Michael Cohen’s Interview with ABC – Part 1
Below is the transcript of Michael Cohen’s interview on ABC with George Stephanopoulos.
George Stephanopoulos: Michael, thank you for doing this.
Michael Cohen: George, good to see you.
Stephanopoulos: Emotional day in court yesterday, and I was struck by that line you had … you said you felt like you had your freedom back.
Stephanopoulos: How does it feel today?
Cohen: Like I have my freedom back. Though I have to be honest. It has been very rough to be before the court with my family in attendance, my mother, my father, my wife, my children, my sisters, my brother, my niece, cousins, friends, it was … ummm, it was a very rough day.
Stephanopoulos: And then you wake up today, and the president is tweeting from very early in the morning several different things … what struck me most is his claim that you agreed to this plea deal for this reason he said, “Those charges were just agreed to him in order to embarrass the president and get a much reduced prison sentence.”
Cohen: I know which tweets you are talking about. First of all, it is absolutely not true. I did not do it to embarrass the president. He knows the truth. I know the truth, many people know thet ruth. Under no circumstances do I want to embarrass the president of the United States of America. The truth is, I told the truth. I took responsibility for my actions. And instead of him taking responsibility for his actions, what does he do? He attacks my family. And after yesterday, again being before the court and taking the responsibility and receiving a sentence of 36 months, the only thing he could do is to tweet about my family?
Stephanopoulos: He said in the tweets and repeated in an interview later on that basically he says — his claim — you are lying about him to protect your wife, to protect your father in-law.
Cohen: Inaccurate. He knows the truth, I know the truth, others know the truth, and here is the truth: The people of the United States of America, people of the world, don’t believe what he is saying.The man doesn’t tell the truth. And it is sad that I should take responsibility for his dirty deeds.
Stephanopoulos: You lied for him for a long time.
Cohen: More than 10 years.
Cohen: Out of loyalty. Out of loyalty to him. I followed a bad path and hence how we started this conversation. I have my freedom, and I will not be the villain — as I told you once before — I will not be the villain of his story.
Stephanopoulos: He is saying very clearly that he never directed you to do anything wrong. Is that true?
Cohen: I don’t think there is anybody that believes that. First of all, nothing at the Trump organization was ever done unless it was run through Mr. Trump. He directed me, as I said in my allocution and I said as well in the plea, he directed me to make the payments,he directed me to become involved in these matters. Including the one with McDougal, which was really between him and David Pecker and then David Pecker’s counsel. I just reviewed the documents … in order to protect him. I gave loyalty to someone who truthfully does not deserve loyalty.
Stephanopoulos: He was trying to hide what you were doing, correct?
Stephanopoulos: And he knew it was wrong?
Cohen: Of course.
Stephanopoulos: And he was doing that to help his election?
Cohen: You have to remember at what point in time that this matter came about — two weeks or so before the election. Post the Billy Bush [“Access Hollywood”] comments, so, yes, he was very concerned about how this would affect the election.
Stephanopoulos: To help his campaign?
Cohen: To help him and the campaign.
Stephanopoulos: You mention dirty deeds in your allocution yesterday. When you think about it, when you look back, did you know what you were doing?
Cohen: I am angry at myself because I knew what I was doing was wrong. I stood up before the world yesterday and I accepted the responsibility for my actions. The actions that I gave to a man, who, as I also said in my allocution, I was loyal to. I should not be the only one taking responsibility for his actions.
Stephanopoulos: So he’s still lying?
Stephanopoulos: Do you know why you were loyal to him at the beginning?
Cohen: No. No, it was a blind loyalty. It was to a man I admired, but I do not know the answer to it. And I am angry at myself. My family is disappointed that they’ve taught me, my mother, father, right from wrong. And I didn’t display good judgment.
Stephanopoulos: You called it blind loyalty –the prosecutors seem to suggest it was, southern district prosecutors I should add, seem to suggest it was — you were being driven by greed and ambition.
Cohen: That’s inaccurate, but, again, I took responsibility for my actions, but I didn’t make my money working for Donald Trump. I made a substantial amount of money years before working for Donald Trump. And anybody who knows me knows that to be the truth.
Stephanopoulos: So what do you say to people –and you know there are a lot of people will be watching who are thinking, “But wait a second, he lied for so long why should we believe him now?” What’s the answer to that?
Cohen: What do you mean, “lied”? Lied about what? At the Trump organization, it is a microcosm of even just a New York real estate market. What do we lie about? It’s New York real estate, yes, it is the greatest product ever created, is that a lie?
Stephanopoulos: But you pleaded guilty to lying to Congress.
Stephanopoulos: So why should we believe you now?
Cohen: Because the special counsel stated emphatically that the information that I gave to them is credible and helpful. There is a substantial amount of information that they possessed that corroborates the fact that I am telling the truth.
Stephanopoulos: So you’re done with the lying?
Cohen: I am done with the lying. I am done being loyal to President Trump, and my first loyalty belongs to my wife, my daughter,my son and this country.
Alexander Hernandez, Esq.
Michael Cohen’s Conscious Will Bury President Trump
As Michael Cohen was sentenced to three years in prison, there are statements he made to the court that reveals this goes beyond looking for a reduction in his prison sentence. And it should be noticed that Cohen does not have to turn himself into prison until March of 2019, which means his sentence may be reduced. It’s not common, but legally possible.
“The irony is today is the day I am getting my freedom back as you sit at the bench and you contemplate my fate. I have been living in a personal and mental incarceration ever since the fateful day that I accepted the offer to work for a famous real estate mogul whose business acumen I truly admired. In fact, I now know that there is little to be admired.”
That statement speaks volumes. It goes beyond just simply stating he made a mistake and is asking for mercy before the court. It reveals a deeper pain and anguish, the proverbial Devil on one shoulder and Angel on the other.
In addition, Cohen has been living out of a hotel room for months, isolated, away from his family to spare them the pain, agony, and threats which coincides with his already personal incarceration, but goes also to the “mental incarceration” he he’s had before Trump’s presidency through present.
“I want to be clear. I blame myself for the conduct which has brought me here today, and it was my own weakness, and a blind loyalty to this man that led me to choose a path of darkness over light. It is for these reasons I chose to participate in the elicit act of the President rather than to listen to my own inner voice which should have warned me that the campaign finance violations that I later pled guilty to were insidious.”
Again, a statement that could only be interpreted as spiritual and/or religious where Cohen now sees how President Trump only allowed darkness into his life disguised as light, because of the money and power his connections to Trump brought him.
Cohen even cites Viktor Frankl’s book, “Man’s Search for Meaning,” where he said “there are forces beyond your control that can take away everything you possess except one thing, your freedom to choose how you will respond to the situation.”
Cohen realizes the historical perspective of his actions and Trump’s presidency. Even though he is going to prison, his actions and legacy will forever follow his children. Cohen, I have no doubt will do all in his power to change how history looks upon him.
“Despite being vilified by the press and inundated with character assassinations over the past almost two years, I still stand today, and I am committed to proving my integrity and ensuring that history will not remember me as the villain of his story.”
“Your Honor, this may seem hard to believe, but today is one of the most meaningful days of my life.”
A spiritual awakening? I believe so now and did from the beginning. Sure, if Cohen was to receive a pardon he would have accepted it gladly, but when he didn’t, I didn’t feel that Cohen was seeking revenge. As I’ve written in my books before and my blogs, at some point in your life we all face our maker and/or conscious, make sure you are squared up with both.
Cohen met his conscious.
Alexander Hernandez, Esq.
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Alexander Hernandez has been representing clients since 1999 in the areas of bankruptcy, family law, and personal injury.
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