See what happens when you tell felons they should have the right to vote? Next thing you know, they’re making political speeches.
Today’s the day he reports to the federal pen in Otisville for a three-year term. He pulled every string available to him to get the DOJ to cut that sentence down but they wouldn’t go for it — because, interestingly, he left his biggest card unplayed:
Mr. Cohen’s cooperation served a dual purpose: It was a parting shot at the president and an opportunity for Mr. Cohen’s lawyers, citing his assistance, to ask that the prosecutors petition the judge for a reduced sentence.
But the prosecutors have not agreed to it, according to people briefed on the matter who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the deliberations were private. Although the prosecutors may again meet with Mr. Cohen about ongoing investigations, the people said, his hope that they would support a reduced sentence has all but vanished.
Mr. Cohen declined to pursue a formal cooperation agreement with the Manhattan federal prosecutors, which would have required him to disclose any crimes he may have committed or been aware of. That decision most likely contributed to the length of his sentence; his lawyer had argued for no prison time.
For all the cooperating Cohen did with Mueller and the Southern District of New York on the Stormygate matter, he declined to tell them about any other crimes he knew of or participated in. His lawyers claimed in December that that’s because “he felt that resulting investigations and trials would delay resolution of his case,” but that’s dubious. Cohen has no problem with delay: The start of his prison sentence was delayed by two months so that he could testify before Congress and he sought another delay by offering to help congressional Dems decipher documents of his that they’ve collected. There’s no reason to think he wouldn’t have happily accepted a delay to his sentencing if he thought doing so would lead to a much shorter prison stay.
So what can we conclude about his reluctance to sign a formal cooperation agreement? Is there any alternative except that he feared that if he ‘fessed up to every crime he’d been involved in the feds would have had no choice but to give him a much stiffer sentence rather than a more lenient one? “There still remains much to be told,” he warned in his statement to the press before the drive to Otisville today. Maybe that’s just Cohen blowing smoke to throw a fright into Trump before he departs, but he really might be holding information back to give himself some leverage in the future in case the SDNY starts sniffing around him — or Trump — for other crimes. He didn’t get much leniency on the current sentence, but maybe he’ll get it on the next one.
It remains strange to me that he’s become a political critic of Trump’s in addition to a personal one. I understand him turning on POTUS to try to protect himself; plea deals create hard choices. But I’m not sure who he thinks he’s fooling with the admonitions about “xenophobia” and “lies.” He remained Trump’s most loyal stooge and enforcer well after Trump became a presidential candidate and started musing about a Muslim ban. I guess he figures that, having broken with Trump on personal matters, he’s dead to Trumpworld now no matter what. If he wants any kind of life after prison, especially in Manhattan, he’s better off breaking with him on everything and hoping liberals grudgingly tolerate his reentry into society. Odds are no worse than fair that convicted Trump henchman Michael Cohen will be better received in Democratic social circles in the future than Kirstjen Nielsen will.