Michael Cohen has officially 'made a turn.'
If Trump was clinging to the belief that his longtime confidant and former attorney Michael Cohen might remain loyal to him, those hopes have now been dashed.
"Michael Cohen has made a turn," his attorney Lanny Davis told Axios on Wednesday. "This is on the record — Michael and I talked about it."
The "Michael Cohen that you knew — taking a bullet for Donald Trump, saying anything to defend him, being a good soldier.... That is over," Davis added.
By publicly releasing a secretly recorded conversation he had with Trump on the eve of the election about a hush-money payment, Cohen sent a clear signal that he now poses a major danger to his longtime boss.
Trump is clearly feeling the heat, lashing out this morning on Twitter.
"What kind of a lawyer would tape a client? So sad! Is this a first, never heard of it before?" he wrote. "Why was the tape so abruptly terminated (cut) while I was presumably saying positive things? I hear there are other clients and many reporters that are taped - can this be so? Too bad!"
Cohen has served as Trump’s longtime “fixer,” and is someone who likely has an extraordinary amount of incriminating information about Trump’s business dealings as well as his personal life.
The FBI seized 12 tapes in a raid on Cohen's office in April. Since then, the White House has faced the prospect of Cohen cooperating with special counsel Robert Mueller. Cohen is being investigated for possible bank fraud and campaign violations.
When informed about the existence of the Cohen tape last week, Trump said, “I can’t believe Michael would do this with me,” according to a CNN report.
The newly released tape appears to confirm that the Trump and his handlers have lied constantly about the hush-money story surrounding Playboy model Karen McDougal.
"We have no knowledge of any of this," Trump's then-spokeswoman Hope Hicks told the Wall Street Journal in November 2016, when news first broke that Trump's allies at the National Enquirer had paid McDougal $150,000 for the exclusive rights to her Trump affair story.
The publication then sat on the story, refusing to publish it. It's a practice known as "catch and kill," and it helped ensure Trump that embarrassing stories about him would not get out during the campaign.
For years, the McDougal deal had been a secret between Trump and his fixer. Now that Cohen has gone rogue, it may just be the tip of the iceberg.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.