Lie down with dogs, wake up with fleas is an old adage that even President Trump should pay attention to. That’s the basic message one of Trump’s longtime legal advisers gave to the president regarding his personal attorney and “fixer” Michael Cohen, according to an article in The Wall Street Journal today.
Trump called former prosecutor Jay Goldberg, who represented him in the 1990s and early-aughts on divorce and real estate issues, to seek advice regarding his current legal predicaments. The advice he received may not have exactly what the president wanted to hear, but may be music to the public’s ears.
Goldberg told Trump that if Michael Cohen is facing criminal charges, he will surely betray the president and cooperate with federal prosecutors in the probe of the president and the numerous investigations about him and his administration.
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According to The Journal:
“Mr. Goldberg said he cautioned the president not to trust Mr. Cohen. On a scale of 100 to 1, where 100 is fully protecting the president, Mr. Cohen ‘isn’t even a 1,’ he said he told Mr. Trump.”
Goldberg cautioned the president that the criminal investigation of his personal attorney for potential bank fraud and violations of campaign finance regulations is more dangerous to him than the Mueller investigation at this point.
With the volume of material seized by the FBI in their raids on Cohen’s offices and residences, any improprieties the agency finds can be used to pressure Cohen to cooperate with the feds in their investigation of Trump and his campaign, Goldberg pointed out to the president, warning that Cohen may be asked to wear a wire to record conversations with Trump.
“You have to be alert,” Mr. Goldberg said he told the president. “I don’t care what Michael says.”
Goldberg told the Wall Street Journal that he also advised the president to fire Mueller’s boss Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and to avoid being interviewed by Special Counsel Robert Mueller.
“Talking is a certain trap,” Goldberg told Trump, adding “Don’t ever do it.”
The 85-year-old former prosecutor also recommended that the president add Frederick Hafetz, a former chief of the criminal division of the Manhattan U.S. attorney’s office, to his legal team. According to the newspaper, however, Hafetz has said that he has no interest in taking on that Sisyphean task.
With the president now potentially wary of Cohen who has sworn his undying loyalty to his boss, it will be interesting to see if the Trump Organization fixer will maintain the code of omerta for his longtime employer or cave in to save his own skin.
One thing is certain, the next few months will be anything but boring.
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