Trump’s former personal lawyer Michael Cohen pleaded guilty last year to campaign finance violations and other crimes, acknowledging as part of an agreement with prosecutors that he arranged payments in 2016 to two women to keep their allegations of affairs with Trump from becoming public before Election Day. Cohen, who is serving a three-year prison sentence, said the payments were arranged at Trump’s direction. The president has denied the affairs and any wrongdoing.
On Friday, a lawyer for the Trump Organization called the new subpoena, which was f
by the New York Times, a form of harassment.
“How many times are we going to go over the same ground again and again?” attorney Marc L. Mukasey said in a statement. “It’s harassment of the president, his family, and his business using subpoenas and leaks as weapons.”
Vance’s office declined to comment. The Times reported that the district attorney is examining whether any senior officials in the Trump Organization filed falsified business records about the payments in a violation of state law.
The district attorney’s inquiry is among a number of New York-based investigations into the president and those in his orbit. Federal prosecutors in Manhattan and Brooklyn have been examining possible foreign influence on Trump’s campaign. Meanwhile, New York Attorney General Letitia James (D) is suing Trump and his children, accusing the family’s charity of “persistently illegal conduct.”
James’s office has also interviewed more than two dozen former workers at Trump’s golf clubs, asking about allegations that Trump’s company exploited them because they lack legal immigration status. And her office has subpoenaed records from Deutsche Bank, one of Trump’s main lenders, after allegations from Trump’s former attorney that Trump misled lenders about the size of his fortune.
Cohen has repeatedly maintained that Trump directed him and other Trump Organization executives to make the hush money payments.
“It was my own weakness and a blind loyalty to this man that led me to choose a path of darkness over light,” he said at his sentencing in December. “Time and time again, I felt it was my duty to cover up his dirty deeds.”
Last month, in a letter to U.S. District Judge William H. Pauley III, federal prosecutors in Manhattan said the government had “effectively concluded its investigations” into who else besides Cohen could be criminally liable as part of the hush money scheme.
In response, Jay Sekulow, the president’s current attorney, said, “Case closed.”
David A. Fahrenthold contributed to this report.