Cohen ‘Likely’ to Cooperate

Donald Trump's former personal lawyer is expected to cooperate with the Mueller investigation.

ABC News (“Former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen likely to cooperate as his attorneys leave case, sources say“)

As attorneys for Michael Cohen rush to meet Judge Kimba Wood’s Friday deadline to complete a privilege review of over 3.7 million documents seized in the April 9 raids of Cohen’s New York properties and law office, a source representing this matter has disclosed to ABC News that the law firm handling the case for Cohen is not expected to represent him going forward.

[…]

Cohen, now with no legal representation, is likely to cooperate with federal prosecutors in New York, sources said. This development, which is believed to be imminent, will likely hit the White House, family members, staffers and counsels hard.

[…]

Judge Wood subsequently appointed former federal judge Barbara Jones to act as a “special master” to conduct an impartial review of the materials and to referee any disputes between Cohen and the government. Trump and the Trump Organization intervened in the case and were also granted access to review the materials for potentially privileged items.

Jones reported last week that of the first 300,000 items reviewed, she had determined that just 162 of them were covered by attorney-client privilege. She rejected three items that Cohen, Trump or the Trump organization had designated as privileged.

Judge Wood has given Cohen’s attorneys until Friday to complete the review of the remaining documents. Any remaining items to be reviewed would be turned over to a team of federal prosecutors unconnected to the case to complete the examination of the documents.

The reporting here is thin, to say the least. But not good news for Team Trump.

UPDATE:  A WSJ report (“Trump Lawyer Michael Cohen’s Attorneys Expected to Quit His Case“) contradicts ABC’s:

Mr. Cohen doesn’t yet have a replacement law firm but is searching for a federal criminal lawyer in New York, people familiar with the matter said. Mr. Cohen wants to hire a lawyer with close ties to the Manhattan U.S. attorney’s office, the people said.

Mr. Cohen hasn’t yet decided whether he will cooperate with prosecutors in the case, according to one of those people. He hasn’t been charged with any crime.

Lawyers for Mr. Cohen didn’t respond to requests for comment. Mr. Cohen also didn’t respond to a request for comment.

Hmm.

FILED UNDER: Law and the Courts, Quick Takes, Russia Investigation
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is a Security Studies professor at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. CSK says:

    Several news sources were reporting yesterday that Cohen expects to be arrested soon. Today, he loses his team of lawyers. What choice does he have but to flip?

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  2. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    Would love to know why his attorney’s are jumping ship.
    This is going to make poor little Donnie Dennison’s comb-over explode.
    Certainly is going to take the news cycle away from his NoKo photo-op.

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  3. Timothy Watson says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl: Maybe he found out last week before the G7 and that explains his crazy as usual behavior.

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  4. CSK says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl:

    I would guess there’s material in the papers and computer files taken from Cohen’s home, office, and hotel room that’s so incriminating they can’t mount any sort of credible defense.

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  5. Jay L Gischer says:

    Here’s my best guess at reading between these lines: Cohen’s big team was focused on keeping certain items out of the hands of prosecutors. That has failed. So there is no longer any reason to pay them. Do we know who was paying them?

    I seem to recall that Trump was paying for Cohen’s lawyers, right? Doesn’t this make sense from that POV?

    I mean, Cohen has his own money, and can afford his own attorney, and will probably get one eventually. But Trump’s lawyers are bailing because there isn’t anything else they can do for Trump.

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  6. CSK says:
  7. CSK says:

    CNN is reporting that Cohen has a new lawyer. Name not given.

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  8. CSK says:

    @Jay L Gischer:

    Apparently the Trump campaign was footing some of Cohen’s legal bills.

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  9. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl:

    Would love to know why his attorney’s are jumping ship.

    Apparently one of the attorneys is not getting paid…and we all know how the Dennison crime family is about paying their debts. They just don’t.

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  10. mattbernius says:

    My understanding is that a lot of the pressure is coming for charges that would be brought by the State of New York (rather than the Feds). The key aspect of this, if its true, is that should Cohen be found guilty of those state charges, they are outside of the President’s pardon power.

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  11. KM says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl:

    Apparently one of the attorneys is not getting paid…and we all know how the Dennison crime family is about paying their debts. They just don’t.

    If there was ever a time to give up being a cheapskate, this is it.

    The only person dumber then the guy not paying his lawyers when under the gun is the lawyer who takes the client famous for not paying anybody.

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  12. dazedandconfused says:

    @CSK:

    The question outstanding is “flip on whom?”

    Could be the Trumpestas, could be his Russian mobster friends, maybe some combination thereof. We all be guessin’.

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  13. grumpy realist says:
  14. Tyrell says:

    These actions by Mueller are becoming increasingly worrisome. He is said to now be going after people’s cell phones, and looking at e – mail, who knows what else. Not good. Whatever happened to our privacy? It seems he has no limits on his authority. He seems to be going after anyone. Where is Congress? There needs to be some oversight, and some limits to what Mueller can do.
    I saw on one news program a person that said that Mueller can go even into “local areas”! Now that does bother me!

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  15. James Joyner says:

    @Tyrell:

    These actions by Mueller are becoming increasingly worrisome. He is said to now be going after people’s cell phones, and looking at e – mail, who knows what else. Not good. Whatever happened to our privacy?

    You’re saying he’s doing these things without a warrant? Because the whole point of a warrant is to violate people’s privacy?

    It seems he has no limits on his authority. He seems to be going after anyone.

    So far, he hasn’t contacted me. You?

    Where is Congress? There needs to be some oversight, and some limits to what Mueller can do.

    As a Special Counsel for the United States Department of Justice, he works for the Executive Branch. Ordinarily, his boss would be Attorney General Jeff Sessions but, since he’s recused himself, he’s reporting to Rod Rosenstein. Who has repeatedly said he supports Mueller’s tactics.

    I saw on one news program a person that said that Mueller can go even into “local areas”!

    I honestly have no idea what this means.

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  16. MarkedMan says:

    @Tyrell: Oh, Tyrell! You do what you do so well! Keep up the good work!

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  17. Lit3Bolt says:

    @Tyrell:

    You know, if Cohen and Manafort had simply hid in an area in New York City where Sharia Law superseded the Constitution, none of this would have happened. I’m sure a sympathetic Imam would have helped them with their legal troubles.

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  18. Kathy says:

    @James Joyner:

    I honestly have no idea what this means.

    Hm. I left my Dictionary of Incoherence and Confusion at home, but I keep a copy of the Pedantry Compendium in my temporal lobe at all times (saves time), so: all areas are, by definition, local to themselves. It can’t be otherwise (though it’s worth noting not all existents are local to themselves or to the area where they are located, but that’s quantum physics’ problem exclusively). Then by definition any area where Mueller goes is a local area, which is a pleonasm on the order of ATM machine or PIN number, even if the word “local” appears in print (or pixel) only once.

    In other words: wherever you go, there you are.

    Hope this helps.

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  19. Mister Bluster says:

    Be Here Now
    Ram Dass

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  20. An Interested Party says:

    I think of all those tidbits we’ve heard where Cohen berates and threatens people on the phone for his lord and master…so nice to see the shoe on the other foot…

    @CSK: Rick Wilson has been brilliant in his many eviscerations of the Orange Toddler…

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  21. HarvardLaw92 says:

    The guy is facing multiple Zone D federal felonies (no possibility of probation, required to serve out the entire sentence, likely minimum of 15 to 21 months per offense) and an array of charges in NY State (which Trump can’t help him with).

    Of course he’s going to flip. He was always going to flip.

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  22. Mister Bluster says:

    In Other News:

    A judge said special counsel Robert Mueller must tell former Trump campaign chief Paul Manafort the names of individuals and groups that allegedly acted as unregistered foreign agents at Manafort’s behest.

    Is this something Robert Mueller anticipated?

    Manafort faces a hearing Friday on a request to revoke his $10 million bail because of alleged witness tampering.

    You (HL92) be the Judge! Lock him up?

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  23. Barry says:

    @Jay L Gischer: ” But Trump’s lawyers are bailing because there isn’t anything else they can do for Trump.”

    Aside from keeping Trump’s lawyer from flipping on Trump, that’s true.

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