Donald Trump's lawyer 'paid $400000 to arrange meeting with president of Ukraine'

Donald Trump's lawyer 'paid $400000 to arrange meeting with president of Ukraine'

Donald Trump's personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, received a secret payment of at least $400,000 (£300,000) to fix talks between the Ukrainian president and President Trump, according to sources in Kiev close to those involved.

It's been revealed President Trump's personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, received a secret payment of nearly $600,000 to fix talks between the US President and his Ukrainian counterpart. But federal prosecutors in Manhattan are probing him for bank fraud and other possible crimes following a referral from Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who is investigating Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

Under the deal with the NY attorney-general's office, Evgeny Freidman, a Russian immigrant known as the Taxi King, specifically agreed to assist government prosecutors in state or federal investigations, a source said.

Freidman declined in a text message to answer questions about cooperating with prosecutors or terms of his agreement.

In a statement to ABC News, Friedman expressed regret for his actions and sought to distance Cohen, who he described as a "dear, dear personal friend" from the scandal. "Freidman pocketed money that should have provided much-needed investment in our transit system - and now he'll have to pay back every cent". The two charges - announced in March 2018 - could carry prison sentences of 10 and five years, respectively.

Cohen continued to deny a partnership in his tweet, writing that he is "one of thousands of medallion owners who entrust management companies to operate".

Freidman pleaded guilty in Albany to one count of evading $50,000 worth of taxes.


Last month, Bloomberg reported that Cohen, a significant operator in the taxi business, had more than $185,000 in new state warrants for unpaid taxes on his taxi companies.

Freidman struggled financially as the value of taxi medallions plummeted.

That legal pressure on Cohen appeared to increase on Tuesday, after Freidman cut his plea deal with investigators.

"This defendant is the self-anointed taxi king of the city of New York", Healy said.

According to a high-ranking Ukrainian intelligence official, Cohen was drafted in because the country's registered lobbyists could only get Poroshenko a brief photo opportunity with the USA president.

One source in Kiev said Mr Poroshenko had given Mr Trump "a gift" - making sure that Ukraine would find no more evidence to give the USA inquiry into whether the Trump campaign "colluded" with Russian Federation. As part of the deal, Cohen offered up his $9 million Park Ave. apartment, as well as money he might receive from Freidman for managing his taxis, as additional collateral.

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