Cohen decision on cooperating with prosecutors is ‘a moving target’
Michael Cohen’s posture on cooperating with federal prosecutors is a “moving target” and any decision would be weeks away, according to two people familiar with the matter.
Cohen, President Donald Trump’s longtime personal lawyer, has indicated to friends and family his willingness to possibly cooperate. But any decision would depend on what, if any, charges he would be facing and what prosecutors are interested in, one of the sources said.
There have been no discussions between federal prosecutors and Cohen’s attorneys yet, one source said.
The mounting pressure on Cohen and his family since the April FBI raid of his home, hotel room and office has been weighing on him and his family, sources say. Cohen has not been charged with any wrongdoing but his attorneys have been combing through 3.7 million files and hundreds of encrypted messages that were swept up in the raid.
Cohen is bringing in a new lawyer versed in federal investigations in New York. Guy Petrillo is a former chief of the criminal division of the US attorney’s office in Manhattan and an experienced trial lawyer. Petrillo’s official hiring is expected to be announced soon.
Before selecting Petrillo, Cohen met with two other defense lawyers in recent weeks. A key sticking point with the lawyers was Cohen’s assets, transparency around the source of his funds and whether he was able to convince the lawyers he had enough money to pay them, according to one source.
Cohen has expressed frustration that he is not getting assistance from Trump with his substantial legal fees, according to a source familiar with the matter. Cohen has complained about the expense. The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday that he also has complained about the President not offering to pay the legal fees.
“The picture wasn’t as clear on number and source of funds,” one source said. The discussions did not get granular on Cohen’s finances but there was not a confidence about payment, especially since Cohen had to take out a loan to pay $130,000 to porn star Stormy Daniels for her silence on her claim of an affair with Trump more than a decade ago. Cohen’s stay at a luxury New York hotel while his apartment was being repaired was also an issue, the source said.
Cohen declined to comment. Petrillo has not responded to requests for comment.