I have been a long critic of Trump former counsel Michael Cohen whose lack of legal skills is only surpassed by his lack of legal ethics (here and here and here and here and here and here). Cohen is a serial liar and legal thug who committed various tax and fraud crimes worth millions. Cohen was given an absurdly low sentence by U.S. District Judge William H. Pauley III who fell for the latest dubious pitch of Cohen. While a teenager will get twice as much time for robbing a store for $1000, Cohen got just three years for stealing millions and lying under oath. He then was called to appear before Congress and worked a new sham as the redemptive sinner. Yet, there is always a warning of Caveat Emptor that comes with dealing with Cohen: buyer beware. Cohen has now postponed testimony repeatedly in Congress. The latest excuse was his health — a claim that was refuted by a videotape showing him enjoying a night out on the town at an expensive restaurant the night before.
Cohen’s attorney, Lanny Davis, told the Senate Intelligence Committee that Cohen had to postpone his scheduled Tuesday appearance “due to post-surgery medical needs.” Then a videotaped surfaced of Cohen enjoying himself at a swanky restaurant as captured by Christina Binkley, a reporter at L’Anvenue.
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Had a lovely dinner last night at L’Avenue with … wait … who’s that there? Why, it’s Michael Cohen, greeting tables as he leaves a three hour dinner with friends, who he warmly hugged).
Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr expressed frustration at the latest excuse. “He’s already stiffed us on being in Washington today because of an illness. You have, um — on Twitter, a reporter reported he was having a wild night Saturday night eating out in New York with five buddies. Didn’t seem to have any physical limitations. And he was out with his wife last night.”
The only thing surprising is that these members believed Cohen at all.
The scene of Cohen enjoying the high-life in Manhattan rather than attending the hearing seems all-too-familiar. If you recall, we discussed how Cohen not only skipped a hearing before a judge in his case in Manhattan but decided to go outside to laugh and enjoy friends as the hearing was going on. He sat there puffing his cigar in front of an army of cameras, virtually mocking the Court.
Now Cohen will likely try to limit questions and avoid a public hearing. He has been implicated in previously undisclosed scams. Various people, including Donald Trump, have raised questions over whether Cohen withheld information from the Southern District to shield his father-in-law (who has long been accused of shady or criminal enterprises). Cohen’s biggest concern is not to commit perjury or implicate himself in new crimes. He hoodwinked the court — and Robert Mueller — in securing a fraction of the sentence that he deserved. He is not going to risk that by suddenly be open and truthful.
In the end, he will have to testify solely because he will be in prison . . . and unable to join his friends smoking cigars or eating at fancy restaurants.