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Why Won't Mueller Make a Deal with Michael Cohen?

August 23, 2018 in Blogs

By Mark Sumner, Daily Kos

The special counsel has good reason to avoid it.

Immediately after his home and office were raided, Michael Cohen began sending an SOS to Donald Trump so clear that it was visible from lunar orbit. But since Trump hasn’t yet determined how to pre-pardon anyone, there wasn’t much that Trump could do for his onetime attorney except throw hundreds of thousands into Cohen’s defense fund, start moaning that “Attorney Client privilege is now a thing of the past,” and continually attacking the validity of the investigation into Cohen’s actions.

But since it became clear that there was no help coming from that quarter, Cohen has been sounding whistles of increasingly ridiculous size that he’s willing, no eager, no happy! to cooperate with the special counsel. Cohen’s attorney Lanny Davis couldn’t have been more clear on this point if he had worn a sandwich board to court. And it seems that Cohen does have something to sell. After all, his long history with Trump shows that he doesn’t just know where the skeletons are buried, he manned the shovel. 

So why not? The Tuesday deal that saw Cohen pleading guilty on eight counts was very notably not a cooperation agreement. There’s been some speculation that the cooperation by Cohen is being kept secret, but if that’s true, why would Cohen so obviously still be begging for Robert Mueller to please, just please, ask him a question? There would seem to be two possibilities.

First, any deal with Cohen would be to collect information on Trump, and Trump, because of the paper-thin shield of DOJ policy, can’t be indicted. So the value of what Cohen could provide the investigation is limited to just lengthening the list of would-be charges attached to the final report that Mueller will eventually send to Congress. With all the information that’s already on that list, including information gleaned from Cohen’s own files, it simply may not be worth it.

The other big possibility is that Cohen doesn’t get a deal … because Cohen doesn’t deserve a deal. Because what Cohen may have done is so big that offering him a deal would …read more


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