Giuliani defends Trump going after Cohen's father-in-law

Giuliani defends Trump going after Cohen's father-in-law
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Rudy Giuliani on Sunday said President TrumpDonald John TrumpThe Hill's Campaign Report: Democratic field begins to shrink ahead of critical stretch To ward off recession, Trump should keep his mouth and smartphone shut Trump: 'Who is our bigger enemy,' Fed chief or Chinese leader? MORE is "defending" himself by pointing fingers at Michael Cohen's family, not trying to intimidate his former attorney ahead of scheduled congressional testimony.

Democrats and Cohen's attorney have suggested Trump is trying to intimidate Cohen by suggesting investigators should look at alleged illegal activity by Cohen's father-in-law.

"No, it's defending yourself," Giuliani, Trump's personal attorney, said on CNN's "State of the Union."

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"Of course it is if the father-in-law is a criminal in the Southern District of New York," he charged. "He may have ties to something called organized crime."

In 1993, Cohen's father-in-law, Fima Shusterman, pleaded guilty to federal income-tax fraud relating to his taxicab business in New York, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. Shusterman also has ties to Chicago's taxi cab industry. Cohen got involved in the taxicab industry through Shusterman, according to The New York Times.

Trump has tweeted about Cohen's father-in-law several times, most recently on Friday when he suggested Cohen was "lying to reduce his jail time."

"Watch father-in-law!" Trump added.

Trump on Fox News earlier this month said he isn't worried about Cohen's upcoming testimony, but suggested "he should give information maybe on his father-in-law, because that’s the one that people want to look at."

He also said Cohen was in trouble on "loans and frauds and taxi cabs."

"Because where does that money — that’s the money in the family. And I guess he didn’t want to talk about his father-in-law — he’s trying to get his sentence reduced. So it’s pretty sad. It’s weak and it’s very sad to watch a thing like that. I couldn’t care less," Trump added.

Cohen is scheduled to give testimony next month before the House Oversight and Reform Committee.

But his attorney said he is "considering whether to go forward in light of the concerns about his family" following Trump's comments.

“There is genuine fear and it has caused Michael Cohen to consider whether he should go forward or not and he’s not yet made a final decision,” Davis said on MSNBC last week.

Top House Democrats also raised questions about whether Trump was trying to intimidate Cohen with his comments.

"Our nation’s laws prohibit efforts to discourage, intimidate, or otherwise pressure a witness not to provide testimony to Congress," Reps. Elijah CummingsElijah Eugene CummingsGOP Oversight report says Interior head met with group tied to former clients Nadler asks other House chairs to provide records that would help panel in making impeachment decision Nikki Haley voices 'complete support' for Pence MORE (Md.), Jerrold Nadler (N.Y.) and Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffHillicon Valley: YouTube disables 200+ accounts over Hong Kong misinformation | Lawmakers sound alarm over Chinese influence efforts | DHS cyber agency details priorities | State AGs get tough on robocalls | DOJ busts online scammers Nadler asks other House chairs to provide records that would help panel in making impeachment decision YouTube disables over 200 accounts amid protests in Hong Kong MORE (Calif.) warned in a statement.