Which of Donald Trump’s many current scandals may actually destroy him? Will it be the shocking findings of the Jan. 6 committee? His absconding with highly classified documents? Spewing racist nonsense? Or will it be the lawsuit filed against his company and some of his children by the New York State Attorney General’s office? According to one of his former cronies, it’s the latter he should really be worried about.
Michael Cohen, the former president’s longtime lawyer and fixer — who is none-too-pleased that he did jail time for him — spoke with Salon about his new book, Revenge: How Donald Trump Weaponized the US Department of Justice Against His Critics. Cohen was asked if he imagines his old boss will ever be charged with a crime, maybe even forced to do an old-fashioned perp walk.
“I do,” was Cohen’s blunt, optimistic reply. “Right now, that case will financially destroy him.”
It’s already known that, should the lawsuit prove successful, Trump and his family will be barred from doing business in New York, which means he may have to sell some of the only things that actually comprise his wealth: his beloved New York City skyscrapers. But Cohen pointed out that New York AG Letitia James may demand a higher penalty than people realize.
“Now, a lot of people make the mistake and they say that she’s seeking $250 million,” Cohen told Salon. “That’s not accurate. What she said was, “There is a baseline of $250 million.” That’s because they don’t have the full amount. They just don’t.”
Since James’ lawsuit is a civil case, it won’t end with Trump in jail. However, Cohen points out, she’s already referred her findings to the Department of Justice. While Cohen’s says he’s “not thrilled” with current DoJ head Merrick Garland — he’s “operating so slowly, the exact opposite of Bill Barr,” he adds — she’s also referred it to the IRS.
“And Donald Trump has committed tax evasion, bank fraud, wire fraud, misrepresentation,” Cohen says. “He will not be able to get past that, and that is criminal.”
But at least he still has his supporters, even if these days they might be too terrified to show up at the Capitol.