The saga of Donald Trump’s former lawyer and “fixer,” Michael Cohen, continues to make waves long after he was convicted of tax evasion, loan fraud, and lying to federal investigators. On Wednesday, yet another drama-filled story hit the news cycle involving Cohen and a secretly recorded phone call.
In a private phone call recorded without his knowledge by actor Tom Arnold, Michael Cohen denied portions of his February guilty plea, the Wall Street Journal reports. https://t.co/x9vfF11II1
— Axios (@axios) April 24, 2019
Actor Tom Arnold, who has teamed up with Cohen in the past against Trump, recorded a phone call between himself and the former attorney to the president in which he denied having committed some of the crimes for which he pled guilty. Axios reports that the phone call was caught on tape without Cohen’s permission and released to The Wall Street Journal. In the recording, Cohen can be heard telling Arnold that he did not commit some of the crimes for which he pled guilty.
‘There is no tax evasion. … And the Heloc? I have an 18% loan-to-value on my home. How could there be a Heloc issue? How? Right?… It’s a lie,” he reportedly said, referring to a criminal charge involving his home-equity line of credit. Cohen’s comments are unlikely to have much, if any, effect on his 3-year prison sentence, set to start on May 6, for campaign finance violations, tax evasion and lying to Congress.’
Michael Cohen, set to go to prison soon, disavowed parts of his guilty plea in a recorded phone call with actor Tom Arnold https://t.co/NraYMX3PwH
— The Wall Street Journal (@WSJ) April 24, 2019
It’s unclear if Cohen is telling the truth, and it’s hard to imagine that he would have pled guilty to charges for which he knew there would be no evidence. Cohen seems to have begun panicking in recent days as his date to report to prison looms. Recently, his attorney sent a letter to Congress stating that Cohen had found a hard drive filled with information and documents related to the testimony he offered earlier in the year but would need time to sort through it. He requested that Congress delay his date to report.
‘Cohen had pleaded guilty to criminal charges brought by New York federal prosecutors last August, explicitly stating that he acting knowingly. Since, he has been trying to reduce his sentence by helping with other congressional investigations.’
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) April 24, 2019
Cohen’s stance has shifted on certain issues, but since his initial arrest, his stance on Trump has not changed. Although Republicans are sure to point to this development as proof that Cohen regularly lies, it’s the evidence he brought in front of Congress that deserves consideration.
Cohen’s attorney, Lanny Davis, issued a statement:
‘Nothing said by Mr. Cohen to Tom Arnold contradicts Mr. Cohen’s previous defense attorney, Guy Petrillo, in his sentencing memorandum to the presiding federal US District Court Judge William H. Pauley III back in December. I would also add the important words used by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, and others, in describing Michael Cohen’s cooperation and testimony as “credible” addressing the “core” issues involved in his investigation.’
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