A cynical observer might call Michael Cohen an opportunist while observing the former personal attorney for President Trump’s recent behavior.
Cohen pleaded guilty in August to charges of bank fraud, tax fraud, and campaign finance law violations after an FBI raid on his homes and offices turned up enough incriminating evidence related to illicit payments to help cover up the president’s multiple extra-marital affairs to prevent them from ruining Trump’s electoral chances. As part of his guilty plea, he admitted committing the offenses at the direction of Donald Trump, essentially making Trump an unindicted co-conspirator in the crimes.
Since then, Cohen has embarked on a strenuous effort to rehabilitate his reputation. He had already resigned as Trump’s lawyer and from his role as national deputy finance chairman of the Republican National Committee after the FBI seized his files and began cooperating with Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into the president’s campaign. He announced that he would not accept a pardon from Trump if one were offered. He harshly criticized the Trump administrations child separation policy at the border.
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Cohen raised more eyebrows this week with the news that the former top fundraiser for the Republican Party had changed his registration to become a Democrat fighting to eliminate the Republican majority in Congress, in an effort to distance “himself from the values of the current Admin,” according to his attorney.
Today, he took his opposition to Trump’s Republican party a step further, tweeting out a plea for voters to turn out for the upcoming midterm elections, calling them “the most important vote in our lifetime.”
— Michael Cohen (@MichaelCohen212) October 14, 2018
While we still don’t know what Cohen has told Mueller about what he knows about Trump and Russian electoral interference or obstruction of justice or what he has told New York State prosecutors about the Trump Organization and the Trump Foundation business dealings, we can be certain that he is privy to much that has yet to be publically revealed.
Cohen’s sudden change of heart could be a desperate attempt to garner some leniency in his sentencing for the crimes he’s already admitted to and those for which he is still under investigation. However, his efforts to undermine his former boss and patron seem to be motivated by a genuine desire to bring down the Trump administration.
Given Cohen’s knowledge of many of Trump’s most closely guarded secrets, his move to the opposition does not bode well for the president. Hopefully, enough people will heed his call to vote that when the evidence he has given to the Special Counsel is finally made public, a Democratic-controlled Congress can hold Trump accountable for his many misdeeds.
Follow Vinnie Longobardo on Twitter.