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This Legal Event Was Felt In The West Wing

May 23, 2018

And it will have a legal reaction.  

It needs to be noted that what we find out in court proceedings is what Special Counsel Robert Mueller and his team have been working on and developing for many weeks–in some cases months.   The level of criminal behavior that exists within the Trump world is breathtaking.   And those who flip and talk will allow for even more insight into the legal nightmare unfolding.

Michael Cohen’s one-time business partner, Evgeny “Gene” Freidman (a.k.a. the “Taxi King”), has reached a plea deal with prosecutors and will cooperate with the government (the news was first reported by The New York Times):

Evgeny “Gene” Freidman, an immigrant from the former Soviet Union long known as the “taxi king” of New York, pleaded guilty to criminal tax fraud in Albany County Court. He is a former business partner of Cohen who managed taxis owned by the president’s lawyer for several years.

State prosecutors said Tuesday that Freidman, who operated 800 taxis between 2012 and 2015, failed to remit a 50-cent-per-ride tax owed to the state. Instead, he filed false tax returns designed to hide the theft, they said. During that period of time, he was operating taxis controlled by Cohen, according to people familiar with their relationship.

Both the timing and the circumstances are key. Freidman faced allegations that he failed to pay $5 million in taxes, including four counts of tax fraud and one of grand larceny. As part of the deal, he will serve no jail time. That suggests that he has been able to provide information of some value when it comes to Cohen, who is widely seen as a target for prosecutors to, in turn, flip against Trump.

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