Michael Cohen has never been a figure who generated much sympathy in others. Cohen spent his career as a legal thug for Trump — threatening everyone from college students to journalists with ruin. He ran shady business deals for himself and taped his own clients without their knowledge. For many of us, his three-year prison sentence was incredibly light given his confessed criminal acts. There is however one person who has unlimited sympathy of Cohen: himself. In a pathetic interview, Cohen laments how he has been singled out and unfairly sent to prison. He previously contradicted his prior sworn confessions to crimes.
Cohen is going to prison on May 6th in a well-earned stint of incarceration. Cohen however is deeply upset with the unfairness of the sentence that he accepted after pleading guilty to crimes that he now calls a lie.
In an article in the New Yorker, Cohen comes across as increasingly pathetic in questioned how he has been put in this position — as if he is the random victim of a judicial drive by shooting: “You are going to find me guilty of campaign finance, with McDougal or Stormy, and give me three years—really? And how come I’m the only one? I didn’t work for the campaign. I worked for him. And how come I’m the one that’s going to prison? I’m not the one that slept with the porn star.”
Yes, really. Most of the crimes had nothing to do with Trump. They had to do with Cohen legendary greed and cavalier attitude toward the law. He committed fraud not for sleeping with a porn star but the old fashioned reason: greed.
What is particularly astonishing about Cohen’s claim to be some type of victim is that he only escaped another perjury charge due to the intervention of Democratic members. I previously wrote about the dilemma in which Oversight Committee Chair Elijah Cummings finds himself with the widely viewed perjury of Michael Cohen before his committee. Cummings repeatedly asserted that he would refer Cohen for prosecution for any false or misleading statement. Cohen proceeded to do just that.
Despite multiple conflicting sources, Cohen has insisted, “I was extremely proud to be the personal attorney for the president of the United States of America. I did not want to go to the White House. I was offered jobs.” There is little ambiguity here. Either multiple witnesses lied or Cohen once again lied to Congress.
Then Cohen stated, “I have never asked for, nor would I accept, a pardon from President Trump.” That also directly contradicts multiple sources who say his lawyer pressed the White House for a pardon, and that Cohen unsuccessfully sought a presidential pardon after FBI raids on his office and residences last year.
Before Cohen testified, Cummings asked if he remembered the choice he was given to testify truthfully or be nailed to the cross. “Didn’t I tell you that?” Cummings asked. “Yes, you did, more than once,” Cohen replied.
Cummings however was under pressure not to refer Cohen for prosecution. He after all made himself useful yet again to a powerful person. He had turned on Trump. Cummings therefore declared that he would merely accept Cohen’s later corrective statement and not carry out the pledge to refer him for prosecution.
Cohen then declared that his sworn statements to the court and Congress accepting responsibility for the crimes were false. Cohen again portrayed himself vaguely as a type tragic hero who pleaded guilty to crimes that he did not commit to protect his wife from criminal charges: “I love this woman, and I am not going to let her get dragged into the mud of this crap.”
So to recap. Cohen now says he is innocent of criminal acts he previously confessed to and only agreed to go to jail to protect his wife. He is in other words both victim and hero but not a criminal. For those of us who have been critics of Cohen for years (here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here), he is and remains Michael Cohen, a tragedy of his own making.
If this unhinged reinvention effort is to continue before Cohen incarceration, May 6th can not come soon enough.