Transcript for Ex-Trump lawyer Cohen likely to cooperate: Sources
on Earth. Michael Cohen, ABC news learned president trump's longtime personal attorney is likely to cooperate with federal investigators. Our chief justice correspondent Pierre Thomas has more on that from Washington. Good morning, Pierre. Reporter: Good morning. Michael Cohen's relationship with the president is being put to the test. There are indications this morning that he's considering cooperating with federal investigators. Have you talked to Mr. Trump about a pardon? Reporter: He's under incredible pressure. In April FBI agents raided Michael Cohen's apartment, office and hotel room seizing documents and more than a dozen phones and electronic devices and now sources telling ABC news Cohen is likely to cooperate with authorities. And this morning, word he's parting ways with his own attorneys. Among the reason, a source says concern over payment of legal fees. President trump livid over Cohen becoming a target. I just heard that they broke into the office of one of my personal attorneys, a good man, and it's a disgraceful situation. Reporter: The U.S. Attorney for the southern district of new York is investigating Cohen's personal business dealings including his role in facilitating a hush payment to stormy Daniels who claims she had an affair with president trump. Why did Michael Cohen make it if there was no truth to her allegations? You have to ask Michael Cohen. Michael's my attorney and you'll have to ask Michael. Reporter: The U.S. Attorney's office digs into Cohen's close relationship with president trump -- I will do anything to protect Mr. Trump. Reporter: Special counsel Robert Mueller has questions too. Sources tell ABC news he wants to know what the president knew about Cohen's efforts relating to Russian real estate investments. Cohen has not been charged with any crime. But Cohen is clearly a target and could face charges based on the prosecutor's filings in the case so far and faces a prospect of investigators being able to go through millions of his business records, emails and other document, Amy. Pierre, we're also expecting that much anticipated inspector general report of the justice department looking at how top officials handled the controversial Hillary Clinton email investigation during the 2016 election. Reporter: Amy, that's right. We're expecting that report to be released this afternoon. It will lay out the mistakes and miscues of the justice department during the final stages of the 2016 campaign and criticizes James Comey for his handling of the Clinton email investigation as well as former attorney general Loretta lynch. Amy. We appreciate it. Thank you. Let's bring in ABC news senior legal correspondent and analyst sunny Hostin, Chris Christie, a former federal prosecutor. If you are president trump right now, how concerned are you about Michael Cohen cooperating with investigators? I think this is one step at a time, right? I think what's much more likely to have happened than why he may be changing lawyers he can't pay them anymore. Lawyers usually take off when the check doesn't come in. And I think given 3 million documents being reviewed from a firm like Mcdermott, will and Emory with high rates that's my guess. If I were the president I would take a deep breath, not worry about that and let this kind of progress. Let me ask you this, we know it's a separate case, of course, but can any of the info or evidence that's uncovered in this situation be used by Mueller in his Russia investigation? Sure. You know, that's the possession of the federal government, the FBI and federal prosecutors in the justice department and so it's not like there is any wall between the two. Remember, the Cohen investigation has been handed off to the southern district of New York here in Manhattan. The Mueller investigation is separate. For this to get back to Mueller, they're going to have to go through the deputy attorney general through rod Rosenstein to get permission to have it go back to Mueller so there are a lot of steps to happen here and I think we might be getting ahead of ourselves on this, remember one last thing, Amy, to cooperate you need something to cooperate with. You need to have some information on somebody they're interested in that's corroboratable and I don't know that he does. Let me bring you in, sunny. Why do you think Michael Cohen is preparing to cooperate with investigators now? Look, I think that the threat of criminal prosecution can be very, very persuasive, I know I used that when I was a federal prosecutor. Chris, I'm sure you used it as well. It's persuasive in flipping Michael Flynn and Rick Gates and George papadopoulos and I think Cohen thought he would be protected by the attorney/client privilege and so when you have over 3 million documents that were seized during this FBI raid of his home, of his hotel room, you know, 300,000 of them have now been determined to be discoverable, to be able to be used. I think when you are looking at that kind of paper trail, you have every incentive to cooperate. Governor Christie, I know you speak with the white house and with president trump often. What's the level of anxiety about this right now there. I think it's a lot less than even when the radio kurred a while ago. I think that they're much more focused on a lot of other things, North Korea and the other things going on with the president right now so I don't detect a high level of anxiety T you have to remember Michael Cohen's charge as a lawyer in the trump organization as I understood it was fairly limited. Wasn't like he was involved deeply in the campaign and so there's a separation there. He was a business -- He was his personal attorney, though. He was known as his fixer, Chris. That doesn't make a lot of since. I mean he had three clients one of which was Donald Trump. I know you've read that in the newspaper but I experienced it and what I'm telling you is from my experience his role was rather limited to the business side of Donald Trump's operation and not to the political side. Didn't he have business in Russia as well. I don't know. We'll all find that out. What I know the media gets breathless at times, everybody, every time there is the smallest development whether or not there are facts that back that up. My only point is this, nobody likes the idea that their lawyer would be cooperating with the federal government if that's where this goes. No one would be happy about that. But on the other hand, we don't even know what he's got to say yet. And probably neither do the prosecutors. So, you know, we should relax and remember Michael Cohen's role was a narrow one on the business side. This was not -- don mcgahn want the one who ran what was going on in the campaign. I completely disagree, of course. If you have three clients one of which is Donald Trump and you are being investigated for possible bank fraud or wire fraud or this hush payment that was possibly made or definitely made to stormy Daniels, I think the two are inextricably tied so an investigation into Michael Cohen certainly could be an investigation into -- And it could be an investigation into anything else including his efforts with his own real estate investments and more likely he's getting investigated himself than any information that involves the president. If that's true why he thought the attorney/client privilege would protect him, the bottom line is he is in the business of being an attorney for three clients. We are certainly willing to see what he is going to share with investigators soon enough. Thank you. To the immigration battle on
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