According to some legal experts, the legal debacle surrounding President Donald Trump’s alleged affair with Stormy Daniels may shape up to be more than just a national embarrassment.
CNBC reported Monday that the Daniels saga — and Trump lawyer Michael Cohen’s role in it — may be of interest to special counsel Robert Mueller.
Though Cohen’s role in the Daniels scandal is not directly related to the special counsel’s probe, it could be used to cast doubt on his continued insistence that he did not collude with Russia.
“If the affair did happen,” CNBC’s report noted, “Trump and Cohen’s denials could be used by Mueller to cast into doubt the reliability of their claims about other areas of his investigation.”
Stephen Braga, a white-collar criminal defense professor at the University of Virginia’s law school, told CNBC that “this information would go generally to both of their credibilities and, more specifically, to both of their potential modus operandi for trying to control information that might be adverse to the president’s interests.”
He went on to say that Mueller “might be able to use the potential threat of prosecuting Cohen for actions related to Daniels as leverage to get him to cooperate in the ongoing probe of the Trump campaign.”
Mimi Rocah, former federal prosecutor and regular MSNBC contributor, said that “it may be that this doesn’t connect directly to Russia, but rather that Mueller sees Cohen as a potential cooperator.”
Because Cohen is named in the infamous “golden showers” dossier for allegedly meeting with Kremlin officials in a secret 2016 meeting in Prague, the report continued, his culpability in the Daniels lawsuit may be used to attain his testimony on that meeting.