Tag Archives: Michael Cohen

Does ‘innocence’ require ‘flip’ preparation?

This is confusing to me.

Donald J. Trump keeps denying he had a tryst with Stormy Daniels, the porn queen. The president’s personal lawyer and so-called “fixer,” Michael Cohen, has acknowledged paying Daniels $130,000 in hush money to keep quiet about the tumble she took with Trump in 2006.

But …

Now we get word that the Trump legal team — or what’s left of it — is preparing to respond if Cohen “flips” and cooperates with special counsel Robert Mueller who might be looking at whether there are some other issues to examine relating to the alleged dozen-year-old sexual encounter.

Does someone who didn’t do what has been alleged have reason to “prepare” for someone to cooperate with investigators?

I keep wondering what the “flip prep” entails and whether the Trump team is going to challenge Cohen’s credibility, call him a liar, impugn his integrity, you know … do the kind of thing Trump has done with others who have accused him doing something improper.

I can’t stop believing that Trump and Cohen have something for which to prepare — and it’s not good for either of them.

Hannity fluffs a basic tenet

Sean Hannity’s backside is in a bit of a sling for a reason that could have been dodged with a simple declaration. It would have been a painless admission.

The Fox News commentator was revealed this week to be a “secret client” of Michael Cohen, Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, the guy who’s been involved up to his armpits in a sleazy tryst that the president allegedly had with Stormy Daniels, a porn star.

The conflict? Well, Hannity has spent a lot of air time on TV and the radio defending Cohen and Donald Trump.

And … he never disclosed that he had a professional relationship with Cohen. He never told his viewers of his clear conflict of interest. Hannity never thought it was necessary to put his defense of Cohen and the president in anything resembling a proper context.

I get that Hannity isn’t a trained journalist. He does participate in a form of opinion broadcast journalism with his nightly TV commentary show and his syndicated radio show. Thus, Hannity should be forced to operate under the rules of conduct that journalists are obligated to follow when they report or comment on the news of the day.

A simple declaration at the front end of every broadcast that features a defense of Michael Cohen and Donald Trump would be a simple task to perform.

One more thing: To its great discredit, the Fox News Channel says it stands by Hannity. The network that actually does employ legitimate broadcast journalists doesn’t see where its right-wing superstar has gone wrong.

Shameful.

The cat’s out of the bag, Sean Hannity

Sean Hannity isn’t a journalist. He’s a talking head with lots of opinions. He works for the Fox News Channel and has a radio show on which he gets to bloviate and bellow his right-wing screeds.

I don’t begrudge him that privilege. He’s even won some awards for his on-air work. He also has earned some condemnation for his promoting of false conspiracies, aka “fake news.”

Oh, but now we know that his defense of Donald J. Trump and his relentless attack on the FBI raid on Trump’s lawyer’s office has a qualifier that, um, should have been disclosed when Hannity began unloading on the FBI. Hannity and Michael Cohen, the lawyer in question, have a professional relationship.

Cohen also represents Trump. He paid out $130,000 to Stormy Daniels to keep the porn queen quiet about a tryst she had with Trump in 2006. The FBI is looking for more information relating to that payoff. So, it obtained a search warrant from a federal judge and seized some documents.

Hannity has gone ballistic over it.

But don’t you think viewers and listeners deserve to know about Hannity’s particular interest in this matter? The tenets of full disclosure require it. Journalists know it.

According to The Hill: Hannity downplayed his interactions with Cohen, asserting that he’d never formally represented him in legal proceedings.

“I have occasionally had brief discussions with him about legal questions about which I wanted his input and perspective,” Hannity tweeted, adding that those conversations “dealt almost exclusively about real estate.”

Fine, young man. Any dealings with a lawyer in the news — let alone one who is involved in a sleazy, tawdry controversy involving the president of the United States — need to be disclosed to ensure that viewers and listeners can put what they’re hearing in a more complete context.

Not that it likely would matter to Sean Hannity’s fans in TV and Radio Land.

But, still …

FBI launches raid and the mystery deepens

FBI agents conducted a quick-hit raid on the office of Donald J. Trump’s personal lawyer, Michael Cohen.

He’s the guy who shelled out that $130,000 hush-money payment to porn queen Stormy Daniels to keep her quiet about an affair that the president denies ever occurring.

Stay with me on this.

Cohen allegedly paid the money without his client’s knowledge. It supposedly came from a personal account. Trump has said he didn’t know about the payment. And surely we believe the liar in chief’s denial. Isn’t that what we’re supposed to do? I mean, he’s the president of the United States … after all.

I’m no expert on legal ethics, but this one just doesn’t pass the smell test. It stinks to high heaven.

So the FBI wants to take a look at the documents that Cohen had squirreled away in his office. They may — or may not — have anything to do with special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation in the “Russia thing” that Trump calls a “witch hunt” and the product of “fake news” and Democrats who are still steamed over losing the 2016 presidential election.

As an American taxpayer with a keen interest in seeing this mystery play out, I welcome the FBI raid on Cohen’s office. It tells me that the nation’s premier law enforcement agency is on the hunt. It is seeking the truth behind — at a bare minimum (no pun intended) — this seedy, tawdry story involving our nation’s head of state.

There might be some element to this story and the payment of the hush money that hasn’t come out just yet.

So, the mystery deepens. Same for the intrigue.