Michael Cohen, the disbarred attorney for former president Donald Trump who has become a vocal critic of his former boss, thanked New York Attorney General Letitia James on Wednesday after she acknowledged his role in revealing the misconduct that is now the subject of a $250m lawsuit against the Trump Organization.
Ms James’ office is suing Mr Trump, his three eldest children and the collection of eponymous companies that make up his business empire for a quarter-billion dollars and asking a judge to ban the Trumps from serving as corporate officers in the Empire State.
In a press conference to announce the suit, she said the Trump Organization and its representatives made more than 200 false and misleading evaluations of its assets over a 10-year period from 2011 to 2021.
She described the multiple “statements of financial condition” prepared by his former accounting firm – at his direction – as “exaggerated, grossly inflated objectively false, and therefore fraudulent, and illegal”.
The New York Attorney General launched the investigation after Mr Cohen, who became widely known as a pugnacious defender of Mr Trump but turned against him after he was indicted for his role in a scheme to disguise a payment the ex-president made to hide an affair with adult film star Stormy Daniels, told New York Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez that Mr Trump had provided inflated asset valuations to his insurance company during a hearing before the House Oversight Committee.
Ms James noted Mr Cohen’s role in touching off the three-year probe.
“I will remind everyone that this investigation only started after Michael Cohen, the former lawyer, his former lawyer testified before Congress shed light on this misconduct,” she said.
In response, Mr Cohen took to Twitter, writing: “I want to personally thank @TishJames for acknowledging my participation and assistance in bringing accountability to the Mandarin Mussolini”.
I want to personally thank @TishJames for acknowledging my participation and assistance in bringing accountability to the Mandarin Mussolini! My journey to the truth has been filled with sadness, pain and anger. Todays announcement makes it al worth it!!! pic.twitter.com/1hQKXkGS6J
— Michael Cohen (@MichaelCohen212) September 21, 2022
He said his “journey to the truth” over the last few years has been “filled with sadness, pain and anger,” but he remarked that the announcement by Ms James “makes it [all] worth it”.