In Legal Woes, Cohen Says He'll Protect His Family Over President

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

President Trump's longtime personal attorney is allegedly changing lawyers after a deadline this week on which Federal Bureau of Investigation documents seized fall under attorney-client privilege; Rick Leventhal reports.

In a filing, the special master told Judge Kimba Wood that the Trump Organization, facing a Thursday deadline, was still reviewing about 22,000 items to see if they might object to those being turned over to the government.

Cohen recently dramatically shook up his legal team, parting ways with his attorneys at McDermott, Will and Emery and bringing on Guy Petrillo, a former prosecutor in the U.S. Attorney's office for the Southern District of NY. The source said all the paperwork and retainer may not have been finalized just yet. Does the Senate want to risk confirming a justice nominated by a president accused of serious wrongdoing by his own attorney, a president who might have committed actions that call into question the legitimacy of his presidency?

The interview fueled speculation that Cohen is preparing to "flip" and cooperate with prosecutors.

He also told ABC he did not agree with Trump's recent tweet repeating Vladimir Putin's claim that Russian Federation did not interfere in the election. But Cohen told ABC anchor George Stephanopoulos that he respects the prosecutors and the process. Cohen has previously said that he acted on his own initiative in making the payments to Daniels. He had tried to get documentary evidence out of the White House to back up his story but had been unable to do it. I respect the Federal Bureau of Investigation as an institution, as well as their agents", he said, going on to note that when his home and hotel room were raided by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, "it was obviously upsetting to me and my family. Cohen is likely to know a lot about how the foundation worked.

"He will do it to only when he has to-in order to save himself", Avenatti said.

Though Cohen claims he can not talk about the specifics of the case, there are some areas where Cohen provides detail. If the indictment is deemed relatively less serious than expected, for example, it's possible that Cohen would choose to plead guilty.

Blakely contends that Avenatti is similar to a "small-town carnival magician" whose "tiny bag of tricks" amounts to a "smear campaign" against his client Cohen.

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"Anything is a possibility", the person said. Cohen responded that if he is charged with anything, he would defer to Petrillo for advice. Cohen's phone calls in the weeks leading up to the Federal Bureau of Investigation raid were monitored, if not wiretapped, which makes attempting to privately speak to Trump over the phone or in person very hard.

Hendon, Petrillo and Cohen's team at McDermott did not respond to TPM's Monday requests for comment.

Vanity Fair was first to report that Cohen has hired Petrillo.

Mariotti, the former federal prosecutor, said that a defense lawyer "wouldn't end an agreement like that unless they had a good reason".

Editor's note: Caroline Polisi is a federal and white collar criminal defense attorney in NY and is of counsel at Pierce Bainbridge. While there he overlapped with Robert Khuzami, the deputy USA attorney overseeing the Cohen raid.

U.S. District Judge S. James Otero ordered a three-month stay of the case in April in light of a criminal investigation of Cohen that is continuing in NY. I'm the guy who protects the president and the family.

"He's not a subject of a criminal investigation like the president", Napolitano said.

He partnered with Joshua Klein, an experienced white-collar attorney who worked 13 years in the U.S. attorney's office investigating high-profile financial fraud, and Nelson Boxer, a former mob prosecutor from the same office. She frequently appears on CNN as a legal analyst and is an anchor at the Law & Crime Network, providing live legal analysis on high profile court cases.

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