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Trump Lawyer Michael Cohen Hints He May Cooperate With Federal Prosecutors

09 July, 2018, 01:32 | Author: Kristen Ingram
  • Michael Cohen

U.S. President Donald Trump's longtime personal lawyer Michael Cohen vowed to defend himself and protect his family and country first if Trump or the president's legal team tried to discredit him, ABC News reported on Monday.

"My wife, my daughter and my son have my first loyalty and always will", Cohen told ABC News' George Stephanopoulos, according to a story posted Monday morning on the network's website. But don't try and convince me at this point that he deserves the benefit of the doubt any more than any of the people with whom he used to work, let alone the guy for whom he used to run errands.

In the first in-depth interview since the FBI raided his office and homes in April, Cohen signaled to ABC News' George Stephanopoulos his willingness to cooperate with special counsel Robert Mueller and federal prosecutors in the Southern District of NY.

Among the transactions federal investigators are reviewing is a $130,000 hush money payment that Cohen made to porn star Stormy Daniels who has claimed to have had an affair with Trump.

"I don't like the term 'witch hunt, '" Mr Cohen said, taking issue with the way Mr Trump has spoken about Mr Mueller's investigation into Russian Federation interference in the 2016 election and possible co-ordination between the Mr Trump campaign and Russian Federation. "I respect the Federal Bureau of Investigation as an institution, as well as their agents". But Cohen has since hired Guy Petrillo, the former leader of the criminal division at the Southern District of New York (SDNY), which is the U.S. Attorney's office now pursuing Cohen. "If they want information on Trump, he's willing to give it".

On May 2, the watchdog organization sought "all records of communications" between Rosenstein and the USA attorney's office for the Southern District of NY "about Michael Cohen and/or the executed search warrants of Cohen's office, home, and hotel room", plus "all records of communications" between Mueller and the attorney's office "about Michael Cohen and/or the executed search warrants of Cohen's office, home, and hotel room".

Avenatti has a second suit pending in Los Angeles federal court - but it may be removed to Superior Court - on behalf of Daniels against her former attorney, Keith Davidson, and Cohen, alleging the two men "colluded' and acted to "manipulate' her in order to benefit Trump".

Unlike his former boss, who lashed out at the Federal Bureau of Investigation for swooping down on Cohen's home, hotel suite and office in April, tweeting "a total witch hunt" in capital letters and "attorney-client privilege is dead!", Cohen heaped unlikely praise on the Federal Bureau of Investigation agents for being "respectful, courteous and professional" as they were searching his property. "Simply accepting the denial of Mr. Putin (of not interfering) is unsustainable".

"I don't like the term witch hunt", Cohen was quoted as saying. "But for now, I can't comment further on advice of my counsel".

"I want to answer".

Stephanopoulos said he asked Cohen if he had any regrets about how he has handled any of the matters under investigation.

Cohen split with the president in an interview with ABC News, breaking his silence on the criminal investigation he's at the center of.

According to Stephanopoulos, Mr Cohen also repeated his previous denials of personal involvement with Russian attempts to interfere in the United States election. "I respect our nation's intelligence agencies'. unanimous conclusions", he said, stopping short, however, of siding with those who accuse Moscow of meddling.

Cohen also called Trump campaign associates' 2016 meeting at Trump Tower with Russians promising dirt on Hillary Clinton "an example of poor judgment", but declined to answer whether Trump knew about the meeting before it occurred.

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