Michael Cohen hunts for new lawyers in FBI probe - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Michael Cohen hunts for new lawyers in FBI probe

Posted: Updated:

By TOM HAYS
Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) - Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump's personal lawyer, is searching for a new legal team to represent him in an FBI investigation of his business dealings.

A person familiar with the matter told The Associated Press on Wednesday that Cohen's current legal team plans to stop handling the case and that Cohen has begun a hunt for new attorneys.

It wasn't immediately clear what prompted the change or who would take over. The person, who wasn't authorized to discuss the matter and spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity, also noted that Cohen has not yet held any discussions with prosecutors about potentially cooperating in the investigation.

Cohen has been represented since 2017 by Stephen Ryan, a Washington lawyer initially hired to prepare him for congressional testimony about alleged Russian interference in the presidential election.

After FBI agents raided Cohen's office in April, Ryan and his New York partner, Todd Harrison, went to court to try to keep investigators from seeing some of the confiscated files on the grounds that they were protected by attorney client privilege. The pair, along with lawyers for Trump, has been working for weeks to identify documents that should be withheld from prosecutors.

The legal teams were facing a deadline of the end of this week to get much of that work complete.

Neither Cohen, Ryan nor Harrison immediately responded to messages Wednesday.

Federal prosecutors in New York have publicly said they are investigating alleged fraud in Cohen's business dealings, but haven't disclosed details.

When agents searched Cohen's home, office and safety deposit box and seized his phones this spring, they sought a wide variety of information, including his involvement in arranging a secret $130,000 payment to the porn actress Stormy Daniels, who said she had a sexual tryst with Trump years ago.

Cohen has maintained that he's innocent of wrongdoing, and Trump has called the raid on his lawyer an assault on attorney client privilege.

The news that Cohen was making a switch in his legal representation was first reported by ABC News.

It isn't unusual for high-profile figures facing potential criminal charges to look for attorneys who have deep experience in the court where the case is expected to be tried, and a track record of negotiating with local prosecutors.

Daniels' lawyer, Michael Avenatti, who is suing him in an attempt to get the actress released from a confidentiality agreement, gloated over the news in a tweet.

"Not a good look and a disaster for Mr. Cohen and Mr. Trump," he said.

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • More NewsMore>>

  • Police: 'Empire' actor staged attack to 'promote his career'

    Police: 'Empire' actor staged attack to 'promote his career'

    Thursday, February 21 2019 11:16 AM EST2019-02-21 16:16:23 GMT
    (Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP, File). FILE - In this May 20, 2016 file photo, actor and singer Jussie Smollett attends the "Empire" FYC Event in Los Angeles. A police official says "Empire" actor is now considered a suspect "for filing a false police r...(Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP, File). FILE - In this May 20, 2016 file photo, actor and singer Jussie Smollett attends the "Empire" FYC Event in Los Angeles. A police official says "Empire" actor is now considered a suspect "for filing a false police r...
    (Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP, File). FILE - In this May 20, 2016 file photo, actor and singer Jussie Smollett attends the "Empire" FYC Event in Los Angeles. A police official says "Empire" actor is now considered a suspect "for filing a false police r...(Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP, File). FILE - In this May 20, 2016 file photo, actor and singer Jussie Smollett attends the "Empire" FYC Event in Los Angeles. A police official says "Empire" actor is now considered a suspect "for filing a false police r...
    'Empire' actor Jussie Smollett goes from victim to accused felon in less than a month.More >>
    'Empire' actor Jussie Smollett goes from victim to accused felon in less than a month.More >>
  • Ohio Governor's administration proposes gas tax increase

    Ohio Governor's administration proposes gas tax increase

    Thursday, February 21 2019 10:56 AM EST2019-02-21 15:56:27 GMT

    Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine's administration has recommended increasing the state gas tax by 18 cents a gallon beginning July 1 and annually adjusting that tax for inflation to maintain roads and bridges. 

    More >>

    Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine's administration has recommended increasing the state gas tax by 18 cents a gallon beginning July 1 and annually adjusting that tax for inflation to maintain roads and bridges. 

    More >>
  • I-79 open again after truck rolls over in Mercer County

    I-79 open again after truck rolls over in Mercer County

    Thursday, February 21 2019 10:30 AM EST2019-02-21 15:30:51 GMT
    PennDOT says Interstate 79 is open again after a tractor-trailer rolled over onInterstate 79 in Mercer County. Callers to 911 told dispatchers that the truck crashed between the Interstate 80 and Route 62 interchanges at around 8:40 am Thursday in Jackson Township. Both northbound lanes were closed until 9:30 am when one lane could be opened. Both lanes opened about a half hour later. Some fuel was leaking. The driver was out of the cab being checked out by EMT's. There is no wor...More >>
    PennDOT says Interstate 79 is open again after a tractor-trailer rolled over onInterstate 79 in Mercer County. Callers to 911 told dispatchers that the truck crashed between the Interstate 80 and Route 62 interchanges at around 8:40 am Thursday in Jackson Township. Both northbound lanes were closed until 9:30 am when one lane could be opened. Both lanes opened about a half hour later. Some fuel was leaking. The driver was out of the cab being checked out by EMT's. There is no wor...More >>
Powered by Frankly
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2019 WFMJ. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms