One of President Donald Trump’s longtime legal advisers said he warned the president in a phone call Friday that Michael Cohen, Mr. Trump’s personal lawyer and close friend, would turn against the president and cooperate with federal prosecutors if faced with criminal charges.
Mr. Trump made the call seeking advice from Jay Goldberg, who represented Mr. Trump in the 1990s and early 2000s. Mr. Goldberg said he cautioned the president not to trust Mr. Cohen. On a scale of 100 to 1, where 100 is fully protecting the president, Mr. Cohen “isn’t even a 1,” he said he told Mr. Trump.
Mr. Cohen is under criminal investigation for potential bank fraud and campaign-finance violations. FBI agents raided Mr. Cohen’s home, hotel and office last week, seeking documents about, among other things, a $130,000 payment he made in October 2016 to a former adult-film actress to prevent her from publicly discussing an alleged sexual encounter with Mr. Trump in 2006, The Wall Street Journal previously reported, citing people familiar with the matter.Messrs. Trump and Cohen deny such an encounter occurred.
Investigators are examining whether Mr. Cohen committed bank fraud in using a home-equity line of credit to pay the former porn star for her silence, as well as potential campaign-finance violations related to the payment, the people said.
“Michael will never stand up [for you]” if charged by the government, Mr. Goldberg said he cautioned the president.