New York state tax investigators were set to meet Tuesday with a lawyer for President Donald Trump's ex-attorney Michael Cohen — despite objections from federal prosecutors, CNN reported.
According to CNN, Cohen's criminal defense lawyer, Guy Petrillo, was prepared to sit down with the New York state tax authorities as part of their probe of Cohen and the Trump Organization.
But an unnamed source told CNN "this is clear interference with an ongoing [federal] criminal investigation."
Another unnamed source made a similar statement to CNBC.
According to CNN, federal prosecutors generally aim to wrap up their probes without the interference of other overlapping inquiries.
Cohen has already pleaded guilty in a federal case on bank and tax fraud, but could still try to cooperate with the U.S. Attorney's office, CNN reported. In addition, federal prosecutors are still investigating whether the Trump Organization executives violated campaign finance laws, CNN reported.
CNN reported executives in the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York asked state and local authorities to avoid making moves regarding Cohen or the Trump Organization that might interfere with the ongoing federal probe.
State officials pushed back.
Alphonso David, counsel for New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, told CNN "no one has told us that the Southern District of New York advised the tax department not to proceed with their investigation."
And a spokesman for the New York State Tax and Finance Department, James Gazzale, told CNN its report was "misinformation."
"Neither the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York or any other law enforcement agency expressed that the U.S. Attorney's Office did not want us to continue with our investigation of state tax matters," he said.
CNN also reported tax investigators tried to get prosecutors from the Manhattan District Attorney's Office to attend the meeting; a spokesman from the D.A.'s office declined to comment.
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