Donald Trump Is Clearly Worried That Michael Cohen Might Flip

Based on his recent behavior, it's clear that the President is worried about how loyal Michael Cohen might actually turn out to be.

President Trump spent a good part of his morning yesterday reacting to reports that people close to the President that his longtime attorney Michael Cohen could end up cooperating with prosecutors to avoid a long prison sentence:

WASHINGTON — President Trump on Saturday criticized a report by The New York Times that described his years of poor treatment of his longtime personal lawyer, Michael D. Cohen, and concerns among the president’s advisers that Mr. Cohen will cooperate with the federal officials who are now investigating him.

Mr. Trump, in a series of tweets on Saturday morning, accused The Times and one of the reporters who wrote the article, Maggie Haberman, of “going out of their way to destroy Michael Cohen and his relationship with me in the hope that he will ‘flip.'” Mr. Trump accused The Times of using “non-existent ‘sources,'” though he did not assert that the article was false.

He also said that “I don’t speak to” Ms. Haberman and “have nothing to do” with her. In fact, she has interviewed the president twice in the Oval Office and three times by telephone.

Dean Baquet, the executive editor of The Times, said in a statement that “the story is filled with named quotes on the record, and everything Maggie has reported from inside the White House has proven true.”

Mr. Trump often assails news organizations over reports he sees as unfavorable. While he rarely criticizes reporters by name, it was not the first time that he has singled out Ms. Haberman, who was part of a team that was awarded a Pulitzer Prize this past week for its reports on the Russia investigation. In March, he disputed an article describing his discussions about expanding the legal team that is dealing with the special counsel.

The president issued his attack on the new article after traveling Saturday morning from his Palm Beach, Fla., estate to Trump International Golf Club in West Palm Beach. He called the investigation into Mr. Cohen, which was approved by his own Justice Department, a “horrible Witch Hunt.”

Here are the President’s tweets, delivered while he was on the way to play golf and while his wife and 1,500 other invitees were gathering in Houston for the funeral of former First Lady Barbara Bush:

The impetus for Trump’s latest Twitter tirade appears to be a series of reports from Politico, NBC News, and, most especially, The New York Times suggesting that Trump’s longtime attorney and “fixer” Michael Cohen could end up flipping on his boss and cooperating with Federal investigators:

For years, a joke among Trump Tower employees was that the boss was like Manhattan’s First Avenue, where the traffic goes only one way.

That one-sidedness has always been at the heart of President Trump’s relationship with his longtime lawyer and fixer, Michael D. Cohen, who has said he would “take a bullet” for Mr. Trump. For years Mr. Trump treated Mr. Cohen poorly, with gratuitous insults, dismissive statements and, at least twice, threats of being fired, according to interviews with a half-dozen people familiar with their relationship.

“Donald goes out of his way to treat him like garbage,” said Roger J. Stone Jr., Mr. Trump’s informal and longest-serving political adviser, who, along with Mr. Cohen, was one of five people originally surrounding the president when he was considering a presidential campaign before 2016.

Now, for the first time, the traffic may be going Mr. Cohen’s way. Mr. Trump’s lawyers and advisers have become resigned to the strong possibility that Mr. Cohen, who has a wife and two children and faces the prospect of devastating legal fees, if not criminal charges, could end up cooperating with federal officials who are investigating him for activity that could relate, at least in part, to work he did for Mr. Trump.

Last week federal agents raided Mr. Cohen’s office and hotel room and seized business records, emails and other material as part of what Mr. Trump has called a “witch hunt” by his own Justice Department. The trove included documents dating back decades, as well as more recent ones related to a payment in 2016 to a pornographic film actress who has said she had a sexual encounter with Mr. Trump, which Mr. Trump denies.

Although Mr. Trump called Mr. Cohen last Friday, four days after the raid, to “check in,” according to people familiar with the call, he and Mr. Cohen have spoken little since Mr. Trump entered the White House. The two men did have dinner together at Mar-a-Lago, Mr. Trump’s private club in Florida, a few weeks ago, but since the raid Mr. Cohen has told associates he feels isolated.

Mr. Trump has long felt he had leverage over Mr. Cohen, but people who have worked for the president said the raid has changed all that.

“Ironically, Michael now holds the leverage over Trump,” said Sam Nunberg, a former aide to Mr. Trump who worked with Mr. Cohen and Mr. Stone. Mr. Nunberg said that Mr. Cohen “should maximize” that leverage.

“The softer side of the president genuinely has an affection for Michael,” Mr. Nunberg said. For instance, Mr. Trump attended the bar and bat mitzvahs of Mr. Cohen’s children. “However, the president has also taken Michael for granted.” Mr. Nunberg added that “whenever anyone complains to me about Trump screwing them over, my reflexive response is that person has nothing to complain about compared to Michael.”

Mr. Stone recalled Mr. Trump saying of Mr. Cohen, “He owns some of the finest Trump real estate in the country — paid top dollar for it, too.” In Mr. Trump’s worldview, there are few insults more devastating than saying someone overpaid.

For years, Mr. Cohen has described himself as unflinchingly devoted to Mr. Trump, whom he has admired since high school. He has told interviewers that he has never heard Mr. Trump utter an inaccuracy or break a promise. He has tweeted about Mr. Trump nearly 3,000 times.

In a Fox News interview last year, Mr. Cohen declared: “I will do anything to protect Mr. Trump.” He told Vanity Fair in September that “I’m the guy who would take a bullet for the president,” adding, “I’d never walk away.”

The Times report goes on to note the numerous times that Cohen has gone out of his way to do his boss’s bidding and curry favor with him in matters related to his personal and business life, as well as with respect to Trump’s political ambitions when those began to make themselves apparent in advance of the 2012 Presidential election. In return, Trump has seemingly been stunningly dismissive of Cohen to the point of treating him like just another member of the hired help no matter how obsequious Cohen was toward his boss. In fact, from the descriptions contained in the Times report as well as the others linked to above it almost seems as though the worse Trump has treated Cohen the more obsequious he became.

All of this is relevant, of course, because of the fact that Cohen’s office, home, and hotel room were subjected to an F.B.I. search earlier this month that seems aimed at uncovering details of several subject matters that link Cohen and Trump closely together. The most prominent of these, of course, would be the transaction in which Cohen arranged for the payment of $130,000 to adult film star Stormy Daniels in exchange for her silence regarding her relationship with Trump back in 2005 and 2006 when Trump’s wife Melania was pregnant with his fifth child and third son. Additionally, Cohen is also rumored to have been involved in the transaction between Playboy model Karen McDougal and the owner of the National Enquirer the alleged purpose of which was to silence her from speaking about her own relationship with Trump during the same time period. In addition to all of this, Cohen is believed to have been involved in a host of Trump business deals over the past twenty years, including his efforts to build a hotel in Moscow, his dealings with Russian officials in connection with the Miss Universe pageant, and various other business and financial dealings that, until now, have largely been hidden behind the hundreds of shell companies that make up the so-called “Trump Organization.” Outside of Trump’s own family, there are probably very few people who know as much about Donald Trump and his finances as Michael Cohen.

Added on top of this is the fact that yesterday Cohen’s own attorney told the Judge presiding over the civil case that Stormy Daniels against Cohen and Trump to invalidate the confidentiality and arbitration provisions of the settlement agreement that Cohen negotiated in 2016. During that hearing, Cohen’s attorney told the Judge that he expected his client will be indicted within the next 90 days:

Michael Cohen’s attorney argued in a Los Angeles court Friday that a lawsuit against Donald Trump’s personal lawyer filed by porn actress Stormy Daniels should be delayed because Cohen could soon be indicted.

Cohen and the president were seeking a 90-day delay to a lawsuit filed by Daniels arguing that a nondisclosure agreement she signed before the 2016 election was invalid because Trump never signed it. On Friday, U.S. District Court Judge S. James Otero postponed ruling on the matter, giving Cohen until Wednesday to file a declaration that he will refuse to answer questions by invoking the Fifth Amendment’s protection against self-incrimination.

Cohen had his office, home and hotel room raided by the FBI last week, with agents seizing documents related to the $130,000 payment he made to Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford. As part of his push for a delay, Cohen lawyer Brent Blakely claimed that “the potential indictment of client” puts Cohen “in a very difficult situation,” according to CNBC.

After the hearing, Michael Avenatti, the attorney representing Stormy Daniels in the civil suit, said pretty much the same thing. while also continuing to be perhaps the most effective thorn in President Trump’s side so far in all of the bizarre sagas that have been unfolding since Trump became President:

Avenatti appeared on CNN’s “The Lead” with Jake Tapper later Friday afternoon and boldly predicted that President Donald Trump would end up resigning because of all of this.

“You said this week that you don’t think President Trump will serve out his entire term. Where does that come from? That is a pretty wild claim,” Tapper asked.

Avenatti responded that he hasn’t been wrong yet.

“Well, it is really not wild. My record thus far has been spot on. I don’t think I’ve been wrong about anything yet in the last five to six weeks,” he said. “Jake, there is a lot of evidence in this case, there is a lot of shoes yet to drop. Michael Cohen is not going to hold up.”

“Michael Cohen is going to flip on this president and he knows where the bodies are buried, or at least many of them,” he added. “I do not think that the president will last through the balance of his term. I just don’t. Now, we’ll find out if I’m right or wrong, but I think he’s going to ultimately resign the presidency.”

All of this comes on top of reports last week that Trump and those close to him are more worried about the investigation into Michael Cohen than they are about the Congressional and Mueller investigations into Russian interference in the election and collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. These worries are reinforced by things such as reports that  Cohen had the habit of routinely recording conversations he had with third parties, although he has reportedly stated that he did not record conversations he had with Trump. Nonetheless, those reports have many of Trump’s allies worried  and reports out of the West Wing since the search warrant was executed against Cohen paint a picture of a President who has become even more unhinged, irritated, and agitated than he has been even in the wake of the most serious allegations regarding the Russia investigation. Yesterday’s tweetstorm is just the latest evidence of that. If Cohen is indicted, that paranoia is only likely to increase, as is the danger that Cohen may decide that cooperating with investigators and prosecutors makes more sense than spending the rest of his life in prison to protect a man who, in the words of many of Trump’s own friends, has treated him like garbage in the past.

FILED UNDER: Donald Trump, Law and the Courts, Politicians, US Politics,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. The degree to which Trump and his allies actively behave like he has something to hide is stunning. Granted, I think he does, but you would think he would have a somewhat better poker face than this (or, at least, his sycophants would).

    17
  2. michael reynolds says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:
    I’ve been saying for some time that they all know Trump’s guilty. All our Trumpaloons here at OTB, all the wise chin-strokers pretending to ‘await the outcome,’ all the evangelicals whose entire lives revolve around pretending to believe nonsense they don’t actually believe, every Senator and Congressman. They all know. It’s impossible not to know. My wife’s Chihuahua doesn’t know, but Stan’s an idiot.

    It is not possible for a conscious human being with an IQ anywhere north of impaired, not to know Trump is guilty. Innocent people don’t fear rats. I have a lawyer, I talk to him at least once a week, we’ve done millions of dollars worth of business, and I could not care less if everything we ever did was made public. Because we are not committing crimes. Duh.

    Innocent people do not worry about being ratted out. Only guilty people worry about people flipping. There is no escaping that reality. Only the guilty fear rats.

    25
    1
  3. Kylopod says:

    When Trump says that Cohen won’t “flip,” he is essentially admitting he’s guilty of something. Clean people don’t worry about whether an associate will “flip” on them. If you’ve got nothing to hide, flipping wouldn’t even be an issue.

    Sure, he’s trying to redefine the word to mean something like “law enforcement pressuring a perfectly innocent man into telling lies about his boss,” but that doesn’t actually make any sense if you bother to give it a moment’s thought.

    23
  4. teve tory says:

    When Trump says that Cohen won’t “flip,” he is essentially admitting he’s guilty of something. Clean people don’t worry about whether an associate will “flip” on them. If you’ve got nothing to hide, flipping wouldn’t even be an issue.

    Yep.

  5. gVOR08 says:

    Cohen may decide that cooperating with investigators and prosecutors makes more sense than spending the rest of his life in prison to protect a man who, in the words of many of Trump’s own friends, has treated him like garbage in the past.

    I hadn’t noticed we don’t have the strikeout font. That sentence works just as well without the last half. Cohen will fold to save his worthless arse. His personal relationship with Trump will have little to do with it. His only option is to hope for a pardon, but there are probably too many potential state charges for that to be a good plan. If he doesn’t flip it’ll be out of fear of polonium in his tea.

  6. CSK says:

    It’s puzzling that Cohen would take years of abuse from Trump. Why? Did he believe that eventually there would be some giant pay-off? Like what? He must know by now that Trump enjoys stiffing people.

  7. michael reynolds says:

    @gVOR08:
    At some point Putin will stop chasing sunk costs. Trump’s subservience has been somewhat limited by what Trumpaloons like to call the ‘deep state,’ in other words, lawful government. I would argue that as an asset Trump has already done more than Putin had reason to expect, though less than he’d hoped, and Trump’s value is in a steep decline. We may reach a point when it will be time for Putin to give Trump up and cash out by exposing him. Interestingly, one of the ways for Putin to do this would be by hitting Manafort or Cohen.

    But then, I do enjoy spinning plots.

  8. michael reynolds says:

    @CSK:
    Co-dependency.

  9. Kathy says:

    It’s not so much that Trump is a liar, but that he’s such a bad one. The more he denies something, the more convinced we should be it is so.

    But isn’t it nice when bad things, for a change, happen to terrible people?

  10. Kylopod says:

    @gVOR08:

    If he doesn’t flip it’ll be out of fear of polonium in his tea.

    You know, watching the Michael Cohen fiasco unfold, there’s a real irony in how Alex Jones last year kept ranting about a “Jewish mafia” run by George Soros. He said, and I quote, “there’s an Italian mafia, Irish mafia, Jewish mafia, Jamaican mafia, and there’s mafias, there’s Dixie mafia. And absolutely, the Jewish mafia, then, if you criticize it says you’re anti-Semitic, but the Jewish mafia is a very powerful mafia.”

    Of course everyone knows there’s long been a significant Jewish-American presence in organized crime in this country. Indeed, when I read a lengthy 2016 article about Trump’s mob ties, I noticed that several of the mobsters mentioned in the article had Jewish names. But Alex Jones wasn’t talking about any of those people. He was just using the term “Jewish mafia” as a slur against Jews he didn’t like (particularly George Soros) and implying without evidence that they were exerting some kind of nefarious control over everything.

    Michael Cohen, pretty much a bona fide mobster, isn’t part of the “Jewish mafia” in Jones’ mind–but I bet he’ll quickly become one if he flips.

  11. Kathy says:

    @michael reynolds:

    @CSK:
    Co-dependency.

    Or maybe BDSM without the fun 🙂

  12. teve tory says:

    @Kathy: Trump is such a compulsive liar. The Steele dossier says he spent the night in russia in 2013. Trump lies and says he didn’t spend the night in russia. Which is a dumb lie, because NY to Moscow is like 10 hours. Bloomberg put together tweets and FAA reports and interviews with a bodyguard and showed that trump was in russia 2 or 3 days. Why lie about that? It’s like he just has zero regard for the truth.

    12
  13. Kylopod says:

    @Kathy:

    It’s not so much that Trump is a liar, but that he’s such a bad one. The more he denies something, the more convinced we should be it is so.

    Absolutely. It’s one of the reasons I’m increasingly convinced the pee tape is real. It’s reached the point that the mere fact that Trump is denying something is itself strong evidence that whatever he’s denying must be true. If I woke up tomorrow and turned on the TV to find Trump loudly declaring that he hadn’t killed Jimmy Hoffa, I would immediately begin to suspect he had indeed killed Jimmy Hoffa, even if I’d had no prior reason to think so.

  14. HarvardLaw92 says:

    Cohen is potentially facing as much as 30 years in a federal prison. He will flip with vigor.

    14
  15. CSK says:

    @Kylopod:

    Case in point: Trump denies knowing Maggie Haberman. There’s a widely circulated photo of him standing in the Oval Office with his arm around her, and he’s granted her five on-the-record interviews.

    But he’s never spoken to her.

    13
  16. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: @michael reynolds: Bingo. Cohen has a very depressed self-regard. He apparently sees his direct relationship with trump as the only thing about himself with value. Given that fact I have to wonder what it would take to actually make him flip.

  17. CSK says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    I hope he does flip, but you may be making the mistake of looking at this the way any rational being would. Cohen’s taken decades of abuse from Trump, and he still says he’d jump out a window for him. Cohen’s not rational.

  18. CSK says:

    Well, this is interesting. The WaPo and Newsweek are reporting that Cohen told Trump not to hire Ivanka and Jared, and Ivanka and Jared told Trump not to hire Cohen as WH counsel because his prior work as Trump’s fixer could come back to bite Trump.

    Obviously Ivanka and Jared won that round. They must be very, very eager to make sure Cohen doesn’t flip now.

  19. michael reynolds says:

    @CSK:
    I found 11 days in relatively decent jails was enough to concentrate my mind wonderfully. Arrest him, give him a long weekend at Ryker’s and he’ll be begging to confess all. He’s not jail tough, he’s just desk tough.

  20. CSK says:

    @michael reynolds:

    I defer to your expertise :D, but taking abuse from Trump for all these might have toughened him up. Or at least accustomed him to torture.

  21. al-Ameda says:

    “Donald goes out of his way to treat him like garbage,” said Roger J. Stone Jr., Mr. Trump’s informal and longest-serving political adviser, who, along with Mr. Cohen, was one of five people originally surrounding the president when he was considering a presidential campaign before 2016.

    That’s the most concise summary of Trump’s personal and business ‘relationships’ I’ve seen.

  22. Bill says:

    @CSK:

    I defer to your expertise :D, but taking abuse from Trump for all these might have toughened him up. Or at least accustomed him to torture.

    Of course Cohen could be a masochist. I think there is enough proof around that being a masochist is required of anyone going to work for Trump.

  23. CSK says:

    @al-Ameda:

    Here’s Donald Trump on Roger Stone back in 2008:

    “Roger is a stone-cold loser. He always tries taking credit for things he never did.”
    — Jeffrey Toobin, “The Dirty Trickster,” The New Yorker, June 2, 2008

    I do believe Maggie Habermann when she says that Trump is scared of Stone, and has been for years.

  24. Eric Florack says:
  25. Lounsbury says:

    That’s not even good AgitProp, our dear Bolshy-Conservo troll.

    14
  26. grumpy realist says:

    @Eric Florack: That’s the New York Post, dearie. You might as well post something from Fox News.

    They’re not known for their journalism.

    12
  27. michael reynolds says:

    @Eric Florack:
    I can’t help being reminded of our former cat, Dude. Dude loved to bring us half-dead mice and present them as if expecting a reward. Dying mouse, NY Post, about the same level of desirability.

    12
  28. Joe says:

    @CSK, @michael reynolds, @OzarkHillbilly:

    I can’t help but picture Cohen and Trump as a far older version of Gaston and Maurice from Beauty and the Beast.

  29. rachel says:

    @Joe: There needs to be a theme song for that; something along the lines of this Deadpool/Gaston fanvid. (Turn on CC, and watching the end credits is recommended.)

    ETA: It’s Deadpool; R-rated for violence and innuendo.

  30. grumpy realist says:

    Surprise, surprise, Hannity turns out to be a slumlord.

    9
    1
  31. SKI says:

    @grumpy realist:

    Surprise, surprise, Hannity turns out to be a slumlord.

    He may be but that Guardian article doesn’t provide anything to support that – unless your definition of “slumlord” is anyone who owns low-income housing.

    2
    1
  32. @Steven L. Taylor:

    you would think he would have a somewhat better poker face than this

    Haha! This guy has figured out, at least for the moment, that he doesn’t need a poker face. He can lie brazenly and Cult45 will go along with it. It’s quite astonishing.

  33. teve tory says:

    Trying to imagine the alarm bells and sirens that would have been playing on fox if obama had said publicly that his under-investigation lawyer wouldn’t “Flip” on him.

  34. Daryl's other brother Darryl says:

    The most telling thing in all of this is that EVERYBODY assumes Cohen has information to flip with. No one is saying;

    “Well, Cohen can’t flip because Dennison hasn’t done anything wrong.”

    No one is even pretending; that Dennison is guilty is just assumed across the board. Dennison’s own tweets basically admit this inconvenient fact.

    11
  35. michael reynolds says:

    @Daryl’s other brother Darryl:
    Exactly. Everyone knows Trump is guilty. Everyone. That is no longer the debate. The debate now is whether the rule of law means anything to Republicans who have already abandoned everything they claimed to believe in in order to swear allegiance to their cult leader.

    Spoiler alert: 90% of Republicans will choose Trump over the Constitution.

    Second spoiler alert: 90% of 40% isn’t enough.

    8
    1
  36. teve tory says:

    Brit Hume

    Verified account

    @brithume
    Follow Follow @brithume
    More
    In all the speculation about whether Michael Cohen will “flip” on Trump, wouldn’t it be a good idea for the speculators to say what, exactly, he might flip about?

    5:53 AM – 23 Apr 2018 from Florida, USA

    Mike Warren

    Verified account

    @MichaelRWarren
    Follow Follow @MichaelRWarren
    More Mike Warren Retweeted Brit Hume

    I’d also like to know what President Trump thinks Cohen won’t flip on.

    6:34 AM – 23 Apr 2018

  37. CSK says:

    @teve tory:

    Well, as Kylopod pointed out above, Trump is trying to spin “flipping” to mean that the authorities will force Cohen to lie about Trump.

  38. teve tory says:

    They had cohen under surveillance for months and then no-knock raided him. This means they convinced a judge he was likely to start destroying evidence.

    I bet they collected some Good Shit.

  39. Daryl's other brother Darryl says:

    @teve tory:

    Trying to imagine the alarm bells and sirens that would have been playing on fox if obama had said publicly that his under-investigation lawyer wouldn’t “Flip” on him.

    Try imagining the alarm bells if there was EVEN THE HINT that the FBI was investigating Obama. Dennison is getting away with stuff that would have gotten Obama hanged…and yes, I understand the loaded use of the word “hanging” in association with a black man.

  40. CSK says:

    @teve tory:

    The Trumpkins who, like Trump, are claiming that the investigators will force Cohen to invent stories about Trump’s criminal past are forgetting that they now have documentary evidence of it.

  41. SKI says:

    @teve tory:

    They had cohen under surveillance for months and then no-knock raided him.

    Correction: They did knock and it wasn’t a raid. It was during daylight and involved a very standard use of search warrant. They didn’t warn him in advance but they pretty much never do in criminal cases.

    Trump is not a reliable narrator…

  42. KM says:

    @CSK:

    Well, as Kylopod pointed out above, Trump is trying to spin “flipping” to mean that the authorities will force Cohen to lie about Trump.

    Which goes right back to the question of what dirt to they have they can use as leverage to “force a lie”? Here’s the thing: you can’t pressure someone who has nothing to lose. A truly innocent person can just go out to the public with their proof of innocence and coercion. People coerced into forced confessions usually have no outlet to tell their story or get backup – Cohen has FOX News in his pocket FFS! Even a moderately guilty person can spin this to make themselves come out on top. “Look, the FBI is threatening my freedom /career / livelihood / manhood /etc but I’m not going to cave because principles and stuff! Send me money for my defense!” The GoFundMe mentality, if you will – I know I done wrong but you love me enough to pay for my lawyers, right? Go tribalism!

    The truly guilty? They know they’re HOSED. You break omerta to save your own ass only when it’s the best choice available to you. It’s when they have you dead to rights. All this talk about “pressure” and “forcing” is still admitting that Cohen can be pressured. He’s vulnerable, weak. He’s got something to lose, a dirty pressure point that can be “exploited.”

    Anybody with a brain would stop and ask why a person wouldn’t stand up to being framed or fight back against being forced into lying, especially someone that’s got the ear of POTUS and FOX. Then again, if they had a brain they wouldn’t be buying this BS in the first place so…..

  43. teve tory says:

    Correction: They did knock and it wasn’t a raid.

    TheHill, FoxNews, NPR, National Review, CNN, The New Yorker, The New York Times, and the Week all called it a raid. The WaPo, NYT, MSN, FoxNews, Alan Dershowitz, SF Gate and CNN say it was a no-knock warrant. So I’m sticking with what I said.

  44. SKI says:

    @teve tory: You can indeed stick to your guns and choose to be wrong/misleading.

    Reality is that the phrase “no knock raid” has a very specific connotation – a pre-dawn or late night entry without knocking – typically with guns drawn. The kind that gets lots of people killed every year.

    In the Cohen case, with search warrants being executed at his hotel, home and office simultaneously, they were indeed very worried about not giving advance notice but not like they would be in the case of a drug dealer who could flush the product down the drain.
    In point of fact, the raids took place during business hours, around 9:15 am. The FBI didn’t show up at 6 am as they do in true “no knock raids”. Nor did they invite him to come down and bring the documents like they would for a run of the mill white collar suspect. Trey didn’t trust him and that is important but we don’t have to exaggerate. Doing so helps Trump spin this as something outrageous.
    From that link:

    Agents arrived at 9:15 a.m. at the 30 Rockefeller Center offices of Squire Patton Boggs, where Cohen had until recently been working, CBS News’ Laura Strickler reports, according to a source familiar with the search. The firm was expecting the FBI — two or three agents at first, without FBI jackets. A few others arrived later — they were not FBI agents. They inconspicuously searched Cohen’s office space over the course of a few hours.

    2
    1
  45. Just 'nutha ig'nint cracker says:

    @CSK: The irony here is that both Javanka and Cohen gave Trump good advice.

  46. Just 'nutha ig'nint cracker says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Second spoiler alert: 90% of 40% isn’t enough.

    From your lips to God’s ears, but I suspect that it may, in fact, be enough because it’s 90% of 40% of 60%–closer to 48% in an off year election. The margin is there and Democrats need a message beyond TRUMP!!!!!!!!!!! So far, I don’t hear it.

  47. Mikey says:

    @SKI:

    The FBI didn’t show up at 6 am as they do in true “no knock raids”.

    See, for example: Paul Manafort.

  48. dazedandconfused says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    re:

    Cohen is potentially facing as much as 30 years in a federal prison. He will flip with vigor.

    Mueller handed this off to a district, so the question I have is if that district will have anything to offer him for flipping? What if this is all about nailing him and McDougle’s fake lawyer to the wall for gross misconduct in that specific incident. I don’t know much about lawyering, but I suspect that a person’s lawyer colluding with the other side to the detriment of his or her client would have to be something the courts would throw the book at. It imperils the integrity of ALL lawyers. It would not just be the crime, I imagine, it would be one of the rare chances they get to make an example out of a crooked lawyer, a notoriously difficult critter to snare.

    Just my WAGs.

  49. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @dazedandconfused:

    This is an exercise in evidence gathering executed in a manner intended to preserve the viability of that evidence for subsequent prosecution by other prosecutors in the event that Bob’s investigation is shut down. Punishing Cohen is, at best, tangential to that purpose. It’s important for that to happen, no doubt, and there will be a variety of parties (the Manhattan DA and the NY State Bar, for a start) aiming to chop off his head in the wake of these proceedings, but Bob’s primary purpose in referring this particular set of facts to the SDNY wasn’t ever- and isn’t now- to punish Cohen. It’s to obtain usable evidence for his own primary objectives.

    If you think that any deal offered to Cohen would be formulated solely by the SDNY as opposed to negotiated in consultation with Mueller (and probably Schneiderman as well), I have a great deal on a bridge I’d like to tell you about.

    You need to understand that evidence which is deemed admissible in Cohen’s proceedings in the SDNY is not somehow automagically subsequently locked in some sort of vacuum chamber beyond the reach of Mueller’s investigation (or, for that matter, those of the NY State AG, the Manhattan DA, the Queens DA, etc.). Those proceedings make it possible for Bob to get his hands on the evidence that was seized, and the fruits of any subsequent information offered up by Cohen to save his own ass, while being able to be removed from obtaining it. Trump is terrified of this scenario, and is looking under every rock he can turn over for competent representation – defense representation, no less … – precisely because he has an idea (or has had explained to him …) where all of this can lead to, where it goes next.

    Cohen flipping will be the beginning of the circus, not the final act.

  50. Joe says:

    @dazedandconfused:

    Consistent with @HarvardLaw92, colluding lawyers would be a state-law issue, not a federal one. That also may well be on its way, but that’s not what prompted SDNY.

  51. dazedandconfused says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    Thanks, but I was thinking the evidence came from Mueller to begin with, I had no notions of evidence being sequestered. My thought was the ability to bargain a plea deal on WETF it is Cohen is currently being charged with by the prosecutor.

    I feel more confident now that the prosecutor can do that than I did before. It’s big time stuff. Everybody will care, and knows everybody is watching.

  52. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @dazedandconfused:

    The evidence substantiating the warrant almost certainly came from Mueller. The additional evidence that was obtained from executing the warrant, and whatever additional information they obtain by virtue of Cohen deciding to cooperate, is a benefit that Mueller gets to enjoy without creating a rationale for Trump to act against his investigation. He’s essentially using the SDNY as a proxy while being able to legitimately stand back and say “we had nothing to do with that decision to search”.