Facing jail time in 30 days, President Trump’s former fixer Michael Cohen and his “media friendly” lawyer Lanny Davis are desperately appealing to Democrats for help. In a last ditch effort to stay out of the hoosegow, Cohen is dangling more enticing documents in front of them.
Although he swore to tell the “whole truth” during his congressional testimony on Feb. 26, 27, 28 and March 6, Cohen has suddenly “discovered more truth to tell,” the Washington Examiner’s Byron York tells us. In a letter to House Democrats, Davis said Cohen would be willing to share that information if they can persuade federal prosecutors in New York to “substantially postpone” his prison date.
Davis told Democrats that “only recently” was Cohen “able to access” a computer hard drive which Davis said contains over 14 million files of “important documents.” Davis did not explain how it was that Cohen only recently was able to access the drive, but it might have something to do with the drive being seized by law enforcement and used for prosecuting Cohen. Now that the prosecution is over, Cohen is, according to Davis, going through the files himself — he has only been able to read 3,500 so far — and he wants Congress to know what prosecutors have known for a long time. But he needs help.
In his letter, Davis threw down Cohen’s “Get out of Jail Free” card: “Mr. Cohen needs time, resources, and assistance to separate out privileged and personal documents from these 14 million files to make the rest available for review by various congressional committees that have sought his help in fulfilling their Article I oversight responsibilities. Mr. Cohen is prepared to do so — but it will take time, effort, and ready accessibility to members of Congress and their staffs to assist in providing the relevant documents.”
The letter continued: “Mr. Cohen needs to be readily accessible and immediately available to provide ongoing assistance to Congress in order for it to fulfill its executive branch oversight responsibilities,” he wrote. The Cohen team hopes Democrats will help those prosecutors in New York “recognize the need for Mr. Cohen to be readily available to Congress.”
Obviously, Cohen can’t be “readily accessible” to Democrats in their quest for dirt on Trump while in jail, hence the need to postpone his prison date.
He’s only trying to do his patriotic duty, as York quips: “Better to let him remain free, phone in hand, ready to talk to Congress at a moment’s notice — not for himself, but for Article I of the Constitution of the United States.”
Republicans like Reps Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) and Mark Meadows, (R-N.C.) aren’t buying it:
“Dems’ first big hearing—Michael Cohen—who’s going to prison for lying to Congress. When he testifies, he lies again, but Dems don’t do anything about it,” Jordan, the top Republican on Oversight Committee tweeted. “NOW he asks the Dems to keep him out of prison so he can tell more lies!”
“This latest Michael Cohen request should end any debate about his motive, ‘Keep me out of jail so I can give you NEW info…that I kept from Mueller, the SDNY, and 4 congressional committees,’” tweeted Meadows, a member of the Oversight Committee. “This guy wants to get out of prison. And he’ll say or do anything to make it happen. ”
Of course, Republicans weren’t cc’d in Davis’s letter as they are actively working to have Cohen prosecuted for additional crimes. Reps Jordan and Meadows have referred Cohen to the Justice Department for alleged perjury, accusing him of making intentionally false statements during his public testimony before the House Oversight and Reform Committee on Feb. 27.
And Cohen is likely among the two dozen or so individuals Rep. Nunes is preparing to refer to the Justice Department, for lying to Congress. Probably best to keep the Republicans at arms length.
York notes that “it seems farfetched to believe that prosecutors and a court would decide that Cohen should not go to prison for tax evasion and bank fraud so that he can stay close to House Democrats. But that’s all Cohen has at the moment.”
Yet, I’d be surprised if Democrats are not seriously considering their offer.
(Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)