Michael Cohen may no longer be on Trump's side

Michael Cohen may no longer be on Trump's side

Michael Cohen may no longer be on Trump's side

DONALD Trump's former personal lawyer, who is facing potential arrest in NY, has declared his first loyalty is to his family and the country, signalling a willingness to co-operate with prosecutors against the president.

"My wife, my daughter, and my son have my first loyalty and always will", Cohen told Stephanopoulos Saturday at a NY hotel in a 45-minute off-camera discussion.

"As an American, I repudiate Russia's or any other foreign government's attempt to interfere or meddle in our democratic process, and I would call on all Americans to do the same", Mr Cohen said. Federal Bureau of Investigation agents raided Cohen's home, office and hotel room in April as part of a probe into his business dealings.

Prosecutors in the case are likely to scrutinize Cohen's admission to setting up a limited liability company in 2016 to pay adult film star Stormy Daniels, who alleges she had an affair with Trump more than a decade ago and that she was paid to keep quiet about it.

Cohen on Sunday night tweeted a photo of himself with ABC News correspondent George Stephanopoulos, saying he had been interviewed off-camera.

And unlike his most prominent client and political patron, Trump, Cohen refused to characterize the separate investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election as a "witch hunt".

In his interview with ABC News, Cohen finally broke with Trump, saying he would "put family and country first" when considering what he should do regarding that criminal investigation.

"I will not be a punching bag as part of anyone's defense strategy", Cohen said when asked how he would react if Trump's legal team attempted to discredit him.

U.S. President Donald Trump's personal lawyer Michael Cohen exits his hotel in New York City, U.S., July 2, 2018.

Friends of Cohen's told CNN last month that he has signaled that he is "willing to give" investigators information on the President if that's what they are looking for.

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.

Avenatti has a second suit pending in Los Angeles federal court - but it may be removed to Superior Court - on behalf of Daniels against her former attorney, Keith Davidson, and Cohen, alleging the two men "colluded' and acted to "manipulate' her in order to benefit Trump".

As Stephanopoulos noted in the interview, that's a shift from previous comments Cohen has made about his allegiances.

"I respect the prosecutors".

She said that if Cohen wanted to he could simply cooperate with special counsel Robert Mueller's Russian Federation investigation without making public statements. "But for now, I can't comment further on advice of my counsel".

"Once I understand what charges might be filed against me, if any at all, I willdefer="defer" to my new counsel, Guy Petrillo, for guidance", Cohen told ABC News.

It's not clear what evidence, if any, Cohen may have to offer the government about others including Trump. "I respect the Federal Bureau of Investigation as an institution, as well as their agents", Cohen said, rejecting the notion of a 'witch hunt, ' Trump's favorite name to call the protracted 'Russiagate'. But he says that - in the ABC interview that he offered the equivalent of a handshake to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. I don't want him to shut up, but I'll reserve judgment until he puts up.

According to Stephanopoulos, Cohen also repeated his previous denials of personal involvement with Russian attempts to interfere in the US election.

"I want to regain my name and my reputation and my life back".

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