Michael Cohen’s new attorney says his client has made a “declaration of independence” from Donald Trump and no longer would take a bullet for the president in any investigation.
Attorney Lanny Davis told The Hill’s new morning show Rising with Krystal Ball and Buck Sexton that Cohen’s statements to ABC News’ George Stephanopolous in a July 2 interview were not a plea to get Trump to pay his legal bills but rather an act of separation.
“There’s a reason that he said at the very end of the interview with Mr. Stephanopoulos that he took these contrary positions to Mr. Trump, who he previously said he would take a bullet for, a comment that I believe he would not say today,” Davis said in an interview to air Wednesday morning at http://hill.tv/rising.
“The reason he said is, ‘I will not be a punching bag as part of somebody else’s defense strategy,'” Davis added. “This was a declaration of independence two days before July 4.”
Davis, who worked as President Clinton’s special counsel in the late 1990s, was hired by Cohen last week.
Cohen, who previously worked for Trump, told Stephanopoulos last week that his “first loyalty” lies with his family, not the president.
“My wife, my daughter and my son have my first loyalty and always will,” Cohen said. “I put family and country first.”
Cohen is currently under investigation in New York for a number of alleged financial crimes and he was recently raided for documents by FBI agents working for special counsel Robert Mueller, who is investigating Russia’s involvement in the 2016 presidential election.
Speculation has swirled around the possibility that Cohen could flip and cooperate with Mueller’s probe into alleged ties between the Trump campaign and Russia.