Judge backs Michael Cohen and Donald Trump into no-win corner

As the legal battle plays out over the admissibility of communications seized between Donald Trump and Michael Cohen, it’s partially become a referendum on whether Cohen is indeed a functioning attorney. Prosecutors are arguing that Cohen does little or no attorney work, and that he’s merely a fixer for Trump’s scandals. Cohen is arguing that he is indeed a proper attorney, and that he represents many clients beyond Trump. However, the judge just turned that argument on its head.

The judge is now demanding that Michael Cohen turn over his list of clients by Monday, in order to prove that he legitimately represents people as an attorney. Moreover, the judge says the list will become a matter of public record, according to a new report from Politico. If Cohen has other clients, who are they? This week we learned, for instance, that Cohen helped Republican National Committee official Elliott Broidy cover up an affair involving an abortion; Broidy then resigned immediately. You see where this is going, right?

If these are the kind of “clients” Cohen is referring to, then it means he’s really referring to people he’s done fixer work for. He can’t give up their names without potentially exposing their scandals. So unless Cohen wants to throw a whole lot of his own allies under the bus on Monday by forking over their names for the public record, he’ll have to withdraw his argument that the seized communications are privileged.

So, in other words, who is Michael Cohen going to sell out on Monday? Will he toss his various “clients” under the bus by outing them, or will he toss Donald Trump (and himself) under the bus by allowing the seized communications between the two of them to be admitted into evidence? Cohen is in a no-win corner.

Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report