President Donald Trump’s personal attorney Michael Cohen is “willing to give” investigators information on the President if that’s what they are looking for, and is planning on hiring a new lawyer to handle a possible indictment from federal prosecutors.
“He knows a lot of things about the President and he’s not averse to talking in the right situation,” one of Cohen’s New York friends who is in touch with him told CNN. “If they want information on Trump, he’s willing to give it.”
Cohen is planning to hire Guy Petrillo, a former chief of the criminal division of the US attorney’s office in Manhattan and an experienced trial lawyer, a source familiar confirmed. The source said all the paperwork and retainer may not have been finalized just yet.
“He feels let down by him and isolated by him,” another friend of Cohen’s 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. Cohen facilitated a $130,000 payment to porn star Stormy Daniels weeks before the 2016 election to keep quiet her allegations of an affair a decade earlier with the then-candidate. The White House has denied any affair.
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. Cohen has not been charged with any wrongdoing but his attorneys have been combing through 3.7 million files and hundreds of encrypted messages that were swept up in the raid.
According to another Cohen friend, whether he decides to cooperate with federal investigators would depend on what is ultimately in any indictment. If the indictment is deemed relatively less serious than expected, for example, it’s possible that Cohen would choose to plead guilty. CNN reported on Friday that Cohen had not yet met with prosecutors to discuss a potential deal, and it’s unclear whether either side is seeking one.
“Anything is a possibility,” the person said.
Another source confirmed that Cohen and Petrillo had met to discuss taking Cohen on as a client. Petrillo and the Trump lawyer handling Cohen document review have not responded to requests for comment. Cohen’s current attorney did not immediately respond for comment.
Vanity Fair was first to report that Cohen has hired Petrillo.