Trump attorney Michael Cohen is reportedly getting ready to flip in the coming days -- and a former federal prosecutor speculates that the president's longtime "fixer" may have leaked this news himself.
Writing on Twitter, ex-federal prosecutor Renato Mariotti explains that Cohen is likely running out of resources to fight the FBI investigation into his business dealings, and he then speculates that Cohen may be leaking news of his potential impending cooperation with investigators as a way to get President Donald Trump's attention.
"By moving towards cooperation now, Cohen is signaling that he doesn't believe he will receive a pardon -- or he's trying to get one sooner rather than later," Mariotti writes.
Although Mariotti acknowledges that Trump could "derail all of this with a pardon of Cohen," the president's pardons are only recognized for federal crimes. This means that New York's state attorney general could pick up where the FBI left off and Trump would be powerless to stop them.
"If Trump pardoned Cohen for federal crimes, state prosecutors would have to use the evidence gathered by the FBI," he writes. "Regardless of how it plays out, Cohen's cooperation is a blow to the Trump team and could strengthen the case Mueller is building. How much it helps Mueller depends on what Cohen knows and how forthcoming he is."
10/ Trump could derail all of this with a pardon of Cohen. His recent talk of pardons appears to be an attempt to r… https://t.co/cdb87fWOga— Renato Mariotti (@Renato Mariotti)1528902622.0
12/ Regardless of how it plays out, Cohen’s cooperation is a blow to the Trump team and could strengthen the case M… https://t.co/t0fFMqOYZM— Renato Mariotti (@Renato Mariotti)1528902858.0
Vanity Fair's Gabe Sherman, who reported on Tuesday that Cohen expects to be arrested within a matter of days, backs up Mariotti's theory by reporting that Cohen is sending a "smoke signal" letting Trump know that he needs help.
Person close to Cohen says he hasn’t flipped yet, “he’s sending up a smoke signal to Trump: I need help.”— Gabriel Sherman (@Gabriel Sherman)1528905421.0