We already know how this is going to play out. Once it gets to the point where Michael Cohen is being indicted, or arrested, or cutting a plea deal, Donald Trump will insist that he barely knew Cohen, and that he had no idea about any of Cohen’s financial schemes. That’ll get Trump laughed at in the court of public opinion, but in the court of law, you only need reasonable doubt. The trouble for Trump is that a giant hole just got blown in his potential defense.
If Michael Cohen had been soliciting bribes in exchange for the promise of influence over Donald Trump’s political decisions, but Trump wasn’t in on the plot, Cohen would have been trying to hide the whole thing from Trump. Yet now Stormy Daniels’ attorney Michael Avenatti is making yet another startling reveal. This time he’s posting images proving that Michael Cohen and Michael Flynn met with alleged Qatari briber Ahmed Al-Rumaihi in December of 2016. More importantly, they held the meeting at Trump Tower.
If you’re running shady schemes and your boss isn’t supposed to know about it, you don’t hold your shady meetings at the building where your boss lives. Cohen has proven himself to be sloppy, but even he’s not that stupid. Cohen would not have felt comfortable holding that kind of meeting at Trump Tower unless he was soliciting all these bribes with Donald Trump’s blessing.
So now Donald Trump has a real problem. When he’s eventually put on trial, he’ll have to sell the idea that he somehow didn’t know Donald Trump Jr was meeting with the Russians in Trump Tower, and that he somehow didn’t know Michael Cohen was meeting with an alleged briber at Trump Tower. Good luck with that one.
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Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report