Michael Cohen, the man who knew too much Donald Trump

The former lawyer, who will be imprisoned on May 6, claims to have covered up the fraud and schemes of the American president, his former client. Today, the lawman does not hesitate to call Donald Trump a "racist" and a "thug."

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Like so many others, he may crack at dawn on May 6, in the arms of his loved ones, in the sinister parking lot of the federal prison. In his misfortune, 52-year-old Michael Cohen, a devoted lawyer and confident combinard of Donald Trump, has a chance to serve his three years for miscellaneous fraud and contempt of Congress in Otisville, North New York. The security regulations, special " white-collar criminals ", are there more flowing than in the common American jails. And it'll only take an hour and a half to get her family from Manhattan to visit her at the visiting room.

For the love of the "boss", in ten years of loyal service, Michael Cohen has made journalists live a hell of a life, bought the silence of several mistresses of the reality King, and protected his master to the point of threatening schools with ruinous lawsuits if they leaked the school reports of young Trump. The same salesman was the pathfinder for Trump's real estate projects in Kazakhstan and Moscow, and played a major role in the boss's decision to run for the White House.

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What intrigues the shock team of special prosecutor Robert Mueller, charged since May 2017 to investigate a possible collusion between Donald Trump and the Russians during the presidential election, and the suspicions of obstruction of justice after his entry into the White House. In the end, his lawyer Michael Cohen will remain famous only for his role as a joke Turkey and pathetic repentant.
Lying in front of the Congress and buying silence
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On February 27, the whole of America, riveted in front of the live broadcast of its hearing before a congressional committee, expected to hear, if not a Rasputin, a lieutenant as in the Mafia series " The Sopranos ". She discovered a 50-year-old with a round face marked by fear and remorse, acknowledging "his shame for hiding Mr. Trump's illegal acts instead of listening to his conscience," and describing his former mentor as " a racist, a thug and a hustler."

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The man in the shadows certainly pays for various personal errors discovered during the investigation, including $ 1 million in tax fraud on his related cases, but also for acts commissioned by the current president of the United States.

In 2017, during a first behind-the-scenes hearing at the Congress, the convicted swindler lied to the elected officials by assuring that Trump was no longer planning to build a tower in Moscow during his presidential campaign. While, in reality, he was still in charge of these negotiations after the electoral victory in November 2016.

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"Donald Trump never gives direct orders»

In October 2018, a month before the presidential election, he advanced from his pocket the $ 130,000 paid to Stormy Daniels, an Actress X who was threatening to reveal her ten-year relationship with the candidate. A cheque that constitutes embezzlement of electoral funds and which the president would never have heard of.

"Donald Trump never gives direct orders," he confessed to the members of Congress. It's a pattern similar to organized crime. "Shocked by the impunity still enjoyed by his former boss, Cohen can only reproach himself for his own talent, as well as his unfailing loyalty.

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There was, however, no sign of this alliance when they first met in 2006 in connection with a syndicate case in the Trump World Tower next to the United Nations headquarters. "On the one hand, the real estate mogul, the offspring of a millionaire with German roots and a Scottish mother. On the other hand, a young lawyer born in the middle class of a small suburban town in LongIsland, the son of a nurse and a doctor who emigrated from Poland and survived the Holocaust, amuses Tom Allon, former New York politician and editor of a local newspaper, who has frequented both characters since their beginnings. Yet both had one thing in common: an outsider's lancinating complex. »

The first had never stopped, in his youth, to succeed what his father, King of real estate in the Queens district, had failed: the conquest of the Manhattan business. The other, from the outskirts, saw only the lights and splendours of New York.

From "ambulance chaser" to Handyman

In college, Michael was driving a Porsche, and had made "the Art of the Deal", the bestseller of his idol Trump, his bedside book. His law degree from a Michigan Law School didn't stop him from winning the notoriously difficult New York bar before entering the most lucrative speciality: accident damages and medical errors.

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The "ambulance hunter", according to the infamous nickname of the profession, was able to diversify his activities after his marriage, in 1994, with Laura Shusterman, daughter of a Ukrainian who arrived in Brighton Beach in 1975, The "Little Odessa" of New York, known as the rear base of the Russian-speaking mafia.

The son-in-law was not reluctant to associate with his father-in-law or take advantage of his picturesque contacts for a few deals, such as a failed casino project in Florida. The family has also invested in real estate. It has three apartments in the Trump World Tower, one of the brightest buildings in the legendary Donald.

In 2005, on the occasion of a revolt of the owners against a monstrous increase of the charges, Michael Cohen is noticed by Trump taking in hand the syndic and taking sides for the manager. Trump likes and hires him in 2006 as a handyman in his eclectic business. Does he see, in the scruples of his young Deputy, an avatar of his terrifying lawyer, Roy Cohn? Senator McCarthy's first Counsel at the time of the abject anticommunist purges had, for twenty years, become his merciless defender and instrument of triumph for Trump Inc.

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The harbingers of his inevitable betrayal

Michael Cohen sees himself as an agent of uncertain and problematic affairs; he earns his stripes by intimidating journalists who investigate the accusations of marital rape made by Ivana Trump, the boss's first wife, and ensures contacts with the Russian Felix Sater, a mafia Rabat of investors close to the Kremlin, for the future Trump Tower.

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In Otisville prison, the zealous former servant of the president will have every opportunity to meditate on the warning signs of his inevitable betrayal. The day he arrived hours late to the bar mitzvah of the Cohen son, where he was to give a speech. Even worse. Cohen, who prided himself on having convinced the king of real estate and reality TV in 2011 to prepare for the presidential election, to the point of organizing an internet rally, sees Trump dismiss him from his campaign. He who, with a stunning naivety, saw himself as "chief of staff", Director of the presidential cabinet, received only a standard invitation to the inaugural gala.

But Michael Cohen earned his living, starting in 2017, by presenting himself as a close friend of the White House to multinationals ostensibly Sponsored by foreign governments. Trump's silence grieves him as long as he bursts into the provocative, showing himself among other things with a notorious enemy of his former Idol in the sole aim of gaining the attention of the Oval Office.

One of the worst humiliations of a president

He didn't get it until April 2018, when FBI agents, on the order of Prosecutor Mueller, raided his home and office. Trump's first tweet, falsely friendly, is a warning against " the lies that can be told in this kind of situation."

The following messages, after he pleaded guilty in August, they resemble the strokes of grace. "If you need a good lawyer, I advise against Michael Cohen," one of them says. In the week leading up to his congressional hearing, Trump even talks about the money and affairs of the lawyer's Ukrainian wife and stepfather, an indirect way of threatening to open an investigation into their possible links with the Mafia community in Brighton Beach.

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Michael Cohen will talk, though. Its unpacking in front of elected officials is one of the worst humiliations a president has ever endured. "I find it hard to believe, when he says he had the revelation when he saw the president denying Putin's Russian intervention in the presidential elections of 2016," admits Tom Allon. But for having met him, defeated and bitter, since his conviction, I have no doubt that he has learned his lesson. "In three years' time, Michael Cohen is likely to publish a book of shock. One bounce like another.

Love, glory and treachery... Michael Cohen and Donald Trump in 10 dates

  • 2006. Lawyer Michael Cohen is hired by Donald Trump.
  • 2011. He convinced Trump to take his chances in the presidential election.
  • 2016. Cohen carries out real estate prospecting in Central Asia and Russia on behalf of the businessman.
  • October 2016. He buys $ 130,000 for the silence Of Actress X Stormy Daniels, who had an affair with the billionaire.
  • November 2016. Trump is elected president of the United States.
  • August 2017. Michael Cohen testifies in camera before Congress.
  • April 2018. FBI search and seizure of his files.
  • 29 November 2018. Attorney Michael Cohen pleads guilty to lying during his congressional hearing.
  • 27 February 2019. Spectacular hearing in front of the Congress.
  • 6 May 2019. He is summoned to serve his three years in prison.