As the tide of scandals enveloping the Trump administration continues to grow, one of those most recently to compound troubles for the president personally is the federal criminal investigation into his lawyer Michael Cohen. After scrutiny for the hush money payment to adult film star Stormy Daniels he facilitated in late 2016 grew and grew, authorities raided his home, hotel room, and office earlier this year, and Trump freaked out about that already, so he’s not going to like a new report from CNN.
The outlet reports that not only is Cohen preparing to possibly cooperate with authorities, he’s specifically prepared to hand over information about his longtime boss Donald Trump to Special Counsel Robert Mueller. That might be precisely what Trump was so concerned about happening when he raged at the raids on Cohen, having connected them to Mueller’s inquiry despite the fact that they were a part of a separate criminal investigation.
What exact information Cohen might hand over to Mueller remains to be seen. One of his friends in New York told CNN:
‘He knows a lot of things about the President and he’s not averse to talking in the right situation. If they want information on Trump, he’s willing to give it.’
Some of the issues where Cohen’s activities have intersected with Trump related areas of interest for authorities include the aforementioned hush money and the Russia scandal, although his involvement in the latter issue is less concrete.
The infamous “Trump dossier” alleged that Cohen took his role as a Trump “fixer” overseas, meeting with key interests involved in Russian election meddling to coordinate activities. Reports emerged earlier this year that Mueller has evidence of Cohen being where the alleged meeting took place when it transpired.
All of these issues have combined to spark a reported considerable burden on Cohen and his family, which is what has prompted his openness to cooperation. In addition to that pressure, Cohen is also feeling isolated from the president for whom he worked diligently for so long, according to sources. One friend of Cohen’s told CNN that the lawyer “feels let down by him and isolated by” Trump, who has already explicitly downplayed the possibility of Cohen flipping, evidently paranoid about it.
Making Cohen’s situation even more volatile recently, he lost his legal team, and CNN now reports him to be taking on Guy Petrillo, who actually worked for the very same U.S. attorney’s office currently going after the Trump lawyer via a criminal investigation.
Cohen hasn’t been formally hit with any charges yet, but the apparent feeling from inside Trump World is certainly that charges are possible. The exact form any charges might take could weigh on Cohen’s decision going forward, according to one friend of his speaking to CNN. He might be more inclined to plead guilty if the charges he’s faced with are “less serious than expected,” according to the report.
Cohen would be one of an already established line of Trump associates to plead guilty to charges from federal authorities that includes individuals like his first national security adviser, Michael Flynn.
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