Trump Lawyer Cohen 'Paid by Ukraine' to Arrange WH Talks

Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, has sought to intervene in the case, saying some of the seized materials could relate to her. Daniels has said Cohen paid her $130,000 to keep quiet about a sexual encounter she had with Trump, which Trump has denied. He in turn used personal contacts in a Jewish charity in NY state, Chabad of Port Washington.

President Donald Trump's personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, is distancing himself from an associate in the taxi industry who pleaded guilty to tax fraud.

The Times wrote that Freidman's cooperation could be used as leverage to get Cohen to work with the special counsel Robert Mueller in his investigation into Russia's interference in the 2016 U.S. election and whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russian officials.

Evgeny Freidman, a Russian immigrant who is known as the Taxi King, will avoid jail time and will assist government prosecutors in state or federal investigations, the newspaper report said, citing a person briefed on the matter.

Cohen said in his tweet that he and Freidman were never business partners, though previous reporting seems to contradict that.

Cohen's business dealings are being scrutinized by federal prosecutors.

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Cohen entered the taxi business as a young lawyer in the 1990s, buying up valuable taxi medallions, which are required to operate a cab in NY and other cities.

When Reason interviewed Freidman in 2015, a handful of his taxi garages had just filed for bankruptcy protection and he was angling for a city bailout in the form of loan guarantees for medallions. Trump, whose spokesmen have denied such an affair, reimbursed Cohen for the payment to Daniels.

Freidman struggled financially as the value of taxi medallions plummeted.

At that time, Lynch ordered Freidman held on $500,000 bail on a five-count indictment accusing him and Dumitru of first-degree criminal tax fraud and first-degree grand larceny, which carried the possibility of 81/3 to 25 years in prison.

"Today, the "Taxi King" admitted that he built his empire by stealing from New Yorkers", acting attorney general Barbara Underwood said in a statement. "Freidman pocketed money that should have provided much-needed investment in our transit system - and now he'll have to pay back every cent". "This is a very hard day for myself and my family", Freidman said to New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman, who read the statement out loud on CNN's "Anderson Cooper 360". "Our office will continue to hold accountable those who cheat the system".

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