The Report: Part XIV: The Fixer Flips
November 2, 2019 5:47 PM - Subscribe

We're almost at the end of our story. This episode will cover the final set of activity that the Special Counsel examines for possible obstruction of justice: the president's behavior towards his long time attorney Michael Cohen. Unlike the other possible acts of obstruction in Volume II, which mostly occur after Trump takes office, the relevant conduct towards Cohen spans the entire time period at issue in the Mueller investigation. It starts all the way back before the campaign. To Trump Tower Moscow.

Lawfare:
This episode covers Trump’s attempts to influence another potential witness to his conduct: his former lawyer Michael Cohen. When Cohen is called to testify before Congress, with the help of Trump’s attorneys he drafts a false statement that repeats the Trump team “party line” about the Trump Tower Moscow project.

The president knows that Cohen, more than almost anyone else, has had a front-row seat to Trump’s conduct. Congress wants to hear from Cohen and the President’s lawyers take the lead in workshopping a statement to give to Congress that minimizes the Trump campaign’s missteps. Cohen goes before Congress and regurgitates the lies endorsed by Trump’s team. But Cohen is not out of trouble yet. The fixer finds himself in serious criminal trouble with federal law enforcement in New York and Trump is nervous. A host of Trump affiliates get in contact with Cohen and make allusions to a powerful weapon in Trump’s arsenal: a presidential pardon.

But Cohen then begins to cooperate with the government and the president sours on his beloved fixer. With Cohen no longer on the team, the president unleashes a storm of tweets assailing Cohen and threatening his family.

This is the penultimate episode; next week will be the last, and will be concerned about Mueller's conclusions.
posted by General Malaise (1 comment total)
 
This one was gripping. It's clear that Trump was engaged in witness tampering with regard to Cohen. The only thing it really misses (and it's because it's not in the Report and not really a legal issue) is why Cohen had to pull away from testifying (because of the Trump diehards who followed his lead and threatened his family).
posted by General Malaise at 5:48 PM on November 2


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