‘A backchannel to the president’: Michael Cohen testifies about how his Trump ties were not all they were cracked up to be and actually ‘worried’ him after FBI raid

Assistant district attorney Susan Hoffinger questions Michael Cohen, right, as former President Donald Trump, far left, looks on in Manhattan criminal court, Tuesday, May 14, 2024, in New York. A check that Trump had written to Cohen and signed for monthly $35,000 payments is shown on the screens. Donald Trump

Assistant district attorney Susan Hoffinger questions Michael Cohen, right, as former President Donald Trump, far left, looks on in Manhattan criminal court, Tuesday, May 14, 2024, in New York. A check that Trump had written to Cohen and signed for monthly $35,000 payments is shown on the screens. Donald Trump’s fixer-turned-foe Michael Cohen returned to the witness stand Tuesday, testifying in detail how former president was linked to all aspects of a hush money scheme that prosecutors say was aimed at stifling stories that threatened his 2016 campaign. (Elizabeth Williams via AP)

In April 2018, the walls of a Park Avenue hotel room closed in on Michael Cohen, 57, Donald Trump’s longtime attorney and fixer.

During an FBI raid of those 4-star trappings, federal agents seized multiple documents and cellphones – leaving him “distraught, nervous, [and] concerned,” Cohen testified late Tuesday morning in an often-drafty courthouse adjacent to New York City’s first but third-largest Chinatown, the Manhattan neighborhood bearing that name.

A lifeline came through a series of lawyers – promising some “high places” protection from the fallout of the FBI’s search and seizure.

It wouldn’t last.

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