General

Trump’s ex-lawyer Cohen cooperating in Mueller probe

President Donald Trump's former

personal lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen has provided critical information

to Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigators, his attorney said

Thursday.

Cohen, once one of Trump's top aides, began talking with the Mueller

investigation after he pleaded guilty on August 21 to bank fraud and campaign

finance violations in an agreement with New York prosecutors.

Good for @MichaelCohen212 in providing critical information to the

#muellerinvestigation without a cooperation agreement, tweeted Lanny Davis,

Cohen's lawyer.

The news was originally reported by ABC, which said the 52-year-old New

York lawyer and businessman has participated over the last month in multiple

interview sessions lasting for hours with Mueller's team.

The report hinted at bad news for Trump as Mueller's Russia collusion

investigation increasingly closes in on the White House.

One week ago, former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort agreed in a plea

deal with Mueller to cooperate in the investigation.

Cohen did not make a commitment to cooperate when he pleaded guilty, but it

was clear that cooperation could help him get a lighter sentence.

Mueller is probing whether the Trump election campaign in 2016 colluded

with Russian efforts to damage his opponent, Hillary Clinton, and whether

Trump has sought to illegally obstruct the investigation.

But the span of the investigation also reportedly encompasses Trump's

business dealings, to which Cohen had a front seat during the decade before

the election as a senior executive in the president's real estate business in

New York, the Trump Organization.

Once known as Trump's pit bull right-hand man, Cohen was privy to multi-

million-dollar deals and two alleged lovers � whose claims could have

potentially sabotaged his boss's 2016 election.

Cohen pleaded guilty to charges involving his arrangement of payouts of

hush money to those women � widely thought to be porn star Stormy Daniels

and Playboy model Karen Mcdougal � just before the November 2016 vote.

In the plea, Cohen stated that he had acted at his boss's request to buy

their silence with the purpose of influencing the election.

Along with two counts of violating campaign finance laws, Cohen also has

pleaded guilty to six counts of fraud.

The scandal-prone Trump lambasted his former fixer, accusing him of making

up stories to cut the plea deal before saying the lawyer's actions were

not a crime and not even a campaign violation.

In a Fox interview Trump took aim at his once close associate for

flipping, saying it almost ought to be outlawed.

Trump conversely praised Manafort for going to trial � the first case

stemming from Mueller's probe to go before a jury � and eschewing a plea

deal, but he is now also cooperating with the investigation.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)