Take a little stroll with me for a moment down memory lane. You won’t need a backpack, we’re not going that far, only a couple of weeks. But I think you’ll find it worth the trip.
Flash back just a few short weeks ago. Michael Cohen just had his office, home, his temporary residence hotel room, and his safe deposit box raided by the FBI, His Lowness goes berserk, screaming via Twitter that “Attorney-client privilege is dead!” This childish tantrum just convinced everybody that Cohen had something that implicated Trump in those files and taped phone calls. This could not be allowed to stand.
So, Trump goes on Fox and Friends, the RWNJ version of “Blues Clues,” to set the record straight. Oh, he set it straight alright. Straight to his front door. Trump stated that Cohen’s efforts represented a “teeny, tiny fraction” of Trump’s legal output. This was being generous, since there is no record of Cohen actually doing any legal work for Trump. But then Trump forgot the old saw, “When you point at someone, three of your fingers point back at you.”
Suddenly, Trump became obsessed with Cohen’s “businesses.” Chuck Todd made a running joke of it on MTP Daily, with a counter in the corner that dinged every time Trump mentioned Cohen’s businesses. The final tally was well over a dozen times. And every damn time Trump referred to Cohen’s “businesses,” Trump reminded everybody that he knew ‘nothing about them.”
Whoa, whoa, whoa, ease off of the gas there, Mario Andretti! What’s with the sudden CNBC market wrap stuff? Since when does a narcissistic slob like you spend more time talking about Michael Cohen’s various businesses than you do your own? And why all of these fervent disclaimers about your ignorance of his business affairs? Remember, this was a few weeks ago, not the last 48 hours.
Gee, you think that Cohen, realizing that the FBI and prosecutors would certainly obtain Cohen’s banking records, and notice an inordinate amount of income from highly suspicious sources into the Stormy Daniels Memorial Slush Fund, and wonder why it was there? Do you think that Cohen may have placed an emergency phone call to Trump, alerting him to the fact that the FBI might have a whole new line of inquiry on it’s hands? And of course, being Trump, in trying to get ahead of the curve, he fell off of the damn ball.
Actually, whether or not Cohen seriously attempted to influence Trump on behalf of clients is immaterial in one way. I find it inconceivable that Cohen would have pulled such a stunt without Trump’s imprimatur, for one good reason. Cohen had to be able to at least give the perception of closeness to Trump. If Trump suddenly started trashing Cohen publicly, there goes his whole sales pitch. So, he had to at least ensure himself that Trump wouldn’t blow him out of the water. And, if in fact Trump did know about Cohen’s devious machinations, I find it equally inconceivable that he would let Cohen profit off of his most famous name without taking his cut.
There is one more log to throw on this speculative fire. It has been widely reported that both Cohen and Trump have dismayed their own attorneys by refusing to disclose to them exactly what is in the seized information. Why? One wold think that Cohen would want his own attorneys to have a complete inventory, so they can start finding ways to keep it out of government hands. Even more confusing is Trump’s refusal to share with his attorneys. If in fact Trump is telling the truth, and he is completely ignorant of Cohen’s business interests, why not let his own attorneys start crafting that narrative? And if Trump is hiding something, how damaging must it be if he won’t even let his own attorneys try to figure out how to deal with it?
You can sum up the entire nexus of this crisis in two words. Michael Avenatti. Trump and Cohen thought that their secret was safe, at least for the moment. They could drag out the sorting and releasing of documents for as long as possible, and maybe even keep the most Trump sensitive documents out of government hands altogether. But, Michael Avenatti threw a monkey wrench in those works, by somehow or other obtaining the damaging information, and sharing it with the world. Trump’s loud and persistent disavowal of Cohen’s businesses makes perfect sense when you look at it through the prism of ignorance as to exactly what kind of business Trump was referring to. But thanks to Avenatti’s ingenuity, it now looks like exactly what it was. A totally self serving denial of things he already either knew, or suspected.
There is so much about this Trump-Russia-Cohen-Avenatti-Daniels thing that is twisted and serpentine, and incomplete. But, at least to my simple mind, this is one thing that is as clear as day. Only Donald Trump can make every truth an inconvenient truth.