Michael Cohen hits out at ‘clown show of counsel’ representing Trump in criminal indictment
Michael Cohen has hit out at the “clown show of counsel” representing Donald Trump as he is set to be arraigned in New York next week on criminal charges relating to 2016 hush money payments to adult film star Stormy Daniels.
Mr Trump’s former lawyer and “fixer” Cohen – who was pitted as the Manhattan prosecutors’ star witness in the grand jury case – took aim at the former president and his legal team on ABC’s Good Morning America on Friday morning.
“You really do need lawyers that are competent. This clown show of counsel makes absolutely no sense to me. He doesn’t know the facts,” he said of Mr Trump’s attorneys.
“How could you sit there and try to represent your client when you really have no idea what you’re talking about? It’s really just bravado, and it’s bravado to a party of one.
“And the party of one, of course, is always Donald Trump. It’s all about inflating his ego. You’re past the point of wanting to inflate your ego. Now, this is about a criminal indictment.”
He added that “instead of playing the media game, [Trump] should be worrying more about the court of law, not a court of public opinion”.
Cohen’s comments come as Mr Trump’s attorney Joe Tacopina launched a fresh media blitz on Friday morning – hours after the grand jury voted to indict the former president.
Mr Tacopina also appeared on GMA as well as NBC’s Today show where he insisted there is “zero chance” the former president will accept a plea deal in the case and railed against what he claimed was the day that “the rule of law died” in America.
“President Trump will not take a plea deal on this case. It’s not gonna happen,” he told NBC.
“There’s no crime. I don’t know if it’s gonna make it to trial because we have substantial legal challenges.”
The attorney – who ramped up his media coverage in the run-up to the indictment – told GMA that Mr Trump was “shocked” when he learned of the indictment.
“At end of the day, he was hoping the rule of law would prevail,” he said, adding that he was “shocked that it actually came to fruition”.
“The rule of law died yesterday in this country,” he claimed.
Mr Trump’s apparent “initial shock” comes despite the former president claiming that he was going to be arrested on 21 March – a day that came and went without event.
Cohen told GMA that he imagined Mr Trump was “seething right now” because he is finally “being held accountable”.
“He’s seething right now. He is beyond angry for many different reasons. The fact that he’s being held accountable –something that he has no desire to ever be. He’s never been held accountable,” he said.
“This is a man who held up the bible, and said he’s never apologised to god because he’s never done anything wrong. He doesn’t understand accountability. And right now, Alvin Bragg has finally put that into his lap.”
Cohen spent time in jail over the hush money payments that Mr Trump is now charged over.
In the days before the 2016 election, Cohen made a payment of $130,0000 to Ms Daniels – a payment that prosecutors claim was used to silence Ms Daniels about an alleged affair she had with Mr Trump.
Mr Trump has long denied having an affair with the adult film star.
Cohen was convicted of tax evasion, lying to Congress and campaign finance violations related to the payments and was sentenced to three years in prison.
Manhattan prosecutors have been investigating whether Mr Trump falsified the Trump Organization’s business records over the payments.
Both Cohen and Ms Daniels testified before the grand jury in recent weeks.
Then, on Thursday 30 March, the grand jury voted to indict Mr Trump on a string of charges over the payments.
While it is currently unclear what the charges are, multiple reports say that Mr Trump is facing more than 30 counts related to business fraud.
He is expected to appear in a court in Manhattan to be arraigned on Tuesday, with a tentative hearing time set for 2.15pm that afternoon. The date and time is however subject to change.