Michael Cohen (AP/Seth Wenig)

Michael Cohen provided "critical information" to Mueller probe without cooperation agreement: Davis

Cohen spoke with investigators from the office of the special counsel multiple times, lawyer Lanny Davis confirms


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Shira Tarlo
September 21, 2018 3:08PM (UTC)

Michael Cohen, the lawyer who spent many years working as President Donald Trump's personal "fixer," has been interviewed by investigators from the office of special counsel Robert Mueller multiple times, attorney Lanny Davis confirmed Thursday evening.

Cohen's lawyer wrote on Twitter that his client provided "critical information" to Mueller's team, which is investigating Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and possible obstruction of justice by President Donald Trump. Davis added that Cohen did not have a cooperation agreement with Mueller's team, and his decision to speak with Mueller should be seen as an honest move.

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"Good for @michaelcohen212 in providing critical information to the #muellerinvestigation without a cooperation agreement," Davis wrote. "No one should question his honesty, veracity or loyalty to his #family and #country over @potus @realdonaldtrump."

Trump has repeatedly blasted Mueller's on-going investigation as a politically-motivated witch hunt and a "hoax," insisting there has been no collusion and no obstruction of justice.

Davis' comments came after ABC News first reported Thursday that Cohen had participated in interviews with Mueller's team, giving hours worth of interviews. Investigators reportedly focused on Trump's ties to Russia over the years, including his business dealings and any potential connections with Russia by the Trump campaign and how its surrogates could have potentially influenced the outcome of the 2016 presidential election. The news outlet also reported that investigators asked whether Trump or any of his associates had discussed the possibility of a pardon with Cohen.

The news of Cohen's meetings with federal investigators comes one week after Trump's former campaign chairman Paul Manafort reached a plea deal with Mueller's team in exchange for his cooperation. As ABC News notes, "Given Cohen's prolonged time spent in proximity to Trump, his family and the inner-workings of the Trump Organization, some insiders consider his cooperation with authorities to be one of most serious potential legal threats to confront the president."

Last month in New York, Cohen pleaded guilty to eight counts, including  tax evasion, bank fraud and two campaign finance violations in connection with alleged payments to women who have claimed affairs with Trump.

At a plea hearing in August, Cohen admitted to a judge in U.S. District Court that he arranged payments to adult film actress Stormy Daniels and former Playboy model Karen McDougal "in coordination with, and at the direction of a candidate for federal office," referring to then-candidate Trump, "for the principal purpose of influencing the election" seemingly in Trump's favor. Cohen had previously insisted that he made the payment to Daniels with his own money, on his own initiative without reimbursement and without the knowledge of Trump.

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Trump has long denied allegations of the affairs with Daniels and McDougal and has claimed he did not have any knowledge about the payments made by Cohen. On the day of Cohen's court appearance, Trump took to Twitter to unleash his rage against a man who had once been one of his closest associates.

"If anyone is looking for a good lawyer, I would strongly suggest that you don't retain the services of Michael Cohen!" the president wrote.

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Shira Tarlo

Contact Shira Tarlo at shira.tarlo@salon.com. Follow @shiratarlo.

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