Quantcast
Connect with us

A new Michael Cohen recording hurts his credibility — but it makes the case against Trump look even stronger

Published

on

- Commentary

A new Michael Cohen tape is making waves — and this time it’s Cohen who was recorded without his knowledge

On Wednesday, the Wall Street Journal reported that Cohen denied responsibility for tax and bank crimes he has already pleaded guilty to in a secretly recorded phone call with actor Tom Arnold.

ADVERTISEMENT

President Donald Trump’s former personal attorney and fixer, is scheduled to report to federal prison on May 6 to serve a three-year sentence. In August 2018,  he pleaded guilty to tax evasion and bank crimes as well as criminal campaign finance violations — undisclosed hush money payments in which Trump is directly implicated.

Arnold gave a copy of the 36-minute recording from last month to the Journal, which reported that Cohen told Arnold, “There is no tax evasion” and has posted highlights of the recording online. This directly contradicts Cohen’s guilty plea, and will likely be used to cast doubt on his credibility as a witness against Trump.

But the call suggests something much more damning for the president. When Cohen pleaded guilty to the campaign finance crimes, he said Trump — named in court filings as “Individual-1” — directed him to carry them out, which exposes the president to potential criminal liability. In the recording, Cohen seems to suggest that the evidence on the campaign finance charges was the strongest the prosecutors had. He said “they had me on campaign finance.”

Some of Trump’s defenders, most notably Rudy Giuliani, have suggested that having decisively caught Cohen on financial crimes, prosecutors used that leverage over him to force him to plead guilty to the campaign finance crimes in a way that implicated the president. This new tape suggests the opposite — SDNY’s evidence for the campaign finance crime in which Trump is implicated was so thorough and incontrovertible that Cohen pleaded guilty to other crimes he thinks he could have fought.

ADVERTISEMENT

However, there was another factor in Cohen’s decision, according to the report. He feared that his wife may be implicated in the charges against him.

“I love this woman,” Cohen told Arnold, “and I am not going to let her get dragged into the mud of this crap. And I never thought the judge was going to throw a three-year fricking sentence.”

During the conversation with Arnold, Cohen complains about how much he has lost. “You would think that you would have folks, you know, stepping up and saying, ​‘You know what, this guy’s lost everything.’” And the 52-year-old attorney discussed the toll his legal problems have taken on his family, telling Arnold, “My family’s happiness, and my law license—I lost my business.… my insurance, my bank accounts. All for what? All for what? Because Trump, you know, had an affair with a porn star? That’s really what this is about.”

ADVERTISEMENT

The porn star Cohen is referring to is Stormy Daniels. The campaign finance violations stemmed from hush money payments Cohen made to Daniels and Playboy model Karen McDougal, both of whom alleged that they had extramarital affairs with Trump. Because the payments were made by Cohen directly ahead of the 2016 election and in order to help Trump’s chances, prosecutors have said — and a judge agreed — that they constituted an illegal undisclosed campaign contribution. The president has denied these claims.

According to Arnold, Cohen didn’t know he was recording their March 25 conversation.

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and legal efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. And unlike other news outlets, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from billionaires and corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click to donate by check.

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.



Report typos and corrections to: [email protected]. Send news tips to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Trump allies acquiring ‘dirt’ on journalists to take them down during the 2020 election

Published

on

President Donald Trump's war against the media has taken a next step. According to The New York Times, Trump's allies have been compiling information on reporters at CNN, The Washington Post and The New York Times to strike back because the president believes they "aggressively investigated" him.

The information was revealed Sunday using information disclosed by associates of conservative Arthur Schwartz, who is spearheading the project. Schwartz is an adviser to Donald Trump Jr. and previously worked with Steve Bannon.

Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Iran Foreign Minister Zarif perfectly Twitter-trolls Trump with photos of meeting with smiling Macron at G7

Published

on

Iran Foreign Minister Javad Zarif used Donald Trump's favorite social media platform to get in a dig at the president and rub his nose in the fact that French President Emmanuel took time out from the busy G7 meeting he is hosting to sit down with him.

The White House was reportedly blindsided by Macron's invitation that had been kept a secret from Trump and now, if Trump wanted proof of the meeting, he need only hop on Twitter to see the evidence.

As Zarif wrote, "Iran's active diplomacy in pursuit of constructive engagement continues. Met @EmmanuelMacron on sidelines of #G7Biarritz after extensive talks with @JY_LeDria & Finance Min. followed by a joint briefing for UK/Germany. Road ahead is difficult. But worth trying."

Continue Reading
 

Breaking Banner

Hong Kong police fire first gunshot in protest clashes

Published

on

Hong Kong police used water cannon for the first time and at least one officer fired his sidearm during pitched battles with protesters Sunday, one of the most violent nights in three months of pro-democracy rallies that have rocked the city.

An afternoon rally in the district of Tsuen Wan spiralled into violent running confrontations between protesters and police, with officers several times caught outnumbered and isolated by masked youths wielding sticks and throwing rocks.

In one instance, several police officers drew their sidearms, an AFP reporter at the scene said.

"According to my understanding, just now a gunshot was fired by a colleague," Superintendent Leung Kwok Win told the press.

Continue Reading
 
 

Thank you for whitelisting Raw Story!

As a special thank you, from now until August 31st, we're offering you a discounted rate of $5.99/month to subscribe and get ad-free access. We're honored to have you as a reader. Thank you. :) —Elias, Membership Coordinator
HELP US UNCOVER CORRUPTION!
close-link
close-image