On CBS, Stephen Colbert cited a Politico report that Trump and his advisers outside the White House worry Cohen could be pressured into giving up damaging information, as federal investigators probe him for possible bank fraud, wire fraud and campaign finance violations.
Attorney Alan Dershowitz, an informal Trump adviser and frequent guest of cable news shows, predicted that federal prosecutors are “going to threaten [Cohen] with a long prison term and try to turn him into a canary that sings.”
Another lawyer, who represents a senior Trump aide, wondered, “Is [Cohen] two years loyal? Is he 10 years loyal? Is he 15 years loyal?”
“Fifteen years?” Colbert said on his show. “Michael Cohen disclosed Sean Hannity's name in court after being asked twice. He's not five minutes loyal.”
Jay Goldberg, a lawyer who represented Trump in the 1990s and 2000s, told the Wall Street Journal this week that he warned the president about Cohen:
Mr. Goldberg said he cautioned the president not to trust Mr. Cohen. On a scale of 100 to 1, where 100 is fully protecting the president, Mr. Cohen “isn't even a 1,” he said he told Mr. Trump.
Goldberg's warning received extensive coverage on cable news.
Tuesday on ABC's “The View,” a lawyer for porn star Stormy Daniels, Michael Avenatti, said there is “no question” in his mind that Cohen will betray Trump.
“Michael Cohen has a family,” Avenatti said. “He has kids. I understand that he's a fairly devoted father, and he's not going to look at his wife and say, 'No, I'm going to go take a bullet for this president' and go serve decades or 10 years or five years — I think it's at least 10 — in a federal penitentiary. Why would he do that? I mean this is a man that — listen, Mr. Trump left him behind when he went to Washington. He hasn't done him any favors.”
To Avenatti's point about Cohen being left behind, The Washington Post's Philip Rucker, Josh Dawsey and Robert Costa reported last week that “Cohen has long been a fixer for Trump, as well as his family and business, and associates said he was disappointed when he was not brought officially on board the campaign, and again when he was passed over for a coveted White House job.”
If Cohen is watching TV or reading newspapers or online articles, then he cannot escape reminders that Trump's loyalty often goes only one way. And if he was not already contemplating a flip, then all the coverage might make him think.