Published: Sat, April 21, 2018

Michael Cohen Is Starting to Feel Like Michael Clayton

Michael Cohen Is Starting to Feel Like Michael Clayton

U.S. District Judge S. James Otero said Cohen may need to file a statement with the court asserting his right against self-incrimination under the Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution to support his request to put the civil case on hold.

Federal authorities have not publicly stated the focus of the NY investigation into Cohen, but various media reports have suggested he's being probed for possible tax fraud or campaign finance violations, possibly stemming from the $130,000 he has admitted paying Daniels as part of the 2016 "hush agreement".

He even dabbled in marriage counseling, reportedly approaching Melania Trump at a Mar-O-Lago fundraiser earlier this year to apologize if his payment to porn star Stormy Daniels before the 2016 election caused her any pain.

In reality, Cohen plays such a central role within the Trump Organization that he is actually has the same title-executive vice president-as Ivanka, Don Jr., and Eric Trump.

Trump attorney Michael Cohen has always been assumed to be fanatically loyal to his boss - but a new report from the New York Times casts doubt on just how loyal Cohen would be if he came under legal pressure.

(The Treasury Department and First Republic Bank did not provide a comment to The Wall Street Journal, which broke the story, while Cohen called it "fake news.") "That is a critical document at this juncture of the case", said Avenatti.

Blakely countered by estimating that Avenatti had made 53 public appearances discussing Daniels' case. Among the items reportedly sought were records associated with Cohen's $130,000 payment to Daniels, which was routed through a DE shell company Cohen set up to facilitate the transaction.

Trump reportedly knocked the photos away, erupting at Cohen and telling him to "get that out of my face," a former campaign official who witnessed the incident told The Times. In Trump's view, says O'Brien, Cohen's work simply isn't up to the standard set by Cohn, whom Trump counted as a mentor. "You'll have to ask Michael". They are making the case that the Daniels case moving forward could hurt Cohen's Fifth Amendment rights. In her lawsuit, Daniels claimed that the hush agreement is invalid because Trump - under the alias "David Dennison" - never signed the contract.

The hearing Friday will be the first in a case that has dominated headlines for weeks, ever since Daniels filed suit in California seeking to invalidate the deal.

Cohen has filed papers alleging he could seek as much as $20 million from the actress for breaching the non-disclosure pact.

Sources who have seen the Cohen search warrant told CBS News that it "appeared to them that the real target of the raids was Mr. Trump".

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