For reasons known only to him, Donald Trump wanted to speak on television today, so he chose the most Trump-friendly TV program he could think of: Fox & Friends. This ensured he wouldn’t face any tough questions, but as it turns out, Trump didn’t need any questions in order to bury himself. His meltdown was epic and jarring even by his standards, and it changed the game so much that federal prosecutors were immediately able to move forward against him in federal court.
Among the many damaging things Trump admitted to this morning was his admission that Michael Cohen isn’t really his attorney. Somewhere in his word salad he appeared to admit that he really did know Cohen was negotiating a payoff to Stormy Daniels on his behalf, something we’ll have to sort out later. But then he very clearly stated that Cohen has hardly ever represented him in any other legal matters. Not much more than an hour later, federal prosecutors announced they had changed their strategy.
Trump’s legal team had been arguing in court that the communications seized from Michael Cohen were largely privileged communications between Cohen and Trump. Trump’s team was asking that a long period of time be allotted for a Special Master to sift through those communications and decide what is admissible. But in light of Trump’s admission this morning that most of it was not subject to attorney-client privilege, prosecutors felt confident in agreeing to a Special Master, because now they know they can win any argument about how long the process should take.
If that sounds complicated, the evidentiary stage always is. The upshot is that as a result of Donald Trump’s admission on Fox & Friends, federal prospectors are going to get their hands on Michael Cohen’s seized communications much more quickly.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report