A long-term legal adviser for President Donald Trump warned him not to trust his personal lawyer Michael Cohen, saying Cohen would turn against the president if faced with criminal charges, The Wall Street Journal reported.
Jay Goldberg, who represented Trump in the 1990s and early 2000s, said he cautioned the president about Cohen in a phone call Friday.
“Michael will never stand up (for you)” if charged by the government, he told Trump.
Last week, FBI agents raided Cohen’s home, hotel and office, investigating potential bank fraud and campaign finance violations.
The agents seized records related to payments made by the attorney to adult film actress Stormy Daniels. This included a $130,000 payment Cohen made in October 2016 to stop Daniels from speaking publicly about an alleged sexual encounter she had with Trump over 10 years ago. Cohen and Trump have denied the encounter ever occurred.
“Investigators are examining whether Mr. Cohen committed bank fraud in using a home-equity line of credit to pay the former porn star for her silence, as well as potential campaign-finance violations related to the payment,” the WSJ reported.
As reported by The Journal, “The 15-minute discussion between the two men provides an inside peek at the president’s efforts to seek guidance amid the rapidly escalating developments involving Mr. Cohen.”
“Mr. Goldberg is one of several longtime advisers Mr. Trump has reached out to as he and his legal team try to assess the potential fallout from the criminal investigation of Mr. Cohen and devise a response.”
Michael Cohen didn't come to Trump's office with "some sterling record background" – Trump's former lawyer, Jay Goldberg
"I don't know whether he's every handled litigation for Trump" pic.twitter.com/mtHLB2N5Bs
— TheBeat w/Ari Melber (@TheBeatWithAri) April 11, 2018
The White House confirmed the phone call between Trump and Goldberg, according to The Journal.
Earlier this month, Cohen wrote on Twitter that he will “always protect our @POTUS.”
Goldberg said he isn’t convinced.
“You have to be alert,” Goldberg said he told the president. “I don’t care what Michael says.”
According to Goldberg, “the volume of correspondence taken and the potential pressure the government can bring to bear on Mr. Cohen to testify put the president in more potential peril from the Cohen matter than from special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation,” The Journal reported.
Mueller is investigating possible collusion between Russia and the 2016 Trump campaign.
Cohen and his lawyer have reportedly not responded to requests for comment.
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