Michael Cohen, President Trump’s personal lawyer and rabid supporter, seems to be distancing himself from his former employer. Cohen has been in the spotlight lately for potential legal violations, and now says his loyalties, first and foremost are to his “family and country.” This statement is a very different message than Cohen has delivered previously.
“Cohen has reportedly been preparing for his arrest,” the New York Daily News writes, “which led federal investigators in Manhattan to raid his office and home this spring during an investigation into fraud and campaign finance violations.”
Cohen has been steadfast in past interviews, and defended President Trump. The payments made to porn star Stormy Daniels, a $130,000 payment, was Cohen’s own idea intended to secure her silence about her alleged affair with Trump.
Now, Cohen has sat down with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos and he seems to be poised to flip. The interview will air Monday, but it is already making headlines around the country as ABC is leaking some of its contents.
“My wife, my daughter and my son have my first loyalty and always will,” Cohen said, “I put family and country first.”
“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,” he said.
The “guidance” seems to refer to how he might answer questions about how, or if, he’d been instructed by Trump to make payments to Daniels.
Cohen emphatically stated that he “will not be a punching bag as part of anyone’s defense strategy.”
It is unclear where charges against Cohen might go. Cohen, on the surface, seems to have no involvement in the Russia investigation. “The Cohen raid was separate from the ongoing Special Counsel probe into alleged election interference by Russia, though Manhattan investigators are believed to have acted on a tip from Robert Mueller’s team,” The Daily News writes.
“Cohen was involved in the Trump Organization push with his childhood friend Felix Sater to build a Trump Tower Moscow during the Republican primary, though has denied any wrongdoing or part in Russian meddling.”
Cohen has not yet been interviewed by Mueller’s team, though such an interview still seems like a possibility. Cohen, this new expose reveals, seems willing to cooperate.
“I don’t agree with those who demonize or vilify the FBI” and “I don’t like the term witch hunt,” he said.