For years, Michael Cohen was one of Donald Trump’s most trusted minions–and depending on the source, was the most trusted minion in Trump’s inner circle. Cohen was not only Trump’s personal lawyer, but also his top fixer, steamrolling anyone who dared cross the Donald.
But in recent weeks, Cohen had been dropping some pretty loud hints that he was turning on Trump. Reportedly, he expects to be indicted and arrested any day now–and almost certainly knows that he won’t be able to throw out most of the documents that were seized in the April raid on his office. He’s also looking for lawyers with expertise in hammering out plea agreements. And when Tom Arnold collared Cohen and his wife in New York two weeks ago to discuss Cohen taking part in a series about unflattering footage of Trump, Cohen’s wife harrumphed, “OK, f**k Trump.”
On Monday morning, we got the clearest sign yet that Cohen is finished with Trump. On ABC’s “Good Morning America,” host George Stephanopoulos revealed that he’d sat down with Cohen over the weekend. During their chat, the man who once vowed to “take a bullet” for Trump told the nation that now, his first loyalty is to “family and country.”
Watch Stephanopoulos discuss the interview here.
There are a lot of reasons for Trump to be very afraid at the prospect of Cohen flipping. More than any of Trump’s minions, Cohen knows where the proverbial bodies are buried regarding some of Trump’s shadier deals.
That’s why the most remarkable thing that happened on Monday was something that actually didn’t happen. Given that Trump publicly blows his stack on Twitter at the tiniest possible slight, as well as his demand for near-absolute loyalty from his minions, the political world spent much of Monday waiting for the expected 280-character tantrum from Trump. But it never came.
As it turns out, it didn’t need to. Trump’s minions on both television and social media apparently did it for him.
First, just before lunchtime, the gang on Fox News’ “Outnumbered” wagged their fingers at Cohen for daring to even think about flipping on Trump, and loudly questioned his credibility.
Any Trump diehard who didn’t get the message certainly got it on Monday afternoon from birther, conspiracy theorist, and pseudo-journalist Jerome Corsi.
While Corsi was taking a swipe at Robert Mueller, it’s hard not to see these tweets as a dismissal of Cohen. After all, Corsi harrumphed that Cohen never had any role in Trump’s campaign. As any political junkie knows, that line doesn’t withstand serious analysis.
Take the Stormy Daniels payment, for instance. No one can seriously dispute that it was intended to zip Daniels’ lips in case she came forward and hurt Trump’s election chances. Campaign finance law experts are almost unanimous that this payment amounts to an in-kind contribution to the Trump campaign–one that would either be an illegal coordinated donation between the campaign and the Trump Organization, or a personal donation from Cohen that would far exceed legal limits.
If that wasn’t enough, The Washington Post reported in late June that the rabidly pro-Trump National Enquirer gave Cohen what amounted to a veto over any stories related to Trump or his opponents.
And yet, in the face of all of this evidence, Corsi claims Cohen had no role in the campaign. There’s only one reason to make such an argument. The monster Cohen helped create is about to turn on him.
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