Donald Trump has used the law and lawyers like a mob boss uses their street thugs — a means of intimidation and control.
But now, his lawsuit against his former lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen might be biting him in the legal behind. Donald Trump is worried that the discovery phase of the lawsuit he filed might incriminate him in other ongoing criminal matters he currently faces.
Trump “is concerned that evidence sought by Michael Cohen in the former president’s $500 million lawsuit against his ex-lawyer and fixer could potentially incriminate him in his multiple ongoing criminal proceedings,” Erik Larsen at Bloomberg reports.
Trump is concerned about “self-incrimination” and wants the evidence to be kept secret. Cohen argues that Trump can’t have it both ways.
In a Miami court filing on Wednesday – the day Trump’s headed to be arraigned in DC on federal charges for his efforts to overturn the 2020 election, Trump argued that the “documents sought by Cohen, particularly Trump Organization financial records, should be covered by a confidentiality order amid the former president’s separate criminal proceedings.”
Trump’s lawyer cited the multiple criminal proceedings his client is currently a defendant in as a reason to keep evidence secret: “The existence of the criminal proceedings currently ongoing against the Plaintiff establishes ‘good cause’ for the entry of the confidentiality order due to the risk of self-incrimination.”
This might be a matter of Trump now regretting his ill-thought out revenge plot to sue Michael Cohen for allegedly violating an NDA and allegedly violating their attorney-client bond. Cohen served time in prison after pleading guilty to campaign finance charges and lying to Congress, and is also a key witness in several criminal and civil investigations involving Trump.
“If Donald was concerned that release of this information could or will cause him damage in the ongoing criminal investigations, he should have thought twice about bringing the lawsuit in the first place,” Cohen said to Bloomberg in a call. “You can’t have it both ways.”
Basically, Trump created this mess, like he has created most of the messes he finds himself in. As he so often does, Trump then cites the other messes he’s in as a reason he can’t possibly be held to account in this other mess he made.
We will see how the judge feels about slippery Don in this case, but Trump’s legal fees have to be a concern at this point. Trump’s PAC Save America has reportedly spent more than $40 million on legal fees during the first half of the year for defending Trump, his aides and other allies in multiple criminal matters.
Trump has become such a financial strain that battleground states that Politico reported, “‘Everything has fallen off a cliff’: Battleground state GOPs nosedive in Trump era. Michigan’s Republican party is broke. Minnesota’s was, until recently, down to $53.81 in the bank. And in Colorado, the GOP is facing eviction from its office this month because it can’t make rent.”‘
It shouldn’t be overlooked that Trump sued Cohen in part for allegedly violating his NDA, which some could argue is an infringement of Cohen’s free speech. This is only relevant because speaking of having it both ways, Trump’s lawyers are trying to claim that his actions pertaining to his plot to overthrow an election were legal because it’s his “free speech.”
Trump heads to his arraignment Wednesday afternoon, where he will be fingerprinted but no mug shot taken. He is innocent of all charges until proven guilty, but these criminal charges are not part of a “witch hunt.”
This would be one too many lawsuits for most people, but Donald Trump seems to thrive under legal duress, though never before has he been pursued for so many alleged crimes at the same time.
Listen to Sarah on the PoliticusUSA Pod on The Daily newsletter podcast here.
Sarah has been credentialed to cover President Barack Obama, then VP Joe Biden, 2016 Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, and exclusively interviewed Speaker Nancy Pelosi multiple times and exclusively covered her first home appearance after the first impeachment of then President Donald Trump.
Sarah is two-time Telly award winning video producer and a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.