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Cohen at the federal courthouse in New York in August. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Michael Cohen, President Trump's former attorney who until June served as the Republican Party’s deputy finance chair, today changed his party registration from Republican to Democrat, according to a knowledgeable source.

Between the lines: The move fits a pattern of Cohen publicly breaking from the man for whom he once said he’d take “a bullet.” Cohen went online around noon to the Albany-based New York State Board of Elections to make the change, according to the source.

Keep in mind that Cohen has been signaling his break with Trump for months now, after Trump didn't lift a finger to defend him from charges of campaign finance violations over Cohen's payments of hush money to keep two women quiet about their affairs with Trump.

  • In his guilty plea in August, Cohen implicated Trump by suggesting that the then-presidential candidate directed him to keep the affairs quiet.
  • His quote to George Stephanopoulos in July: “I put family and country first.”
  • The source with knowledge of the situation told Axios that Cohen’s party switch is “consistent with what he told Stephanopoulos on July 2, that constituted his declaration of independence two days before Independence Day, with the key message to Stephanopoulos that now I put my family and my country first.”

The other side: Cohen's move is sure to be treated with skepticism by Trump's allies. They've already been saying that Cohen is simply being opportunistic now that he’s headed for prison and is exiled from Trumpworld. His sentencing is scheduled for December.

The backstory: This isn't the first time Cohen has changed his party registration. 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. (Wynn stepped down amid sexual misconduct allegations.)

Go deeper

50 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Group of 20 bipartisan senators back $1.2T infrastructure framework

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) arrives for a meeting with Senate Budget Committee Democrats in the Mansfield Room at the U.S. Capitol building on June 16, 2021 in Washington, DC. The Majority Leader and Democrats on the Senate Budget Committee are meeting to discuss how to move forward with the Biden Administrations budget proposal. Photo: Samuel Corum / Getty Images

A group of 10 Democratic and 10 Republican senators (the "G20") tasked with negotiating an infrastructure deal with the White House has released a statement in support of a $1.2 trillion framework.

Why it matters: Details regarding the plan have not yet been released, but getting 10 Republicans on board means the bill could get the necessary 60 votes to pass.

DOJ drops criminal probe, civil lawsuit against John Bolton over Trump book

Photo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

The Justice Department has closed its criminal investigation into whether President Trump's former national security adviser John Bolton disclosed classified information with his tell-all memoir, “The Room Where it Happened," according to a source with direct knowledge.

Why it matters: The move comes a year after the Trump administration tried to silence Bolton by suing him in federal court, claiming he breached his contract by failing to complete a pre-publication review for classified information. Prosecutors indicated they had reached a settlement with Bolton to drop the lawsuit in a filing on Wednesday.

Fed may raise rates sooner, as inflation is higher than expected

Feb chair Jerome Powell. Photo: Susan Walsh/Getty Images

The Federal Reserve kept rates unchanged at its latest policy meeting, but a shift in sentiment emerged as to how soon it should begin raising rates.

Why it matters: The Fed's rock-bottom rates policy and monthly asset purchases helped the U.S. markets avoid a meltdown during the COVID-19 crisis last year. But as the economy recovers, a chorus is growing for the Fed to at least consider a timeline for pulling back its support before things get overheated.