"Don't worry, I'm the president": Cohen says Trump assured him AG was "in his pocket" after raid

Cohen testified that Trump vowed that then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions would help with hush-money money case

By Marina Villeneuve

Staff Reporter

Published May 14, 2024 12:10PM (EDT)

Former Attorney General Jeff Sessions (JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images)
Former Attorney General Jeff Sessions (JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images)

It was April 2018, and the FBI had just raised the home of former Trump fixer Michael Cohen.

The raid came at a time of federal scrutiny over Cohen — including the legality of Cohen's hush money payments on behalf of then-President Donald Trump, and whether they constituted an illegal campaign contribution.

At the time, The New York Times reported that the FBI had seized documents related to payments to adult film star and director Stormy Daniels.

On Tuesday on the witness stand, Cohen testified that he was freaking out.

He at one point described his emotional state: "Destroyed. Nervous. Concerned."

Cohen said he got a reassuring call from Trump: "Don't worry, I'm the president of the United States, there's nothing here. Stay tough. You'll be okay."

Cohen said he "wanted reassurance that the President, Mr. Trump, had my back."

"I felt reassured because I had the president of the United States protecting me," Cohen said. "His justice department should go nowhere and so I felt reassured and I remained in the camp."

Cohen said Trump assured him that then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions was "in his pocket."

Cohen said he told National Enquirer publisher David Pecker not to worry about any FEC probe into the payment to Daniels.

"I told him... do not worry, we have this thing under control, it's taken care of," Cohen said.

In 2018, watchdog group Common Cause filed a complaint claiming the payment was an “in-kind contribution” to Trump’s campaign. But the FEC failed to support their general counsel’s recommendation to investigate amid partisan deadlock in 2021.

Cohen in 2018 pleaded guilty in Manhattan federal court to eight counts that included one count of causing an unlawful campaign contribution, and another count of an excessive campaign contribution, in connection with the payment to Daniels.

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