Michael Cohen 'loyal to family and US' over Donald Trump

Trump's ex-lawyer Cohen to break his silence in interview on 'Good Morning America' on Monday

Michael Cohen 'loyal to family and US' over Donald Trump

Cohen has recently retained a new attorney, Guy Petrillo, a highly-regarded former prosecutor who once led the criminal division of the same U.S. Attorney's office in Manhattan that is conducting the criminal investigation of Cohen.

"Ending the joint defense agreement with POTUS and the Trump Organization makes no sense in the world where Michael Cohen is going to fight", he told Business Insider.

A day after he tweeted "I will always protect my POTUS" in April, the FBI raided his home, office and hotel room as part of a probe by federal prosecutors in NY into his business dealings. Cohen gave an interview to ABC News' George Stephanopoulos over the weekend in which he strongly implied that he was prepared to cooperate with prosecutors if, as expected, he is indicted on federal charges.

During the interview, Mr Cohen declined to discuss specifics of particular cases and offered circumspect responses to some questions. "He wouldn't have to do this complicated dance in the media". The payment was flagged by Cohen's bank in a suspicious activity report at the time.

That's heady stuff for anyone but particularly someone who is possibly facing years in prison or a presidential pardon that will still leave him broke and without a future.

But Cohen did criticize Trump campaign aides who took part in a June 2016 meeting in Trump Tower with several Russians after being promised damaging information about Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton.

Reacting on "Outnumbered Overtime", Napolitano said if Cohen's comments are genuine, it "should cause the president sleepless nights".

Daniels filed a separate defamation suit against Trump in NY, alleging the president libeled her by saying she lied about a man she claims threatened her to force her to keep quiet about the alleged affair with Trump. Officials are also looking into a $130,000 payment he made to Stormy Daniels in exchange for her silence on what may or may not have happened between her, Trump, and a rolled up Forbes magazine.

In response to the interview on ABC, Michael Avenatti, Clifford's lawyer, suggested that Cohen was "playing games".

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"I will not be a punching bag as part of anyone's defense strategy", Cohen was quoted as saying. Cohen believes Avenatti is out to poison the jury pool with his comments and wants Avenatti muzzled. "And I wouldn't be surprised if we saw the president signal some public signs of support to Michael Cohen to try to quell some of his concerns, because obviously the pressure is tightening up on him". Prosecutors in NY are investigating Cohen for potential violations of campaign finance and banking laws.

He partnered with Joshua Klein, an experienced white-collar attorney who worked 13 years in the USA attorney's office investigating high-profile financial fraud, and Nelson Boxer, a former mob prosecutor from the same office.

A court-appointed special master is reviewing their claims. He has not yet been arrested or charged with any crime.

In Washington, Mr Mueller has been examining Mr Cohen's role in at least two episodes involving Russian interests.

If there's one thing that must give a shady businessman or corrupt politician sleepless nights it's the knowledge that his attorney is about to cooperate with federal prosecutors in a case against him.

Another source confirmed that Cohen and Petrillo had met to discuss taking Cohen on as a client. Cohen's current attorney did not immediately respond for comment. "When people that are targets of investigations are talking about doing what's best for their family, it's inevitably a code for cooperating and getting the best deal they can from prosecutors".

"I want to answer. I respect the process", Cohen told Stephanopoulos. "I respect the Federal Bureau of Investigation as an institution, as well as their agents", Cohen said, rejecting the notion of a 'witch hunt, ' Trump's favorite name to call the protracted 'Russiagate'. When Cohen's office was raided in April, Trump stated, "It's an attack on our country, in a true sense".

In April, Trump had tweeted that Michael was a businessman "who I have always liked & respected". He said he respects the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Cohen said, my first loyalty is to my family and my country.

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