No sooner had darkness at noon ended in a Manhattan courthouse, where Michael Cohen said that Donald Trump’s ‘dirty deeds’ led him into ‘darkness,’ than a fresh story about Individual 1’s past shenanigans emerged. The US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York released a memo indicating it’s receiving ‘substantial and important assistance’ from the parent company of the National Enquirer, American Media Inc. CEO David Pecker, who received immunity from the feds this past August, appears to have become part of a special species that Trump has previously described with disdain: ‘I know all about flipping, for 30, 40 years, I’ve been watching flippers.’
Not like now, he hasn’t. The non-prosecution agreement with AMI indicates that the company is fessing up to paying $150,000 to Karen McDougal, a payment that was made ‘in concert with a candidate’s presidential campaign.’ Trump, who had his manhood challenged by Pelosi yesterday, must be flipping out over Pecker’s readiness to divulge the naked truth about his peccadilloes. The agreement notes in lapidary language: ‘At no point did AMI report to the Federal Election Commission that it had made the $150,000 payment to the model.’
The more that emerges about Trump’s past conduct, the sleazier it looks. Judge William Pauley found Cohen guilty of ‘a veritable smorgasbord of criminal conduct,’ including lying to Congress about Trump’s ties to Russia. Cohen is headed to prison for 36 months and has to pay up to $2 million in fines. He may have come to grief mainly over a hush money scandal, but he was hardly reticent. On the contrary, he lashed out at Trump: ‘I have been living in a personal and mental incarceration ever since the day that I accepted the offer to work for a real estate mogul whose business acumen that I deeply admired.’ He had felt that it was ‘his duty,’ Cohen said, to cover up Trump’s misdeeds. No longer. He says that he intends to cooperate further with federal investigators.
Trump can huff and puff, but his former personal lawyer framed their relationship, past and present, in extremely personal terms, emphasizing the cupidity and venality of his old employer. Cohen is dissing Trump as much as Pelosi did yesterday. The Los Angeles Times’s Eli Stokols reports, ‘It sort of spiraled out of control, and when the President left the Oval Office after Pelosi and Schumer left, a number of people saw him, he stormed out of the Oval, walked into an anteroom just off the Oval Office, and had in his hand a folder of briefing papers, and he just scattered them out of frustration, threw them across the room and expressed frustration to the people who were present.’
Worse may be to come. Tomorrow Maria Butina will be sentenced. And on December 18, Michael Flynn is scheduled to be sentenced for lying to the FBI. So far, it doesn’t look like it’s going to be a very happy new year for Individual 1 who is likely to flip out over what awaits him and his remaining chums.