Trump's former personal lawyer says his 'silence is broken'

Trump's former personal lawyer says his 'silence is broken'

"And always will. I put family and country first".

He spoke to Stephanopoulos in an off-camera interview over the weekend and the details were released on ABC's "Good Morning America" on Monday. "I put family and country first".

"Some people are speculating that this is Michael Cohen making a final threat/plea to POTUS for a pardon", Mitchell Epner, an attorney at Rottenberg Lipman Rich who was previously an assistant U.S. attorney for the District of New Jersey, told Business Insider.

[.] In his first in-depth interview since the FBI raided his office and homes in April, Cohen strongly signaled his willingness to cooperate with special counsel Robert Mueller and federal prosecutors in the Southern District of NY - even if that puts President Trump in jeopardy.

If Trump authorized the payment but it wasn't disclosed, it could be charged as a federal crime.

In April, Trump had tweeted that Michael was a businessman "who I have always liked & respected".

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. "Nonetheless, the agents were respectful, courteous and professional".

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But while acknowledging that Cohen sounded like a man in search of a cooperation deal, other legal experts said prosecutors nearly always prefer to negotiate such deals in private - not on morning television shows.

Since then, Trump's personal lawyers, Cohen's attorneys and federal officials have conducted a legal battle over access to millions of documents. But in the ABC interview, he said he couldn't comment on advice of his lawyer.

Among the transactions federal investigators are reviewing is a $130,000 hush money payment that Cohen made to porn star Stormy Daniels who has claimed to have had an affair with Trump. "We shook hands." At one point in the interview, Stephanopoulos asked Cohen whether he believes the investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller is legitimate.

Mr Cohen declined to say whether Mr Trump knew about the meeting before it happened, citing the advice of his lawyer.

"I want to answer".

"He knows a lot of things about the President and he's not averse to talking in the right situation", one of Cohen's NY friends who is in touch with him told CNN.

Cohen has famously said he would take a bullet for Trump and he has fashioned himself as Trump's "fixer", willing to help handle situations quietly.

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Cohen gave the interview shortly after hiring former federal prosecutor Guy Petrillo as his new attorney - bringing to an end an arrangement between his lawyers and Trump's in which the two legal teams shared information.

Petrillo did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Cohen repeated previous denials that he had any involvement with Russian attempts to interfere with the 2016 presidential election, but he refused to criticize the investigation led by former FBI Director Robert Mueller.

"I don't like the term 'witch hunt, '" Cohen said, taking issue with the way Trump has characterized Mueller's investigation.

Cohen was also asked how he might respond if the president or his legal team came after him and tried to discredit the work he did for Trump over the last decade.

"I will not be a punching bag as part of anyone's defense strategy". "And I wouldn't be surprised if we saw the president signal some public signs of support to Michael Cohen to try to quell some of his concerns, because obviously the pressure is tightening up on him".

Mr Cohen also told ABC he did not agree with Mr Trump's recent tweet repeating Vladimir Putin's claim that Russian Federation did not interfere in the election.

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