Michael Cohen’s legal troubles have claimed another victim: his personal memoir.
Earlier this year, President Donald Trump’s longtime personal lawyer met with a number of publishers in New York, pitching a book which had been tentatively titled Trump Revolution: From The Tower to The White House, Understanding Donald J. Trump.
In a copy of the proposal obtained by The Daily Beast, Cohen said that the book would detail his experiences serving as the Trump “family fix-it guy,” and would include his observations about everything from the 2016 campaign to what the proposal described as “the unfortunate saga involving Stephanie Clifford, also known as ‘Stormy Daniels.’”
According to two sources with knowledge of the agreement, Cohen reached a deal to publish the book with Center Street, the conservative imprint of Hachette Book Group.
But the same sources told The Daily Beast that in recent weeks, the book deal had been called off amid Cohen’s legal woes.
In the months after shopping the book, Cohen became further engaged in a protracted legal fight with porn-actress Daniels over a $130,000 payment he made to her before the 2016 election to stay silent over her alleged affair with Trump. More seriously, federal prosecutors in New York have been investigating his personal business dealings.
Daniels’ manager Gina Rodriguez told the Associated Press in February that Cohen had invalidated his non-disclosure agreement by promising to talk about the porn star in his book.
It is unclear whether Cohen pulled the plug on his book himself, or Center Street backed out of the deal. The publisher did not respond to multiple requests for comment.
When reached by The Daily Beast about this story, Cohen simply responded, “Who is this?” He did not respond after The Daily Beast reporter clarified who he was.
"In my experience, it is never a good idea for a guy who is under criminal investigation to be writing a book about the very topics for which he’s being investigated,” Stormy Daniels’s attorney Michael Avenatti, a leading antagonist of Cohen and his boss Donald J. Trump, told The Daily Beast on Thursday. “How stupid could you be?”
When asked if he were Cohen’s attorney if he would have advised Trump’s longtime fixer to kill the book, Avenatti replied, “No question.” Cohen’s actual attorney, Stephen Ryan, did not respond to The Daily Beast’s questions on this subject.
One of Cohen’s stated motivating factors in writing a memoir was his desire to tell the Trump story right—or his version of right.
According to Cohen’s book pitch, other authors of recently published Trump-splainers—such as former Speaker of the House and informal Trump adviser Newt Gingrich, former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, and deputy campaign manager David Bossie—had only worked closely with Trump for brief periods of time—brief, at least, compared to Cohen’s tenure as a fixer, sidekick, attorney, and loyal follower and attack dog. “The reality is that all of these books, across the lot, are based on arm’s length observations gleaned over relatively brief periods of time,” Cohen’s proposal reads. (It was, after all, Cohen who created the website “shouldtrumprun.com” back in 2011.)
Cohen’s relationship with one of the aforementioned Trump operatives-turned-authors, Lewandowski, has been especially fraught for years. As The Daily Beast reported earlier this week, multiple sources in Trumpworld described something akin to “sibling rivalry” between the two men, each vying for the political and personal affections and approval of Trump.
After Trump’s surprise election-night victory, Cohen saw Lewandowski poised to make potentially millions of dollars, due to his proximity to Trump, in the influence industry and Washington “swamp”—and the president’s personal lawyer wanted in on the action, as well.
Ironically enough, Cohen’s impulse to, like Lewandowski, cash in on the Trump era via influence peddling is in part why Cohen has landed in scalding-hot water with the feds.
And now all the scandal has, at least for now, cost him his book.
“I have been working on a book and am extremely thankful that is has been well received and sought after by multiple publishers,” Cohen told The Daily Beast early this year.