Michael Cohen warns becoming a Trump target can happen to anyone — whether you're the fixer or a vote counter
Michael Cohen leaving a federal court in Lower Manhattan in 2018. (Shutterstock.com)

Donald Trump's former lawyer Michael Cohen will release his next book on Thursday, which will detail the years he observed the former president and one of the major characteristics Trump has: Revenge.

Speaking to the Washington Post, Cohen explained that the new book is "very much like my book 'Disloyal,' you’re not sure who’s 'disloyal.' So it’s one of those words that can go either way. I chose 'Revenge' as a name, and to write the book in the first place, to explore what occurs when a corrupt and immoral president, along with a willing and complicit attorney general, weaponize the Department of Justice against his critics."

The full title of the new book is "Revenge: How Donald Trump Weaponized the US Department of Justice Against His Critics."

One of the key pieces of Cohen's story is that Trump talked a big game about being supportive when he became the target of an investigation, telling him he was like "family," but ultimately abandoned him. When Cohen finally realized he was being thrown under the bus, he fought back.

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It appeared to infuriate Trump even more, and once Cohen was behind bars dealing with medical issues and COVID-19 beginning to spread, the Department of Corrections demanded that if Cohen was to be released on house arrest he would have to sign a letter pledging that he wouldn't do interviews, write a book or talk to anyone about Trump. No letter like that was required of any other inmate at the time. Cohen believes it was Trump, again, out for revenge.

When Cohen refused to sign it, he was thrown back in prison. Again, he fought back, taking it to court and a judge approved the house arrest. The story about the Department of Corrections was now suddenly disappeared. It might be documented in court, but somehow the Inspector General has no record of anything. Members of Congress have requested information. The House Judiciary Committee sent a letter asking for information, but Cohen believes it's another example of how Donald Trump used the government as his own weapon against his foes.

This is one of the reasons that he thinks Americans should be very worried about the government. The forward of the book explains that what happened to him, could happen to anybody. It's the kind of hyperbole that Americans can roll their eyes at, but Trump is different. A "nobody" in Fulton County Georgia became the target of violence after Trump decided to destroy her out of the blue.

"It's turned my life upside down. I no longer give out my business card... I don't want anyone knowing my name," said Wandrea "Shaye" Moss through tears when speaking to the House Select Committee. "I don't go to the grocery store at all. I haven't been anywhere at all. I've gained about 60 pounds. I just don't do nothing anymore."

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Her mother and grandmother became targets too. It went so far as to people trying to push their way into the home of her grandmother demanding to conduct a "citizen's arrest."

"I'll take on anybody you want with regard to Ruby Freeman, and her lovely daughter, a very lovely young lady, I'm sure. But Ruby Freeman, I will take on anybody you want," Trump said to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger. "They should have been questioned already. Their places of work, their homes should have been searched."

So, while Cohen became a Trump foe based on their relationship, it doesn't take an introduction for Trump to make someone's life miserable.

"It’s definitely systemic," Cohen explained. "But Donald Trump was the cancer. He was the person who figured out how to weaponize it and to go after critics like no one has ever done before."

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He argued that in his case, it was the system that was damaged because prosecutors focus on their number of convictions because they ultimately become more desirable to "white-shoe law firms, and then the higher-paying jobs that the land."

"In my case, prosecutors from the very first time that they engaged with my counsel, gave me an ultimatum to either plead guilty within 48 hours — from a Friday at 5:30 p.m. to Monday morning — or to be served with an 80-page indictment that would include my wife," Cohen said. "That’s something that I’d rather die [over] than let happen. So I pled guilty to charges that were untrue. Other than the Stormy Daniels [nondisclosure agreement] charge that I pled guilty to, the rest are all lies. Shoved down my throat by prosecutors."

In the case of the hush-money payment to Karen McDougal, David Pecker, the National Enquirer chief who paid to keep her quiet in an effort to protect Trump, was given immunity for the same thing that Cohen was charged with. Cohen, who never got any kind of "deal," has done more to help prosecutors access information about Trump.

When Trump was in the business world, Cohen said he used lawyers and money to get to his goal.

"The power that he had as a businessman pales in comparison to the power of the presidency. His personal beliefs, his anger towards critics, remain the same," Cohen said. "But his ability to effectuate harm and damage is unparalleled when you’re the president of the United States."

Cohen says that he hates himself for what he did to hurt his family. At the same time, he said he helped create a kind of Frankenstein monster that is now loose in the world. He feels a sense of duty to put the monster back in the cage.

"I’m specifically speaking of the individual himself. Donald Trump never wanted to be president of the United States. The entire campaign originated from a desire to increase the visibility of the brand," said Cohen. "And Donald was frequently heard saying, 'This is going to be the greatest political infomercial in the history of U.S. politics.' Once he tasted power, I knew that he would never want to give it up. He always admired dictators, monarchs, authoritarians, supreme leaders. And when I stated that we need to put Frankenstein’s monster back in its cage, I believe it’s the only way to silence MAGA and the cult of Donald J. Trump."

In previous conversations with Raw Story, Cohen has talked about the "cult" of Trump, admitting that he too was sucked into the world and just as desperate to earn the love and respect of the leader. Like many cults, once you're away from it, then it becomes clear. But being wrapped in the embrace of the cult leader can be addictive, he said.

"Revenge" will be released on Thursday and Raw Story will have full coverage of it.