Michael Cohen says he fears for his safety if Donald Trump ever becomes president again.
“Yeah, I am,” Trump’s former personal lawyer said when asked if he’s worried about his well-being should the 45th commander in chief return to the Oval Office.
“Actually, I’m worried for your safety, too,” he said, “and everybody else in America.”
“My fear is that you’re going to see like what you see in Russia right now,” Cohen added in an interview with ITK this week. “All of these individuals flying out of windows or mysterious deaths of suicide. Donald has a very long list of — we’ll call it an enemies list — and I’m certain that I am definitively on it.”
The onetime Trump attorney has become one of his most vocal critics, calling the ex-president a “con man” and a “predator.” But Cohen says even that hasn’t stopped GOP groups from hitting him up for cash in fundraising emails.
“I’ve never been a Republican. In [1987 and 1988] I worked for Rep. Joe Moakley [D-Mass.], that’s how far back I go to the Democratic Party. But what’s interesting is every single day, I must get at least 15 to 20 [emails] — and that’s on a light day — from Donald.”
“’Hey, friend. I need you,’” Cohen said, imitating a fundraising pitch from his former boss.
“’One thousand times we’re going to increase your donation,’” Cohen continued. “I’d be curious to know if anybody’s increasing people’s donations or matching 1000 percent.”
That’s part of the reason that Cohen, who served as Trump’s self-described “fixer” for more than a decade until 2018 before calling him a “racist” and a “cheat” in a statement before the House Oversight and Reform Committee a year later, says that despite his public flirtations with another White House bid, Trump won’t pull the trigger on a 2024 campaign.
“This is the greatest grift for Donald in the history of his entire work experience,” Cohen said.
Trump “barely works, doesn’t do anything. People are putting out these letters for him all day long. And he’s raking in $150 million to $200 million. That all comes to an end if he runs.”
‘Indictments coming down against Donald’
Cohen — who pleaded guilty in 2018 to nine federal crimes including tax fraud, lying to Congress and paying off two women who threatened to go public with their alleged past affairs with Trump just before the 2016 presidential election — details his fears of another Trump presidency in his new book, “Revenge: How Donald Trump Weaponized the U.S. Department of Justice Against His Critics,” released Tuesday.
While Trump has faced countless lawsuits over the years, Cohen maintains that New York Attorney General Letitia James’s (D) fraud investigation into the Trump Organization will lead to indictments.
Under the Biden administration and with Attorney General Merrick Garland, whom Cohen described as “so methodical that he’s almost like molasses through a strainer,” there “will be indictments coming down against Donald, his company, including possibly his children, as well as others that are in his orbit,” the ex-attorney predicted.
“Do I think the Mar-a-Lago raid will be the first of those indictments? I do not,” he added, referring to the FBI’s August search of Trump Florida residence, which recovered boxes of White House records, including many that were classified.
“I believe that the indictments should be — because it’s the low hanging fruit — for tax evasion. I call that my ‘Al Capone theory’: They couldn’t get him on murder, racketeering, extortion. So instead they got him on tax evasion. The same thing that they can get Donald on, not to mention Tish James’s case will financially destroy him.”
‘Mea Culpa’ with Kathy Griffin
Cohen’s also ready to engage in a bit of political theater himself, heading to Los Angeles to tape his podcast from Audio Up, “Mea Culpa,” with the help of an unlikely Hollywood ally: Kathy Griffin.
The comedian, who famously made headlines and stirred controversy in 2017 by posing with a prop meant to look like Trump’s decapitated head, will be on hand for the Nov. 1 taping at Hollywood’s El Rey Theatre. The improbable duo will be joined by former Deputy Assistant Attorney General Harry Litman and former Oath Keeper spokesperson Jason Van Tatenhove.
Cohen said he and Griffin met through fellow comedian and outspoken Trump critic Rosie O’Donnell. The former “View” co-host visited with him for almost six hours when he was incarcerated in Otisville, N.Y., Cohen said, and connected him with Griffin. Cohen was released early from prison in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Well, hell has frozen over. I LOVE Michael Cohen,” Griffin said in a statement about the three-hour event, with tickets going on sale this week.
Cohen said he still considers himself to be a Democrat, and “fundamentally disagrees” with GOP Trump allies including Sen. Ted Cruz (Texas) and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (Ga.). But he’s not ruling out throwing his support behind a candidate on the other side of the aisle.
“If there was a Republican that came out that I thought could unify this country, which is what we need, kill this divisiveness that is stymieing progress in America, 100 percent I would be in favor of that individual,” he said.
The father of two expressed regret for ever accepting a job offer from Trump to be his personal lawyer. “I am not the person that the media has made me out to be,” he said.
“I wish [“Family Guy’s”] Stewie Griffin would come make me a time machine and then I’d end up going back in time and when [Trump] asked me if I would come work for him, I would have just said, ‘I’ll tell you what, why don’t you just pay me the bill that you owe, and we can just call this friendship quits.’ It would’ve saved me a lot of hurt and it would’ve saved my family a lot of unhappiness.”
Drawing on a quote from former President Reagan’s Labor secretary, Raymond Donovan, who resigned after being charged with grand larceny and was later acquitted by a jury, Cohen asked, “What does a person need to do to get their reputation back?”
“I can tell you from firsthand experience, it’s not easy,” he said. “You just have to fight every day for the truth.”