Those close to Michael Cohen and the situation say that the lawyer seems poised to turn on his friend, Donald Trump, if put under pressure by investigators. At least that is what long-time Trump legal advisor, Jay Goldberg, is telling the president. Goldberg was a former prosecutor who has advised Trump since the 1990s. Trump reportedly called Goldberg asking for advice, and the Wall Street Journal quotes Goldberg as saying “On a scale of 100 to 1, where 100 is fully protecting the president, Mr. Cohen ‘isn’t even a 1,’”. He explained that if Goldberg were faced with criminal charges, he would tell all.
FINSUM: So it looks like Goldberg is going to tell all, but what nobody knows is how much of value he might really have to say.
One of the world’s most respected economists has explained something all investors need to hear—why a trade war with China is impossible to avoid. Stiglitz says that so long as the US does not accept China’s right to develop its economy, there will be no meaningful agreement. Because of the path China is on, and the US’ position—led by Trump—no durable trade deal can be achieved. Fundamentally, the US does not accept that China is a “developing country”, rather it sees it as a large and mature nation, and this conflict will keep any serious deal from getting done.
FINSUM: There may be a short-term deal to save public face, but the US and China seemed destined to square off on trade for the foreseeable future.
One of the big overarching questions regarding the Mueller probe over the last few weeks has been two-part: will Trump try to fire Mueller, and will the Senate step in to protect Mueller from said firing. Well, one half of the answer is now clear. Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell has made clear that the Senate will take no action to protect Mueller from whatever moves Trump might make. McConnell said “I am the one who decides what we take to the floor … That’s my responsibility as majority leader. And we will not be having this on the floor of the Senate”.
FINSUM: The one Caveat here is that McConnell thought he said protecting Mueller was unnecessary because he did not believe Trump would try to fire him, which slightly leaves the door open to a change of position.
In what must be seen as nothing other than a major diplomatic breakthrough, reports are out that the head of the US’ CIA, Mike Pompeo, had a face to face meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. The meeting comes in advance of President Trump’s planned meeting with Un. The meeting apparently took place over Easter weekend and was a way to lay the groundwork for the president’s meeting. Reports of the meeting were first covered by the Washington Post, and the White House confirmed it had been having meetings at “very high levels”.
FINSUM: We are not sure why Un is talking to the US after decades of diplomatic silence, but we certainly see the dialogue as good news.
There is a lot of excitement and anxiety about the investigation into Michael Cohen, president Trump’s personal lawyer. Many fear that investigators may get him to spill all details about his dealings with Trump. The media has been hyping the idea, with magazines like Esquire saying “We can safely speculate that Cohen knows everything: the money, the scams, the women, the Russians. All of it”. However, Bloomberg reports that Cohen is not the biggest fish investigators could catch and that there are many close to Trump who know much more about his affairs than Cohen. In reality, another lawyer named Jason Greenblatt, who worked as in-house counsel for the Trump organization for almost 20 years, probably knows much more.
FINSUM: He may not know the most, but it seems like Cohen probably knows enough to get Trump in even hotter water.
The public spat between the president and the former director of the FBI went very public yesterday as a Comey interview about his firing was aired on national television last night. In the interview, Comey called Trump morally unfit to be president and said that Russia may be holding something over Trump that is affecting his behavior. Comey would not say whether he thought Trump firing him amounted to obstruction of justice, saying that would be up to investigators to decide. Trump fired back at Comey through a series of tweets.
FINSUM: Hard to say if this spat will amount to anything, but one thing is clear—it will not lessen the pressure Trump is under in regards to this investigation.