Revealed: Emails show how Trump lawyers led Michael Cohen to turn on the president
Attempts by lawyers working at the behest of Donald Trump tried to keep former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen on the ex-president's side and were not only unsuccessful but helped to drive him into the arms of federal investigators according to a cache of emails analyzed by the Daily Beast.
According to a report from the Beast's Jose Pagliery, Donald Trump's choice to elevate former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani was a major factor in Cohen's decision to come clean about the alleged hush money payoff to adult film star Stormy Daniels which is now at the center of a possible Trump indictment coming from a Manhattan grand jury.
As the report notes, attorney Robert Costello, who testified against Cohen earlier this week, took the lead in encouraging Cohen to stick with Trump but his efforts to ensure the former Trump fixer that he would be protected flopped despite a flurry of encouraging messages.
As Pagliery wrote, "The emails show an attempt to establish a backchannel running from Cohen—who was suddenly being investigated by the feds over the $130,000 payment to adult film star Stormy Daniels—all the way to then-President Trump. Costello had long been associated with Trump acolyte Rudy Giuliani, so an opportunity presented itself to establish a Cohen-Costello-Giuliani-Trump chain."
After meeting with Cohen, the report states "Costello kicked right into action, devising a plan to keep Cohen safe—one that relied on a presidential pardon from Trump, internal emails at the firm show," before adding, "That option seemed all the more promising on April 19, when Giuliani announced he was joining Trump’s legal team to try to shut down the special counsel probe that led prosecutors to Cohen. It was a position of direct influence with the president himself."
However, Cohen lost faith in the promises from Trump's legal team after a Giuliani appearance on Fox News with host Sean Hannity went sideways, with Giuliani blurting that the Daniels' payment was "Funneled through a law firm, and the president repaid it."
That, in turn, set off alarms, with Costello writing to one of his law partners, "On Saturday, Michael was claiming that he… was convinced that Rudy is screwing things up… I asked him if he would be coming to our office this week and he said definitely, but I do not know if I believe him. I am beginning to wonder if he really has the money to pay us.”
The Beast report adds, "When journalists began speculating whether Trump's one-time fixer was about to be arrested, the Cohen-Costello-Giuiani-Trump rope started to fray. On the morning of June 14, Costello texted Giuliani a warning: 'He is very agitated and lashing out. Basically he needs a little loving and respect booster. He is not thinking clearly because he feels abandoned. I am very uncertain about our relationship with him.'"
"When Cohen hired Lanny Davis—a Democratic operative who also served as Bill Clinton's lawyer—it became clear to everyone involved in this backchannel ploy that the party was over. Costello texted Giuliani the news, expressing with certainty that Cohen couldn't possibly afford such a high-powered lawyer on his own," the report states.
You can read more here.
- Michael Cohen reveals the weird truth about Trump's trading cards ›
- Michael Cohen's testimony before Congress would be helpful in prosecuting Trump: legal expert ›
- 'Star witness' Michael Cohen will testify before grand jury against Trump as indictment seems likely ›
- The 'fatal blow' to Trump's future may come from his own lawyers: legal analyst - Alternet.org ›
- 'Sprawling' indictment: Trump team’s planned defense may be worthless — here’s why - Alternet.org ›