Michael Cohen releases the foreword of his book “ Disloyal.” Ava DeSantis writes what to expect from his Trump tell-all.
On Thursday, Michael Cohen released the foreword of his memoir “Disloyal.” Cohen is Trump’s former legal counsel, currently incarcerated in his home for financial crimes, lying to Congress, and campaign finance violations. The foreword promises evidence of colluding with Russians and cheating in the election. Cohen calls Trump “a cheat, a liar, a fraud, a bully, a racist, a predator, a con man.”
Cohen made similar accusations a year ago, before he entered prison in early 2019. Testifying before Congress, Cohen called Trump a “racist” and a “con man.”
Cohen claims to be the only authority on Trump’s character “In some ways, I knew him better than even his family did,” Cohen writes, “because I bore witness to the real man, in strip clubs, shady business meetings, and in the unguarded moments when he revealed who he really was.”
Trump, Cohen alleges, wanted more than assistance in the 2016 election from the Russians, he wanted membership in their social circles.
COHEN: “He attempted to insinuate himself into the world of President Vladimir Putin and his coterie of corrupt billionaire oligarchs. I know,” Cohen claims in his book “because I personally ran that deal and kept Trump and his children closely informed of all updates.”
In the foreword, Cohen also repeats his accusation that Trump “colluded with the Russians, but not in the sophisticated ways imagined by his detractors.” The foreword does not elaborate on this distinction.
Trump attempts to block release
In early July, Cohen announced that his book was almost completed. Soon after, the Bureau of Prisons sent Cohen back to a federal facility, from which he was removed due to COVID-19 concerns, to spend the remainder of his sentence at home. Cohen was quickly returned to his home, after both the American Civil Liberties Union and a New York State judge identified the move as retaliation for his impending criticism of the President.
Yesterday, Trump’s second attempt to block the publishing of the book was dropped. A US attorney had pushed for a gag order to prevent Cohen from publishing a book, which, as of Thursday, the government no longer supports.
The Trump Administration has failed in their attempts to stop the publication of two other tell-all books, one written by his niece Mary Trump and the other by former national security adviser John Bolton. His attempt to block Cohen’s “Disloyal” seems to confirm Cohen’s claim that “this is a book the President of the United States does not want you to read.”
Cohen’s “perfectly logical” fear
Beyond promising further evidence of Trump’s misdeeds, the foreword focuses on Cohen’s own mental state as he “flipped” on the President and chose to cooperate with Robert Mueller. Cohen recounts his trip from New York City to Washington, DC, to testify before Congress, opening with the line “the President of the United States wanted me dead.”
At a campaign rally in 2016, President Trump claimed “I could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose voters.” Cohen writes, in his foreword, “I was exactly the person Trump was talking about when he said he could shoot and kill someone on 5th Avenue and get away with it.”
Cohen describes receiving hundreds of death threats from Trump supporters and the President himself. “Ever since I had flipped and agreed to cooperate with Robert Muellerand the Special Counsel’s Office, the death threats had come by the hundreds,” he recalls. “On my cell phone, by email, snail mail, in tweets, on Facebook, enraged Trump supporters vowed to kill me, and I took those threats very seriously.”
“The President called me a rat and tweeted angry accusations at me, as well as my family.” In the tweet in question, Trump wrote “Remember, Michael Cohen only became a ‘rat’ after the FBI did something which was absolutely unthinkable & unheard of until the Witch Hunt was illegally started. They BROKE INTO AN ATTORNEY’S OFFICE!”
Cohen was so afraid of retaliation for his testimony, he “was driving [to DC] because I couldn’t fly or take the train to Washington.” Cohen recalls worrying that muscular men or cars near him were hit-men, hired by the President. “The notion that I was being followed or stalked may have seemed crazy,” he said, “but it was also perfectly logical.” He compares Trump supporters to a “cult,” some of whom are “demonstrably unhinged and willing to do anything to please or protect the President.”
Cohen’s fear was so intense, he had “the first panic attack of [his] life,” in the green room before his testimony. He was, in his words, a “child being born and of all the pain and blood were part of the birth of my new life and identity” when he walked into Capitol Hill.