Ex-White House ethics attorney explains how Trump's 'stupid' call to attorney Cohen could blow up in president's face
Former chief ethics attorney for George W. Bush, Richard Painter (Photo: Screen capture)

Appearing early Saturday morning on CNN's New Day, former chief White House ethics lawyer Richard Painter said President Donald Trump may have put himself in more legal peril by calling his personal attorney, Michael Cohen, to chat after the attorney's home and office was raided by the FBI.


Speaking with CNN host Victor Blackwell, Richard Painter said it made no sense for Trump to contact Cohen -- and that the FBI could compel Cohen to tell them what was said.

"A source tells CNN that President Trump called Micheal Cohen just to check in," Blackwell explained. "We know that he's been under investigation for months and both men are involved in investigations. Clearly this is an ill-advised call. what are the potential problems about the phone call?"

"Well, unless the president was calling Michael Cohen for purposes of seeking legal advice, the call is not privileged meaning the FBI, the prosecutors could ask Michael Cohen about that call," Painter explained. "They could get evidence from Michael Cohen about what happened on that call and could ask President Trump. I have no idea why anyone in their right mind would call up a lawyer to seek legal advice from a lawyer days after the FBI raided the lawyer's office."

"It's amazing that President Trump didn't have the good judgment to let it alone, to have nothing to do with Michael Cohen until this is sorted out," he added. "It doesn't matter this is not about legal advice. This is an old friend calling to say things will get better? Well, he can do that, but the FBI may find out what was said in that call. Michael Cohen could cut a plea deal with the prosecutors and tell them what happened."

"The point is, it's not a privileged call when the president just is calling to say, 'well, I'm sorry the FBI raided your office, and I'll provide bail money or a pardon," Painter elaborated. "I have no idea why he made the call. It's stupid."

Watch the video below via CNN: