In court, Michael Cohen, and Donald Trump, have been trying to have documents seized by warrant, expansively withheld under attorney-client privilege.
Last Friday, by contrast, Trump had a phone call with a former lawyer of his, Jay Goldberg, and Goldberg sat down for a two hour interview, in his apartment, on the Upper East Side, telling the Wall Street Journal all about what he had told the president in the call. No attorney-client privilege is visible here.
There is clearly some lawyer versus lawyer infighting going on.
Don’t let Michael Cohen near you, Jay Goldberg told Donald Trump. Cohen might turn on you. You can’t trust him. He might be wearing a wire.
One of President Donald Trump’s longtime legal advisers said he warned the president in a phone call Friday that Michael Cohen, Mr. Trump’s personal lawyer and close friend, would turn against the president and cooperate with federal prosecutors if faced with criminal charges.
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.
Cohen Would Turn Against President if Charged, Counselor Warned Trump, Joe Palazzolo, Michael Rothfeld and Michael Siconofi, Wall Street Journal
That Cohen guy. He’s a mobster. Don’t trust him, the lawyer who was once a prosecutor said.
Speaking from his experience as a prosecutor, he said even hardened organized-crime figures flip under pressure from the government. “The mob was broken by Sammy ‘The Bull’ Gravano caving in out of the prospect of a jail sentence,” Mr. Goldberg said.
Don’t talk to Mueller, and fire Rosenstein, and get someone from New York on your team, he said, as well.
Mr. Goldberg said he warned Mr. Trump in the Friday call against submitting to an interview with Mr. Mueller’s team, telling him “talking is a certain trap,” adding: “Don’t ever do it.”
Prompted by the president for his advice, he also said he recommended Mr. Trump fire Rod Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general who appointed Mr. Mueller.
Mr. Goldberg, who is 85 years old and has practiced law for more than five decades, said he suggested that Mr. Trump add a well-known New York lawyer to his legal team.
I find it jaw dropping to see advice, from a lawyer, to a president, about the severe legal trouble closing in on the president, and his lawyer, then just relayed in detail to the media in a comfortable two-hour chat, Trump administration standards or not.
And the White House, to my reading, is OK with all this. They confirmed the existence of the call, and a bit more detail.