Over the past two weeks, various media reports have painted Michael Cohen as not wanting to flip on Donald Trump, but realizing he might have to. Other reports have claimed that some of Trump’s advisers think Cohen will flip on Trump. Whatever the odds of Cohen flipping were, suffice it to say that they just went way, way up – and it’s all thanks to Trump’s own mouth.
Donald Trump screwed up in two different ways with respect to Michael Cohen when it came to his infamous meltdown on Fox & Friends this morning. First, Trump tried to minimize the role that Cohen has played for him over the years, a clear signal that he’s seeking to distance himself from Cohen, a prelude to throwing him under the bus. So right off the bat, Cohen has surely gotten the message that Trump is not looking to protect him. So much for a potential pardon. But it got even worse.
Trump went a little too far in his attempt at distancing himself from Cohen’s shady antics. By declaring that Cohen isn’t really his attorney in most aspects, Trump opened the door for federal prosecutors to get their hands on the communications that the FBI seized from Cohen. Sure enough, prosecutors immediately changed their strategy in court, based on the stupid things Trump said on television. So now Trump has unwittingly ensured that the Feds will get to use that evidence against Cohen. The more screwed Cohen is, the more likely he’ll cut a plea deal.
Back when Donald Trump was worried that Michael Flynn might be cutting a plea deal against him, he spitefully cut Flynn out of the legal defense fund he’d arranged for his various advisers who were caught up in the Trump-Russia scandal. In so doing, Trump helped push Flynn into making the decision to cut the deal. Now Trump may have just pushed Michael Cohen into cutting a deal against him as well.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report