Michael Cohen has risen to national prominence as the controversy-consumed personal lawyer of President Donald J. Trump. However, thanks to a Wall Street Journal report, the president isn't the only Trump in Cohen's legal purview. In addition to temporarily silencing Stormy Daniels, the adult film tycoon who claims that she had an affair with Trump, apparently Michael Cohen also stopped the story about Aubrey O'Day and her alleged affair with Donald Trump Jr.
While the president has denied allegations of extramarital affairs, Trump Jr. has not commented publicly on the O'Day claims, having only released a joint statement with his wife, Vanessa, announcing their divorce.
We will always have tremendous respect for each other and our families. We have five beautiful children together and they remain our top priority. We ask for your privacy during this time.
According to the Journal's report, Us Weekly was preparing to publish a story in 2013 about Trump Jr.'s alleged affair with O'Day while she was a contestant on The Apprentice, and the magazine called the Trump Organization for comment on the story. The Wall Street Journal reports that Cohen then called back and angrily threatened to take legal action against the magazine if they went ahead with publishing the story.
“We were all on speakerphone and huddled around the phone,” the source told the Journal. "He was just one of these New York characters where he was just like swearing at us and totally over-the-top threatening."
The threats seemed to have worked, though, because Us Weekly decided that the story wasn't worth the legal fight and the loss of a working relationship with the Trumps. Now, though, the news has broken about Trump Jr.'s alleged affair with O'Day — and about Cohen's repeated efforts to cover up extramarital affairs on behalf of the Trump family.
One difference between the alleged O'Day and Daniels affairs, though, is that Cohen didn't pay Us Weekly anything to block the publishing of the O'Day story, whereas he paid Daniels $130,000 to ensure her silence. Repeatedly, though, Cohen has made it clear that he would basically do anything to protect Trump and his family.
"If somebody does something Mr. Trump doesn't like, I do everything in my power to resolve it to Mr. Trump's benefit," Cohen told ABC News. "If you do something wrong, I'm going to come at you, grab you by the neck and I'm not going to let you go until I'm finished."
Now that the FBI has raided Cohen's office and the Department of Justice has announced that his business dealings have landed him in the middle of a criminal investigation, though, everything that he's done to protect Trump and his family has come under scrutiny. Besides the aforementioned payments and the news that he's under investigation, this week featured a few more negative reports for Trump's personal lawyer. The WSJ also revealed that Cohen also arranged a hush payment for a former Republican donor in a case similar to the Stormy Daniels case, for one thing.
Perhaps even worse for Trump and his team, though, is that McClatchy reported that Mueller's team might have evidence that Cohen did indeed visit Prague in 2016. If this news is true, then it would confirm an important part of the now-infamous dossier. Cohen has, however, repeatedly denied the allegation, which he did when the dossier first came out and then again in response to this latest story.
Following their raid of Cohen's office, the FBI likely now has plenty of information to confirm or disprove what Cohen has claimed — and it might be hugely damaging not only for himself, but also for Trump and his administration. Perhaps payments to adult film stars will be the worst of it — or perhaps not.