Axios reports that Cohen switched his party affiliation from the GOP late last week, officially making the change at the New York State Board of Elections in Albany. On Sunday, Cohen said that the midterm elections “might be the most important in our lifetime.”
Cohen has been trying to distance himself from his former employer since August, when Cohen pleaded guilty to eight criminal counts, including tax fraud, bank fraud and two campaign finance violations — making an excessive campaign contribution and causing an unlawful corporate contribution — related to payments he made to Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal during the 2016 campaign to keep quiet about their alleged affairs with Trump.
Until June, Cohen was also the deputy finance chair of the Republican National Committee.
Cohen’s attorney Lanny Davis touted the switch on Twitter: “Today, @MichaelCohen212 returning to the #Democratic Party another step in his journey that began with the @ABC @GStephanopolous Cohen putting family and country first -distancing himself from the values of the current Admin – Can’t wait for his first interview! #StayTuned.”
2-Today, @MichaelCohen212 returning to the #Democratic Party another step in his journey that began with the @ABC @GStephanopolous Cohen putting family and country first -distancing himself from the values of the current Admin – Can’t wait for his first interview! #StayTuned
— Lanny Davis (@LannyDavis) October 11, 2018
Cohen, like Trump, had previously been registered as a Democrat. “This isn’t the first time Cohen has changed his party registration,” notes Axios. “He was a registered Democrat before 2017, when he became a Republican after being asked, and agreeing to become, deputy chairman of the Republican National Committee’s Finance Committee with Steve Wynn serving as chairman.” In late January, Wynn resigned after the Wall Street Journal published a story accusing him of sexual misconduct and rape.
On Sept. 20, ABC News reported that Cohen, who had previously said he would “take a bullet” for Trump, had given multiple interviews to special counsel Robert Mueller’s team about Trump’s business dealings with Russia over the years, the Trump campaign’s possible collusion with Russia to swing the 2016 election, and the prospect he might be pardoned by the president.