- Michael Cohen said New York AG Letitia James’ massive fraud lawsuit would “financially destroy” Donald Trump.
- Speaking to Salon, Cohen also said he believes the civil lawsuit could lead to criminal charges.
- At a September press conference, James credited Cohen with helping kick off the investigation.
Michael Cohen, once former President Donald Trump’s attorney and fixer, said that New York Attorney General Letitia James’ massive fraud lawsuit will “financially destroy” his old boss and may ultimately lead to him going to prison.
James filed a sweeping civil suit against Trump, his business, and his three eldest children in September. She seeks to permanently bar the Trumps from conducting business in New York and pursuing at least $250 million in damages.
In an in-depth interview with Salon magazine before releasing his second book “Revenge,” Cohen said: “Right now, that case will financially destroy him.”
He added that the penalties could exceed the $250 million baseline.
Cohen, who went to prison in 2019 after pleading to tax fraud and campaign finance violations, told Salon that the fraud case could also lead to criminal charges. Asked if he believes the lawsuit will eventually lead to Trump being “perp-walked,” Cohen responded: “I do.”
Losing a civil case would not result in Trump going to prison. However, according to a footnote in the lawsuit, James is referring her findings to federal prosecutors in Manhattan, who could open a criminal investigation into bank fraud.
“Donald Trump has committed tax evasion, bank fraud, wire fraud, misrepresentation,” Cohen told Salon. “He will not be able to get past that, and that is criminal.”
Trump has insisted that he has not committed financial wrongdoing and has repeatedly accused the attorney general’s office of conducting a politically motivated “witch hunt.”
Cohen has been credited with helping to launch the investigation into Trump’s New York business dealings.
“I will remind everyone that this investigation only started after Michael Cohen, the former lawyer, his former lawyer, testified before Congress and shed light on this misconduct,” James said last month.
In February 2019, Cohen told the House Oversight Committee: “It was my experience that Mr. Trump inflated his total assets when it served his purposes, such as trying to be listed amongst the wealthiest people in Forbes and deflated his assets to reduce his real estate taxes.”
The complaint makes a similar argument.