After the FBI raid on his offices and home, Michael Cohen is going to face major pressure to flip on Trump and become a cooperating witness in exchange for a plea deal. Trump is worried about him doing so and those close to him are warning him to be prepared for it. A former longtime lawyer for him, Jay Goldberg, told the Wall Street Journal what he told Trump a few days ago:
Mr. Trump made the call seeking advice from Jay Goldberg, who represented Mr. Trump in the 1990s and early 2000s. 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. … “Michael will never stand up [for you]” if charged by the government, Mr. Goldberg said he cautioned the president. …
[H]e stressed to the president that Mr. Cohen could even agree to wear a wire and try to record conversations with Mr. Trump. “You have to be alert,” Mr. Goldberg said he told the president. “I don’t care what Michael says.”
That’s pretty definitive. And Politico reports that others close to Trump have been telling them the same thing. One of them said he told Trump, “When anybody is faced with spending a long time in jail, they start to re-evaluate their priorities, and cooperation can’t be ruled out.” Another attorney said it depends on how serious the punishment he faces.
“I think for two years or four years or five years, Michael Cohen would be a stand-up guy. I think he’d tell them go piss up a rope. But depending on dollars involved, which can be a big driver, or if they look at him and say it’s not two to four years, it’s 18 to 22, then how loyal is he?” said one defense lawyer who represents a senior Trump aide in Mueller’s Russia investigation.
“Is he two years loyal? Is he 10 years loyal? Is he 15 years loyal?” the attorney added. “That’s the currency. It’s not measured in inches. It’s measured in years.”
Cohen famously said he would take a bullet for Trump, but that’s an easy thing to say as a hypothetical. If he ends up facing 20 years in prison, it’s hard to believe he would do anything but cave. And if that happens, Trump is in serious trouble. Cohen knows where all the bodies are buried and undoubtedly has documentation for the funerals. He is the single most dangerous person to Trump at this point. If he flips, it’s over for Trump. And if he tries to pardon him to prevent that from happening, it just builds the obstruction of justice case even stronger (and it might not even help because many of the charges he potentially faces could be state charges as well).
The walls are closing in on Trump, slowly but surely. He’s stuck in the death star trash compactor, but R2D2 is not coming to rescue him.