Michael Cohen’s Sentencing Memo: What It Means for Trump
Michael Cohen has admitted that President Trump not only knew about the payoff to Stormy Daniels, but that it was done under the President’s direction and control. President Trump has repeatedly said that Michael Cohen is a liar and cannot be trusted. The sentencing memo from the Southern District of New York makes it blatantly clear that President Trump is correct. Michael Cohen is a voracious liar, and anything that comes out of his mouth should be subject to strict scrutiny. He has admitted lying to the IRS, the FBI, Congress, and to several banks to secure loans fraudulently. If the case against President Trump rested solely upon Michael Cohen’s testimony, there would be no case.
The problem for the President is the danger of corroborating evidence that proves Michael Cohen had lied. The sentencing memo clearly states that Cohen was acting, “in coordination with and at the direction of” President Trump.
That is a bold statement. As an attorney who has submitted many motions, briefs, and other pleadings to the court, I recognize how legal memos are closely scrutinized by multiple people during the litigation process. In a case as high profile as this one, you can bet that every word was carefully crafted. Unless he has a penchant for self-destruction, United States Attorney Robert Khuzami, who signed off on the sentencing memo, must have ample evidence corroborating this allegation against the President. The memo itself says that Cohen’s most recent testimony is “largely consistent with other evidence gathered.” But where does that evidence come from? The memo provides some clues.
The memo states that Cohen sought reimbursement for the $130,000 payment from “the Company.” One can only assume that “the Company” refers to the Trump organization. The memo states:
“At the direction of an executive of the Company, Cohen sent monthly invoices to the Company for these $35,000 payments, falsely indicating that these payments were being sent pursuant to a retainer agreement. The Company then falsely accounted for these payments as legal expenses.”
Based on this, I suspect the corroborating evidence against President Trump comes, in part, from “an executive” or executives at his own company. The testimony of a Trump executive combined with hush money payments, the falsely labeled documents, Michael Cohen’s admission, and the testimony of the women who were paid off could make a case against the President. Any and all Trump executives who have been implicated by Cohen but have not been questioned about the payments can expect a visit from law enforcement.
Whether or not it’s enough to prove the President’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt is another question entirely. There’s a very good chance that there is other evidence which was not referred to in the sentencing memo, because it wasn’t relevant to Cohen’s sentencing. It’s obvious to me that this case is being investigated from multiple angles, and the truth is going to come out.