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By: Joe Hayden, Pashman Stein Walder Hayden
Speculation has been rampant among those in the media and the political world for the past 24-hours about unrefuted news stories that Michael Cohen, President Trump’s long-time personal “lawyer,” is about to switch lawyers and whether or not this switch is a signal that he will plead guilty to some charges and incriminate Trump. Before people take too long a lead off first base on this sensational possibility, however, the circumstances suggest to me that Cohen is more likely weighing his options rather than already having crossed the Rubicon.
When a client in the middle of a federal investigation decides to change lawyers, it is generally for one of two reasons: one, there could be financial issues between the attorney and client which are getting worse and not better; or, two, there is a disagreement about what would be the best resolution as well as the strategy to achieve what the client wants as the best result. It should be remembered that before they plead guilty and decided to cooperate, both Michael Flynn and Robert Gates switched their legal teams. Here, since the present federal investigation is being run by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York rather than by Robert Mueller in Washington, Cohen might want a legal team more familiar with the Southern District than his present legal team.