As Trump’s Attorney, Michael Cohen’s Loyalty Matters More Than His Lawyering

This isn’t the worst scandal Trump is facing right now, but there could be serious consequences — particularly for Cohen. If these claims are proven true, he could be disbarred. It all raises the question: Why doesn’t Trump, a billionaire, have a better lawyer?

.. Cohen said that as executive VP he “oversaw business dealings globally.” He described his role as “special counsel” as “family fix-it guy,” but others have used more aggressive nicknames, calling him Trump’s “pit bull,” “Ray Donovan,” or “Tom,” as in Tom Hagen, Vito Corleone’s consigliere in the Godfather films.
“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 2011. “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.”
.. Cohen was instrumental in laying the groundwork for Trump’s political career, launching a website ( in an effort to spark interest in drafting him into the 2012 GOP race, and flying to Iowa on Trump’s private jet to meet GOP operatives there.
.. A source told the Daily Beast that Cohen was disappointed when he wasn’t offered a spot in Trump’s White House.“He wasn’t expecting attorney general, but he was holding out for a senior job that would have also allowed him to continue being an attack dog for the president,” the source said.
.. when underscoring his undying devotion to Trump in comments to reporters (for instance: “I’m the guy who would take a bullet for the president”).
.. “I feel guilty that he’s in there right now almost alone …” Cohen told Vanity Fair in September. “There are guys who are very loyal to him that would have gone in, but there was a concerted effort by high-ranking individuals to keep out loyalists.”

Guide to Allyship: Boots & Sandles: How to handle mistakes

If you decide to become an ally, but refuse to acknowledge that your words and actions are laced with oppression, you’re setting up yourself to fail. You will be complicit in the oppression of those you purport to help. You are not truly an ally.


.. Imagine your privilege is a heavy boot that keeps you from feeling when you’re stepping on someone’s feet or they’re stepping on yours, while oppressed people have only sandals. “Ouch! You’re stepping on my toes!” How do you react?

Because we can think more clearly about stepping on someone’s literal toes than we usually do when it comes to oppression, the problems with many common responses are obvious:

  • Centering yourself: “I can’t believe you think I’m a toe-stepper! I’m a good person!”
  • Denial that others’ experiences are different from your own: “I don’t mind when people step on my toes.”
  • Derailing: “Some people don’t even have toes, why aren’t we talking about them instead?”
  • Refusal to center the impacted: “All toes matter!”
  • Tone policing: “I’d move my foot if you’d ask me more nicely.”
  • Denial that the problem is fixable: “Toes getting stepped on is a fact of life. You’ll be better off when you accept that.”
  • Victim blaming: “You shouldn’t have been walking around people with boots!”
  • Withdrawing: “I thought you wanted my help, but I guess not. I’ll just go home.”