Chuck Rosenberg, a former U.S. attorney and chief of staff to James Comey. on Wednesday explained why federal investigators will end up with even more evidence against longtime Donald Trump lawyer Michael Cohen after the media company American Media Inc. (A.M.I.) agreed to settle with Karen McDougal, a Playboy model who says she had an affair with the president.
As the New York Times reports, after insisting it will fight a lawsuit brought my McDougal to free her from a contract arranged by Cohen, A.M.I. settled with the former Playboy Model.
“The terms of that payoff to her are also now part of the criminal investigation into the president’s lawyer by prosecutors in the Southern District of New York,” MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow reported Thursday.
She then connected the settlement to the FBI’s raid of Cohen last week.
“The FBI raided Mr. Cohen’s home and office,” Maddow said. “A.M.I/ said that it would fight Karen McDougal’s lawsuit up until today when they settled. This follows the raid. This follows threats that they would start to enter into discovery in this civil suit.”
Maddow asked if it’s merely a coincidence that A.M.I. settled so shortly after the FBI’s raid on Cohen.
“A bank gets robbed,” Rosenberg replied. “You find a guy down the street handing money and covered in dye pack ink. Coincidence? Maybe, probably not. It’s probably the bank robber. Is this a coincidence that they would dismiss or settle the suit right after Cohen’s office got raided? I don’t think so. I’m not a big believer in coincidences.”
From Mr. Cohen’s vantage point, from the folks at A.M.I., boy they just want this whole thing to go away,” Rosenberg explained. “They can’t do that. They can’t do that, they can’t make the federal prosecutors go away. But they can at least make this piece of it go away.”
Maddow noted that the “worst case scenario for the people involved,” had McDougal’s case gone to trial was “this prospect that with discovery in the civil lawsuit, that … could have resulted in the media company, A.M.I., having to hand over their own communication and documents that led to this agreement.”
“They’re going to get all the stuff, and probably more than would have come out in civil discovery,” Rosenberg replied. “So nothing about this, about the settlement, undercuts the work federal prosecutors will do. They get this stuff. They get to put people on the grand jury.”
“We have seen from indictments in the [special counsel Robert] Mueller case, for instance, how good federal prosecutors are of following the money,” Rosenberg said. “They will follow the money.”