Tag Archives: Michael Cohen

It’s not really our business, however …

Donald J. Trump’s lawyer of the moment, Rudy Giuliani, has decided to speak about the first lady’s view of one of her husband’s, um, episodes involving other women.

Giuliani said Melania Trump “believes” the president when he says he didn’t have a tryst with a pornographic film actress, Stephanie Clifford, aka Stormy Daniels, in a hotel room back in 2006.

So, how does the former New York City mayor come to that conclusion? Do you think he asked Mrs. Trump directly? Did he ask the president himself? Or is he just making a conclusion based on nothing at all?

None of this in reality is anyone’s business. However, since one of the principals involved in this idiocy happens to be the president of the United States, it sort of morphs itself into the public domain.

I have difficulty accepting that Mrs. Trump would even answer such a question, even if it comes from the man who’s now representing her husband in his myriad battles to fend off investigations of all sorts. They include this matter involving Clifford/Daniels … allegedly.

I still circle back to the one aspect of that tryst that makes it all so very believable. It’s the payment of 130 grand in real American money that another lawyer, Michael Cohen, made to Daniels to keep her quiet. One must ask: If there was no sexual encounter, why would he have to pay the hush money?

As for whether Giuliani is relying on Donald Trump’s assertion that his (third) wife believes his denials about a one-night stand with Daniels — sigh! — I only can fall back on the many lies Trump has told since he began his political career in 2015.

If it were me — and I am so glad that it isn’t — I wouldn’t believe a single word that flies out of the president’s mouth.

How does she do her job?

“We give the very best information that we have at the time.”

So said White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders in response to a question about her boss, Donald Trump, and his “blatant disregard for the truth.”

The issue of the day deals with Trump’s repayment of hush money to porn queen Stormy Daniels. Trump has denied making the payment to his lawyer, Michael Cohen, who forked over the money to Daniels in the first place; Sanders has parroted the president’s denial.

Now all of that has been tossed aside.

I’ll stipulate once again that I have been no fan of Sanders’s conduct as White House press flack. However, truth be told (no pun intended), she is being asked to do the impossible. She cannot speak the truth because she is not given the truth up front from the president or those who comprise his inner circle.

According to Politico: Not just in Thursday’s briefing, but overall, “the best information we have at the time” has become something of a go-to line for Sanders — her version of apparently throwing up her arms in the face of a president who has proved not only impulsive and prone to changing his mind, but who has exhibited an unprecedented propensity for falsehoods. As his official spokesperson, Sanders’ performance in Tuesday’s briefing left some reporters further questioning not just the president’s credibility, but also that of his press secretary and the entire White House.

I won’t go nearly so far as to express sympathy for Sanders. She surely had to know what she was buying into when she replaces Sean Spicer as White House press secretary. It well might be that Spicer warned her up front: Be careful, Sarah; the boss can’t tell the truth … about anything!

I hate believing that Sanders is a willing participant in the president’s penchant for prevarication. Her willingness to remain at her post, though, seems to give critics such as yours truly little choice to believe the worst in the White House press secretary.

How do we keep the lies straight?

My head is continuing to spin on a swivel as I watch and listen to the explanations, excuses and walking back of statements regarding Donald Trump, Michael Cohen, Rudy Guiliani and Stormy Daniels.

Here is what is most confusing to me: Does a lawyer who works for his or her client do anything “on the client’s behalf” without telling the client?

I refer to that hush money payment that the lawyer, Michael Cohen, made to Stormy Daniels, the porn star who alleges having a one-night tryst with Donald Trump (Cohen’s client). Trump says he didn’t have sex with Daniels … but Cohen made the payment anyway.

Enter the former New York mayor, Giuliani, who now serves on the president’s legal team.

Trump has denied any knowledge of Cohen’s payment to Daniels to keep her quiet about the (alleged) tumble she took with Trump. Then the ex-mayor says Trump knew about it after all. Giuliani adds that Cohen made the payment without telling Trump precisely why he made it.

Huh? Do I have that essentially correct?

A lawyer worth a damn — and it’s not clear to me that Cohen fits that description — doesn’t shell out a six-figure payment to someone on the client’s behalf without telling him in the moment, if not beforehand. Isn’t that what good lawyers do?

I’m not a lawyer. That’s patently obvious. Another lawyer, though, is certainly paying careful attention to all of this. He’s a good one, too. That would be special counsel Robert Mueller, who has hired a legal team that is poring over all of the bobbing, weaving, dodging and ducking.

Stay alert, Mr. Special Counsel.

What? Rudy exposes another Trump lie?

The hits just keep on comin’, man.

Get a load of this latest offering from the man formerly known as America’s Mayor, Rudy Giuliani, who’s now taken on a new gig as Donald Trump’s lawyer tasked with negotiating a “quick” end to Robert Mueller’s investigation into “the Russia thing.”

Giuliani told Fox News’s Sean Hannity this week that Trump repaid another lawyer, Michael Cohen, who had forked over $130,000 to the porn star who allegedly had that one-night sexual tryst a dozen years ago with the man who would become president of the United States.

But … wait! Trump had said he didn’t know anything about the hush money Cohen paid to Stormy Daniels to keep her quiet about the fling she allegedly took with Trump in 2006 … which, of course, Trump has denied ever occurred.

So, where we do we stand?

Trump’s denial about Cohen’s payment to Stormy Daniels has been flushed away, apparently. Trump’s denial of the tryst is still on shaky ground, given that Cohen paid Daniels a substantial amount to shut her up about an event Trump said didn’t happen.

Does anyone think any of this is going to persuade Robert Mueller to end his probe quickly? Is this veteran lawyer and former FBI director going to call it quits on this probe just because Rudy Giuliani is on board with the rest of the Trump legal team?

I, um, think not.

Trump contradicts himself again … imagine that!

When the talk show hosts on the Fox News Channel look nervous while talking to Donald J. Trump, then you know the president is treading where he shouldn’t go.

“Fox & Friends” had the president on the air this morning and Trump took the opportunity to fly off the rails. Take, for instance, what he said about Michael Cohen, his lawyer who now plans to invoke his Fifth Amendment rights regarding Stormy Daniels, the porn star who allegedly had a one-night tryst with the man who would become president.

Trump had denied repeatedly that he knew anything about the $130,000 hush money payment Cohen made to Daniels to keep her quiet about the tryst that Trump denies ever happening.

Today, Trump said that, yep, Cohen represented him on that “crazy Daniels” matter. Huh? Does that mean that Trump knew of the payment, the one where he denied knowledge?

So, where do we stand with the Prevaricator in Chief?

He said he didn’t know about the payment. Cohen said he made it on behalf of his client … that would be the president. Does the president’s lawyer engage in activity without notifying his client? Um, no, not if he is worth a damn as a lawyer.

And did the president today just reverse his prior denials about what Cohen did? It sure looks like it to me.

Therefore, one now understands why the “Fox & Friends” hosts looked so damn nervous while they had their guy, Trump, on the air blathering and bloviating about this and that.

It certainly looked to me as though Trump had come unhinged.

Check it out here.

Simply … amazing.

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.