STREAMING NOW: Watch Now
CLOSINGS: View Closings

Michael Cohen is Donald Trump's very special counsel

Michael Cohen is known to the world as "...

Posted: Feb 14, 2018 3:56 PM
Updated: Feb 14, 2018 3:56 PM

Michael Cohen is known to the world as "President Trump's personal lawyer" but he seems to act more like a fixer or cleaner. Every billionaire needs one.

Facing possible accusations from a porn star about an affair? Cohen is the guy who will set up the LLC in Delaware to quietly pay her off.

People find out about the hush money? Cohen is the guy who will engineer statements denying any affair ever happened.

Facing questions that the legality in campaign law about payoffs to the porn star to keep her quiet about the affair she and you both deny happened? Cohen is the guy who will say he paid the funds out of his own money.

But Cohen is much more than that to Trump, a longtime associate and true believer. He was also among the first in Trump's orbit to be publicly sidelined (only to reappear later).

Cohen would often speak for Trump in the leadup to his political career, as he did ahead of the 2012 presidential election and again in 2015.

Initially a sort of spokesman for the nascent campaign, Cohen tried to diffuse one of the first controversies of the Trump campaign way back in July 2015.

This one needs some setup: It all started when, at his campaign kickoff, Trump called Mexicans rapists. He then reiterated that view to CNN's Don Lemon in an interview.

"I mean somebody's doing it! ... Who's doing the raping?" Trump asked Lemon.

That led the Daily Beast to point out that Trump's ex-wife Ivana, who is now a Trump supporter, that she felt "violated" by him during sex and used the word rape in a deposition. Something Ivana Trump later walked back.

"During a deposition given by me in connection with my matrimonial case, I stated that my husband had raped me," the statement said. "I referred to this as a 'rape,' but I do not want my words to be interpreted in a literal or criminal sense," Ivana Trump said in a statement.

Cohen, the lawyer, to the rescue, explained, according to The Daily Beast: "You're talking about the frontrunner for the GOP, presidential candidate, as well as a private individual who never raped anybody. And, of course, understand that by the very definition, you can't rape your spouse. It is true," Cohen said back in 2015. "You cannot rape your spouse. And there's very clear case law."

There isn't clear case law, actually, although some states, amazingly, treat the rape of a spouse differently.

The resulting controversy sidelined Cohen as a public advocate for Trump for a time, but certainly didn't push him out of Trump's orbit.

He was a booster for candidate Trump throughout the campaign. In one viral moment, he rejected CNN anchor Brianna Keilar's question about polls showing the President trailing Hillary Clinton. She was right about the polls, but Cohen was right about Trump, who won the election.

But he's much more than campaign booster. Cohen was the associate who was pursuing business deals with the Kremlin well into the 2016 presidential campaign, seriously complicating Trump's many attempts to say he had no ties with Russia. Cohen later said his proposal for a Moscow Trump Tower was a failed business opportunity and nothing more.

"The Trump Moscow proposal was simply one of many development opportunities that the Trump Organization considered and ultimately rejected," Cohen said in a written statement.

He also features in the special counsel investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.

He's denied the passages mentioning him in the infamous Russian dossier, prepared by a former British spy as opposition research against Trump. The dossier alleged that Cohen traveled to Prague to collude with the Kremlin. Cohen's lawyer said he did not go to Prague ahead of the election. He did travel to Italy that summer.

But he did talk with a Ukranian lawmaker about a possible peace deal in that country in January 2017 in a Manhattan restaurant. From porn star payoffs to Ukrainian peace deals, his profile is all over the place.

What exactly is Cohen's job? It's like something out of "The Godfather." Seriously. Here's a passage from a great 2012 profile by Michael Falcone, then at ABC News.

"Cohen ... is known around the office -- and around New York -- as Trump's 'pit bull.' Some have even nicknamed him 'Tom,' a reference to Tom Hagen, the consigliere to Vito Corleone in the 'Godfather' movies."

"'It means that if somebody does something Mr. Trump doesn't like, I do everything in my power to resolve it to Mr. Trump's benefit,' Cohen said in an interview with ABC News. 'If you do something wrong, I'm going to come at you, grab you by the neck and I'm not going to let you go until I'm finished.'"

Apparently he's not finished. But he's shopping a book, by the way, according to reports.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 455783

Reported Deaths: 6166
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin945441502
Ramsey40698749
Dakota33623354
Anoka31398368
Washington20579237
Stearns18111190
St. Louis14006251
Scott1221199
Wright11811107
Olmsted1083075
Sherburne831270
Carver705639
Clay660684
Rice624774
Kandiyohi558772
Blue Earth549533
Crow Wing490678
Otter Tail464968
Chisago460438
Benton423788
Winona394948
Douglas379766
Nobles374847
Mower374429
Goodhue358163
Polk330760
McLeod328647
Beltrami316148
Morrison314645
Lyon306139
Becker289439
Itasca287843
Isanti286143
Carlton284443
Steele279510
Pine270515
Freeborn254723
Todd233730
Nicollet230538
Brown218634
Mille Lacs215745
Le Sueur214416
Cass210824
Meeker201533
Waseca193316
Wabasha17483
Martin172026
Roseau166517
Hubbard151138
Redwood141327
Houston140314
Dodge13974
Renville138540
Chippewa133232
Cottonwood129118
Fillmore12778
Wadena120818
Rock112012
Aitkin111533
Faribault110116
Sibley11017
Watonwan10698
Pennington101016
Kanabec99818
Pipestone97223
Yellow Medicine95016
Murray9137
Jackson87310
Swift84718
Pope7485
Stevens7078
Marshall70415
Clearwater68814
Lake66415
Lac qui Parle66116
Wilkin63510
Koochiching60810
Lincoln4912
Big Stone4703
Unassigned43968
Grant4388
Norman4268
Mahnomen4167
Kittson37420
Red Lake3204
Traverse2623
Lake of the Woods1981
Cook1160

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 312194

Reported Deaths: 4433
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk46975465
Linn18114279
Scott15900172
Black Hawk14123243
Woodbury13145181
Johnson1231752
Dubuque11651159
Pottawattamie9182115
Dallas910872
Story883538
Cerro Gordo474372
Webster473377
Warren461539
Sioux460457
Clinton459168
Marshall432262
Buena Vista397230
Muscatine396578
Des Moines395543
Plymouth353670
Wapello351798
Jasper333359
Lee326932
Marion310853
Jones275250
Henry269131
Carroll258934
Bremer250448
Crawford235824
Washington224133
Boone223517
Benton213950
Mahaska198637
Jackson195332
Tama190959
Dickinson189229
Kossuth180944
Delaware176536
Clay173021
Wright167624
Fayette166324
Hamilton162530
Buchanan162324
Winneshiek161020
Harrison158762
Hardin157831
Cedar155819
Clayton153949
Butler152324
Page148115
Floyd141936
Cherokee140327
Mills138517
Lyon137933
Poweshiek135424
Hancock132424
Allamakee131530
Iowa128022
Madison124210
Calhoun12379
Grundy122828
Jefferson122425
Winnebago122329
Mitchell117137
Louisa116430
Cass115343
Chickasaw113812
Appanoose113040
Sac112815
Union111723
Emmet111332
Humboldt107819
Shelby106427
Guthrie104624
Franklin103618
Unassigned10210
Palo Alto92611
Montgomery89224
Keokuk86426
Howard85919
Monroe82620
Clarke8199
Pocahontas78711
Ida76430
Davis70421
Adair69720
Greene6977
Monona68418
Lucas66910
Osceola65011
Worth6224
Taylor6009
Fremont5276
Van Buren50515
Decatur4994
Ringgold45511
Audubon4258
Wayne42021
Adams3023
Rochester/St. Mary'S
Partly Cloudy
18° wxIcon
Hi: 22° Lo: 13°
Feels Like: 18°
Mason City
Clear
10° wxIcon
Hi: 19° Lo: 13°
Feels Like: -1°
Albert Lea
Clear
12° wxIcon
Hi: 17° Lo: 13°
Feels Like: 12°
Austin
Partly Cloudy
14° wxIcon
Hi: 19° Lo: 14°
Feels Like: 14°
Charles City
Partly Cloudy
14° wxIcon
Hi: 19° Lo: 14°
Feels Like: 4°
Cold and dry through Friday
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Latest Video

Image

Pandemic impact on youth suicide

Image

Bernie Sanders Mittens

Image

Minnesota Recovery Budget

Image

Human Trafficking Awareness

Image

Rochester Civic Music Concert

Image

Dry January Slowing Liquor Sales

Image

Push For Harriet Tubman on $20 Bill

Image

Wind Farm Project Causing Controversy

Image

Opioid Epidemic Rages on

Image

Changes To Covid-19 Pilot Vaccine Program Registration

Community Events