On Tuesday, President Trump's personal lawyer Michael Cohen gave his first comments about the FBI raids on Monday to his boss' archnemesis, CNN. In a phone call with CNN's Don Lemon, Cohen said that he'd be lying if he didn't admit that he was worried and deeply "upset" by the situation. After the events on Monday, Cohen said he wishes he would have handled the situation with Stormy Daniels differently. He also surprised Lemon by making a point of praising the FBI agents for their treatment of him.
On Monday, Cohen's offices and home were raided by the FBI based in part on evidence turned over by Special Counsel Robert Mueller. The case against Cohen is reportedly unrelated to the Russia investigation, which is why Mueller turned it over the Justice Department. According to The Washington Post, Cohen is "under federal investigation for possible bank fraud, wire fraud and campaign finance violations, according to three people with knowledge of the case."
"I am unhappy to have my personal residence and office raided," Cohen told Lemon on Tuesday. "But I will tell you that members of the FBI that conducted the search and seizure were all extremely professional, courteous and respectful. And I thanked them at the conclusion."
When Lemon asked if he was "worried" about the investigation, Cohen said yes.
"I would be lying to you if I told that I am not. Do I need this in my life? No. Do I want to be involved in this? No," he said, adding that the raid was "upsetting to say the least."
Lemon specifically addressed the issue of campaign finance violations, which are believed to be related to the Stormy Daniels nondisclosure agreement for which Cohen paid her $130,000 in 2016.
Lemon noted that Cohen said he believes he did nothing illegal in his handling of the NDA with Daniels, but said that after the raids on Monday — particularly in seeing the impact the situation had on his family — he would have handled the situation differently.
Cohen wasn't willing to offer Lemon any more details about the raids, citing legal concerns.
Those who believe the deep state is trying to find a way to take Trump down by any means possible frame the investigation of Cohen as a tool to "turn" him against his boss. Meanwhile, those who believe Trump orchestrated the payment to Daniels suggest that Cohen has been set up to be the "fall guy." Cohen's clear admission that he has been deeply rattled by the situation is causing a stir on both sides of the issue. Will Cohen cave and flip on Trump? Will he be willing to work with the feds to provide incriminating or embarrassing evidence?
The $130,000 question, at least concerning the possible campaign violation charge, is did Cohen and Trump violate the law? Both Cohen and Trump maintain that Trump didn't know anything about the $130,000 payment to Daniels for her signing of an NDA, which contained pseudonyms for both Trump and Daniels, and was funneled through an LLC. "This could make Cohen’s payment to Daniels an in-kind contribution to the Trump campaign in violation of campaign finance law," notes Daily Wire Editor-in-Chief Ben Shapiro. "Furthermore, if Trump knew about it, that could constitute criminal conspiracy to violate campaign finance law."
Since reports of the raid first broke, Trump has been hammering the Mueller team and the FBI for the "witch hunt" that now threatens to violate the attorney-client privilege.The question of attorney-client privilege hinges on whether or not the two conspired to violate the law. If they did, the "crime-fraud exception" overrides attorney-client privilege. If not, as Fox News host Laura Ingraham put it, this is going to get "really ugly."