JUNE 15, 2018
Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump’s attorney, walks to the Loews Regency hotel on Park Avenue on April 13, 2018, in New York City. Following FBI raids on his home, office and hotel room, the Department of Justice announced that they are placing him under criminal investigation. (Yana Paskova/Getty Images)
NEW YORK – President Donald Trump’s personal attorney Michael Cohen has indicated to family and friends he is willing to cooperate with federal investigators to alleviate the pressure on himself and his family, according to a source familiar with the matter.
Cohen has expressed anger with the treatment he has gotten from the President, who has minimized his relationship with Cohen, and comments from the President’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani, the source said. The treatment has left him feeling isolated and more open to cooperating, the source said.
Asked by reporters Friday if he was worried about Cohen cooperating, Trump said, “I did nothing wrong, nothing wrong.” He also said he hasn’t spoken with Cohen “in a long time,” adding, “I always liked Michael and he’s a good person.”
CBS News reported Thursday that Cohen believes Trump and his allies are turning against him.
Cohen is under criminal investigation by the US attorney’s office in Manhattan for his personal financial dealings, including the payment he made to porn star Stormy Daniels on Trump’s behalf before the election.
Pressure on Cohen has been building since an April FBI raid on his home, office and hotel room when agents seized over a dozen electronic devices and multiple boxes of documents.
It isn’t known which particular remarks by the President or his allies have irked Cohen — or if it is the totality of them — but tensions have grown since the FBI raid.
Cohen has not met with prosecutors to discuss any potential deal. He is currently seeking new lawyers with the goal to find a legal team with experience appearing before judges in the Southern District of New York and working with the US attorney’s office in Manhattan, CNN reported earlier this week.
If Cohen does cooperate with investigators, it isn’t clear what specific information he would provide. But the President’s longtime “fixer” has worked inside the Trump Organization for a decade and was involved with, among other things, discussions to brand a Trump Tower in Moscow.
The switch in legal team comes as Cohen’s lawyers have until today to finish reviewing 3.7 million files seized in the FBI raid for attorney-client privilege. A person familiar with the review process said Cohen’s lawyer will meet the deadline. Cohen’s attorney, reached on Thursday night, declined to comment.