In Legal Woes, Cohen Says He'll Protect His Family Over President


Cohen was Trump's longtime fixer and a key player in the Trump Organization.

The Department of Justice also acknowledged back in April that Cohen's business dealings had been under investigation for several months, when the FBI seized documents from Cohen's home, office and hotel room.

"To be crystal clear, my wife, my daughter and my son, and this country have my first loyalty", Cohen replied, noting that "once I understand what charges might be filed against me, if any at all, I will defer to my new counsel, Guy Petrillo, for guidance". ABC News reported Monday that Cohen, in the interview, signaled his willingness to cooperate with Special Counsel Robert Mueller and NY federal prosecutors, even if it puts Trump at risk.

Stephanopoulos said he asked Cohen repeatedly if he was considering cooperating with prosecutors in their probe. The attorney for Trump said his family was his "first priority", not the current Oval Office occupant.

There are signs Cohen is actively seeking such a deal, significantly including his recent hire of a new lawyer, Guy Petrillo, formerly a federal prosecutor in the Southern District of New York (SDNY), the office now prosecuting Cohen.

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Any other settlements with other women, and details about those affairs, including possible violations of campaign-finance or other laws. So far, all is quiet on Trump's Twitter feed, the president's usual forum for airing threats and grievances.

The interview comes almost three months after the Federal Bureau of Investigation raided Cohen's office and home, after Mueller referred his case to the U.S. District Attorney's office in NY.

Hendon, Petrillo and Cohen's team at McDermott did not respond to TPM's Monday requests for comment.

Cohen makes a number of points during the interview indicating to someone that he's willing to cooperate.

Questions have abounded over whether or not Mr Cohen - who denies any wrongdoing - would co-operate with prosecutors. Following that search, the president did a phone interview with Fox and Friends in which he stated that Cohen did a "tiny, tiny little fraction" of his legal work.

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And while he admits he's made mistakes in the past - what those mistakes are was not disclosed - Cohen says he is working to regain his reputation. "I would not do or say anything that might be perceived as interfering with their professional review of the evidence and the facts". "I respect the prosecutors".

Cohen's statements to ABC included, "I will not be a punching bag in anyone else's defense strategy". This time Cohen answered, "I want to answer". "I am not a villain of this story, and I will not allow others to try to depict me that way".

"I am extremely flattered by the suggestions that I attempt to become AG or run for the House or Senate but I have ZERO interest in those jobs", he said, adding that he feels there are "too many" politicos already.

Cohen, in the off-camera interview, also said he doesn't agree "with those who demonize or vilify the Federal Bureau of Investigation".

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