if not triple," Caputo told The Daily Beast.

By Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a staff writer at Salon. He received a Master's Degree in History from Rutgers-Newark in 2012 and was awarded a science journalism fellowship from the Metcalf Institute in 2022.

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