Donald J. Trump might be wishing that his Singapore Summit with Kim Jong-Un had lasted longer and been planned for multiple days. Not long after Trump landed back from the summit, ABC News reported that the law firm that currently represents Michael Cohen, personal lawyer and fixer to Trump for many years, will not represent him going forward.
They currently are scrambling to complete their privilege review of the millions of documents that were seized by federal agents when they raided Cohen’s residences and office in April 2018. Judge Kimba Wood set a deadline of June 15 for completion of their review. This latest news does not bode well for Trump. To date, a very small (less than 1%) of documents reviewed have been designated as privileged or highly sensitive, meaning that millions of documents and records will be subject to further review by the Southern District of New York.
Cohen has been saying that he expects to be arrested any day now, and sources in the ABC News report are indicating that “Cohen, now with no legal representation, is likely to cooperate with federal prosecutors in New York.” With Cohen cooperating, if that is how he proceeds, his ability to provide information and extremely personal details of what Trump, family and friends have been up to for more than a decade “will likely hit the White House, family members, staffers and counsels hard.”
The federal prosecutors in the Southern District of New York likely will be ready to work with Cohen immediately once he is no longer represented by counsel, and Trump might be wishing he had something big on the summit front or other fronts to distract us from what is continuing to look bad for him. In addition, now that he has attended the summit, for which he indicated he did not need much time to prepare because of his instinct and because he had prepared for this all of his life, his arguments against being subpoenaed are becoming weaker when he uses the time and energy of the job of president to argue he cannot devote time to the Russia investigation.
Daniel Cotter is a lawyer writing and teaching about SCOTUS, and married father of two boys living in Chicago, Illinois.