On Tuesday, recently-appointed Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani said the President’s former lawyer, Michael Cohen, has nothing to offer investigators which would implicate the Command-in-Chief.
Speaking to HuffPost, the two-term mayor of New York City insisted, “He possesses no incriminating information. … It’s of no consequence to the President.”
Giuliani added that he empathizes with Cohen as well as former Trump campaign head Paul Manafort, due to “storm trooper tactics” implemented by the FBI and federal prosecutors in their application of search warrants.
Special counsel Robert Mueller, who leads the inquiry into possible electoral collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, has accused Manafort of money laundering, in addition to making false statements.
Cohen is being investigated by New York’s Southern District, where Giuliani was once the U.S. attorney.
Cohen is a key figure in the examination of how porn star Stormy Daniels was given $130,000 to keep private an affair she and Trump shared in 2006. Daniels was compensated only days prior to the 2016 election, yet the sum was not reported by Cohen or Trump as a campaign expense.
Subsequent to questioning, Cohen has claimed he paid Daniels with his own money. Trump professes no knowledge of how the funds were sourced, deferring to Cohen as the person who, as his legal representative at the time, would know.
Giuliani told Fox News last week that Trump repaid Cohen, possibly unaware of the reason for the reimbursement, and therefore the transaction was not a violation of campaign finance regulations.
Daniels’s attorney disagrees with Giuliani’s assessment of Cohen concerning damaging information. Michael Avenatti asserted to HuffPost, “Michael Cohen served as the personal attorney for Donald Trump for upwards of 12 years. The idea that nothing improper that he did in that time period could blow back on Mr. Trump is absurd.”
While the Daniels probe has no end in sight, Giuliani expressed hope the look into Russian collusion will end by May 17. “We need some sort of deadline for this. … It’s hurting the country.”