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Michael Cohen is Donald Trump's very special counsel

Michael Cohen is known to the world as "...

Posted: Feb 14, 2018 3:56 PM
Updated: Feb 14, 2018 3:56 PM

Michael Cohen is known to the world as "President Trump's personal lawyer" but he seems to act more like a fixer or cleaner. Every billionaire needs one.

Facing possible accusations from a porn star about an affair? Cohen is the guy who will set up the LLC in Delaware to quietly pay her off.

People find out about the hush money? Cohen is the guy who will engineer statements denying any affair ever happened.

Facing questions that the legality in campaign law about payoffs to the porn star to keep her quiet about the affair she and you both deny happened? Cohen is the guy who will say he paid the funds out of his own money.

But Cohen is much more than that to Trump, a longtime associate and true believer. He was also among the first in Trump's orbit to be publicly sidelined (only to reappear later).

Cohen would often speak for Trump in the leadup to his political career, as he did ahead of the 2012 presidential election and again in 2015.

Initially a sort of spokesman for the nascent campaign, Cohen tried to diffuse one of the first controversies of the Trump campaign way back in July 2015.

This one needs some setup: It all started when, at his campaign kickoff, Trump called Mexicans rapists. He then reiterated that view to CNN's Don Lemon in an interview.

"I mean somebody's doing it! ... Who's doing the raping?" Trump asked Lemon.

That led the Daily Beast to point out that Trump's ex-wife Ivana, who is now a Trump supporter, that she felt "violated" by him during sex and used the word rape in a deposition. Something Ivana Trump later walked back.

"During a deposition given by me in connection with my matrimonial case, I stated that my husband had raped me," the statement said. "I referred to this as a 'rape,' but I do not want my words to be interpreted in a literal or criminal sense," Ivana Trump said in a statement.

Cohen, the lawyer, to the rescue, explained, according to The Daily Beast: "You're talking about the frontrunner for the GOP, presidential candidate, as well as a private individual who never raped anybody. And, of course, understand that by the very definition, you can't rape your spouse. It is true," Cohen said back in 2015. "You cannot rape your spouse. And there's very clear case law."

There isn't clear case law, actually, although some states, amazingly, treat the rape of a spouse differently.

The resulting controversy sidelined Cohen as a public advocate for Trump for a time, but certainly didn't push him out of Trump's orbit.

He was a booster for candidate Trump throughout the campaign. In one viral moment, he rejected CNN anchor Brianna Keilar's question about polls showing the President trailing Hillary Clinton. She was right about the polls, but Cohen was right about Trump, who won the election.

But he's much more than campaign booster. Cohen was the associate who was pursuing business deals with the Kremlin well into the 2016 presidential campaign, seriously complicating Trump's many attempts to say he had no ties with Russia. Cohen later said his proposal for a Moscow Trump Tower was a failed business opportunity and nothing more.

"The Trump Moscow proposal was simply one of many development opportunities that the Trump Organization considered and ultimately rejected," Cohen said in a written statement.

He also features in the special counsel investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.

He's denied the passages mentioning him in the infamous Russian dossier, prepared by a former British spy as opposition research against Trump. The dossier alleged that Cohen traveled to Prague to collude with the Kremlin. Cohen's lawyer said he did not go to Prague ahead of the election. He did travel to Italy that summer.

But he did talk with a Ukranian lawmaker about a possible peace deal in that country in January 2017 in a Manhattan restaurant. From porn star payoffs to Ukrainian peace deals, his profile is all over the place.

What exactly is Cohen's job? It's like something out of "The Godfather." Seriously. Here's a passage from a great 2012 profile by Michael Falcone, then at ABC News.

"Cohen ... is known around the office -- and around New York -- as Trump's 'pit bull.' Some have even nicknamed him 'Tom,' a reference to Tom Hagen, the consigliere to Vito Corleone in the 'Godfather' movies."

"'It means that if somebody does something Mr. Trump doesn't like, I do everything in my power to resolve it to Mr. Trump's benefit,' Cohen said in an interview with ABC News. 'If you do something wrong, I'm going to come at you, grab you by the neck and I'm not going to let you go until I'm finished.'"

Apparently he's not finished. But he's shopping a book, by the way, according to reports.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 331863

Reported Deaths: 7494
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto22855279
Hinds22625437
Harrison19462326
Rankin14765286
Jackson14233251
Madison10658227
Lee10398178
Jones8713169
Forrest8164157
Lauderdale7528243
Lowndes6761150
Lamar665988
Lafayette6446124
Washington5497139
Bolivar4907134
Pearl River4889149
Oktibbeha476898
Panola4719112
Marshall4648106
Warren4612125
Pontotoc438873
Monroe4243137
Union424379
Neshoba4179180
Lincoln4088115
Hancock402788
Leflore3562125
Pike3511111
Tate348988
Alcorn343174
Sunflower342293
Adams331987
Yazoo330573
Scott330175
Simpson313690
Copiah311467
Itawamba309580
Coahoma308285
Tippah298368
Prentiss292563
Covington280183
Marion278980
Leake277975
Wayne269942
Grenada265688
George259851
Newton256064
Tishomingo235769
Winston235084
Jasper225748
Attala220373
Chickasaw215960
Stone209137
Holmes194974
Clay191554
Tallahatchie181542
Clarke181480
Calhoun177332
Smith175334
Yalobusha169240
Walthall140448
Lawrence137026
Greene134934
Amite131843
Noxubee131135
Perry130838
Montgomery130644
Carroll124531
Webster116732
Jefferson Davis112934
Tunica110827
Benton104425
Claiborne104231
Kemper100329
Humphreys99033
Franklin85923
Quitman83519
Choctaw80919
Wilkinson73232
Jefferson69028
Sharkey51518
Issaquena1696
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 565510

Reported Deaths: 11468
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson828061584
Mobile44938853
Madison36534532
Tuscaloosa26589465
Shelby26409255
Montgomery25598623
Baldwin23319324
Lee16691179
Calhoun15030332
Morgan14877288
Etowah14563368
Marshall12723235
Houston11302292
Elmore10576217
St. Clair10449251
Limestone10420158
Cullman10198204
Lauderdale9883253
DeKalb9226191
Talladega8705187
Walker7545286
Autauga7388113
Jackson7216117
Blount7147139
Colbert6522142
Coffee5962131
Dale5224117
Russell463942
Chilton4603117
Covington4502125
Franklin439781
Tallapoosa4343156
Escambia414782
Chambers3813124
Dallas3674163
Clarke361562
Marion3354106
Pike323179
Lawrence3176101
Winston289672
Bibb276165
Geneva267383
Marengo257367
Barbour241860
Pickens238862
Butler233571
Hale230578
Fayette223863
Henry203345
Cherokee192347
Randolph192244
Monroe190241
Washington174539
Macon167252
Crenshaw163457
Clay161859
Cleburne158445
Lamar149138
Lowndes143854
Wilcox128431
Bullock125342
Conecuh117730
Coosa115229
Perry109628
Sumter107532
Greene95935
Choctaw63125
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