The Slatest

Facing a Legal Storm, Trump Calls His Old Lawyer Buddy, Who Warns That Michael Cohen Will Almost Certainly Flip

President Trump on the phone in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, DC, on June 27, 2017.
AFP Contributor/Getty Images

Michael Cohen is in hot water. Trump’s longtime personal lawyer, henchman, and fixer had his office, house, and hotel room raided and files seized by federal investigators as part of a federal fraud investigation, among potential other strands of inquiry. As the burier of (proverbial) bodies, the breaker of kneecaps, the man with the bag in Trump world, this is a panic-inducing development for the president.

So what does Trump do? Since he doesn’t have that many actual lawyers on his side anymore, he starts making calls to old friends. Friends like 85-year-old lawyer Jay Goldberg, who represented Trump in divorce and real estate matters back in the go-go 1990s and early 2000s when Trump was flush with both. In what feels like a strangely revealing—and very Trump—sequence of events, Trump got Goldberg on the horn Friday for a chat about the pickle he finds himself in and then Goldberg turned around and spilled, on the record, to the Wall Street Journal about the conversation, which produced this piece of delicious castle intrigue, if the castle were inhabited by a mafia crime family.

What did Goldberg have to say? Keep an eye on Cohen; he’s a rat. From the WSJ:

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.

Whoa! Now we’re talking. And then?

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…. In the call, Mr. Goldberg [-] said he told the president Mr. Cohen could even agree to wear a wire and try to record conversations with Mr. Trump. “You have to be alert,” Mr. Goldberg said he told the president. “I don’t care what Michael says.”

Not even a one! Can’t wait for the next episode.