Michael Cohen hunts for new lawyers in FBI in­ves­ti­ga­tion

The Republican Herald - - NATION/WORLD - BY TOM HAYS

NEW YORK — Michael Cohen, Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s per­sonal lawyer, is search­ing for a new le­gal team to rep­re­sent him in an FBI in­ves­ti­ga­tion of his busi­ness deal­ings.

A per­son fa­mil­iar with the mat­ter told The As­so­ci­ated Press on Wed­nes­day that Cohen’s cur­rent le­gal team plans to stop han­dling the case and that Cohen has be­gun a hunt for new at­tor­neys.

It wasn’t im­me­di­ately clear what prompted the change or who would take over. The per­son, who wasn’t au­tho­rized to dis­cuss the mat­ter and spoke to the AP on con­di­tion of anonymity, also noted that Cohen has not yet held any dis­cus­sions with pros­e­cu­tors about po­ten­tially co­op­er­at­ing in the in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

Cohen has been rep­re­sented since 2017 by Stephen Ryan, a Wash­ing­ton lawyer ini­tially hired to pre­pare him for con­gres­sional tes­ti­mony about al­leged Rus­sian in­ter­fer­ence in the pres­i­den­tial elec­tion.

Af­ter FBI agents raided Cohen’s of­fice in April, Ryan and his New York part­ner, Todd Har­ri­son, went to court to try to keep in­ves­ti­ga­tors from see­ing some of the con­fis­cated files on the grounds that they were pro­tected by at­tor­ney client priv­i­lege. The pair, along with lawyers for Trump, has been work­ing for weeks to iden­tify doc­u­ments that should be with­held from pros­e­cu­tors.

The le­gal teams were fac­ing a dead­line of the end of this week to get much of that work com­plete.

Nei­ther Cohen, Ryan nor Har­ri­son im­me­di­ately re­sponded to mes­sages Wed­nes­day.

Fed­eral pros­e­cu­tors in New York have pub­licly said they are in­ves­ti­gat­ing al­leged fraud in Cohen’s busi­ness deal­ings, but haven’t dis­closed de­tails.

When agents searched Cohen’s home, of­fice and safety de­posit box and seized his phones this spring, they sought a wide va­ri­ety of in­for­ma­tion, in­clud­ing his in­volve­ment in ar­rang­ing a se­cret $130,000 pay­ment to the porn ac­tress Stormy Daniels, who said she had a sex­ual tryst with Trump years ago.

Cohen has main­tained that he’s in­no­cent of wrong­do­ing, and Trump has called the raid on his lawyer an as­sault on at­tor­ney client priv­i­lege.

The news that Cohen was mak­ing a switch in his le­gal rep­re­sen­ta­tion was first re­ported by ABC News.

It isn’t un­usual for high-pro­file fig­ures fac­ing po­ten­tial crim­i­nal charges to look for at­tor­neys who have deep ex­pe­ri­ence in the court where the case is ex­pected to be tried, and a track record of ne­go­ti­at­ing with lo­cal pros­e­cu­tors.

MiCHael CoHeN Don­ald Trump’s per­sonal lawyer

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.