During the course of Tuesday, Donald Trump’s Russia scandal got infinitely worse for him. Senate Judiciary Committee ranking member Dianne Feinstein released long-suppressed transcripts from the guy whose company was responsible for the Trump-Russia dossier, and it confirmed some of the worst assumptions about the scandal. It also set off a chain of events, including Trump’s personal attorney going off the deep end.
Michael Cohen is Trump’s longtime personal and business attorney. He’s also a suspect in the Trump-Russia scandal. He’s accused of having played several roles in coordinating things behind the scenes between Trump and the Russian government, ranging from an attempt at building Trump Tower Russia during the campaign, to an alleged meeting to negotiate the terms of the blackmail that Russia is holding over Trump. The latter accusation was levied in the Trump-Russia dossier, but no evidence was provided; Cohen insists that no such meeting ever happened. The release of the transcripts today, which lent significant credence to the dossier overall, has led Cohen to sue everyone in sight.
Cohen has suddenly filed lawsuits against Fusion GPS, the company behind the dossier, and BuzzFeed, the first news outlet to publish the dossier, according to ABC News and other sources (link). He asserts that the claims about him in the dossier are false and defamatory and that they’ve caused him harm. What’s notable is that the newly released transcripts don’t substantiate the claims made in the dossier about Cohen; it’s unclear why this release prompted Cohen to do what he did.
Michael Cohen’s role in the Trump-Russia investigation has been consistently confusing. He was set to testify privately before Congress, but when he released a public statement defending himself, Congress canceled his testimony at the last minute and demanded that he come back and testify in public. Congress then canceled his scheduled public testimony at the last minute. What’s going on here?
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report