The falling out between President Donald Trump and his personal fixer Michael Cohen was the result of a "failure to communicate" and could have been avoided, if not for the president's legal team advising against potential allegations of witness tampering, The New York Times reported.
"What we had here was a failure to communicate," attorney Robert Costello, who once advised Cohen but was never retained, told the Times. "My mission was to get everyone tuned in to the same channel. My thought was a face-to-face meeting among all the lawyers together with Cohen would put everyone on the same channel. The meeting never happened, and the rest is history."
Rudy Giuliani reportedly stemmed communications with Cohen after the FBI raided his home, office, and apartment out of fears of witness tampering, per the report. The ceasing of ties led to Cohen's "anxiety" and a change of path in cooperation with special counsel Robert Mueller's investigators, according to the Times.
"It seemed like an unfortunate but sensible decision," Costello told the Times of Giuliani-Cohen team contact. "The more I look back at it, the more I wonder if it was inevitable that Michael was going to crack."
In addition to reportedly having broached the topic of a presidential pardon, Cohen wanted his representation and President Trump's legal team to assuage his fears of being left out to dry amid criminal investigations.
"Basically he needs a little loving and respect booster," Costello texted Giuliani, according to the Times. "He is not thinking clearly because he feels abandoned."
After contacting Giuliani, Costello did email Cohen with some measure of support, leading him to believe "he had the support of the White House if he continued to toe the party line," according to the Mueller report, per the Times.
"They are in our corner," Costello emailed Cohen about President Trump's attorneys, per the report. "You have friends in high places."
But, when Giuliani and company were inclined to stem talks after the FBI raid, Cohen eschewed Costello and hired "Guy Petrillo, a former federal prosecutor who had worked in the Southern District alongside James B. Comey, the former FBI director and a Trump foil," according to the report.
Cohen begins serving his prison time May 6, the Times reported.
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