Appearing live via house arrest on MSNBC on Monday evening, Michael Cohen issued a dire warning to his former boss President Donald Trump, who has been on an unfettered pardon spree during his final weeks in office.
After Cohen spent a few minutes talking up the criminal justice advocacy he’s been pushing on behalf of his prison “buddies” like “Tony Meatballs and Big Minty,” host Ari Melber pivoted to the pardon issue, which is clearly a sore spot for the man who was once the president’s most loyal servant.
“Do I think any of these people should be receiving pardons? Absolutely not,” Cohen said, accusing Trump of trading “political favors and money” for pardons. “I would have received one had I agreed not to come out, not to speak truth to power.”
From there, Cohen took the opportunity to plug his book, Disloyal: A Memoir, and offer a few predictions about how the final month of the Trump presidency will play out. “That’s when he’ll probably try to drop the pardon power for Jared, Don, Ivanka, Eric, [Trump Organization CFO] Allen Weisselberg, whoever he thinks will possibly get a federal indictment.”
But, Cohen added, “This produces a very significant problem for Donald Trump in the fact that once you receive that pardon power, once you get that pardon, you’re no longer able to invoke the Fifth Amendment, your right against self-incrimination, because you cannot be charged.”
“So all of these people may ultimately be his downfall,” Cohen continued, “simply because they’ll be testifying against him, either for a court or a tribunal.”
If he was still serving as Trump’s consigliere, Cohen said he would ask the president, “Why don’t you knock off the nonsense with the pardons? Why don’t you turn around and think about all of the Americans, each and every day, that are dying?”