Trump’s Personal Lawyer Wants to Grab Republicans by the Wallet
President Trump’s tough talking lawyer is taking his talents to the RNC’s fundraising team.
Trump lawyer Michael Cohen says the president’s greatness convinced him to register as a Republican this month but his new Republican Party leadership post surely didn’t hurt.
Three weeks after becoming a Republican (and five months after his boss won the presidency), Cohen, President Donald Trump’s private attorney and spokesman, will join the Republican National Committee’s finance leadership team, according to a draft of an RNC press release obtained by the Daily Beast.
Cohen describes himself as Trump’s “fix-it guy,” a loyal lieutenant who has handled his international business deals, defamation lawsuits, and everything in between. Cohen resigned from the Trump Organization earlier this year and is now on the the president’s personal payroll.
His precise duties for Trump were still fluid in the aftermath of the inauguration, but his new post at the RNC suggests Cohen is adopting a more political role for the new president, who is already officially a candidate for reelection.
Cohen refused to discuss the RNC job when reached on Tuesday evening.
“When the statement comes out you’ll have your answer,” he said. He declined to address further questions about his current duties for the president.
The RNC did not respond to a request for comment.
A longtime Trump aide and confidante, Cohen was a public face of the presidential campaign. His spokesman duties occasionally drifted into angry, threatening tirades at journalists pursuing stories that made his boss look bad.
“If you do something wrong [to Trump], 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,” he said in an interview last year.
Cohen will now be vice-chairman of a panel of Republican moneymen who “will employ their extraordinary talent and understanding of Americans across the country to maintain and build upon our unprecedented fundraising success,” RNC finance chief Steve Wynn said in a statement in the draft press release.
Cohen stands out among the eight finance team appointees announced in the RNC’s draft press release. The other names include a state party chairman and a host of high-dollar GOP donors and fundraisers.
Cohen, by contrast, wasn’t even a Republican until earlier this month.
“I’m actually a registered Democrat. So I don’t really care about Reince Priebus,” Cohen said last year as the then-RNC chairman, and current White House chief of staff, struggled to unify the party behind its apparent frontrunner.
Cohen changed his party registration on March 9 and tweeted a photo of the occasion. “It took a great man (@POTUS ) to get me to make the switch,” he wrote.
Other Trump loyalists are also among the additions to the RNC’s fundraising team. The list includes Elliott Broidy, a vice-chair of the Trump campaign’s joint fundraising committee who admitted in 2009 to bribing New York pension officials in return for investment in his hedge fund.
Also on the list is Brian Ballard, a former Florida lobbyist for the Trump Organization. He announced plans to open a foreign policy-focused Washington office for his firm shortly after Trump was inaugurated.
Bob Grand, an Indiana fundraiser for vice president Mike Pence, will join the RNC finance team as well. He is also a registered lobbyist, and his firm, Barnes & Thornburg, has signed twelve new clients since Trump was inaugurated, according to congressional disclosure forms.
At least one of the additions to the RNC team is not so friendly to the administration. Oregon hotelier Gordon Sondland publicly denounced Trump in August after he said his name was added to a fundraising event for the GOP nominee without Sondland’s approval.
The other additions to the RNC finance panel, according to the draft press release, are Michigan GOP chairman Ron Weiser, Akin Gump lobbyist Geoff Verhoff, and North Carolina investor Louis Dejoy.