Trump's former personal lawyer says he'll put 'family and country' first

Howard TerryJul 08, 2018

"My wife, my daughter and my son have my first loyalty and always will", Cohen told Stephanopoulos.

Cohen made his loyalties explicit in his ABC interview, saying his foremost obligations were to his family and "country", and that he would "not be a punching bag as part of anyone's defense strategy".

Included in Mueller's investigation is an examination of whether Trump sought to obstruct the inquiry by firing former FBI Director James Comey.

Here's the thing: No one really knows what Cohen knows (or doesn't) about the President himself, the 2016 campaign, the first family or the many business dealings of the Trump Organization.

But during the ABC interview with George Stephanopoulos, Mr Cohen said his "first priority" was his family. "His issue is that he doesn't want to be criminally charged or sent to jail and have his family destroyed", the source said. American Lawyer magazine said that Cohen's legal career is over. "He wouldn't have to do this complicated dance in the media".

During the interview, Cohen declined to discuss specifics of particular cases and offered circumspect responses to some questions. Cohen previously claimed he paid the cash out of own pocket on his own, without direction from Trump or any promise of reimbursement.

So the only way he can speak to the only person who has the power to pardon him is through someone like George Stephanopoulos. The president too denies any wrongdoing. Cohen said that he couldn't comment on the advice of counsel, but noted that he has respect for those involved.

While over the course of the last several weeks there have been a considerable number of rumors related to the possibility of Cohen "flipping" on the President, or divulging incriminating testimony against the President, nothing has yet been confirmed. "One day I will answer", he told Stephanopoulos.

Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, has said she had sex once with the married Trump in 2006 and carried on a platonic relationship with him for about a year afterwards.

In response to the interview on ABC, Michael Avenatti, Clifford's lawyer, suggested that Cohen was "playing games". "I am not a villain in any story and won't allow others to try and depict me in that way". In April, investigators raided his home and office. The court-appointed special master overseeing the review of material for attorney-client privileged information said it could be completed as soon as June 25.

The content of the items turned over to the government Monday was not identified as part of Jones' two-page report to U.S. District Judge Kimba Wood.

For now, no charges have been filed against Cohen.

It's not clear whether Cohen has information that could help Mueller's investigation on possible collusion with Russian Federation and obstruction of justice. Cohen responded that if he is charged with anything he would defer to his new lawyer in the case, Guy Petrillo, for advice.

Cohen said his lawyer, Guy Petrillo, would provide guidance on those decisions.

Cohen makes a number of points during the interview indicating to someone that he's willing to cooperate.

It is not known how Mueller has sought to induce Cohen to provide evidence or testimony against Trump or anybody else associated with the president.

"I want to answer". In fact, the former seems to me to be far more likely than the latter. Cohen said maybe someday he will share that information.

Speaking to ABC, Cohen said that he doesn't "like the term "witch hunt" and refuses to condemn Mueller's investigation as the President has.

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