Michael Cohen is mixing up his legal defense team as he continues to cooperate with federal and congressional investigators, Cohen’s spokesman Lanny Davis announced Monday.
A pair of new attorneys—former federal prosecutr Michael Monaco and criminal defense lawyer Barry Spevack—“will represent Mr. Cohen going forward as he continues to cooperate with the Office of the Special Counsel, the Southern District of New York, the Office of the New York Attorney General’s Office as well as the committees of the US Congress seeking testimony from Mr. Cohen,” according to Davis.
In a joint statement, Monico and Spevack said: “We look forward to helping Mr. Cohen fulfill what he has told us is his only mission – to tell the truth as he knows it and to turn the corner on his past life and taking ownership for his past mistakes by cooperating as best as he can with all governmental authorities in search of the truth.”
The duo will replace Guy Petrillo, the well-respected former chief of the criminal division at the Manhattan U.S. Attorney’s office, who helped Cohen navigate his plea deal in the financial crimes case brought by federal prosecutors from that office. At Cohen’s December sentencing hearing, U.S. District Judge William Pauley applauded Petrillo’s “superb” representation. Amy Lester, Petrillo’s colleague at Petrillo Klein & Boxer and his co-counsel in the Cohen case, will also be departing from Cohen’s team.
This switch-up of Cohen’s defense team comes as several congressional committees press forward with their efforts to compel the testimony of President Trump’s former personal lawyer and fixer. The Senate Intelligence Committee subpoenaed Cohen last week after Cohen backed out of a scheduled hearing before the House Oversight Committee, citing Trump’s “threats” to his family.