by Bob Cesca
Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. A lawyer walks into a bar, orders a drink and explains to the bartender that he just paid $130,000 in hush-money — out of his own pocket, no less — to silence a porn star who somehow managed to fuck the lawyer’s client, who, by the way, happens to be the current President of the United States. The bartender and everyone else in the room erupts in laughter.
That’s it. That’s the joke.
Only, it’s not a joke at all, it’s the latest and most hilarious explanation to emerge from Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, regarding allegations that Trump cheated on Melania with Stormy Daniels, a rather voluptuous porn star.
Before we dig into how this revelation will only make things worse for Trump (like always), let’s review the Michael Cohen story so far.
You might recall when Cohen first emerged as a public figure back during the dog days of the 2016 campaign. Appearing on CNN, Cohen hilariously denied the existence of bad polling news for his star client, Mr. Trump. CNN anchor Brooke Baldwin mentioned that most if not all of the polls were showing Trump lagging far behind Hillary Clinton, to which Cohen stared blankly into the camera with his droopy, lifeless eyes and, between pregnant pauses, repeated, “Says who?” over and over.
It was textbook Cohen, who seems to fancy himself as a New York tough-guy — a watched-too-many-episodes-of-The-Sopranos Mafia wannabe who routinely threatens his enemies with physical violence. In one case, Cohen blasted a reporter from The Daily Beast by threatening to ruin the writer’s life.
“I will make sure that you and I meet one day while we’re in the courthouse. And I will take you for every penny you still don’t have. And I will come after your Daily Beast and everybody else that you possibly know,” Cohen said. “So I’m warning you, tread very fucking lightly, because what I’m going to do to you is going to be fucking disgusting. You understand me?”
“You write a story that has Mr. Trump’s name in it, with the word ‘rape,’ and I’m going to mess your life up… for as long as you’re on this frickin’ planet… you’re going to have judgments against you, so much money, you’ll never know how to get out from underneath it,” he added.
Classy. The article, by the way, republished old allegations by Trump’s first wife, Ivana, originally published in the book, Lost Tycoon: The Many Lives Of Donald Trump. The tabloid-ish book alleged that Trump violently raped Ivana after he underwent a painful scalp-reduction surgery by a doctor who she had recommended. Her punishment for being helpful with Trump’s fucked-up hair was for her monstrous, apparently-butchered husband to beat her up then rape her.
It’s also worth noting that Cohen’s excuse for the rape was to falsely suggest, “You cannot rape your spouse. There’s very clear case law.” (Ivana later denied she was raped.)
On top of all that, Cohen is mentioned a whopping 21 times in the infamous Steele Dossier, commissioned by Fusion GPS and financed by both conservatives and Democrats. By comparison, Carter Page, whose links to Russian spies and his inclusion in the Dossier have been hotly debated recently, is mentioned only 18 times. Cohen, for his part, is accused of meeting with Russian operatives on five occasions, three of those meetings are reported to have taken place in Prague during the same month in which Cohen said, “Says who?” to Brooke Baldwin over and over again. However, Cohen emphatically denied the Prague meetings, going so far as to produce his passport, sans Prague stamp. Fine, but it’s remarkably easy to get a second passport, perhaps under an assumed name or not. It’s also relatively easy to move through Europe via rail these days without any evidence stamped into one’s passport.
Nevertheless, the generally irascible lawyer stupidly sued Buzzfeed for both publishing the Steele Dossier and for — don’t laugh! — smearing Cohen’s stellar reputation. Of course, this stupid lawsuit, as always, makes things worse for both Cohen and Trump, especially given that Buzzfeed is now endeavoring to independently verify the content of the Dossier. And yes, this includes the rumored pee-pee tape. In other words, on top of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s verification of portions of the Dossier, and on top of the FBI and Special Counsel’s ongoing investigation, Buzzfeed will also be entering into the record its own findings about the Dossier.
Yep. Cohen’s not very bright.
And now, back to the Stormy Daniels nonsense. I’m not sure who’s advising Cohen on the Daniels story, but it smacks of Trump’s fucked-up decision making. The entire notion of Cohen paying Stormy out of his own pocket is riotously laughable on its face. We’re supposed to seriously believe that a dick like Cohen plunked down six-figures from his own wallet out of sheer kindness, because Cohen is clearly a very kind and exorbitantly generous man, sounds like utter bullshit, especially to anyone who’s met a lawyer of Cohen’s ilk. Regardless of quality, lawyers only ever receive money from clients. They bill for every second of time spent, and if they pay anything out, it’s always in the form of a loan to be billed in the next invoice.
Maybe because Cohen is such an idiot, he thinks we’re all idiots. There’s no way Cohen wasn’t reimbursed by Trump or the Republican Party or both. Or it’s possible that the Trump campaign funneled the money to Cohen while logging the outlay as a fee to a consultant or as a payment for a random campaign-related service. Along those lines, it’s worth noting that Cohen’s legal defense in the Russia investigation is, for some reason, being covered by the RNC, reportedly, even though Cohen was never a member of the campaign.
Instead of killing the story, Cohen has derped his way into a series of questions along these lines. In addition to questioning the farfetched notion that he paid Stormy out of his own pocket, he’s inviting further follow-the-money scrutiny. He’s also triggering a series of follow-up inquiries about whether there are other payments to other women. If so, how much was paid to whom? Was the money funneled from the campaign or Trump himself? What’s the going rate for Trump-related hush money? Will other women come forward now?
On top of everything else, we learned on Wednesday that Stormy Daniels feels as though Cohen violated their nondisclosure agreement, freeing her to go public with the whole sordid story, which, by the way, will include obvious descriptions of the sex itself and, yeah, gross, the president’s allegedly diminutive genitals. All told, what could’ve been a two-day story has now extended into a month or more — perhaps longer if campaign money was used.
On a deeply terrifying note, if Trump and his people are this horrendous at making decisions regarding their own legal jeopardy, their decisions for the entire nation have to be just as bad or worse. Take a look at your Twitter feed, and the evidence is all there. Everything Trump does makes things worse for Trump. As far as I’m concerned, this is the primary reason why Trump should’ve never been allowed to fumble his way into the White House. He’s completely incompetent on every level, even when it comes to managing his own life. Making matters far worse, he’s responsible for a revolving door of freaks and weirdos who are just as bad as he is.
On the upside, I’m increasingly certain Trump, Cohen and the rest of the #MAGA goon squad will screw themselves before they irreparably screw the nation.