news 2 months ago

Cohen Splitting With Lawyers. Here's What That Could Mean

Newser — Evann Gastaldo

Michael Cohen is back in the news, with a slew of headlines regarding his legal representation and the likelihood that he plans to cooperate with federal prosecutors.

Unnamed sources are providing all the details. How the story is variously being reported:

  • ABC News was first out with the story, with sources saying he is likely to cooperate and that his own legal counsel is removing itself from the case.

No replacement representation has yet been named, per ABC's sources, who describe the development as "likely [to] hit the White House, family members, staffers and counsels hard," as ABC puts it.

  • Both ABC and the Wall Street Journal's sources say Cohen's current attorneys are expected to continue representing him through Friday, the deadline set by a judge for them to complete a review of more than 3.7 million documents seized by federal prosecutors in the April raids of Cohen's home, office, and hotel room to determine which they believe are protected by attorney-client privilege.

Prosecutors are looking at Cohen's personal financial dealings, including a payment made to Stormy Daniels on Trump's behalf, for potential bank fraud or campaign finance violations.

  • The Journal is far less bullish on the cooperation front, with its sources noting Cohen has not yet made up his mind.
  • CNN's sources say Cohen has found a new lawyer and that Cohen's legal team switch "could signal a shift in legal strategy and comes amid mounting pressure on Cohen as criminal charges could become likely." CNN's sources say it's not clear whether either side is seeking a deal, and that they haven't gotten together to discuss one.
  • The New York Times' sources say Cohen's cooperation with prosecutors is now more likely, but that prosecutors have not yet contacted him.

They also add that Cohen's split with his current legal team has to do with payment of one of his lawyers' legal bills.

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