Here’s the Deal: Michael Cohen’s plea deal, explained

  • There’s something interesting here. In court documents, Cohen said he worked with the campaign to keep two women who alleged Trump affairs quiet. But those documents do not say this was at the direction of the president. That charge instead came verbally from Cohen in open court Tuesday. The Associated Press wrote that Cohen told the judge that some questionable payments were “in coordination and at the direction of a candidate for federal office.”  This leads us to ask more questions, including: Why didn’t prosecutors put this accusation in writing?

  • Cohen may not have been doing any legal work for Trump after he became president.  And that could affect attorney-client privilege. Digest this rare sentence, near the top of the document, “In or about January 2017, Cohen … began holding himself out as ‘personal attorney’ to Individual-1, who at that point had become the President of the United States.”  

Set aside the highly unusual attempt at making the president of the United States anonymous.

Here, prosecutors are careful to say that Cohen merely was claiming to be an attorney for Trump, as opposed to actually doing legal work. This tells us there may be a battle over whether the president could invoke attorney-client privilege with Cohen.