A California man who says he served as a translator last year for Michael Cohen and a South Korean aerospace firm that paid Cohen’s company $150,000 said Tuesday that FBI agents recently interviewed him.
Mark Ko said in an email to The Washington Post that he spoke with the FBI about the arrangement “a few weeks ago.” Ko declined to provide details about investigators’ inquiries and said he was unsure whether the agents were part of the probe led by special counsel Robert Mueller III.
Ko’s statement is the first indication that federal authorities are examining Cohen’s contract with Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) – one of several companies with substantial business before the U.S. government that hired Cohen, President Donald Trump’s personal attorney and longtime legal fixer, after the 2016 election.
It also suggests the investigation into the payments has continued into recent weeks. Novartis and AT&T, which paid Cohen’s company $1.2 million and $600,000, respectively, have said they were contacted late last year by law enforcement officials working with Mueller, who is probing alleged Russian interference in the 2016 election.
Since the payments came to light last week, Novartis and AT&T expressed regret and acknowledged that they hired Cohen’s company, Essential Consultants, because of his access to the Trump administration.
KAI, by contrast, has defended its decision to hire Cohen’s company. A spokesman, Oh Sung-keun, said last week that the firm did not know of Cohen’s connection to Trump when it hired Essential Consultants, which Cohen set up shortly before Trump was elected.
Oh said the firm paid Cohen’s company for legal advice related to U.S. accounting procedures, including bookkeeping rules required under government contracts.
Cohen has no known experience in government accounting. A former personal injury attorney from Long Island, he was a real estate attorney and self-described fixer for the Trump Organization for 10 …read more
Source:: The Denver Post – Politics