Last Sunday evening was a dark and Stormy night. Yesterday, Donald Trump's spokesman announced that Trump didn't believe a word Ms. Daniels said. But the real story isn't about the sex. It's about the cover up -- and how it was enforced by Trump's consigliari -- Micheal Cohen. Jonathan Chait writes that Cohen has a track record. And part of that record is about how he issues threats:
Daniels describes being approached by a man in a parking lot who threatened her: "a guy walked up on me and said to me, 'Leave Trump alone. Forget the story.' And then he leaned around and looked at my daughter and said, 'That’s a beautiful little girl. It’d be a shame if something happened to her mom.'”
It all sounds like something out of a Martin Scorsese movie. But that scenario fits Cohen:
Cohen is a Trump cultist, whose legal skills, such as they are, compose a small portion of his value to the Trump organization. His true value is as a goon. “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.” In 2015, he told a reporter, “I’m warning you, tread very fucking lightly, because what I’m going to do to you is going to be fucking disgusting. You understand me?”
Trump has run the presidency the way he ran his family business -- like a New York mobster. And Cohen has been by his side ever since Trump lost the services of Roy Cohn:
Intimidating and threatening people who get in Trump’s way seems to be a recurring theme in his business interactions. There are many documented instances of this behavior. One victim of Trump’s shady financial maneuverings in Atlantic City received a phone call and was told, “My name is Carmine. I don’t know why you’re fucking with Mr. Trump but if you keep fucking with Mr. Trump, we know where you live and we’re going to your house for your wife and kids.”
Trump is increasingly frightened. He knows that Robert Mueller is the guy who sent John Gotti to jail. He knows that he can't intimidate Mueller. But he can fire him. However, one wonders if Trump understands the firestorm that would bring on.