Lawyers tied to Rudy Giuliani tried to keep Cohen from testifying against Trump

John Brian Silverio / Flickr Rudy Guiliani...
John Brian Silverio / Flickr

Before his public testimony before the House Oversight Committee, Michael Cohen was the subject of several threatening tweets by Donald Trump that went after his family. On television, Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani backed up these threats, making it clear that he found nothing wrong with Trump trying to intimidate a witness. Now ABC News is reporting that Giuliani or others connected to Trump may have made further efforts to learn what Cohen had to say and stop him from testifying against Trump in the first place.

In April of 2018, shortly after the FBI raid on Cohen’s home and office, Trump’s “fixer” was approached by a pair of lawyers who claimed to be working with Giuliani. ABC’s sources claim that those attorneys talked with Cohen on and off for two months. They argued that Cohen should stick with his joint-defense agreement with Trump rather than splitting with Trump and trying to work out any kind of agreement with the special counsel and U.S. attorneys. And they offered a “plan B,” according to which they would join Cohen’s legal team and continue to shuttle information between his attorneys and Trumps, even if the joint-defense plan became untenable.

Cohen appears to have expressed some doubt that the attorneys were actually part of Trump’s team. In response, one of the pair showed him a photo with Giuliani as proof they were working together. Giuliani has declined to comment, but in his refusal to talk he claimed “attorney-client privilege,” which would seem to confirm some sort of involvement.

During the conversations, Cohen was pressured to stand by Trump, accept the help of the attorneys, and ignore any offers from the Southern District of New York or special counsel. While there appears to have been no specific offer of a pardon if Cohen went along, the sources indicate that such an offer may have been “implicit.” Whether or not a pardon was part of the package, it’s clear that the intention of these unnamed attorneys was to influence Cohen, to restrict his testimony, and to protect Trump. At the very least, the offer appears to have included providing a pair of high-power attorneys to someone who was having trouble dealing with the cost of his legal team—if he covered for Trump.

If these attorneys were genuinely sent by Rudy Giuliani to influence Cohen’s legal decision in a way that benefited Trump, even if that decision placed Cohen at additional legal risk, there are potential issues of both attempting to influence a witness and legal malpractice.


Lanny Davis, who has served as Cohen’s representative though much of the period following the raid, has given a statement saying that Cohen “was open to the ongoing ‘dangling’ of a pardon” in the period in which these attorneys were talking to him. Whether this contradicts Cohen’s testimony that he never sought a pardon from Trump is going to be open to interpretation — and require a lot more detail on what was said at both ends.

One of the things that has become absolutely clear about Donald Trump is how much effort he puts into making sure that nothing is absolutely clear. It’s not just Trump’s constant distortions and lies that surround him in a blur of legal and fiscal uncertainty; Trump works hard to make sure his own fingerprints can be found as rarely as possible. Trump doesn’t do email. Trump doesn’t do texts. And, as Michael Cohen testified, Trump doesn’t directly give orders to violate the law—he just words things so that those around him know what he wants done.

The idea that Trump may have directed Giuliani to dispatch attorneys to Cohen—dangling in front of him a bolstered legal defense team, Trump’s eternal gratitude, and a potential pardon—seems perfectly in line with the way Trump is known to operate. And that’s only the good things these attorneys from Rudy may have put on Cohen’s plate. We don’t know about the threats. And with Trump, there are always threats.

Thank you to all who already support our work since we could not exist without your generosity. If you have not already, please consider supporting us on Patreon to ensure we can continue bringing you the best of independent journalism.

Leave a Comment

4 Comments on "Lawyers tied to Rudy Giuliani tried to keep Cohen from testifying against Trump"

avatar
  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Alfred Higgins
Guest
Alfred Higgins

Sleaze has a way of oozing into every crevice!

David
Guest
David

Intimidation, extortion, threats, obstruction of justice, witness tampering — all indictable offenses. Get these lowlifes, force them to testify, then deal with them to the full extent of the law. The enforcer as well.

Michael owens
Guest
Michael owens

Why why!!!, is he getting away with all these crimes???. Doesnt anyone have any guts

Rick Bevilacqua
Guest
Rick Bevilacqua
We are now officially a third-world country, or ‘shit-hole country’ to quote der Fuhrer. Every day there is a new revelation of just how far we have slid from the moral center that once defined America. It’s so pervasive that you can no longer trust that anything is on the up and up. And Manafort’s sentence now tells us that we can commit crimes against America or any other country, and in return get a nice 2-3 year vacation, all expenses paid, room and board, on the largesse of the federal govt. Just wear a shirt and tie, and white-face… Read more »