Will Michael Cohen Flip On His Boss?

Smart money says he sings like a canary.

Boom.

The Justice Department special counsel has evidence that Donald Trump’s personal lawyer and confidant, Michael Cohen, secretly made a late-summer trip to Prague during the 2016 presidential campaign, according to two sources familiar with the matter.

Confirmation of the trip would lend credence to a retired British spy’s report that Cohen strategized there with a powerful Kremlin figure about Russian meddling in the U.S. election….

Cohen has vehemently denied for months that he ever has been in Prague or colluded with Russia during the campaign. Neither he nor his lawyer responded to requests for comment for this story.

Pow.

The FBI seized recordings President Donald Trump’s attorney made of his conversations with a lawyer representing two women who had alleged affairs with Trump, a source familiar with the matter tells CNN.

The recordings could prove valuable to the government’s criminal investigation of Michael Cohen. The President’s personal attorney is under scrutiny in part for his role in seeking to suppress the alleged affair through a hush deal with porn star Stormy Daniels. The warrant sought information about that payment along with any information that connected Cohen with efforts to suppress disclosure of Trump’s alleged affair with Playboy model Karen McDougal.

President Trump’s personal attorney Michael Cohen has been under criminal investigation for months by federal prosecutors who empaneled a grand jury to probe his business dealings beyond his law practice, according to a new court filing.

Prosecutors revealed the new details about the Cohen investigation after his lawyer appeared in court seeking to temporarily bar prosecutors from reviewing materials that FBI agents seized in a search this week of Cohen’s office, home and hotel room.

Ouch.

Michael Cohen has never faced attorneys like the ones investigating him.

The federal prosecutors looking into Cohen, the longtime lawyer and fixer for Donald Trump, have deep and varied experience with financial crimes such as bank fraud, money laundering, and racketeering. On Friday, they submitted a court filing that gave the first glimpse into the investigation that exploded into the public eye with an FBI raid on Cohen’s office and home on Monday.

Because of attorney-client privilege issues, it is exceedingly rare for attorneys’ offices to be raided as Cohen’s were. There are multiple safeguards against prosecutorial abuse in this regard, such that any attorney to whom this happens is usually found (or pleads) guilty of conspiracy to commit a crime.

And most attorneys aren’t stupid enough to tape all their conversations with their clients.

Cohen has long been counted as one of Trump’s most ardent loyalists. But Cohen of all people would know that Trump doesn’t return loyalty. Beyond that, Trump can’t protect him. Much as Trump may have been trying to signal his intent to protect his associates using the Scooter Libby pardon, Cohen is being investigated for both federal and state crimes–and presidential pardon power doesn’t extend to state crimes.

And Cohen is potentially looking at doing a lot of time in the big house, assuming that judges allow the various recordings and pieces of evidence taken in the raids to be used against him. It’s unlikely that a future Republican president will intercede on his behalf. He’ll be left hanging in the wind.

Will Trump’s bulldog be willing to spend the rest of his life behind bars for his boss? That seems highly unlikely. Not even mob lawyers usually do that, and they have bosses far scarier than Donald Trump. President though he may be, he has nothing to bribe or threaten Cohen with.

The safe money says Cohen sings like a canary. If he does, it may spell the end of Trump–not just as president, but as a free man.

David Atkins

David Atkins is a writer, activist and research professional living in Santa Barbara. He is a contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal and president of The Pollux Group, a qualitative research firm.