All the President’s vermin: With Michael Cohen as personal attorney, Donald Trump needs no enemies
One needn’t love, like, or even vaguely tolerate US President Donald Trump to admit that the latest broadside against his ship of state has been by far the cruelest and - to borrow a word that has been tossed around lately with great abandon – treasonous, at least as far as a lawyer betraying the trust of his long-term legal client is concerned.
Amid much hype and bombast, CNN this week aired a ‘secret’ audio recording of Trump discussing with his personal attorney Michael Cohen how they would purchase the rights to a Playboy model's story – bought by American Media in August 2016 – of an affair she had with Trump over a decade ago (no, not Stormy Daniels, of adult-film fame, but rather one Karen McDougal).
It’s important to note that the taped conversation between Trump and Cohen – that Cohen recorded – took place in September 2016, months after it was already known Trump would be representing the Republican ticket in the presidential elections. Needless to say, this is very curious timing on the part of Cohen to decide to start taping his private conversations with a future presidential candidate.
There are some very disturbing things to consider about CNN’s coverage of the audio tape - aside from the way it was made and released, a critical point that we’ll return to in a moment. On CNN’s Prime Time program, host Chris Cuomo, trying hard to appear unbiased, said he would play “the entire recording” so that viewers could judge for themselves what was said. However, at the very moment when Trump and Cohen begin discussing how to arrange payment for the model’s story the tape abruptly cuts off in mid-conversation.
At this point, Cuomo introduces to the program Lanny Davis, the attorney for Cohen - yes, even lawyers need lawyers these days in the land of bilk and money - who turned over the tape recording to CNN. Davis proceeded to go off the rails in a wild-eyed, politically tainted rant against Trump, accusing him of acting like a “mobster” for offering to pay cash for the story. In reality, however, even CNN was forced to admit that nothing definite could be discerned from the garbled tape recording.
Trump’s current personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, seemed just as happy about the story as CNN - albeit for different reasons.
“In the big scheme of things, it’s powerful exculpatory evidence,” Giuliani told the New York Times last Friday. The recording proves the president had done nothing wrong, Giuliani told the newspaper.
In other words, it appears that the media has served up yet another salacious ‘nothingburger’ against Trump, which only served to throw a huge floodlight on the elephant now squatting in the middle of every living room across America: Why in the world was Michael Cohen taping his private conversations with Trump, who at this time was no longer a mere real estate developer and television personality, but a contender for the highest office in the land? Here is the real breaking story, and one that audiences deserve to hear, yet CNN casually brushes it aside as if Cohen taping conversations and breaking with the attorney-client precedent was a natural thing.
Naturally, Trump expressed bewilderment at the brazen breach of trust between him and his personal lawyer, who once gallantly remarked he would “take a bullet” for the US president. It is important to note here that Cohen may be taking measures to protect himself from any dirt the authorities may have on him. In April, the FBI conducted a raid on Cohen’s office and home, seizing files and audiotapes, including the one CNN revealed this week. Yet the raid does not explain why Cohen was recording his conversations with Trump back in September 2016. By the way, it’s certainly worth asking why the lawyers for Hillary Clinton, at the height of the investigation against her, were not subjected to such a raid? It’s a question we’ll never know the answer to, but it speaks volumes about the possible bias that exists at the highest levels of power against the US president.
I reached out to Lionel, legal analyst and political commentator, for his professional take on the disclosure. He explained to me via email that in New York, which is a “one-party consent state,” it is not considered a crime to record a conversation so long as one of the parties consents to the electronic eavesdropping “even if the other party is unwitting or otherwise duped.” Clearly, Trump was duped.
It would also appear that CNN is “off the hook” with regards to any legal implications for publicly disclosing the audio, he noted.
Despite this gross violation of trust, the mainstream media is busy portraying Cohen as some sort of folk hero, working against the House of Trump. Salon, for example, fantasized aloud in a recent article, “Is Michael Cohen ready for the John Dean role: A hero who saves America from Donald Trump?” The reference is to that moment back in April 1973 when then-President Richard Nixon learned that his former counsel, John Dean, had been cooperating with federal prosecutors with regards to the famous break-in at Democratic National Committee headquarters. The disclosure fueled the famous Watergate scandal, and Nixon was forced to resign in August 1974.
But in stark contrast to Watergate, or even the more recent Zippergate, there is no smoking gun here. In fact, it’s more like a bloated water balloon that could soak the very people who hoped to benefit from tossing Cohen’s tapes. These individuals seem to forget that many Americans have become impervious, or at least very disinterested, to news regarding the sexual escapades of their political leaders. From Roosevelt and JFK to Clinton, Americans have had their fill of these stories. Moreover, Trump’s alleged extramarital indiscretions, which are certainly not to be condoned, happened in a very distant past. As such, the subject should be a matter of consideration between Donald and Melania, not some disloyal lawyers and an extremely politically biased media, which seems hell-bent on discovering the smoking gun that would destroy Trump’s presidency.
Despite such efforts, the only thing they are succeeding at doing, in the memorable words of Rep. Trey Gowdy, is helping the United States of America to be “torn apart” along political lines. This is being done in their fanatical obsession to remove Trump from power, or, at the very least, prevent him from being reelected in 2020. Judging by the politically motivated efforts of the political left establishment, which flies in the face of democratic procedure, they are guaranteeing the realization of the very thing they fear most.
Once thing is clear, the Democrats are behaving far more deplorable than the deplorables they proclaim to detest, and that will most likely be the cause of their downfall.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.