Michael Cohen finally acknowledges what we’ve known all along about Donald Trump’s pardon con game
Donald Trump might try to pardon himself on his way out the door. He might even try to pardon his own kids. But the odds of such pardons holding up in court are iffy at best. Every Trump-Russia pardon issued by Donald Trump is going to increase the odds that they all end up getting struck down. For that reason, Trump was never going to even consider pardoning his advisers who got caught up in his scandal. Michael Cohen now says that he understands as much.
Cohen is now telling his friends that he does not expect Donald Trump to offer him a pardon, according to a new on-air report tonight from CNN. Of course Cohen has ostensibly known this deep down all along. But this means he’s giving up on the delusion that a malignant narcissist like Trump would ever stick his own neck out to try to protect someone who has been loyal to him. Of course Cohen isn’t the first to figure this out.
Late last year Michael Flynn figured out that Donald Trump was never going to pardon him, and he cut a plea deal against Trump. Earlier this year Rick Gates figured out the same thing, and cut a plea deal of his own. Paul Manafort probably knows that a pardon is never coming as well, but he has money to burn, so – for now at least – he’s pushing ahead with high priced lawyers who are trying to find some technicality for getting him off the hook at trial.
Michael Cohen does not have that kind of money to hire those kinds of lawyers. With the mountain of evidence against him, he’d have no real shot at trial with a standard defense. So now that he’s finally acknowledged there’s no magic pardon coming to save the day, the only remaining option for Cohen is to cut a plea deal. Even if Trump had pardoned Cohen, New York would have simply hit him with parallel state level charges that Trump can’t pardon. But now that Cohen is accepting reality, it’ll help speed things up significantly.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report