A longtime business associate of Trump’s personal attorney and “fixer” Michael Cohen has quietly agreed to cooperate with government prosecutors as part of a plea deal, the New York Times reports. Evgeny A. Freidman, a Russian immigrant who is known as the Taxi King, has agreed to cooperate with state and federal prosecutors, thus putting more pressure on Cohen to assist in the special counsel investigation into Russia’s 2016 presidential election meddling.
According to the agreement, Freidman will avoid jail time and will assist government prosecutors in state or federal investigations, according to what a person briefed on the matter told the Times.
On Tuesday, Friedman appeared in court in Albany and pleaded guilty to a single count of evading $50,000 worth of taxes. He now only faces five years of probation if he fulfills the terms of his plea agreement, the judge, Patrick Lynch said during the proceeding.
“Do you understand the nature of the benefit your attorneys have accomplished on your behalf?” the judge asked Freidman.
“I greatly understand that and appreciate it,” Freidman replied.
Freidman has been partners with Cohen in the taxi business for years and probably knows where the bodies are buried.
Cohen is under investigation for bank fraud and campaign finance law violations. The FBI raided his home, office, and hotel room last month.
Earlier this year, Friedman’s lawyer said his client “considers Michael a very good friend and a great client.”
Michael Avenatti, the lawyer for adult film star Stormy Daniels, sent a letter to a judge, claiming that Cohen, or “members of his team” have “begun to leak select audio recordings to the media that were seized in the FBI raids.”
We’re not sure which recordings Avenatti is referring to, but ABC News reported that FBI agents had seized recordings during the raids. Cohen was known to occasionally tape his phone conversations with others and would play them back for his colleagues. One thing we’re sure of is that Robert Mueller has heard them.
It sounds like Cohen is in a lot of trouble. Avenatti has been correct 99 percent of the time.
Featured image via New Century Times Gallery