There’s really only one news story in America today, but let me flag this for you while we wait for SCOTUS hints as a reminder that the Russiagate probe remains a 20-megaton political nuke that could go off over Washington at any moment. And — here’s a fun thought for POTUS — Michael Cohen might have access to the detonator. From his new lawyer, longtime Clintonista Lanny Davis:
Did @rudygiuliani really say on Sunday shows that @michaelcohen212 should cooperate with prosecutors and tell the truth? Seriously? Is that Trump and Giuliani definition of “truth”? Trump/Giuliani next to the word “truth” = oxymoron. Stay tuned. #thetruthmatters
— Lanny Davis (@LannyDavis) July 9, 2018
Davis was reacting to Giuliani saying yesterday on one of the Sunday shows that he and Trump are A-OK, even enthusiastic, about Cohen cooperating with prosecutors since of course the president has nothing to hide. “As long as he tells the truth, we’re home free,” said Rudy to George Stephanopoulos. That was bad news for Cohen twice over. First, he’s been dropping increasingly heavy hints lately that he’ll have no choice but to cooperate with prosecutors if someone (hint, hint) doesn’t pay for his legal defense, which the Trump family had been kind enough to contribute to — until recently. Giuliani telling him on television to go ahead and cooperate already is as clear a signal as one could want that Trump’s not going to be that someone.
Which raises the question of why. If POTUS could purchase Cohen’s silence and goodwill by paying his legal bills, why not do it? Those bills will run into the millions but Trump’s good for it, right?
Second, Rudy’s caveat is ominous: “As long as he tells the truth.” TrumpWorld has already fired a few shots across Cohen’s bow, first with that weird Enquirer hit piece on him in April and then later with Trump speaking in the past tense in telling reporters that he “always liked” Cohen, which allegedly bothered Cohen. Giuliani’s warning him implicitly here that they’re going to go after him hammer and tongs if he tries to implicate Trump in anything, which should go without saying but somehow feels more menacing once it’s been said. In fact, various Trump allies have already begun laying that groundwork in interviews, reminding the audience that anyone under investigation who’d snitch on a friend to prosecutors might be (must be?) lying to try to secure a better deal for himself. Cohen’s going to face the full firepower of the armed and operational Trump-crony battle station if he rolls over.
Via Mediaite, here’s CNN’s Gloria Borger confirming that sources who’ve spoken to Cohen concur with what Davis suggested in his tweet: The “truth” that he’s prepared to tell Mueller and/or the Manhattan U.S. Attorney won’t be a happy one for the president. Is that a bluff to bring Team Trump back around to his side or a legit threat to set off the Russiagate nuclear bomb? Like Lanny Davis says: Stay tuned.