Donald Trump has claimed that the FBI raid and investigation of his personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, “doesn’t have to do with me,” a distancing comment and one that makes you wonder about Trump’s real relationship with the man who has oft-avowed that he would “take a bullet” for him. Cohen is quite the colorful character. Former campaign staffer Sam Nunberg has called Michael Cohen a “teddy bear” despite the fact that Cohen has been known to carry a pistol in an ankle holster, not to mention his ownership of a minority stake in a Brooklyn club, El Caribe, owned by his Uncle Morty, whom the FBI accused in 1983 of providing medical services to the Lucchese crime syndicate. The club was also used as an office by Russian mobster Evsei Agron, who was whacked by the mob in 1985, and by his successor, Marat Balagula, who was later convicted of credit card fraud and gasoline bootlegging. Perhaps this is why Jarvanka can’t stand Cohen and lobbied successfully with Trump to keep him from a White House job, greatly to his dismay. The Guardian:
“Boss, I miss you so much,” the Wall Street Journal quoted Cohen as telling Trump in a long-distance phone call in the spring of 2017. “I wish I was down there with you. It’s really hard for me to be here.”
It was not the first time that Cohen had reason to feel betrayed by Trump, who reportedly embarrassed Cohen at his son’s bar mitzvah – showing up late and then giving a speech describing how Cohen had begged him to come – and sidelined Cohen at the presidential inauguration.
Despite all that, Cohen remained loyal to Trump and did his bidding, everything from negotiating foreign real estate deals to threatening journalists.
“I’m warning you, tread very fucking lightly, because what I’m going to do to you is going to be fucking disgusting,” Cohen told a journalist reporting in 2015 on a sexual assault claim against Trump by ex-wife Ivana Trump. “You understand me?”
Cohen has gone the distance to serve Donald Trump in every way, but Sam Nunberg is telling him now that he needs to wake up, because his relationship with Trump is a one way street.
Nunberg, who was fired from the Trump campaign in 2015 over racially charged Facebook posts, said he tried to warn Cohen that his loyalty to Trump would not be reciprocated.
“He called me to meet a week after I was fired,” Nunberg said. “I said to Michael, I told him, ‘get your head out of your ass, for once, with him [Trump]. He has no loyalty to anyone. He plays favorites. He doesn’t appreciate you.”
If Michael did something outside the scope of any of his duties for Donald Trump, then that’s Michael’s problem,” Nunberg said. “But he should not go to jail for anything that he did for Trump. And if he does, then he deserves all the terrible things that will happen to him in jail.”
Michael Cohen purportedly has first hand knowledge of Russian investments in Trump properties both in the United States and abroad. Additionally, Cohen worked with Trump’s children on these deals, which could make for some very interesting testimony to Robert Mueller. Nunberg is not the first adviser to warn Cohen about Trump’s lack of loyalty to him. Roger Stone said, “Donald goes out of his way to treat him like garbage.” But Trump apparently thinks that Cohen will remain loyal anyway.
“Most people will flip if the Government lets them out of trouble, even if it means lying or making up stories,” Trump tweeted. “Sorry, I don’t see Michael doing that despite the horrible Witch Hunt and the dishonest media!”
As Nunberg said, if Cohen goes to jail for Trump, then he deserves whatever happens. Cohen is 51 years old with a wife and children. Michael Avenatti has predicted Cohen’s conversion to sweet reasonableness once the investigation heats up a bit.
“They put potentially an ankle monitor around your ankle, if you’re bailed out,” Avenatti said. “Reality sets in and your attorney has a ‘Comes to Jesus’ meeting with you and it goes something like this: You know if you’re convicted you’re going to potentially face 10 to 15 years in the federal system… unless you roll over and you provide information on somebody higher up the food chain. That conversation has a tendency to really bring a lot of clarity to the choice.”
Michael Avenatti was quoted recently as saying, “I can’t take this anymore.” If he thinks it’s hot now, wait until Robert Mueller invites him into his kitchen.