Tag Archives: Michael Cohen

Feel sorry for The Fixer? Nope, can’t go there

Try as I tend to do, I cannot muster up sympathy for Donald Trump’s former friend, former confidant, former lawyer, former “fixer” — Michael Cohen.

A judge gave him a three-year prison sentence for lying to everyone under the sun about the payments he made to shut women up who allegedly had sexual encounters with the future president of the United States.

Cohen is now trying to atone for his greed by saying he was duped into blind fealty to Donald Trump. No, he wasn’t duped. He wasn’t fooled. He had his eyes and ears open. He knew with whom he was dealing. Trump’s reputation has been well-known ever since he got into the real estate and skyscraper building business.

Cohen’s latest admission came in an interview with ABC News’s George Stephanopoulos.

See the story here

Cohen was motivated by the same self-serving goal that fueled Trump’s entire professional existence prior to his shocking election to the presidency in 2016.

He well might parlay his guilt into an even lighter sentence eventually by spilling even more beans about what he did for Trump. That will be up to the prosecutors and to the special counsel, Robert Mueller, who has benefited from Cohen’s turning on Trump.

However, Michael Cohen doesn’t deserve pity from the public that also is paying a grievous price for the election of a charlatan, a phony, a disgrace. Cohen was a party to that egregious mistake.

Can all these observers be so totally wrong?

Social media are exploding at this moment. They are swarming with comments, predictions, speculation, conjecture and assorted opinions that seem to run along the same line.

Donald John Trump is in seriously deep doo-doo. Three of his former close aides and friends — Michael Flynn, Michael Cohen and Paul Manafort — are convicted felons. Cohen today received a three-year prison sentence. The president’s former “fixer” and friend is now getting ready to wear a prison jump suit.

I’m not sure what the future holds for Flynn, the former Army general and national security adviser and Manafort, Trump’s former campaign chairman.

The social media chatter, though, is alive and abuzz with belief that Donald Trump might be among the next tall tree to fall.

Can they all be wrong? Can they all be mistaken?

The odds are against that notion. It looks to me as though the odds are lengthening about whether Donald Trump is going to finish his term as president of the United States.

This drama needs to play itself out.

Trump’s delusion is accelerating

Donald J. Trump either really doesn’t read anything or has become increasingly delusional.

I’ll go with, um, both possibilities.

The Southern District of New York U.S. attorney’s office has said former Trump friend/Mr. Fixer Michael Cohen should serve prison time for his pattern of lies to federal authorities. Cohen might get four to five years in the slammer for his greed-driven felonies.

Trump responded immediately via Twitter — of course: Totally clears the President. Thank you!

Hmm. Let me think about that. OK, Mr. President. It doesn’t clear you in the least.

Nothing has cleared the president, certainly not his hysterical yammering about there being “no collusion” between his campaign and the Russian operatives to interfered in our 2016 election.

Special counsel Robert Mueller issued a separate memo regarding Cohen, saying he has provided “substantial help” to the special counsel team that is investigating the allegations of collusion.

Does any of that imply — even tangentially — any “clearing” of the president? No. It doesn’t.

It tells me that Mueller is still at work, although I am among those Americans who hopes he is getting close to the conclusion of his exhaustive, meticulous and comprehensive investigation.

Former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has stated this week that Trump refuses to read anything, that he acts impulsively, that he sought to commit illegal acts. Tillerson said he sought to advise the president of the illegality of what he wanted done; that was when the men’s relationship turned frosty.

Tillerson’s assertion about the president’s refusal to read anything rings even more true today as he comments in the wake of the sentencing memo regarding Michael Cohen “totally clears the president.”

Pay attention, Mr. President. Your delusions are getting the better of you. You are in deepening trouble, sir.

Deal or no deal with Russians?

Michael Cohen, the one-time fixer for Donald Trump, has pleaded guilty to lying to Congress about a whole host of issues relating to whether his former friend had dealings with Russians.

He took an oath to tell the truth. He lied. He has admitted to doing it.

As nearly as I can tell from a distance, I perceive that members of Congress take truth-telling to them quite seriously, especially when it involves witnesses they summon to speak to them.

Thus, Cohen’s admission of lying to Congress opens up the question of impeachment. I am not exactly pushing for an impeachment of the president of the United States.

However, the possibility now seems a bit more likely in light of what the one-time Trump pal has admitted to doing. Cohen now has revealed that he lied to Congress, he contradicts the very point that Trump has made to Congress, that he had “no deals” in Russia during the 2016 presidential campaign.

All of this opens up the gigantic door for House members — led by the new Democratic majority — to start asking some probing questions. Oh, yes . . . it also sends some clear signals to special counsel Robert Mueller, who is piecing all of this together while developing his final report on his probe into “The Russia Thing.”

One lies to Congress at his or her own peril. Even if you’re a member of the same party of those who run the show on Capitol Hill.

‘The Fixer’ on the verge of inflicting serious damage

Michael Cohen is no longer Donald Trump’s “Fixer.” He’s now seemingly ready to inflict some serious, possibly fatal, damage to Trump’s tenure as president of the United States.

I’m still trying to figure all this out. It’s complicated, folks.

Cohen, the president’s former confidant and lawyer, has pleaded guilty to lying to Congress about Trump’s business dealings with Russia. They appear to be far more extensive than he told Congress. He spent 70 hours talking to special counsel Robert Mueller about all of this.

Trump’s response has bordered on hysterical. He calls Cohen a “weak man” and a liar. He says he was entitled to do business with Russia as a candidate for president, but said he didn’t do it . . . but that he wouldn’t have broken the law had he done so.

Meanwhile, the president is continuing his all-out assault on Mueller and his legal team that is examining alleged “collusion” between the Trump campaign and Russian operatives.

Trump in trouble?

This is getting even messier than before, ladies and gents, if that is at all possible. It’s getting so messy that I am seeing some commentary from longtime Washington journalists and political operatives who suggest that “for the first time” they are wondering whether Trump will finish his term as president.

I won’t go there. I keep thinking about all the times Trump has avoided potentially mortal injury to his candidacy and then his presidency. He has wiggled free, largely owing to the devotion he still commands from his political “base” of voters and his Republican allies in Congress.

I guess we now might see just how devoted they all are if the evidence continues to pile up.

I have this sense that Robert Mueller has compiled a tremendous amount of evidence that is going to make the president’s life extremely uncomfortable.

So . . . the drama continues.

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?