The President’s personal lawyer and fixer spoke out after the stunning FBI raids of his home, hotel and office became bombshell news this week. Privately, Michael Cohen is expressing serious doubts about his legal work for Donald Trump, because it’s beginning to look like he’s been set up to go to prison by his boss.
But Michael Cohen is not known for expressing fear, uncertainty, and doubt – until now. His famous last words in a Tweet published Sunday night were that he “will always protect our @POTUS” but one of Cohen’s associate told the AP it’s a different story in private:
Stressing his loyalty, Cohen has steadfastly denied wrongdoing and defended Trump.
But he has confided in associates in recent weeks that he is fearful of being a fall guy, according to a person familiar with his thinking but not authorized to speak publicly about private discussions.
Five days ago, Cohen’s worst fears were realized when Donald Trump told a pool of reporters that he had no knowledge of a hush money deal with porn star Stormy Daniels, exposing his fixer to potential felony charges and disbarment.
NBC is reporting that Stormy Daniels is cooperating with federal authorities probing the source of her hush money payoff as an illegal campaign donation.
Matters have gotten far worse for Michael Cohen after this week’s dramatic raids which have dominated headlines, leading the President to openly consider re-enacting Nixon’s Saturday Night Massacre in the middle of this week.
In his first interview, post-FBI raid, Cohen began by passive-aggressively demolishing Donald Trump’s false narrative about the ‘disgrace’ of federal law enforcement breaking his doors down, telling CNN:
“I am unhappy to have my personal residence and office raided. But I will tell you that members of the FBI that conducted the search and seizure were all extremely professional, courteous and respectful. And I thanked them at the conclusion,” Cohen said in a phone conversation on Tuesday with CNN.
Asked if he was worried, Cohen said; “I would be lying to you if I told that I am not. Do I need this in my life? No. Do I want to be involved in this? No.”
The raid was “upsetting to say the least,” he added.
Michael Cohen is in some ways extremely unique in his role working for the Trump Organization, and in other ways, a typical employee. Cohen began his professional career as a personal injury attorney who graduated from a 4th tier law school in Michigan, working his way up to become wealthy from real estate deals, and owning New York taxi cab licenses with his family, and later with the indicted ‘Taxi King.’
Donald Trump probably did little to nothing to vet or learn the extent of his lawyer’s complex off-shore business ties, or sources of funds, or know anything about Cohen besides his ability to attract foreign cash, his absolute loyalty and the unmitigated bile typical of his mismanaged “Organization.”
Cohen eventually became uniquely involved in much of the Trump Organization’s book of foreign business dealings with a childhood friend, Felix Sater, the informant, who turned cooperator for Special Counsel Robert Mueller, just last week.
Sater has been publicly implicated in a massive bank fraud scheme with the Trump family at a failed lower Manhattan hotel-condo project. Reports indicate that Cohen is being investigated by the FBI for bank fraud, but there’s no publicly known link between the attorney and the Trump SoHo deal, aside from his known relationships with all of the participants in that building.
Now, Michael Cohen finds himself in the much role of fall guy for President Trump’s life of crime, by virtue of his managing the Felix Sater relationship for his boss and covering up the numerous relationships between his boss and the women with whom his boss needs to silence about their adulterous behavior in bed.
Forty-five years ago, another President tried to turn one of his attorneys into the fall guy, but we all know how that worked out; White House John Dean realized that the attorney-client privilege didn’t apply to crime or fraud, and turned on Nixon, sealing his fate in the Watergate scandal.
Only time will tell if Michael Cohen lives up to his braggadocio last year when he told Vanity Fair that he’s “the guy that would take a bullet” for Donald Trump, because America’s worst president in history just took him up on the offer.