Reuters grabbed an interview on the street yesterday with Michael Cohen as he came from his seventh meeting with NY prosecutors. Anderson Cooper asked John Dean's thoughts.
"You tweeted about personal experience you don't visit seven times if you're not planning to indict. How can you be so confident of that?" Cooper asked. "The fact that they brought him in for a seventh time, couldn't you also read into it that they are sort of just fishing?"
Dean said it wasn't likely at this stage, and said it could be a couple of things.
"One is, the prosecutors are trying to get familiar with the witness -- more likely in this instance because of the treasure trove of information they obtained evidence from, is to get guidance and insight into what some of those documents mean, give them more people who might know about various affairs that are revealed by the documents," he said.
"An insider as I once was can give insights that prosecutors can't otherwise get and that's why you don't -- you're not going to do this to find exculpatory evidence. They are narrowing the case to see what they will bring against the president and possibly his family."
"The allegation of hush money paid to Stormy Daniels, porn star, won't be a line item deduction. Could Michael Cohen help guide investigators how things are labeled or documented within the Trump organization?"
"Absolutely, as I said. He knows how he was paid. He knows who signed those checks. They have copies of most of the checks, I think, at this point. So he can tell them why they came in the form they did and why some were signed by apparently Don Jr., some were signed by Weisselberg, the chief financial officer. It's just invaluable to a prosecutor to have an insider who can guide them through the evidence," Dean said.
"I want to talk about this other investigation you heard the Wall Street Journal reporting another audio tape that surfaced of a phone call between the former president and investigator for the Georgia secretary of state's office. I want to listen to some of what was said," Cooper said.
He played the excerpt and asked Dean what he thought of the conversation.
"It's a little reminiscent of Nixon leaning on people in my memory bank where he knows how far to go but not too far, particularly when he's on the phone and he knows he's being recorded on some of those conversations, so Trump doesn't know he's being recorded in this instance and one of the telling things, Anderson, to me is the fact that these people were recording these calls," Dean said.
"As I recall, it was in November, late November that Lindsey Graham denied that he'd had the conversations he'd had with the secretary of state in Georgia who had in essence said he called and told them to throw out ballots and Graham denied that. After that, they started recording the calls. We don't know how many calls. This was reported earlier. We never heard it. There may be other calls that were recorded and what they're looking for is part of the RICO case they're developing now.
"The Fulton County prosecutor has hired the best expert in the state who helped her with a prior RICO case and RICO cases are very serious, Anderson. These are stack on stack of penalties."
"Used effectively against mob families."
"Absolutely. That's -- a friend of mine actually wrote the statute for that purpose for Robert Blakey years ago, law professor from Notre Dame designed it to effectively go after the mob. It is used against people that commit criminal patterns of behavior and used at the state level as well. I think that's the case they're building. These phone calls they have multiple records of are going to be dynamite."
"I saw a documentary and the Justice Department explained this way of what RICO could do and it was eye opening for them," Cooper said.
"It was and it -- that statute has since become highly perfected over the years. It's quite broad. You find predicate acts of misbehavior if you will, and they stack on serious penalties as a result of that," Dean said.