Former Trump attorney Michael Cohen was sentenced to serve three years in prison on Wednesday as a result of his guilty plea on a number of charges brought against him by Robert Mueller’s team and the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Southern District of New York. Those charges included years of tax evasion, making false statements to banks, making false statements to Congress and alleged campaign finance violations on behalf of then-candidate Donald Trump.
But in an interview that aired Friday morning, Cohen sat down with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos for a discussion that largely glossed over the serious crimes of lying to banks and Congress and the IRS and instead focused in on Cohen’s past and present relationship with businessman Trump. His responses made clear that Cohen’s career and credibility have effectively been ruined.
As per a transcript of the interview, Cohen made every effort to portray himself as some sort of victim of Trump, one who is now lashing out at the boss he was formerly loyal to, prior to getting hemmed up over crimes he committed entirely separate from his association with Trump.
Known liar accuses another man of lying
Cohen repeatedly called Trump a liar during the interview, even as he himself admitted that he had told countless lies over the years…but he’s asking everyone to believe him and take his word as credible now.
Asked why he had lied on behalf of Trump for so many years, Cohen said: “Out of loyalty. Out of loyalty to him. I followed a bad path and hence how we started this conversation. I have my freedom, and I will not be the villain — as I told you once before — I will not be the villain of his story.”
Stephanopoulos noted that Trump has denied ever ordering Cohen to do anything wrong, but Cohen replied: “I don’t think there is anybody that believes that. First of all, nothing at the Trump organization was ever done unless it was run through Mr. Trump.”
He went on to say that he “gave loyalty to someone who truthfully does not deserve loyalty.”
Asked later if he knew why he had been so loyal to Trump, Cohen said:
No. No, it was a blind loyalty. It was to a man I admired, but I do not know the answer to it. And I am angry at myself. My family is disappointed that they’ve taught me, my mother, father, right from wrong. And I didn’t display good judgment.
Why should anyone believe him?
The topic of Cohen’s credibility came up as Stephanopoulos rightly asked why anyone should believe Cohen now, when he has been a known liar for years and just pleaded guilty to charges that included lying.
Cohen responded: “Because the special counsel stated emphatically that the information that I gave to them is credible and helpful. There is a substantial amount of information that they possessed that corroborates the fact that I am telling the truth.”
He added a moment later: “I am done with the lying. I am done being loyal to President Trump, and my first loyalty belongs to my wife, my daughter, my son and this country.”
The former Trump lawyer also suggested that President Trump is a different man than the businessman Trump he had worked for, likely as a result of being unprepared for the job of president, he said — though it is unclear how Cohen would know this, as Trump more or less cut all ties with Cohen prior to entering the White House, and Cohen was never integrally involved in either the administration or campaign.
Cohen also asserted that Trump was lying about alleged Russian collusion and hinted that he continues to cooperate with the investigations against Trump by the special counsel and New York prosecutors, though he declined to provide any specifics.
Michael Cohen has long been considered a sleazy guy who did shady things, and as previously noted, he is a known liar that has been caught in his lies and has pleaded guilty to lying.
Why anyone would believe an additional word out of Cohen’s mouth is unknowable, save for the fact that Trump-haters will latch on to anything — no matter how dubious — if they think it will help the overall goal of hurting Trump and removing him from office.