ALBANY (CN) – One day after the lawyer’s guilty plea in federal court implicated President Donald Trump in campaign-contribution violations, New York greeted Michael Cohen with a subpoena Wednesday related to its criminal probe of the Trump Foundation.
New York subpoenaed Cohen for “relevant information in light of the public disclosures made yesterday,” a representative for the state’s Department of Taxation and Finance confirmed this afternoon.
During his guilty plea Tuesday, Cohen admitted to trying to influence a federal election by making two separate campaign contributions of $150,000 and $130,000. The amounts align with the figures paid to former Playboy model Karen McDougal and porn star Stormy Daniels, both whom say they received hush money to keep quiet about affair with Trump.
Probing whether Trump or his charity broke state law or lied about their tax liability, the New York tax authority will be working the Manhattan district attorney and New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood.
News of the subpoena comes two months after Underwood brought a $2.8 million lawsuit in Manhattan Supreme Court to dissolve the Donald J. Trump Foundation for violations of state and federal law.
Underwood’s fiery 41-page petition condemned the foundation for lacking oversight and internal controls.
“In the absence of a functioning board, Mr. Trump ran the foundation according to his whim, rather than the law,” the petition says. “Mr. Trump, who was the sole signatory on the foundation’s bank accounts, approved all grants and other disbursements from the foundation. Accounting staff for the Trump Organization had responsibility for issuing checks from the Foundation, and issued the checks based solely on Mr. Trump’s approval before presenting the checks to Mr. Trump for signature.”
The petition highlights five expenditures made with charity money, including two legal settlements and Trump’s purchase of a painting of himself.
According to Underwood’s petition, the probe into the Trump Foundation began in June 2016.
Department of Justice regulations make clear that a president cannot commute a sentence for a state criminal offense.
Following Cohen’s guilty plea Tuesday afternoon to eight federal charges, his Washington-based attorney took to multiple evening news broadcasts, attempted to rebrand Cohen from corrupt to a family man who possesses “information of interest” to the multiple ongoing Trump investigations at both the state and federal level.
Trump has still not released his tax returns despite public pressure since the 2016 presidential campaign.