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Hullabaloo


Tuesday, June 19, 2018

 
Michael Cohen is getting anxious

by digby




Looks like somebody's getting frustrated with the president:

Donald Trump's personal attorney Michael Cohen has signaled to friends that he is "willing to give" investigators information on the President if that's what they are looking for, and is planning on hiring a new lawyer to handle a possible indictment from federal prosecutors.

"He knows a lot of things about the President and he's not averse to talking in the right situation," one of Cohen's New York friends who is in touch with him told CNN. "If they want information on Trump, he's willing to give it."

Cohen is planning to hire Guy Petrillo, a former chief of the criminal division of the US attorney's office in Manhattan and an experienced trial lawyer, a source familiar confirmed. The source said all the paperwork and retainer may not have been finalized just yet.

The shift in legal strategy and signals of potential cooperation with investigators come as Cohen feels increasingly isolated from the President, whom he has been famously loyal to for more than a decade. Last week, CNN reported Cohen has indicated a willingness to cooperate to alleviate pressure on himself and his family.

"He feels let down by him and isolated by him," another friend of Cohen's told CNN. Cohen has famously said he would take a bullet for Trump and he has fashioned himself as Trump's "fixer," willing to help handle situations quietly. Cohen facilitated a $130,000 payment to porn star Stormy Daniels weeks before the 2016 election to keep quiet her allegations of an affair a decade earlier with the then-candidate. The White House has denied any affair.

The mounting pressure on Cohen and his family since the April FBI raid of his home, hotel room and office has been weighing on him and his family, sources say. Cohen has not been charged with any wrongdoing but his attorneys have been combing through 3.7 million files and hundreds of encrypted messages that were swept up in the raid.
Vanity Fair has more:

News of Cohen’s legal shake-up has inevitably fanned speculation about whether he would flip. The conjecture appeared to weigh on Donald Trump, who distanced himself from his former personal attorney when asked by reporters outside the White House last week if he thought Cohen would cooperate with the government. “I always liked Michael,” he told reporters.

The use of the past tense was not lost on those close to Cohen. These people say that Trump has been foolishly careless with how he has publicly talked about Cohen, who they believe holds all the cards in the situation. “That one line had to be the dumbest thing [Trump’s] ever said,” one person familiar with his thinking told me. And that, indeed, would be quite an accomplishment.

He also said, "I haven't talked to him in a long time. Trump's narcissism may get him into big trouble this time. If Cohen spills, it won't help Trump to pardon him after the fact. He should be very, very careful. But that's not him.

But it isn't just about hurt feelings:

Mr. Cohen has frequently told associates in recent months he is frustrated that the president hasn’t offered to pay his legal fees, which he has said are “bankrupting” him, according to one of the people. He has said he feels that Mr. Trump owes him after his years of loyalty to the former real-estate developer, whom he served for nearly a decade at the Trump Organization.

The White House didn’t respond to a request for comment, and there has been no indication Mr. Trump is planning to pay for his former longtime lawyer’s legal fees.

The Trump campaign had been footing the bill for some of Mr. Cohen’s legal expenses, paying nearly $230,000 to McDermott, Will & Emery LLP between October 2017 and January 2018, according to Federal Election Commission records and a person familiar with the matter. But those payments helped cover Mr. Cohen’s legal representation in the separate Russia investigation, not in the probe of his business dealings.

The money issue is serious for Cohen. He obviously can't take money from Russians anymore. Trump won't pay. Who's left to pick up the tab for him?


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