Michael D. Cohen, President Trump’s longtime personal fixer, will soon be parting from the lawyers who are representing him in a potentially damaging and wide-ranging federal investigation into his business dealings, according to two people familiar with the case.
Mr. Cohen has not yet been contacted by the prosecutors who are conducting the inquiry, according to two people briefed on the case.
But as the investigation widens, and with Mr. Cohen’s legal team in turmoil, the chances increase that Mr. Cohen could cooperate with prosecutors.
Mr. Cohen’s current legal team is expected to stay with him for the rest of the week as they struggle to complete a laborious review of a trove of documents and data files seized from him by the authorities two months ago. But after that review is finished, he will seek new legal counsel, the people familiar with his case said. The issue is primarily over payment of the legal bills of one of his lawyers, Stephen Ryan, according to a person familiar with the discussions.
A spokeswoman for the U.S. attorney’s office in Manhattan declined to comment.
On April 9, federal agents descended on Mr. Cohen’s office, apartment and hotel room, hauling away reams of paperwork and files from about 30 cellphones, iPads and computers. For several months now, the prosecutors have been looking into whether Mr. Cohen broke the law in any business projects, including hush-money payments he made to women who claim they had affairs with Mr. Trump. Mr. Trump’s lawyers have resigned themselves to the strong possibility that this investigation could lead him to cooperate with prosecutors.