Tag Archives: Michael Cohen

Waiting for a more ‘presidential’ president

There you go, Mr. President. Donald Trump has vowed to be “more presidential” during his time in office.

Then he does this: He fires off a Twitter tirade that includes this gem about a woman who had sued him for defamation related to a payment his one-time lawyer made to the woman.

Trump wrote:  “Federal Judge throws out Stormy Danials lawsuit verses Trump. Trump is entitled to full legal fees. @FoxNews Great, now I can go after Horseface and her 3rd rate lawyer in the Great State of Texas. She will confirm the letter she signed! She knows nothing about me, a total con.”

You need to parse through the mangled syntax, shoddy punctuation and, oh yes, the epithet he hurled at woman he mentions by her(misspelled) name in the tweet.

Yes, he calls Stormy Daniels “Horseface.”

Daniels alleges she and the future president had a one-night tryst in a hotel. Trump later ordered his then-lawyer, Michael Cohen, to pay her $130,000 to keep quiet about the event … while denying it ever happened. Go … figure.

I won’t get into what we all know to be the obvious, which is that we won’t ever see the president of the United States on a GQ magazine cover. Oh, well. I guess I just did.

Still, the president’s oft-stated vow to be “more presidential” has yet to be kept.

Shameful.

Avenatti becomes a royal pain in the … wherever

Michael Avenatti began driving me crazy some months ago when he was seen everywhere, talking to every talking head on TV about a client of his, a woman who goes by the name of Stormy Daniels.

She is the adult film actress/dancer who took a $130,000 payment from the former lawyer for Donald Trump to keep her quiet about a one-night stand she said she had with the future president of the United States in 2006.

Avenatti has become a ubiquitous presence on TV.  Good grief, the guy seems able to be everywhere all at once! How does this clown do that?

And then he entered the battle to keep Brett Kavanaugh off the Supreme Court. He now represents a woman who contends that the newly sworn in justice assaulted her years ago.

You know, I am going to buy into the argument that Avenatti’s late entry into this discussion might have doomed efforts to keep Kavanaugh off the court.

Avenatti has become a politician. He has stated his desire to consider running for president of the United States in 2020. He is making political speeches. He is saying Democrats need to deal with Trump with even more bile and vitriol than the president dishes out to his political foes.

I’m trying to connect the dots. A lawyer signs on to represent a high-profile client; then he starts sounding like a possible presidential candidate; and then he jumps into another high-profile fray, this time involving a nominee to the highest court in the United States.

What’s this guy’s motive, other than to boost his clientele, make a name for himself and, well, fatten his wallet?

Avenatti very well might be a first-rate lawyer. He says he is. All the time. To any talk-show host who’ll have him on the air.

Me? I’m sick of listening to this clown.

Trump has the ‘mother of bad days’

So much for “rigged witch hunt.”

Donald J. Trump’s former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, is now a convicted felon after a Virginia jury today returned guilty verdicts on eight counts of assorted tax and money laundering charges; jurors were deadlocked on 10 more counts, so the judge declared a mistrial on the unresolved accusations.

Then there’s Michael Cohen, the president’s one-time confidant/fixer/personal lawyer who pleaded guilty to tax fraud, bank fraud and campaign law violations. He now is set to tell special counsel Robert Mueller all he knows about his dealings with the president.

Hmmm. I think that constitutes a bad day for the president. As in a really, seriously bad day.

Trump, of course, has lashed out at the criminal justice system, at Mueller, Cohen … whoever.

And make no mistake, Trump said the Manafort conviction had nothing to do with “Russian collusion.” Well, duh. No one said it did. That’s all being looked at separately, Mr. President.

Something tells me we have a president getting into some serious trouble. Here’s the annoying fly in the ointment: Trump has the power — and he might have the inclination — to worsen that trouble by issuing a pardon to Manafort. Hey, he’s got the authority to do it, just as he reminds us.

If he does take that leap, well … let’s just say the fecal matter is going to hit multiple fans all at once.

‘Sleaze’: the term that defines Trump presidency

Robert Mueller’s investigation into alleged collusion and obstruction of justice is slogging toward a conclusion no one can yet predict.

The special counsel has conducted himself with consummate professionalism. The person he is investigating, Donald John Trump Sr., has not.

The president has been revealing for all the world to see the level of sleaze that has permeated his professional career. It has followed him into his private life. It well might have infected the presidency.

These audio recordings of Trump discussing payoffs of hush money to a Playboy model who alleges a nearly yearlong affair with the future president offer up only the latest case in point. The recordings come from Michael Cohen, who already has acknowledged paying another woman, porn queen Stormy Daniels, to keep her quiet about a sexual encounter she alleges having with Trump.

Trump denies both events occurred. Oh, but he paid these women the money. For what purpose? To buy them gifts? No. To keep them quiet!

Sleazy in the extreme.

It’s only the latest. The “Access Hollywood” recording of Trump bragging about he could grab women by their private area offers an even more graphic example.

The sleaze that surrounds the president has been built over many years. The very election of Donald Trump to the nation’s highest office does not erase it.

To think, too, that none of this was terribly surprising even during the 2016 presidential campaign. The 62 million Americans who cast their ballots for Trump more than likely knew at least tangentially about what he did during the entirety of his professional career. They knew about his serial philandering. They knew about how he has acted toward women and how he has lied at every turn.

Trump got their votes anyway.

It’s fair to ask: Has this level of sleaze become the new normal in American politics?

Sickening.

Trump and Cohen: one liar hired another liar?

You’ll need to follow me for just a moment on this one.

Michael Cohen once was Donald J. Trump’s trusted confidant. Trump spoke highly of his lawyer. He called him a good friend, a good lawyer, a dedicated professional.

Then the confidant goes through a change of heart. He says some things about Trump that the president has objected to vigorously. Now he’s a liar. He cannot be trusted.

And then comes the president’s current lawyer, Rudolf Giuliani, who this weekend described Cohen’s lying traits as “pathological.” He is a serial liar. He’s been lying for years, according to the former America’s Mayor.

But … wait!

Trump hired Cohen many years ago because he trusted him. What is Giuliani suggesting? Is he suggesting that Trump — a man with considerable “liar credentials” of his own — hire someone knowing he has this capacity for lying?

So, while Giuliani trashes Cohen’s motives and his credibility, is he also condemning the man who hired him in the first place?

Of course he isn’t. Giuliani has embarked on a credibility trashing campaign on behalf of his boss, Trump.

Which version of Michael Cohen are we expected to believe, the one who slathered all over Donald John Trump, or the one who is declaring his independence from someone he doesn’t trust as far as he can throw him?

The ‘Fixer’ now seeks to damage Trump?

You might not expect me to say this, but here it comes anyway: Michael Cohen, Donald Trump’s former good friend and lawyer, has allegedly revealed another big lie from the president of the United States … but it might not matter.

Hey, I think it’s a big deal. Others think it’s a big deal. But the president’s penchant for prevarication has become almost standard fare now.

Cohen reports that candidate Donald Trump knew of a meeting with Russian operatives before it happened during the 2016 presidential campaign. Trump has said he didn’t know about it. Don Trump Jr. has said he never told Dad about it. Cohen, though, says Junior told Senior about it before the fact.

Thus, the president and his First Son lied in public about what they knew — or didn’t know.

The Russians reportedly had dirt on Hillary Rodham Clinton, Trump’s Democratic foe in the election. They allegedly wanted to meet with Trump to tell him what they had. Did the candidate call the FBI to rat them out? Did Don Jr. do it? Did anyone squeal about principals from a hostile country to the feds? No.

Now it might be that Trump has been caught in another whopper.

Will anyone care? I do. So should you.

‘Attack on our system’? Sure thing, Mr. POTUS

An FBI raid on the office of a former Donald Trump lawyer and confidant is back in the news.

It turns out the FBI obtained record from Michael Cohen that he recorded a conversation with the then-president elect, Donald Trump, about a payment to a Playboy model with whom Trump allegedly had a relationship about a decade ago.

I mention the FBI raid because I just watched Trump’s reaction to the raid earlier this year. Perhaps you remember what he said. He called it an “attack on our system.” He vilified the FBI for conducting what he called an illegal raid on a “good man,” Cohen.

Given what we know these days about the Russian attack on our democratic system, I find the president’s assertion that the FBI rises to that level utterly absurd on its face.

The attack on our system occurred in Moscow when Vladimir Putin ordered the hacking of Democratic operatives’ files in an effort to influence the outcome of the 2016 presidential election.

And the raid itself? It was done properly. The FBI obtained a federal court order, as required by law. Indeed, Cohen himself said the agents were courteous and respectful while they scooped up the evidence they sought and delivered to special counsel Robert Mueller.

All this baloney about “witch hunt,” and “attacks on our system” need to be put in their proper perspective. To hear the president of the United States use this kind of language only intensifies what we know to be the facts about this man’s election.

The attack came not from within, but from the Kremlin.

Hey, did POTUS break a law?

History may be about to repeat itself. I put the emphasis on “may be,” as in “maybe.”

The FBI seized papers and other material from former Donald Trump lawyer/friend Michael Cohen and then discovered a recorded evidence that he and Trump discussed payments to a former Playboy model who has contended she and Trump had an yearlong affair before Trump became president.

How is history repeating itself?

Follow the bouncing ball  …

The U.S. House of Representatives impeached President Bill Clinton in 1998 for committing perjury to a federal grand jury, which asked him about an affair the president was having with a White House intern; Clinton lied when he denied the relationship.

The House then learned about that infamous blue dress. The Republican majority then had its cause for impeachment: The president took an oath to follow the law; he didn’t when he lied to the grand jury. Thus, the impeachment.

Special counsel Robert Mueller now has all the evidence seized in that FBI raid of Cohen’s office. He recorded conversations with the president over the payment to the Playboy model, Karen McDougal.

Did the president, then, possibly violate campaign finance laws when he paid off the model, perhaps to keep her quiet, just as he paid the hush money to porn star Stormy Daniels? Did he break the law by failing to disclose the payment as required by law of those who are running for president?

Is there another law broken here? Are there, um, grounds for impeachment? It might sound specious to those who think the Mueller investigation is a “witch hunt.” Then again, there were those on the other side who said the same thing about the Kenneth Starr examination into President Clinton’s behavior.

To be sure, the GOP majority in the House isn’t likely to go along with an impeachment resolution. Democrats most certainly would, which then makes the upcoming congressional election all the more critical. Do you get my drift? Of course you do!

Conviction, quite clearly, is another matter — as the GOP found out in 1998 and as Democrats could learn in, say, 2019.

Another campaign kicks off? Seriously?

“Our troops didn’t die in Yorktown, didn’t take Normandy beach, didn’t rebuild Europe and secure the postwar peace that you are now destroying, Mr. President, for you to live as a Manchurian candidate in our White House.”

Who do you suppose made this statement today?

OK, I’ll give it up. It came from Michael Avenatti, the lawyer who represents Stormy Daniels/Stephanie Clifford, the porn star who alleges she took a one-night tumble in a hotel room about a dozen years ago with Donald J. Trump Sr.

Why do I even mention this? Why devote any blog space to this guy?

Because he annoys me. That’s why.

Avenatti is becoming the ubiquitous lawyer who seems to my way of thinking to be more interested in promoting his own interests than in protecting the interests of his most famous client.

Avenatti delivered some kind of speech today in front of the White House in which he called Trump a “Manchurian candidate.”

I need some help on many matters. One of them involves whether the content of Avenatti’s speech has anything to do with Daniels/Clifford’s beef with Donald Trump.

Yes, Trump deserves criticism. I’ve delivered my share of it from this forum. Yes, Avenatti also is entitled to criticize the president as well. His public celebrity status, though, is due to his legal representation of a woman who received a hush-money payment from a guy who once was the president’s lawyer/Mr. Fix It.

I am believing now that Michael Avenatti is branching out.

Is there another political career in the making before our eyes?

I’m tired of this guy already.

Strange legal bedfellows?

This is weird.

Lanny Davis, one of Bill and Hillary Clinton’s better friends, is now representing Michael Cohen, who until just recently was supposedly a friend of and legal adviser to Donald J. Trump … although I am unclear just how many “friends” the president actually has.

Cohen is now declaring some form of independence from Trump, the guy he used to work for as a “fixer” and, oh yes, for whom he wrote that $130,000 check to keep the porn star Stormy Daniels quiet about the tryst she had years ago with the man who would become president of the United States.

As The Hill reported: Cohen, who previously worked for Trump, told (ABC News’s George) Stephanopoulos last week that his “first loyalty” lies with his family, not the president. 

I don’t know about you, but this is looking to me as though Cohen is about to unleash all he knows about Trump’s behavior. I am pretty sure the special counsel, Robert Mueller, is going to be all ears.

What about Cohen’s relationship with Lanny Davis? I guess there’s something to be said about strange bedfellows, yes?