- President Donald Trump fired off a series of tweets on Saturday morning, praising his longtime lawyer Michael Cohen and saying he doesn’t believe Cohen will “flip” against him.
- Cohen is currently under federal criminal investigation on suspicion of bank fraud, wire fraud, and election law violations.
- Trump also attacked The New York Times in his tweetstorm.
- The paper published a piece on Friday night suggesting Trump’s allegedly harsh treatment of Cohen could backfire on him if Cohen decides to cooperate with investigators.
On Friday, The New York Times published a piece detailing President Donald Trump’s allegedly harsh treatment of his longtime personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, and how it could backfire on him if Cohen decides to cooperate with federal investigators against Trump.
And the president seems to have noticed.
“The New York Times and a third rate reporter named Maggie Haberman, known as a Crooked H flunkie who I don’t speak to and have nothing to do with, are going out of their way to destroy Michael Cohen and his relationship with me in the hope that he will ‘flip,'” Trump tweeted Saturday morning.
Haberman is one of three reporters who authored the Times’ article.
“They use non-existent ‘sources’ and a drunk/drugged up loser who hates Michael, a fine person with a wonderful family,” Trump continued. “Michael is a businessman for his own account/lawyer who I have always liked & respected. Most people will flip if the Government lets them out of trouble, even if it means lying or making up stories.”
“Sorry, I don’t see Michael doing that despite the horrible Witch Hunt and the dishonest media!” he concluded.
The Times’ report on Friday outlined in vivid detail the apparently one-sided loyalty in Trump’s and Cohen’s relationship. It suggested Cohen was particularly hurt when he was given no official role on Trump’s campaign during the 2016 US election.
Among other things, it alleged that while Trump did display some affection toward Cohen, he also often insulted him and demeaned him in front of others.
Trump, who is already facing tremendous pressure from the special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation, was thrust into another legal controversy last week when it emerged that the FBI is investigating Cohen for possible financial crimes and campaign finance violations.
Armed with a search warrant, investigators working for the Manhattan US attorney’s office raided Cohen’s office and hotel room to seize: tape recordings, financial records, documents pertaining to payments made to women who have alleged affairs with Trump, material relating to a 2005 “Access Hollywood” tape featuring Trump saying lewd things about women, electronic devices, and communications between Trump and Cohen.
The warrant specifically authorised FBI agents to seize the materials, and it also mentioned Trump by name several times.
The raids have rattled Trump and his closest advisers, who are reportedly concerned Cohen will turn on the president if he faces significant criminal exposure.
Cohen has been referred to at different times as Trump’s fixer, pit bull, and consigliere. His relationship with Trump stretches back decades, and he worked at the Trump Organisation for over 10 years, beginning in 2006. Cohen left the company in 2017 to serve as Trump’s personal lawyer.
“Anyone that takes care of problems and buries the bodies is not someone you want to testify against you,” said Jeffrey Cramer, a former federal prosecutor who spent 12 years at the Justice Department. “The damage Cohen can do is far greater than everybody else combined.”
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