Trump-Russia collusion investigations

Michael Cohen makes his split with Donald Trump Twitter-official

Cohen dropped the description ‘personal attorney to President Donald J. Trump’ from his Twitter bio, amid speculation he will flip

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 05 July, 2018, 1:34pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 05 July, 2018, 8:11pm

It’s not official until it’s on social media.

Michael Cohen on Wednesday dropped the description “personal attorney to President Donald J. Trump” from his Twitter bio as the divide between them continues to widen.

The attorney, who previously said he was “the guy who would take a bullet for Trump,” worked with him for more than a decade.

The presidential purge on Twitter, however, was not accompanied by a scrub of his LinkedIn page, which still has the Trump Organisation listed as his current employer.

Their long-time relationship has been under increased scrutiny since the FBI raided Cohen’s home, Manhattan office and hotel room in April. Federal agents seized more than a dozen electronic devices and several boxes of documents for the criminal investigation into his personal financial dealings – including a US$130,000 payment he made to porn star Stormy Daniels ahead of the presidential election.

Trump’s ex-lawyer admitted to facilitating the hush money payment to shut down rumours of a decade-old affair between Trump and the adult actress.

The president weighed in on the raid, tweeting at the time that “most people will flip if the government lets them out of trouble, even if that means lying or making up stories. Sorry I don’t see Michael doing that.”

In the weeks since, Trump has slowly distanced himself from his long-time friend, confirming they were no longer working together last month.

Cohen initially said he would stick by Trump but has since hinted at a willingness to cooperate with prosecutors in the Southern District of New York and with special counsel Robert Mueller – whether it lands his ex-boss in hot water or not.

In his first interview since the FBI raids, Cohen was asked about his loyalty to Trump. He responded that “my wife, my daughter and my son have my first loyalty.”

“Once I understand what charges might be filed against me, if any at all I will defer to my new counsel, Guy Petrillo, for guidance,” he said. ABC reported earlier this week that Petrillo would take over as Cohen’s lead counsel and that a joint defence agreement with Trump’s lawyers will come to an end.

Cohen added that he “will not be a punching bag as part of anyone’s defence strategy.”

To underscore the point, Cohen later tweeted a link to ABC’s article about the interview, headlined “Michael Cohen says family and country, not President Trump, is his ‘first loyalty’.”