On April 9, 2018, the offices, hotel, and home of Trump personal lawyer Michael Cohen were raided by the FBI which has sent Donald Trump into a frenzy. While one obvious concern is that the raid might uncover more facts about that $130,000 payment to porn star Stormy Daniels and possibly prove Trump’s affair. Another might be that Cohen’s e-mails reveal further negotiations with Russia about projects like Trump Tower Moscow or other real estate projects during a time Trump was claiming he had no business interests in Russia. There might be some completely unknown criminal behavior that comes to light as a result of the raid. Trump has much to be fearful of but none of that is the worst-case scenario for the President.
The real fear is that Special Counsel Bob Mueller along with the US Attorney for the Southern District of New York, amass enough information against Michael Cohen to make him flip, bringing into play every dirty deal Donald Trump has done over the last decade. Money laundering, foreign bribes, conspiracy to affect an election, how he ended up surrounded by grifters and cons (his Cabinet)? And then there’s the women, the Nondisclosure Agreements (NDA’s) and the payoffs.
Cohen can theoretically tie Trump to all sorts of illegal and/or immoral behavior and the only standard a man like Trump can use is, what would he do in similar circumstances? Mueller has been shown to being willing to throw the entire book at someone to get their cooperation (ask Paul Manafort). As the charges pile up against Cohen, beyond the currently asserted FEC violations and bank fraud. At what point will Cohen decide to trade Trump’s misdeeds for a get out of jail free card?
Trump’s options were already few. Do nothing and wait for Mueller to gather damning information by following the money which he’s already been doing. Watch as his son, son-in-law, and possibly daughter face criminal charges? Fire Mueller and risk immediate impeachment for obstruction of justice? Can he pardon his personal lawyer without confirming additional obstruction? Can he pardon himself? Should he quit?
Despite the fact the raid was conducted not by the Special Counsel’s office but by a regional US Attorney. Mueller has indeed thrown down the gauntlet while simultaneously slapping Trump upside the head with it. My only hope is that if Cohen does flip, we get to watch the testimony on television.