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Trump's 'Fix-It Guy' May Be in Real Trouble

A look at the potential legal trouble for Michael Cohen, as well as the president
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 10, 2018 1:30 PM CDT

(Newser) – A quick look at stories about Michael Cohen, the president's personal attorney, reveals a clear theme: The 51-year-old has long prided himself on being Donald Trump's No. 1 troubleshooter. "I am the fix-it guy," he once told the Wall Street Journal, which also collects a quote from Trump ally Anthony Scaramucci: “If I had a problem, someone broke into the house, or drunk driving, he would be there in a minute," he says of Cohen. He's the "3am break-the-glass call" for about 150 people, Scaramucci adds. Cohen, of course, is now in the spotlight after the FBI raided his office looking for documents related to his payment to porn star Stormy Daniels in regard to her alleged affair with Trump. That could lead to charges of campaign finance fraud or bank fraud. Related coverage:

  • The hunt: FBI agents were looking for records about payments made to two women who claim to have had affairs with Trump, reports the New York Times. (The two are Daniels and Karen McDougal.) The Times also notes that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, whom Trump once considered firing, personally signed off on the raid.
  • Fixer theme: Cohen once described his role as a "fixer" thusly: “It means that if somebody does something Mr. Trump doesn’t like, I do everything in my power to resolve it to Mr. Trump’s benefit," he said, per the Washington Post. "If you do something wrong, I’m going to come at you, grab you by the neck and I’m not going to let you go until I’m finished.”

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  • Their history: The Post and Journal stories explore the Long Island native's history with Trump. He bought his first property in a Trump building in 2001, and bought more over the years. Trump got to know him through the purchases and made him an executive VP of the Trump Organization in 2007. Cohen's key asset is one prized by Trump: loyalty.
  • Attorney-client privilege: Trump complained that the raid on Cohen's office violates attorney-client privilege, but Ken White writes in a New York Times op-ed that "if a client is using a lawyer’s services for the purpose of engaging in crime or fraud, there is no privilege." It speaks to how serious the development is, he adds. In order to get such a search warrant, the feds would have needed to present a compelling case that they'd find something.
  • More on that: Cohen "seemed to relish" mixing his roles as Trump's friend, attorney, and business associate, writes Jonathan Turley at the Hill. By doing so, he might have "tossed away any protections for his client." Turley thinks Mueller is setting a "wolf pit trap" for Trump: If the president acts aggressively to protect Cohen, he might further endanger himself.
  • Face to face: After the raid, Trump is now "less inclined" to agree to an interview with Mueller's team, sources close to the president tell ABC News.
(Read more Michael Cohen stories.)

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