What Does He Know? Cohen’s Partner Flips, Saves 25 Years in Prison
It was reported on Tuesday night that Evgeny Freidman, who is Michael Cohen’s business partner in a taxi cab fleet in New York City, has agreed to cooperate with federal and state prosecutors in exchange for a dramatically reduced sentence. According to The New York Times, Freidman had been facing charges that could have resulted in a sentence of up to 25 years in prison; thanks to the deal he just cut, he will get off with nothing more than a few years of probation. That’s an enormous plea deal and it indicates that prosecutors believe he has quite a bit of information and evidence to share with them. The question on everyone’s mind, therefore, is: What does this guy know?
And how does this affect Robert Mueller’s investigation into President Trump?
“Mr. Freidman has been Mr. Cohen’s partner in the taxi business for years, managing cabs for him even after New York City regulators barred Mr. Freidman last year from continuing to manage medallions,” reported The New York Times. “Mr. Freidman, who was disbarred earlier this month, had been accused of failing to pay more than $5 million in taxes and faced four counts of criminal tax fraud and one of grand larceny — all B felonies. Each carries a maximum prison sentence of up to 25 years in prison.”
While we are presumably still expected to believe that the inquiry into Michael Cohen’s business dealings has nothing to do with Mueller’s investigation into the 2016 election, pundits from both sides of the political spectrum treated Freidman’s flip as headline, bombshell news on Tuesday night – and we don’t think CNN, MSNBC, and the rest of them are THAT interested in Cohen’s personal tax fraud charges. No, they are looking at the big fish in the White House and wondering if Friedman’s testimony is the leverage Mueller needs to “get” the president. Or, in a more roundabout way, is it enough to compel Cohen himself to turn state’s evidence and testify against his most famous client?
As far as we can tell, the U.S. attorney’s investigation into Cohen is not particularly related to the tax business he ran with Freidman. It is unclear what the scope of that investigation is, however, although we know at least one aspect of it touches on his payment of $130,000 to porn star Stormy Daniels. Where that payment will lead investigators is still a matter of mystery; federal agents are still reportedly poring through the materials found in a raid of Cohen’s home and office two months ago.
Cohen himself has not yet been charged with any crime.
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