In yet another must-read piece about President Trump’s past fast dealings with the mob, mafia, and FBI, about which he believes he has successfully portrayed himself as a victim of the organized crime with which he was involved, Annie Karni in Politico also noted that a lawyer who represented Trump in the 90s warned him that Michael Cohen was “not the type to be able to withstand the pressures of jail.”
Trump’s former lawyer in the 1990s (for “both divorces” and real estate dealings) Jay Goldberg said, in speaking to the president in three or four conversations since he took office, that he warned Trump that his former fixer lawyer Michael Cohen, “who is himself under federal investigation over his business dealings, was ‘not the type to be able to withstand the pressures of jail.'”
So, a few things.
1. Trump is so enmeshed with organized crime that he is used to dealing with the FBI:
Most presidents are not dealing with organized crime and FBI investigations so much that they have a technique to get out of jail free. But Trump has his two cards: Go full guns all lawyers blazing in threat mode, and when that doesn’t work or he feels won’t work, he plays the victim. We’ve seen this play out over and over again. It relies on Trump’s belief that he can talk his way out of anything.
This belief is part of Trump’s more troubling trait as a president, the willingness to be fooled, the inability to see what is, the delusions of his own making and strong belief that he creates reality instead of the responding to reality. These are not traits of someone who handles leadership responsibly.
Trump often reminds me more of King Henry the VIII than many of the modern strongmen dictators he so admires, including the expedient disposal of his wives when they are no longer convenient and his belief that he should be in charge of everything – Henry VIII suffered extreme delusions of his own making and thought he created reality. Unlike Putin, for example, Trump doesn’t know this is all a game. He believes a little too much for his own good. He believes in himself too much and underestimates his foes.
2. Trump’s former lawyer felt he needed to warn Trump that his “fixer” lawyer couldn’t handle the pressures of jail.
What kind of people does Donald Trump hang out with that would prompt his former lawyer to warn him that his fixer lawyer was “not the type to be able to withstand the pressures of jail”?
This is not normal client attorney dialogue. Why would it matter that one’s attorney couldn’t handle the pressures of jail, unless the attorney had information that the president didn’t want getting out.
It always comes back to Trump being Trump. This is his problem and our problem. He is exactly who he always has been, with with the gilt of his claimed generosity to the arts worn off to reveal the con artist moving the shells to benefit himself.
When your former lawyer feels they need to warn you that another of your former lawyers can’t handle the pressures of jail, you are not winning. You are not a winner. And no, you can’t talk Robert Mueller out of prosecuting you.
Mueller has the money and the resources to follow Trump’s white collar, organized crime trail in a way that others might not have been able to. The fate of our country rests in the hands of Robert Mueller and his integrity, his dedication to task, and his ability to see clearly. Those types of people are not easily fooled by a man who might not understand just how naked he is right now, and that his old get out of jail free tactics have no doubt been studied by this team.
Trump sees the presidency as an opportunity to enrich himself, but what he isn’t grasping is how much scrutiny it puts a person under. His daughter already had to close her clothing line.
Some things can’t be talked their way out of, and a bad brand like the corruption of the Trump name is one of them.
Ms. Jones is the co-founder/ editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.