"Based upon the advice of counsel, I will assert my 5th amendment rights in connection with all proceedings in this case due to the ongoing criminal investigation by the FBI and US Attorney for the Southern District of New York," Cohen's declaration stated. "On April 10, 2018, I first realized that my Fifth Amendment rights would be implicated in this case, after I considered the events of April 9, 2018."
— Chris Strider (@stridinstrider) April 25, 2018
The Fifth Amendment of the US Constitution enshrines an individual's right to avoid self-incrimination, among other rights, and is invoked by witnesses in criminal cases who want to avoid providing testimony against themselves.
The April 9 incident Cohen is referring to is the FBI raid conducted at his home, office and hotel room by agents. Officials collected a various documents including emails, tax documents business records and some related to the $130,000 payment Cohen made to adult film actress Stormy Daniels. After months of repeatedly denying that such an agreement existed, Cohen admitted to the New York Times that he had issued the payment from his own personal funds.
Daniels is currently locked in a legal battle to break from the nondisclosure agreement she signed prior to the 2016 presidential election that kept her from speaking on the alleged affair she had with Trump in 2006. The actress is claiming that the agreement is void because Trump never actually signed the documents.