Trump Goes After Michael Cohen’s Family Ahead Of Congressional Testimony. Giuliani Says ‘It’s OK’
President Donald Trump’s attorney Rudy Giuliani on Sunday defended the president’s decision to go after Michael Cohen’s family, saying Trump is “defending himself” and not trying to intimidate his former attorney ahead of scheduled congressional testimony.
Democrats and Cohen’s attorney have suggested Trump is trying to intimidate Cohen by suggesting investigators should look at alleged illegal activity by Cohen’s father-in-law.
“No, it’s defending yourself,” Giuliani, Trump’s personal attorney, said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
“Of course it is if the father-in-law is a criminal in the Southern District of New York,” he charged. “He may have ties to something called organized crime.”
In 1993, Cohen’s father-in-law, Fima Shusterman, pleaded guilty to federal income-tax fraud relating to his taxicab business in New York, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. Shusterman also has ties to Chicago’s taxicab industry. Cohen got involved in the taxicab industry through Shusterman, according to The New York Times.
On Friday, Trump targeted Cohen’s father-in-law and suggested in a tweet that Cohen was “lying to reduce his jail time.”
“Watch father-in-law!” Trump added.
Trump on Fox News earlier this month said he isn’t worried about Cohen’s upcoming testimony, but suggested “he should give information maybe on his father-in-law, because that’s the one we want to look at.”
He also said Cohen was in trouble on “loans and frauds and taxi cabs.”
“Because where does that money — that’s the money in the family. And I guess he didn’t want to talk about his father-in-law — he’s trying to get his sentence reduced. So it’s pretty sad. It’s weak and it’s very sad to watch a thing like that. I couldn’t care less,” Trump added.
Cohen is scheduled to give testimony next month before the House Oversight and Reform Committee.
But his attorney said he is “considering whether to go forward in light of the concerns about his family” following Trump’s comments.
“There is genuine fear and it has caused Michael Cohen to consider whether he should go forward or not and he’s not yet made a final decision,” Davis said on MSNBC last week.
Top House Democrats also raised questions about whether Trump was trying to intimidate Cohen with his comments.
“Our nation’s laws prohibit efforts to discourage, intimidate, or otherwise pressure a witness not to provide testimony to Congress,” Reps. Elijah Cummings (Md.), Jerrold Nadler (N.Y.) and Adam Schiff (Calif.) warned in a statement.
This is yet another Trump attempt to obstruct justice.