An attorney for Stormy Daniels, the adult film actress suing Donald Trump, has predicted the president’s longtime attorney will be indicted in the next 90 days.
“From what I’ve heard and from what I’ve seen, there’s no question that Michael Cohen’s going to be charged,” attorney Michael Avenatti told MSNBC’s Morning Joe. “It’s only a question of when. And I think it’s going to be in the next 90 days.”
His prediction came just over a week after FBI agents raided the offices of Mr Cohen, who has served as Mr Trump’s personal “fixer” for more than a decade. Agents were seeking information on payments to Ms Daniels and one other woman, among other things, according to the New York Times.
Mr Avenatti, who is representing Ms Daniels in her suits against Mr Trump and Mr Cohen, called the information obtained in the raid “significant,” and said the investigation into Mr Cohen had taken on an “enormous amount of momentum” in recent days.
He also predicted that Mr Cohen would choose to give up information on Mr Trump, rather than face a full jail sentence. Egged on by host Joe Scarborough, the attorney claimed Mr Trump had “stiff armed” Mr Cohen by leaving him behind in New York after he was elected.
“Based on my experience with white collar criminal investigations and prosecutions, the likelihood of [Mr Cohen] not rolling over is very, very slim,” Mr Avenatti said.
He added: “You think Michael Cohen’s wife is going to advise him to take a 20-year bullet for the president? I doubt it.”
Representatives for Mr Cohen did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Mr Cohen’s attorney, Stephen Ryan, has previously called the raid “completely inappropriate and unnecessary”.
“It resulted in the unnecessary seizure of protected attorney-client communications between a lawyer and his clients,” Mr Ryan told USA Today. “These government tactics are also wrong because Mr Cohen has cooperated completely with all government entities, including providing thousands of non-privileged documents to the Congress and sitting for depositions under oath.”
Mr Cohen has admitted to paying Ms Daniels $130,000 out of his own pocket, though he disputes the actress’ account that the payment was “hush money” to keep her silent about an affair with Mr Trump. The president has denied the affair occurred.
Ms Daniels – real name Stephanie Clifford – attended Mr Cohen’s court hearing on Monday, where the attorney argued that the documents seized in the raid should be protected by attorney-client privilege. A federal judge denied his request to designate which documents should be available to investigators, according to the Associated Press.
Speaking to reporters outside the courtroom, Ms Daniels gave an ominous statement in which she claimed Mr Cohen “never thought that the little man, or especially women – and even more, women like me – mattered”.
“My attorney and I are committed to making sure that everyone finds out the truth and the facts of what happened,” she said, “and I give my word that we will not rest until that happens.”