Donald Trump and his lawyer Rudy Giuliani made a huge mistake – and a stunningly amateurish one – when they waived privilege for the recording that Michael Cohen secretly made of his incriminating conversations with Trump. It freed up Cohen to simply hand the tape over to CNN, which he did this evening. The tape proves Trump guilty of a felony violation of federal law. Maybe Trump was too ignorant and stupid to know how bad of an idea this was. But Rudy, a former federal prosecutor, would have known better.
Rudy Giuliani claimed that on the tape, Donald Trump urged Michael Cohen to pay off his mistress Karen McDougal by check, and that Cohen wanted to pay by cash. Now that the tape is being broadcast live on CNN, you can clearly hear Trump instructing Cohen to “pay by cash” after Cohen proposes “financing” options. Trump’s insistence on paying by cash is a clear indicator that he knew the payoff was a felony violation of election law, and that he was trying to subvert that law. There are only two possible reasons why Rudy would have urged Trump to waive privilege on such a damning tape.
The first possibility is that Rudy has become so cognitively challenged, he legitimately misunderstood who urged the cash payment on the tape, and thus mistakenly thought it exonerated Donald Trump. The second possibility is that Rudy wanted this tape out there because it incriminates Trump. The former may be plausible if he’s really that far gone. But this is far from the first move Rudy has made which supports the latter.
Just a few weeks after the Department of Justice Inspector General interviewed Rudy Giuliani about his role in meddling with FBI business during the election, Rudy announced he was joining Donald Trump’s legal defense team. Since that time Rudy has consistently urged Trump to grant an interview to Robert Mueller, which most observers think would be disastrous for Trump. Now Rudy has convinced Trump to allow a tape to become public which contains Trump committing a felony. Is Rudy trying to hurry up and get Trump ousted, in the hope that it’ll bring an abrupt end to the overall investigation, and thus spare Rudy from prison? Or is Rudy just this cognitively incompetent?
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report