If you’ve been glancing at the publicly available evidence against Donald Trump’s “attorney” Michael Cohen, and you’ve been trying to figure out whether or not he’s likely to be indicted or arrested, you no longer have to wonder. Yesterday a judge took a look at the situation and concluded that, yes, Cohen is headed toward handcuffs.
Michael Cohen is in the unique situation of fighting a battle with Stormy Daniels in civil court, even as federal prosecutors are targeting him in a criminal investigation involving his payoff to Daniels and other matters. The judge in the civil case has no say over what happens to Cohen with respect to criminal charges. But the civil judge did rule yesterday that the lawsuit will be put on hold, because in the judge’s view, it’s likely Cohen is about to get popped on criminal charges. So why is this a big deal?
Based on experience and expertise, the judge in the civil trial is in a far better position to have an accurate grasp on whether Michael Cohen is going to be indicted on criminal charges. He’s placing a ninety day hold on the civil suit, because he thinks that’s the maximum amount of time it’ll take for Cohen to be indicted. And of course an indictment gives the prosecutor the greenlight to arrest the person, so we’re now looking at Cohen in handcuffs within ninety days, and probably much sooner.
At that point Michael Cohen will have to decide whether to cut a plea deal, as Michael Flynn, George Papadopoulos, and Rick Gates all have, or whether to take his chances in a criminal trial. Prosecutors will surely be looking to convince Cohen to cut a deal against Donald Trump, as Trump is the true target of all of these various criminal investigations.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report