New York investigators have subpoenaed President Donald Trump's former personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, in connection with an ongoing probe of the Trump Foundation, the Associated Press reported on Wednesday.
"A subpoena has been issued to Michael Cohen for relevant information in light of the public disclosures made yesterday," James Gazzale, a spokesperson for the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance, told CNBC.
Cohen pleaded guilty on Tuesday in a Manhattan federal court to eight criminal charges - including tax fraud and campaign finance crimes, while at the same time claiming that President Trump instructed him to make payments to two women who have accused the president of affairs over a decade ago.
The probe into the Trump foundation was intitially opened by then-NY Attorney General Eric "We Could Rarely Have Sex Without Him Beating Me" Schneiderman in September, 2016 as the election was drawing to a close.
Schneiderman's replacement, NY AG Barbara Underwood, filed suit against Trump and several family members in June alleging a pattern of "persistently illegal conduct" at the family's nonprofit foundation.
As The Hill reported in 2016, The Donald J. Trump Foundation had been coming under increasing media pressure for misreporting a number of donations and using its money in a questionable fashion.
Schneiderman reportedly told CNN’s “The Lead” on Tuesday that his interest in Trump's foundation connects with his role "as regulator of nonprofits in New York state."
"We have been concerned that the Trump Foundation may have engaged in some impropriety from that point of view,” Schneiderman reportedly said on CNN.
“We’ve inquired into it and we’ve had correspondence with them. I didn’t make a big deal out of it or hold a press conference," he added.
"We have been looking into the Trump Foundation to make sure it's complying with the laws governing charities in New York.”
Politico reported that "a source familiar with the matter" confirmed that the New York Attorney General’s office “has opened an inquiry into the Trump Foundation based on troubling transactions that have recently come to light.”
Schneiderman made an enemy of Trump when he began aggressively pursuing fraud allegations against Trump University. Yahoo News reported last week that Trump's nonprofit donated $100,000 to a conservative group that was suing Schneiderman as he was investigating the real estate education venture.
Trump’s charity was facing growing questions in the wake of a damaging series of stories by the Washington Post and the AP.
A Washington Post story published over the weekend cited tax records showing that Trump had not donated to his own foundation since 2008, and had among other allegations had "spent $20,000 of money earmarked for charitable purposes to buy a six-foot-tall painting of himself.
The foundation also made an illegal donation to Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi in 2013 as she was considering joining Schneiderman in pursuing a fraud case against Trump University. Bondi and Trump have denied any connection between the donation and her office's decision not to pursue an investigation, though Trump paid a $2,500 penalty to the IRS for making a political donation through his charitable foundation.
Trump addressed the issue over Twitter in June, writing: "The sleazy New York Democrats, and their now disgraced (and run out of town) A.G. Eric Schneiderman, are doing everything they can to sue me on a foundation that took in $18,800,000 and gave out to charity more money than it took in, $19,200,000. I won’t settle this case!," adding "Schneiderman, who ran the Clinton campaign in New York, never had the guts to bring this ridiculous case, which lingered in their office for almost 2 years."
The sleazy New York Democrats, and their now disgraced (and run out of town) A.G. Eric Schneiderman, are doing everything they can to sue me on a foundation that took in $18,800,000 and gave out to charity more money than it took in, $19,200,000. I won’t settle this case!...— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 14, 2018
....Schneiderman, who ran the Clinton campaign in New York, never had the guts to bring this ridiculous case, which lingered in their office for almost 2 years. Now he resigned his office in disgrace, and his disciples brought it when we would not settle.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 14, 2018
Still no word on how that Clinton Foundation investigation launched in January out of the FBI's Little Rock, Arkansas office is going.