President Trump’s personal lawyer and “fixer” Michael Cohen signaled Wednesday he’ll claim his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination when a lawsuit filed by adult film star Stephanie Clifford—also known as Stormy Daniels—heads to trial. The president has previously criticized people for taking the Fifth. This is Donald Trump, speaking in September 2016.
Donald Trump: “She has people taking the Fifth Amendment. Four people plus the guy who illegally did the server. You know, he put in the illegal server. So there are five people taking the Fifth Amendment. Like you see on the mob, right? You see the mob takes the Fifth. If you’re innocent, why are you taking the Fifth Amendment?”
By pleading the Fifth, Cohen can avoid being deposed and being forced to reveal information about hush-money payments paid to Stormy Daniels and to Karen McDougal—another woman President Trump is alleged to have had an affair with. The payments are a central focus of a criminal probe launched by New York prosecutors against Cohen, which became public after FBI agents raided Cohen’s home, offices and hotel room earlier this month. Court papers filed Wednesday show President Trump has offered to personally review documents seized by the FBI in that raid, in Trump’s latest bid to claim attorney-client privilege in order to prevent prosecutors from reading over the materials.