Thanks to the advancing and increasingly visible grand jury process, it’s been clear for more than a week that Donald Trump is about to be criminally indicted in Manhattan at any moment. Today Trump acknowledged this when he announced in an all caps tirade that he’s going to be arrested this Tuesday, while insisting that his supporters “TAKE OUR NATION BACK!”
So what is Trump really trying to do with this rhetoric? Michael Cohen, who knows Trump better than anyone, appeared on the Rev. Al Sharpton show on MSNBC today and said that Trump is “trying to threaten Alvin Bragg. He’s trying to threaten the American judicial system.”
But as far as what Trump’s specific strategy may be with these all caps rants, Cohen said that “Even Donald Trump doesn’t know” what he’s trying to do. Cohen added that “The last person in Donald’s ear controls his brain,” and suggested that Trump’s behavior right now may be a function of which of his attorneys are telling him what.
Cohen also pointed out that Trump’s latest attorney Joe Tacopino appears to be wildly in over his head. Tacopino “made a fool of himself” when he recently tried to spin up a faulty defense for Trump on television, and “worse than that, he actually implicated his own client.”
Cohen also reminded everyone that Trump’s rhetoric right now is rooted partly in trying to profit off his criminal indictment, calling it “the great grift.”
Trump is being criminally indicted and arrested, which is a terrible situation to be in, and he’s not going to make it better for himself by behaving poorly. If he’s vaguely trying to incite violence in response to his indictment just to try to squeeze some extra campaign donations out of it, he may regret it when the judge in the case has to make decisions about placing gag orders or bail restrictions on Trump.
As for Michael Cohen’s value as a witness in this case, he added that “I come with the facts. I come with the documentary evidence. It’s irrefutable.” It’s also notable that Cohen is reportedly one of several witnesses, currently or formerly from Trump world, who testified against Trump to the grand jury in this case. When Trump eventually ends up behind bars, perhaps he’ll be able to find a copy of Cohen’s latest book in the prison library and learn something by reading it.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report