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Politics: Cohen Was Already A Perjurer, Fraudster And Tax Cheat

POLITICS: Cohen was already a perjurer, fraudster and tax cheat — now he’s also a thief

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Under another day of withering cross-examination on Monday, former Donald Trump lawyer Michael Cohen admitted that he stole $60,000 from the Trump Organization.

Between February and December 2017, Cohen was paid $35,000 per month by the former president.

Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg has suggested that Cohen was not actually retained to do real work as Trump’s lawyer during that time. Instead, prosecutors say, Cohen was principally paid to reimburse him for $130,000 he’d laid out in October 2016 to purchase the silence of a porn star, Stormy Daniels, who had threatened to go public about a tryst she says she had with Trump a decade earlier.

Michael Cohen admitted that he stole $60,000 from the Trump Organization Monday. REUTERS
Cohen conceded during cross-examination that he did not actually pay $50,000 to Red Finch. He persuaded the company to take $20,000 and pocketed the extra $30,000. REUTERS

Cohen also asked for a reimbursement of the $50,000 he’d paid a digital services company called Red Finch for assistance in spinning poll results. The Trump Organization agreed to reimburse Cohen for the Stormy and Red Finch expenses, and even doubled the amount so that Cohen would not suffer a tax hit. Another $60,000 bonus was added, for a total of $420,000. One year of “work,” $35,000 a month.

Yet Cohen conceded during cross-examination that he did not actually pay $50,000 to Red Finch. He persuaded the company to take $20,000 and pocketed the extra $30,000.

In fact, he pocketed more than $30,000 — remember, the Trump Organization doubled the Red Finch payment to protect Cohen from tax liability.

The revelation that Cohen stole from Trump in a deal over which Bragg has indicted Trump — but never charged Cohen — was yet another major wound for the credibility of the star witness.

Cohen is a convicted perjurer, fraudster and tax cheat. Now you can add thief.

Moreover, the defense persuasively argues that it caught Cohen in another lie under oath last week.

As Trump’s lawyer, Cohen was tasked with paying off people and organizations looking to smear the former president. via REUTERS

He claimed that he had alerted Trump about the completion of the Stormy Daniels non-disclosure agreement in a brief October 2016 phone call.

But text evidence that emerged in court last week showed that the call actually involved Cohen’s attempt to report a 14-year-old prankster to the Secret Service for making crank phone calls.

It strains credulity to suggest, as Cohen did, that maybe he spoke about both the 14-year-old and the Stormy deal in a 90-second phone call — one in which there is no evidence, other than Cohen’s say-so, that he spoke with Trump.

Blanche’s cross-examination of Cohen wrapped up this morning. As the three grueling days played out, it became increasingly obvious why federal prosecutors elected not to bring a case against Trump based on Cohen’s story.

Alvin Bragg made a different decision. He’ll have to live with the consequences.

Andrew C. McCarthy is a former federal prosecutor.



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