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Michael Cohen: Family, country before President Donald Trump

05 July 2018

There has been much anticipation over the weekend of what Michael Cohen may or may not say during this morning's interview with ABC News' George Stephanopoulos. This is the DE limited liability company that Cohen created and that was used in both the $130,000 payment to Clifford and also implicated in the $1.6 million payment offer to a former Playboy model who allegedly had an affair with top Republican National Committee official Elliott Broidy (he has since resigned).

Stephanopoulos, for example, said he asked Mr Cohen if Mr Trump had directed him to make a $130,000 payment to Stormy Daniels in exchange for her silence. "Nonetheless, the agents were respectful, courteous and professional".

Petrillo, a former federal prosecutor, will take over as Cohen's lawyer in the coming days, and is set to become the only person he will take advice from.

Cohen has retained legal counsel in his federal case and kept largely mum about his connections with the Stormy Daniels affair, choosing to defer to the fact he's under advice from his attorney to speak carefully about what's to come.

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Cohen has said he would "take a bullet" for Trump and "grab" anyone who attacked Trump "by the neck".

The new assessments of Cohen's role in Trump's orbit stand in contrast with years of company profiles that depicted Cohen as a close adviser entrusted with all manner of sensitive and personal tasks, and a confidant not just of Trump but also of his adult children - Donald Jr., Ivanka and Eric.

"I don't agree with those who demonise or vilify the FBI", Mr Cohen said. "I thanked them for their service and, as they left, we shook hands".

Cohen is standing on the edge of a precipice, and in my assessment he's beginning to understand the value of his decades' worth of knowledge regarding the President and the Trump Organization: that it may now hold the keys to his freedom.

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He also refused to answer questions directly about the investigation, telling Stephanopoulos he respects the prosecutors and did not want to do or say anything that might interfere. Cohen, Trump and the Trump Organization had split the hefty costs of having an independent third-party, known as a special master, conduct a review of the documents the Federal Bureau of Investigation seized from Cohen to filter out those covered by attorney-client privilege.

"Being part of a joint defense agreement generally means your cooperation is with fellow targets and you're sharing confidential information", Coffey said.

Cohen has not yet been charged with any crimes. He also retained a new lawyer, Guy Petrillo, a former chief of the criminal division of the USA attorney's office in Manhattan. And while there was nothing extraordinary said, there were some bombshell comments which appear to indicate the direction he will likely go, in terms of his cooperation with investigators.

Further, Cohen said it is "unsustainable" to accept Russian President Vladimir Putin's denials as truth, as he respects the United States' intelligence agencies' "unanimous conclusions". 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. Of course, Trump would know the answer was yes.

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Michael Cohen: Family, country before President Donald Trump