Inside dope or wishful thinking? As Allahpundit pointed out yesterday, the idea that Michael Cohen’s change of representation means he’s cutting a deal with prosecutors was pretty speculative. Unless Rudy Giuliani’s coordinating with Cohen or his legal team, though, so is any declaration that Trump’s former attorney isn’t cutting a deal. Nevertheless, Giuliani scoffed at the idea when discussing it with Fox’s Laura Ingraham last night, and added that it wouldn’t matter if Cohen did flip:
“I checked into this last night. It’s not so,” Giuliani told Laura Ingraham of Fox News. The former New York mayor is one of the president’s chief attorneys fending off the special counsel’s investigation into potential collusion between Russian actors and Trump’s campaign in the 2016 election.
“He’s not cooperating, nor do we care because the president did nothing wrong,” Giuliani said of Cohen. “We’re very comfortable if he cooperates that there’s nothing he can cooperate about with regard to President Trump. I am absolutely certain about that form everything I know about that investigation.”
It’d be easier to take this seriously if Giuliani hadn’t all but made himself Robert Mueller’s spokesman over the last couple of months. He’s been making a lot of claims that don’t necessarily sound as though they’re on solid ground about the special counsel investigation, and Cohen’s not even a part of that. He’s being prosecuted by the US Attorney in the Southern District of New York, thanks to a decision by Mueller to shove the case out of his purview.
That, however, is a pretty good reason for Giuliani’s “nor do we care.” If Cohen had any value to Mueller, the case would still be in his office, not the SDNY’s. Mueller’s prosecuting Paul Manafort in part because it looks like Manafort and Rick Gates might still have information valuable to Mueller’s core probe, even though their indictments have nothing at all to do with the 2016 campaign. The DoJ could have prosecuted the Manafort case at any time after 2014, and could do so now (and might be forced to do so, depending on challenges to Mueller’s jurisdiction). The fact that Mueller handed off the Cohen case to the DoJ speaks volumes about Cohen’s value to the special counsel probe. If Cohen does cooperate, it’s likely to be more about himself than anything else.
Ingraham isn’t entirely buying Giuliani’s patter here either. At one point she expresses some skepticism about Giuliani’s claims, challenging him on the fact that he hasn’t actually seen everything that prosecutors have. Giuliani replies, “I have something better than that,” which is his 30-year friendship with Trump. That’s true, but that’s hardly going to persuade a judge or a jury, if it comes to that. Which it likely won’t, at least not for Trump.