President Trump’s lawyer Michael Cohen said he will assert his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination in connection with a lawsuit filed by adult-film star Stormy Daniels.
In an extraordinary filing in a California federal court, Cohen said he decided to invoke his constitutional right after the FBI raided his home, office and hotel room two weeks ago.
“I will assert my Fifth Amendment rights in connection with all proceedings in this case due to the ongoing criminal investigation by the FBI and US Attorney for the Southern District of New York,” Cohen said.
Cohen is seeking to have a civil lawsuit filed by Daniels put on hold until the criminal issues are resolved. The judge in that case said last week that he will need more time to decide.
The remarkable declaration suggests Cohen is in much deeper legal trouble — and it may spill over to President Trump.
There have also traditionally been severely negative public reaction to public figures who take the Fifth in high-profile cases.
The FBI search was partly a referral by the Office of Special Counsel, Robert Mueller, who is investigating alleged Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and possible collusion with the Trump campaign. Russia denies meddling in the election and Trump has denied any collusion.
Last month, Daniels sued Trump and Cohen to end a non-disclosure agreement related to a $130,000 payment she received from Cohen before the 2016 election to keep quiet about her alleged one-night stand with Trump a decade earlier.—Reuters