Michael Cohen spoke to Mueller team for hours; asked about Russia, possible collusion, pardon: Sources

PHOTO: Michael Cohen leaves Federal court, Aug. 21, 2018, in New York City.

President Donald Trump’s former personal attorney, Michael Cohen, has participated over the last month in multiple interview sessions lasting for hours with investigators from the office of special counsel, Robert Mueller, sources tell ABC News. Add Russia Investigation as an interest to stay up to date on the latest Russia Investigation news, video, and analysis from ABC News. The special counsel’s questioning of Cohen, one of the president’s closest associates over the past decade, has focused primarily on all aspects of Trump’s dealings with Russia — including financial and business dealings and the investigation into alleged collusion with Russia by the Trump campaign and its surrogates to influence the outcome of the 2016 presidential election, sources familiar with the matter tell ABC News. Investigators were also interested in knowing, the sources say, whether Trump or any of his associates discussed the possibility of a pardon with Cohen. Over the 16 months that Mueller has been investigating, the president has repeatedly bashed the investigation as a partisan witch hunt, insisting there has been no collusion and no obstruction of justice. The interviews with Cohen took place in Washington, D.C., and New York City. They were also attended in part by prosecutors from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Southern District of New York. Cohen’s participation in the meetings has been voluntary — without any guarantee of leniency from prosecutors, according to several people familiar with the situation. ABC News has also learned that Cohen is also cooperating with a separate probe by New York state authorities into the inner workings of the Trump family charity and the Trump Organization, where Cohen served as an executive vice president and special counsel to Trump for 10 years.

PHOTO: Then-FBI Director Robert Mueller listens as he testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, June 13, 2012.
J. Scott Applewhite/AP, FILE Then-FBI Director Robert Mueller listens as he testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, June 13, 2012.more +

The news of Cohen’s dealings with federal and state investigators comes close on the heels of another potentially perilous legal development for the president: the guilty pleas last week from Trump’s former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, who struck a deal with Mueller’s prosecutors in exchange for his cooperation. As the Manafort deal was taking shape — Mueller’s team had already been talking to Cohen.