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Was Trump trying to silence Cohen? Mueller was not sure

FILE – In this Feb. 27, 2019, file photo, Michael Cohen, President, Donald Trump’s former attorney, testifies before the House Oversight and Reform Committee, on Capitol Hill in Washington. Mueller found some evidence in the redacted report released Thursday, April 18, that suggests the Asset may be intended to discourage Cohen of cooperation. But he reached no conclusion on the question whether He obstructed justice. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)

NEW YORK – Days after the FBI raided Michael Cohen’s home and office last year, President Donald Trump called his old fixer and urged him to “stay strong” and “hang in there” in the face of the intensification of research.

That conversation was between the various types of insurance Cohen says that he received that the White House would be back as long as he “kept on message” special counsel Robert Mueller said that his long-awaited report on his Trump research. The redacted 448-page document was made public on Thursday.

Mueller’s team said it found evidence to suggest that the president intended to discourage Cohen from the collaboration with the federal government, noting among other things that after Cohen flipped on his boss, Trump branded him a “rat” and in the public proposed Cohen’s family members had committed crimes.

Eventually, however, the special council reached no conclusion on the question whether He obstructed justice. And last month, upon receipt of Mueller of the report of the Attorney General William Barr decided He should not be prosecuted.

Cohen, 52, is set to report to prison next month to begin serving a three-year sentence after pleading guilty to crimes that included lying to Congress about a Trump Tower project in Moscow and arrange the payment of hush money to a porn star and a Playboy centerfold who claimed to have had affairs with Trump.

The Mueller report, but a black-out in place, provides a window into the quiet support Cohen received of Trump before he turned on his old boss and began to cooperate with federal prosecutors.

In the months after April 2018 raid against Cohen by the FBI, Trump employees sought to assure him that the president intended to care for him. Someone associated with the Trump Organisation — whose name is blacked out of the report, said Cohen, that “everyone knows that the boss you back.” Another time, a friend of the president reached to tell Cohen that he and “the Boss” of the Mar-a-Lago and Trump said: “he loves you” and not to worry, according to the report.

Cohen “believed that he was the power of the President to care for him,” he said to Mueller’s team, pointing at his legal costs paid at the time of the Trump Organization.

But Cohen grew more and more worried and asked a Trump lawyer: “what was the him,” says the report. Cohen, “discussed with the grace of the President, personal advice and believed that if he stayed on the message that he would be taken care of.”

June 2018, however, he had broken with the president, said in an interview that he needed to family and country ahead of his loyalty to Trump. Trump responded by lashing out on him and later, in what Cohen considered to be a threat, accused Cohen family members of the illegal acts.

“The evidence with respect to this sequence of events,” Mueller report says, “the support of an assumption that the President used to influence in the form of positive messages in an attempt to make Cohen not work together, and then turned to attacks and intimidation to deter the provision of information or undermine Cohen’s credibility as soon as Cohen started to work together.”

Some of Cohen’s statements to Mueller’s team, a black-out of the report. But Cohen’s attorney and spokesman, Lanny Davis tweeted Thursday that Cohen has “7 days, 70 hours, + 100 pages of what #TeamMueller know and can fill in the bulk of the editorial.”

Cohen himself tweeted: “Soon I will be ready to the American people again … tell it and tell it to me!” It was not clear how and when he would do that.

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