Michael Cohen A Seething Cauldron Of Resentment And Revenge Fantasies, So: SURPRISE!
Since the FBI raided his office, and after years of loyal lapdog service, poor Michael Cohen has been largely cast aside by Donald Trump, leaving Cohen feeling "left out in the wilderness," according to an associate who spoke to the Washington Post. All of which helps explain why Cohen has been getting a lot yappier recently as he publicly turns on his former father figure --which, among other things, Cohen's real dad ought to find terribly insulting.
There's not a huge amount of truly new news in the piece, apart from a note that Donald Trump only shows up in "snippets" on most of the audio recordings the FBI siezed from Cohen's office. The recording CNN released Tuesday, with Trump talking strategy about paying off Karen McDougal, seems to be the only "substantive" discussion with the Great Man, at least according to the anonymous sources who spoke to WaPo. But there are apparently lots and lots of recordings of Cohen talking to reporters about various Trumpy things, possibly as many as 100, which for some reason conservative media pest Hugh Hewitt believes ought to have reporters terrified, for some reason:
That probably says more about Hugh Hewitt than most journos, who we tend to assume would only be worried if the tapes inadvertently revealed any sources who aren't Michael Cohen. Or maybe Hewitt really thinks they'll all be caught saying "Please tell us things to fit our distorted leftwing worldview so we can smear that good man, Donald Trump." CNN's Andrew Kaczynski replied he was definitely very fearful the public might hear "tapes of Michael Cohen repeatedly hanging up on me when I call for comment" -- so good warning, Hugh Hewitt.
And what kind of lawyer would tape a client? Maybe the kind of lawyer who knows that client and his habit of betraying those who work for him really, really well. The Post notes Trump has been in low dudgeon over finding out his personal attorney recorded him, even though Trump was aware of the Cohen recording well before it was released this week, according to "people familiar with his thinking," which it's usually safe to assume means Trump himself. One of Trump's many "outside advisers" added that Trump is especially testy because Cohen would be nothing if not for his relationship with Trump. Cohen also wouldn't be looking at a federal criminal investigation, either, so that may balance out.
We also learn, as if we didn't already know, that Cohen seems to be motivated
more by his outrage over the president's indifference and feelings of betrayal — coupled with the personal and financial weight of the criminal case being assembled by federal prosecutors — than by a legal strategy to help his case.
Gee, who could have seen that coming from the guy who blew up at a Daily Beast reporter, yelling,
So I'm warning you, tread very fucking lightly, because what I'm going to do to you is going to be fucking disgusting. You understand me?
Have to wonder where Cohen ever saw such uncouth behavior modeled. Lawyers are so impressionable, and they pick up on cues from those they admire. So sad.
There's also the usual collection of "Trump aides and allies" who spent much of Wednesday griping about how Cohen doesn't seem to have any sense of loyalty to the Great Man who's repeatedly belittled and ignored him, if you can believe that. And of course, the sense that since Cohen is represented by former Clinton lawyer Lanny Davis, then all of this can be attributed to shadow president Hillary Clinton, who's pulling the strings yet again:
"We all think he's being used by Lanny, who has a vendetta," said former Trump adviser Sam Nunberg, who worked with Cohen for years. Referencing Roger Stone, another former Trump adviser and a self-described master of political dark arts, Nunberg said, "I'm still a Stone-ite, and we eat Clintons for breakfast."
Isn't he just precious? Grr, snarl, tough!
In other Cohen Tapes news, the Wall Street Journal reports Cohen recorded a two-hour conversation he'd had with CNN's Chris Cuomo about the payments he'd made to Stormy Daniels to buy her silence. The recording captures Cohen trotting out the story that he'd made the October 2016 hush-money arrangement "on my own," and that it was simply a "private transaction."
Cuomo -- doing that due diligence Hewitt predicted might prove so very embarrassing to reporters -- pressed Cohen on whether the payment could be considered an in-kind contribution to Trump's campaign, since it definitely made a problem go away. Cohen replied, "It wasn't for the campaign. It was for him," meaning Trump. The recording could be really interesting to investigators looking into whether Cohen violated campaign finance laws.
Oh, and there's this nice detail, which impressively illustrates what a convincing liar Cohen is:
During the conversation with Mr. Cuomo, Mr. Cohen assured the reporter that he wasn't running a tape, according to the people familiar with the matter. He told Mr. Cuomo he was placing the phone in his desk drawer and that the conversation was off the record.
In conclusion, everyone around Donald Trump remains a petulant, grudge-holding liar and that is your Michael Cohen news for the day, we hope, but Crom knows what other insane shit will be out by the time we finish our coffee.
- Investigators have 100 Michael Cohen tapes: WaPo ›
- Analysis | The Trump-Michael Cohen tape transcript, annotated ›
- Trump-Cohen tape, explained: Karen McDougal hush money ... ›
Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.