Michael Cohen is now claiming that he was in the room when the Republican candidate for President was informed of the Russian’s offer for “dirt” on Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump extended his approval for the meeting to go forward.
Cohen has not offered any evidence to support his claims nor has he identified anyone else who was allegedly in the room to corroborate his story. At this point, he only offers his word. Nothing else.
But wait, didn’t Cohen record his conversations with Donald Trump? One would think if Cohen is going to record a conversation about a payment that would never take place, as illustrated with the audio tapes about an attempt to purchase the McDougal story, he would most certainly record something that is so clearly compromising for a potential President of the United States.
President Trump weighed in with his thoughts on the new Cohen controversy proclaiming he “did NOT know of the meeting.”
“I did NOT know of the meeting with my son Don jr. Sounds to me like someone is trying to make up stories in order to get himself out of an unrelated jam (Taxi cabs maybe?). He even retained Bill and Crooked Hillary’s lawyer. Gee, I wonder if they helped him make the choice!”
– President Donald Trump via Twitter – July 26, 2018 @ 7:56 am.
Trump’s tweet made reference to “Taxi cabs” because Michael Cohen’s legal problems could have stemmed from his purchase of New York City taxi cab medallions.
Michael Cohen reportedly barrowed from various banks and credit unions in order to buy New York City taxi cab medallions, as reported by the New York Times. He then used those medallions as collateral to barrow more funding in an effort to purchase more medallions. Cohen amassed around 30 medallions, each worth around $250,000. The amount of debt Cohen racked up was in the millions.
In 2014, a New York City taxi cab medallion would sell for about $1.3 million dollars, Cohen never sold and still owns around 30 medallions. Upon the introduction of Uber and Lyft, along with other ride sharing options, the floor dropped out of taxi cab medallions. New York City taxi cab medallions now sell for only $160,000/ea. Many news outlets have reported that Cohen’s legal troubles with the Southern District of New York are a direct result of his taxi business.
Michael Cohen’s homes, offices, and hotel room were raided in April of 2018 and the case was subsequently handed down to the Southern District of New York. It has been reported that the FBI was seeking documentation related to Cohen’s taxi holdings, which lends more credibility to the President’s tweet. Had Cohen offered information to the special counsel, the case would not have been handed down to a lower prosecutor since Mueller would need him in order to corroborate any high crimes or misdemeanors on behalf of the President. Cohen seems to be grasping at straws in an effort to, in the words of William Devane, cover his own assets.
Michael Cohen has never been known to be particularly truthful which is partially the reason why he felt required to record conversations with his clients, a practice that has been roundly criticized on both sides of the aisle as highly unethical. Clearly, Cohen has run into credibility problems in the past.
President Trump’s attorney, Rudy Giuliani, denied Cohen’s claims with CNN’s “Cuomo Prime Time,” on Thursday evening. “He’s been lying all week, he’s been lying for years. I don’t see how he’s got any credibility,” said Giuliani.
“A person who is found to be an incredible liar, he’s got a tremendous motive to lie now because he’s got nothing to give, says it, all of the sudden, at the 11th hour. I don’t think anyone believes that,” said Giuliani to CNN.
Donald Trump Jr.’s attorney, Alan Futerfas, also pushed back against Cohen’s claims in a statement to Fox News.
“Donald Trump Jr. has been very professional and responsible throughout the [special counsel Robert] Mueller and Congressional investigations,” read the statement. “We are very confident of the accuracy and reliability of the information that has been provided by Mr. Trump Jr., and on his behalf.”
Cohen’s attorney, Lanny Davis, claimed that there were more tapes however, President Trump’s legal team has had access to those alleged tapes and have stated that Donald Trump does not appear in any of them. Trump’s attorneys state that Donald Trump appeared in one tape and that audio was leaked to CNN. In that tape, Donald Trump urges Cohen, “Don’t pay with cash” though, some in the media are deceptively claiming Trump said “so, pay with cash.” Either way, it’s neither here nor there since no payments discussed in the audio were ever made.
Michael Cohen testified before the House and Senate Intelligence Committees in October of 2017. In that testimony, he claimed candidate Donald Trump had no prior knowledge of the 2016 Trump Tower meeting between Donald Trump Jr. and Russian national, Natalia Veselnitskaya.
Cohen also issued a tweet in which he lauded Donald Trump Jr. for being so “open, honest and transparent” with regard to his claims about the 2016 Trump Tower meeting. So why the new line of accusations?
“So proud of @DonaldTrumpJr for being open, honest and transparent to the American people. This nonsense needs to stop!”
– Michael Cohen via Twitter – July 11, 2017 @ 10:53 pm
Cohen’s own reasoning sheds ample light on why he is so desperate that he would contradict his own testimony.
According to CNN, Cohen stated he is willing to discuss this matter with the special counsel because he hopes his new “claim about the Trump Tower meeting will help him reach out to Mueller and possibly lessen his legal troubles.”
So, let us hear the tape Mr. Cohen, for that is the only way you will establish any credibility regarding your new claims. Please Mr. Cohen, for the sake of the country, let us hear your evidence.
Oh wait, CNN noted that their sources specifically mentioned that Cohen does not have any evidence to corroborate any of his claims. This seems much too convenient for a man who made it regular practice to audio record his clients while conducting meetings.
If one wishes to see evidence that Cohen is lashing out and making desperate claims that cannot bare the slightest bit of scrutiny, look no further than what could happen to Cohen if he is telling the truth. That would mean he perjured himself before the House and Senate Intelligence Committees in 2017, which would result in more legal troubles. Most notably, perjury and obstruction of justice. Even if Cohen omitted this information before the Intelligence Committees, that too would amount to obstruction of justice.
Cohen feels boxed in and his actions suggest just as much. He is trying to get out from under the long arm of the law and he will offer up any story that will save him from losing his freedom and quite possibly, his estate. Even if it means he has to compose a story rather than recite the truth.
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