Anyone who saw Michael Cohen getting minced into hamburger on the British political show Newsnight may have been slightly puzzled by the way the interview began to resemble an informercial. Cohen was asked ‘how many crimes’ he had committed for President Trump. ‘That’s not something I intend on discussing,’ he said, before steering the conversation onto safer ground. ‘I’m so certain that Donald Trump is going to lose the election, I’ve done something I’ve never done before, and that’s I’ve placed a bet on Joe Biden winning, with a company by the name of Guesser.’
He said this because since getting out of Otisville federal prison, one of Cohen’s new gigs has been promoting Guesser.com, a website that gives the current odds on political races. He even sent Cockburn a photograph from house arrest…
This is all a long way from Cohen’s old life, described in his memoir, Disloyal. There was the time he nearly did a billion-dollar real estate deal, or when he had a private dinner with the Georgian president, Mikheil Saakashvili; Cohen was even on the board of Miss Universe. Every year he and Trump would flick through a photo book full of shots of the contestants in bathing suits. ‘We were like a pair of fifth graders slobbering over the images, as we flipped from page to page weighing the merits of each entrant.’
But Cockburn does not scoff at Cohen’s attempt to rebuild his life, whether hawking a betting website or transforming himself into an election commentator. While he’s under house arrest in Manhattan, he’s started his own podcast, Mea Culpa. ‘Nothing but the truth.’ Cockburn recommends the one on Trump’s dubious finances — Cohen claims he was one of the Trump executives who cooked the books. Cohen is also writing a new book about how President Trump has turned the Department of Justice against his enemies. If it’s anything like Disloyal, it will be a page turner. And while there are apparently several movie producers interested in making a film about the life of Donald Trump’s former bagman and fixer, Cohen says the odds are his old boss is heading for defeat at the polls and then to jail.