‘From ‘I miss you’ to ‘I diss you’
Michael Cohen appears resigned to swimming upstream on his own’
Fresh interview, new lawyer and talk from friends point to possibility Trump’s former personal attorney could or may have flipped on him
Cohen wouldn’t say if he’d turn evidence on Trump, speculations fuelled by his decision to switch lawyers and the new ABC interview with George Stephanopoulos
Friends have been hinting he’s feeling ‘isolated’, is ‘not averse to talking in the right situation’
Cohen says he’d review his options with his new lawyer when and if any charges are filed against him
Ominous signs since Cohen’s new legal team has ended a joint agreement between them and Trump’s lawyers, same as Michael Flynn’s attorneys did, just before Trump’s former Security Adviser flipped
Michael Cohen’s handling pf hush money payments to porn star Stormy Daniels [right], has spiralled into a parting of ways with his client and possibility of ‘turning’ in a the ensuing federal probe
Recently he switched lawyers, going for a team more conciliatory towards cooperating to save his hide.
Michael Cohen’s interview with George Stephanopoulos, [right], of ABC News is seen as a sign he may cooperate with federal investigators
The Trump team’s mouth pieces like Rudi Guiliani have reponded by thrashing as they preemptively try to distance the president from Cohen whose footprint in the Trump setup they are thrashing and diminishing.
Once known as Trump’s ‘fixer’, Michael Cohen allegedly, has indicated to friends that he is ‘willing to give’ investigators information on the president if that’s what they are looking for.
His explosive interview with George Stephanopoulos, of ABC News over the week and talk from friends that’s he sharing his sense of abandonment, that ‘he is being nudged towards to cooperating’, makes the prospect the the man who knows much about the president flipping on him, that much closer to reality.
Michael Cohen’s [center] decision to switch legal team, cease information sharing with the president’s team leading to his his explosive interview with ABC News over the week, serves to reinforce the crescendo of hints from friends that’s he willing to cooperate the Mueller team
‘He knows a lot of things about the president and he’s not averse to talking in the right situation,’ one of Cohen’s friends told CNN earlier this month. ‘If they want information on Trump, he’s willing to give it.’
Cohen himself wouldn’t go so as far as to say he’d ‘flip’ on Trump, despite ABC’s efforts to pin him down in a 45-minute interview.
But Cohen, who told Vanity Fair last year: ‘I’m the guy who would take a bullet for the president’ gave his clearest signal to date that he’s no longer willing to take that bullet.
‘Once I understand what charges might be filed against me, if any at all, I will defer to my new counsel, Guy Petrillo, for guidance,’ Cohen told ABC News.
Pressed on the issue, Cohen again hinted at flipping: ‘To be crystal clear, my wife, my daughter and my son, and this country have my first loyalty.’
Cohen reportedly parted disengaged the services of DC based attorney Stephen Ryan, last month.
Petrillo coming onboard is viewed as a move towards a conciliatory in approach with feds. An experienced trial lawyer, Petrillo who once led the criminal division of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Manhattan – the very same office currently conducting the criminal investigation of Cohen.
Michael Cohen [right] seen her with Donald Trump, is the president’s former personal attorney. Insiders say he was a mix of enforcer and cleanup man. One of those ‘unlawyerly’ roles, the botched Stormy Daniels hush money scandal, turned Cohen into a target for federal investigators
Cohen’s change in legal and public relations strategy comes as he feels increasingly isolated from Trump, whom he has worked with for over 10 years.
‘He feels let down by him and isolated by him,’ another friend of Cohen’s told CNN.
Cohen appeared to express his independence in his interview with ABC.
‘I will not be a punching bag as part of anyone’s defense strategy,’ he said. ‘I am not a villain of this story, and I will not allow others to try to depict me that way.’
But the clearest sign Cohen may be free to talk is the reported end of a joint agreement between Cohen and Trump’s legal team to share information.
The end of those agreements can signal a change in relationship. Michael Flynn’s lawyers stopped sharing info with Trump’s attorneys shortly before he flipped.
Ominous? In his ABC News interview Michael Cohen [photo], President Trump’s longtime personal lawyer, emphasized that his loyalties were not to his boss but to his “family and country”
Survival mode interview, new lawyer, talk of abandonment through the proxy of friends – Could it all be leading to confirmed flip? Cohen’s new attorney, Guy Petrillo [photo], has ended a joint agreement between Cohen and Trump’s lawyers
According to ABC, once Petrillo takes over as Cohen’s lead lawyer, the joint defense agreement between Cohen and Trump will no longer be operative.
That would leave Cohen free to seek to negotiate an agreement to assist prosecutors with any information he may have in exchange for a more lenient sentence if he were to be charged with a crime.
Another Cohen friend told CNN earlier this month that whether he decides to cooperate with investigators would depend on what is ultimately in any indictment.
If the indictment is deemed relatively less serious than expected, it’s possible Cohen would choose to plead guilty.
‘Anything is a possibility,’ the person said.
It’s now about survival! Michael Cohen worked for Donald Trump for over 10 years. However, during the interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos, Michael Cohen gave several indications his interests and prospects of self-preservation no longer align with Donald Trump’s.
Cohen has not been charged with any wrongdoing but he is under criminal investigation for potential bank fraud, campaign finance violations, and tax issues – some of which are connected to the non-disclosure agreement he inked with Stormy Daniels, with whom he facilitated a $130,000 payment to cover an alleged affair with Trump. The White House has denied an affair.
Cohen’s home and office were raided by federal agents in April and his attorneys have been combing through 3.7 million files and hundreds of encrypted messages for privileged information.
But in his interview with ABC, Cohen gave multiple signals that he and president’s interests may no longer align.
Cohen rejected Trump’s favorite term for the ‘witch hunt’ Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, praised the professional conduct of FBI agents, and blasted any Russian interference in U.S. elections.
‘I don’t like the term witch hunt,’ Cohen said.
But he wouldn’t answer when asked whether Trump asked him to make a $130,000 payment to Daniels.
‘I want to answer. One day I will answer,’ Cohen said. ‘But for now, I can’t comment further on advice of my counsel.
Sounding conciliatory already, Cohen said on ABC, ”I don’t agree with those who demonize or vilify the FBI. I respect the FBI as an institution, as well as their agents,’ Cohen said, following weeks where the president went after the ‘FBI lovers’ and others involved in the Russia and Hillary Clinton probes.
‘When they searched my hotel room and my home, it was obviously upsetting to me and my family. Nonetheless, the agents were respectful, courteous and professional. I thanked them for their service and as they left, we shook hands,’ Cohen said.
Cohen blasted Russian or foreign meddling in elections, which U.S. intelligence officials concluded happened in the case of Trump’s 2016 election.
‘As an American, I repudiate Russia’s or any other foreign government’s attempt to interfere or meddle in our democratic process, and I would call on all Americans to do the same,’ Cohen said.
Newly minted version of Cohen blasted Russian or foreign meddling in elections, which U.S. intelligence officials concluded happened in the case of Trump’s 2016 election.
June, Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani predicted Cohen wouldn’t flip cooperate with prosecutors against the president – who has not been named as a target of the Mueller investigation.
‘He’s not cooperating nor do we care because the president did nothing wrong,’ Giuliani told Fox News host Laura Ingraham. ‘I am absolutely certain of that.’
‘Michael Cohen, I think, would tell you he’s got nothing incriminating with the president,’ Giuliani said.
Earlier this month Trump wouldn’t rule out the possibility of a pardon for Cohen or his former campaign chairman Paul Manafort.
’I haven’t even thought about it,’ Trump told reporters, referring to Manafort and Cohen. ‘I haven’t thought about any of it. It’s certainly far too early to be thinking about that.’
He added, ‘They haven’t been convicted of anything. There’s nothing to pardon.’
Manafort has been indicted while Cohen remains under investigation.