The public now seems know a lot about attorney Michael Cohen, but not the most relevant piece -- what he is giving prosecutors and how it may involve President Donald Trump.

Cohen, 51, once called himself the guy who would "take a bullet" for the president. Over the weekend, however, the story sounded different when Cohen was interviewed on camera by ABC News. 

“My wife, my daughter and my son have my first loyalty and always will,” Cohen told the network's George Stephanopoulos. “I put family and country first.”

“I will not be a punching bag as part of anyone’s defense strategy,” he added. “I am not a villain of this story, and I will not allow others to try to depict me that way.”

Warrant-wielding FBI agents in April famously raided Cohen's home and office. On Monday, prosecutors were reported to have obtained 1.3 million of his documents that were seized, with less than 23,000 still being reviewed by an arbiter assigned to determine what's covered by attorney-client privilege.

The slang term tossed around is "flip," meaning Cohen would tell damaging tales on his ex-boss, who did not bring him into the administration. 

But we do not know exactly what flipping means in this context. Or put it this way: Before charges are filed in a courthouse or the probe is disposed of in some other way, we can't know precisely what facet of probes by the Manhattan U.S. attorney or special counsel Robert Mueller's office he may be cooperating in. 

That much is a mystery. Cohen's life story is no longer a mystery, however. The background of lawyer-fixer Cohen has been gone over in numerous news reports.

He's the son of a physician from Lawrence.  He graduated from Cooley Law School, worked for his uncle the dentist who owned the El Caribe catering hall in Brooklyn, dealt in taxi medallions, used to live in Trump Tower, sought a City Council seat and paid money from Trump to former porn star Stormy Daniels.

Recently, he owed hundreds of thousands of dollars in back state taxes and worked with ex-Trump associate and childhood friend Felix Sater on a Moscow hotel project before the 2016 election.

 The subject of his exchanges with federal officials could be about the movement of money, or Russia, or the known sale of Cohen's consulting services to corporate clients after Trump's election, or all of the above, or none.

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