WASHINGTON (Circa) -- Evgeny A. Freidman, a business partner for Michael Cohen, has agreed to cooperate with investigators as a potential witness, the New York Times reports.
The publication says Freidman's agreement could be used to coerce Cohen to cooperating with Robert Mueller and the special counsel.
A significant business partner of Michael Cohen has agreed to cooperate with the government as a potential witness, a development that could be used as leverage to pressure Mr. Cohen to work with the special counsel examining Russian interference https://t.co/KpBDoOQvlH— Yashar Ali 🐘 (@yashar) May 22, 2018
Freidman's agreement allows the Russian immigrant to avoid jail time due to the assistance he'll be providing to prosecutors in state and federal investigations.
Freidman and Cohen have been partners in the taxi business for years. President Trump's lawyers believe the investigation into Cohen's businesses might force Cohen himself to cooperate with federal prosecutors.
In the past, Freidman has been accused of not paying more than $5 million in taxes as well as criminal tax fraud and grand larceny. He plead guilty to a single count of evading $50,000 in taxes and will face five years of probation should he adhere to the terms of his deal.
In April, the FBI raided Cohen's office in order to find records of payments to porn star Stormy Daniels. They also searched for records on Trump's "Access Hollywood" tape to figure out whether Cohen tried to suppress damaging information about the tape.
Federal agents also wanted to figure out if there was any information related to payments given to Karen McDougal, who says she allegedly had an affair with Trump.