There is a bizarre report in The Daily Beast that former Trump Counsel Michael Cohen is laying down an Ultimatum for Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg Jr.: indict Trump or I’m leaving you. Cohen warned that, if Bragg does not use the current grand jury to indict Trump, he will no longer cooperate. It is a curious threat since he could be called before a grand jury and would have to invoke the Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination to refuse further testimony.
The grand jury is reportedly due to disband in roughly a week.
Bragg is under a huge amount of pressure after he reportedly balked at the basis for charging Trump. The two lead prosecutors then resigned and Bragg found himself hammered by the left for failing to prosecute. He then seemed to suggest that he is still evaluating the case.
Now Cohen is adding to that pressure in a curious way by suggesting that he might not cooperate if another grand jury is called.
This is only the latest transformation of Cohen. He achieved infamy as a legal thug who threatened critics of Donald Trump. He was ultimately disbarred and was convicted for his criminal conduct. He expressed bitterness at not being given a pardon and then asked why he is “the only one” going to prison. After pleading guilty, he later appeared to rescind his guilty plea.
He then reinvented himself as an anti-Trump figure and showed the same blind rage in railing against Trump.
The use of the Daily Beast for his latest threat was ironic since Cohen previously threatened one of its writers on behalf of Trump.
Cohen said that, if Bragg does not pull the trigger, he will walk:
“I spent countless hours, over 15 sessions—including three while incarcerated. I provided thousands of documents, which coupled with my testimony, would have been a valid basis for an indictment and charge,. The fact that they have not done so despite all of this… I’m not interested in any further investment of my time.”
Of course, the “interest” of Michael Cohen in a future grand jury is less important than his appearance. He can be subpoenaed to appear. He can certainly invoke the Fifth Amendment but his disinterest is not likely to weigh heavily on the minds of prosecutors.
If Cohen is suggesting that he might change his testimony or become a hostile witness, that would also be a tad difficult. He is already on the record and under oath. Unless he wants a return to prison, he will have to testify in a truthful fashion, even if he is given immunity to testify.
Cohen may also be called to appear at the trial of the Trump Organization’s former chief financial officer, Allen Weisselberg, who was indicted last summer for criminal tax fraud.
In other words, Michael Cohen’s latest reinvention is unlikely to succeed.