The office and residences of Donald Trump’s personal attorney Michael Cohen were raided Monday, by federal prosecutors apparently acting on information from special prosecutor Robert Mueller.
Trump promptly melted down over the raids, which may have resulted in the collection of documents like Trump’s tax returns or ties to Russia.
Cohen has been in the news over the Stormy Daniels matter, which involved his paying of hush money. He says he did without Trump’s knowledge and has exchanged barbs with Daniels’ attorney Michael Avenatti and may have been behind an effort to intimidate Daniels in Las Vegas.
Nothing about what Cohen has done involving the Daniels matter should be a surprise. Donald Trump’s “fixer” has long faced accusations of intimidating anyone who stood up to Trump. Here are seven prime examples.
Sued a woman after she revealed details of Trump fixing a beauty contest. Why was Cohen so aggressive with Stormy Daniels? It may be because he had a track record of intimidating women over revelations of wrongdoing. In 2012, Miss Pennsylvania Sheena Monnin revealed that Trump had fixed the pageant by pre-selecting the finalists. As a result, the contest lost its site. And so Cohen sued. Monnin’s lawyer told her not to respond and a court ended up awarding $5 million in damages to Trump. Of course she didn’t actually have to pay that — privately settling in a way that meant she did not “pay any money out of pocket.”
Cohen threatened to have a Harvard student expelled over a prank. In 2016, staff of the humor magazine the Harvard Lampoon posed as the student’s student newspaper, The Crimson, and told Trump they were considering endorsing him. They even stole a chair from the Crimson and brought it to Manhattan to pose with the future president. It was all a joke, and Trump’s team responded poorly, with Cohen threatening the students.
“He says, you know, ‘I’m gonna come up to Harvard. You’re all gonna get expelled. If this photo gets out you’ll be outta that school faster than you know it. I can be up there tomorrow,” one of the students told 60 Minutes.
Cohen tried to get $5 million from Bill Maher because of a joke. Neither Michael Cohen or Donald Trump have a very good sense of humor. Which is why they reacted so poorly to Maher demanding that Trump present a valid birth certificate to prove that he’s not the product of his mother having sex with an orangutan, with an offer to write a check for $5 million to the charity of Trump’s choice. Trump actually got a document purporting to show he’s not part orangutan and Cohen demanded that Maher pay up. Cohen then filed a lawsuit over the joke, which he then dropped promising that it would be “refiled at a later date.” Maher never paid and the suit was dropped.
Cohen is wrong: spousal rape is now a crime in all 50 states. Even Donald Trump backed away from Cohen’s comments on rape.
. . . and then Cohen threatened a reporter who wrote about the alleged rape. When the Daily Beast’s Brandy Zadrozny and Tim Mark wrote about the alleged rape, they contacted Cohen for comment. He responded by threatening to “mess your life up… for as long as you’re on this frickin’ planet.” Cohen implied that he would die for defamation — which never happened. “I will make sure that you and I meet one day while we’re in the courthouse. And I will take you for every penny you still don’t have,” he told the reporter. “And I will come after your Daily Beast and everybody else that you possibly know,” Cohen said. “So I’m warning you, tread very fucking lightly, because what I’m going to do to you is going to be fucking disgusting. You understand me?”
Cohen refused to stand up to his boss and boss’ wife Melania on birtherism. Cohen was a longtime Democrat—he voted for Obama and even volunteered for the ill-fated 1988 campaign of Michael Dukakis. And he knows Trump was wrong to accuse Obama of not being born in the United States. “I am certain that the president was born in Hawaii — I really am,” Cohen told ABC News. “I am most irritated with the fact that this president has been exceptionally secretive when it relates to any personal documentation about his past.”
Cohen’s accusations of secrecy are lies: Obama released his Hawaiian birth certificate.
Cohen tried to bully his way out of the fraud lawsuit filed by New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. Trump maintained he did nothing wrong — until he settled the lawsuit. Cohen, as is his way, started with threats aimed at the Attorney General. “The damage to the attorney general is going to be very significant,” he said to The New Yorker. “So significant that he will possibly have to resign.”
Schneiderman, obviously, did not resign and may be pursing other investigations of Trump.